Colin: Terry Glenn….has there or will there ever be another WR who came out of nowhere to explode the way he did at Ohio State in 1995?
Baver: No and no. The guy was a joy to watch. I was sitting in A Deck for the Notre Dame game, pretty close to where Glenn caught the 10-yard pass that he turned into an 82-yd TD. That was the loudest I can ever remember Ohio Stadium. Horrible news about his death. 43 years old - too young to die, and he had overcome so much in his life. Rest in peace, Terry Glenn.
Colin: UM has had a Browns-esque revolving door at QB for the past decade. How can a major school with such strong history at that position been unable to find an All Big Ten quality starter?
Baver: I don’t know exactly, but some of it is probably due to simple bad luck. I mean, 11 Michigan players were taken in the most recent NFL draft, a UM program record. So they are recruiting and developing talent “overall”, no doubt. The recruiting rankings would tell you that they are landing QBs you would expect a school like Michigan to land. So with QBs, maybe they just missed on their scouting, aren’t developing them, or both. Peters did look like he was coming along before his injury last Saturday.
Colin: Will the Buckeyes be able to move the ball consistently in the hostile Big House environment?
Baver: If the OSU offense does move it consistently, Michigan almost can’t win the game without Ohio State committing a handful of turnovers. The emergence of Mike Weber the past two weeks has to be causing Michigan DC Don Brown some heartburn this week. I don’t think the Bucks will score 48 pts on Michigan like they did on Sparty, but I think they score north of 30, which will put a lot of pressure on a shaky Wolverine offense. The Buckeyes will have to be conscience of #7’s whereabouts on the UM defense at all times. That would be Khalake Hudson, who replaced Jabrill Peppers at that Viper spot. Hudson leads the Big Ten in tackles for losses and has better #’s than Peppers in basically every defensive stat.
Colin: Speaking of that, where does the Big House rank among toughest places to play in the Big Ten?
Baver: I’ve been to four OSU-Michigan games up there (’85, ’97, ’99 & ’01) and three games in Happy Valley (’05, ’14 & ’16). This is shameful of me to admit, but I have never been to a game in Madison. It’s much crazier and louder in Beaver Stadium than the Big House. Beaver Stadium traps in the sound, where it seems to escape more in the Big House. Michigan Stadium seemed much more intimidating when Michigan owned Ohio State in the 80’s and 90’s. But now the tables have turned, and it doesn’t seem so intimidating anymore, does it?
Colin: The Michigan O has struggled all season. How many points would be a good day for them against the silver bullets?
Baver: Looking at the spread and over/under, Vegas projects a Buckeye win in the ballpark of 31-19. If Michigan can find a way to score 24+ points in a 60-minute regulation game, then I think things will be interesting. If Iowa can score 55 on Ohio State, then it’s certainly possibly for UM’s struggling offense to score 24+.
Colin: Final thoughts and prediction?
Baver: John O’Korn is probably going to get the call for Michigan at QB, and I don’t think that’s a good thing for UM. If Brandon Peters was truly knocked out cold against Wisconsin, I don’t think there is any chance he plays tomorrow. In today’s day and age, you just don’t take chances with guys coming off of concussions. Could we see Wilton Speight? Maybe. It probably doesn’t matter, as Michigan QB’s have combined to throw 8 TD’s on the season. To put that into perspective, Johnnie Dixon has 17 catches for Ohio State this yr….8 of those 17 catches have gone for TD’s.
Michigan’s best hope on offense is with their ground game, with the running-back-by-committee trio of Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, and Ty Isaac. That’s been a solid threesome that has combined for 2,016 yds, 5.9 ypc, and 18 TDs on the ground this season.
I think Michigan’s defense, which is strong on the line, at LB and in the secondary, gives them a fighting chance in this game. If they can fluster JT then this is a game that may go down to the wire.
In the end, I think Michigan’s offensive woes likely lead to yet another loss to their bitter rivals. I like Ohio State 34-16.