Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Michigan-Ohio State - The Gentleman Jim Tressel Era

Interesting Fact - Conventional wisdom states whoever wins the turnover battle usually wins the game...that has not been the case the last two years...Michigan has not committed a turnover in the last two games against Ohio State while the Buckeyes have committed 4 turnovers...

This will be Jim Tressel's eighth game against Michigan as head coach of Ohio State...as is widely known, Gentleman Jim is 6-1 against the Wolverines...believe me, I know a win is a win, and the point of this post is not to slam any of his 6 wins...the point of this post is to show how close Michigan came in those games...a turnover here and a play there and Jimmy Boy could be 4-3...let's take a look at these games (the ranking and record is what each team was coming into the game)...

2001 - Ohio State 26-20 - Ann Arbor
#11 Michigan (8-2) vs. NR Ohio State (6-4) - Michigan took Tressel lightly...this was Lloyd Carr's fault...I later read in The Wolverine that some of the Michigan players thought they would easily handle this former I-AA coach...Ohio State jumped out to a 23-0 lead at halftime...after getting knocked on their asses, the Wolverines played better in the second half but fell just short of making a complete comeback...I could still see the play when Marquise Walker dropped a sure touchdown....

2002 - Ohio State 14-9- Columbus
#2 Ohio State (11-0) vs. #11 Michigan (9-2) - Ohio State was perfect and one win from the Fiesta Bowl against The U...Ohio State had freshman sensation Maurice Clarett at running back...this was Michigan's game...three times they drove deep into Ohio State territory but ended up settling for field goals...the Michigan defense shutdown Clarett and the Buckeyes until the last drive...even with about a minute left on the clock, QB John Navarre drove Michigan to the Ohio State 19-yard-line with one second left...Michigan still had a chance to win, but Navarre's pass to Braylon Edwards in the endzone was intercepted...once again, Gentleman Jim escapes...

2003 - Michigan 35-21 - Ann Arbor
#4 Michigan (9-2) vs. #6 Ohio State (10-1) - This was the 100th meeting and Michigan dominated from the beginning...Ohio State made a push late in the third quarter, but Michigan maintained their poise as RB Chris Perry scorched the Ohio State defense for 154 yards and Braylon Edwards caught 2 TD passes...

2004 - Ohio State 37-21 - Columbus
#7 Michigan (8-2) vs. NR Ohio State (6-4) - This was Tressel's only dismal year at Ohio State...just one week earlier the Buckeyes lost at Purdue and were staring at a sure loss to the Wolverines...Michigan's young team led by freshman QB Chad Henne and RB Mike Hart already sewed up a trip to the Rose Bowl prior to the game...their freshman inexperience showed...Michigan held a 14-7 lead after the first quarter...it was all downhill thereafter as Troy Smith shredded Michigan...Ohio State dominated as they made the Wolverines look slow and out-of-shape...

2005 - Ohio State 25-21 - Ann Arbor
#9 Ohio State (8-2) vs. #17 Michigan (7-3) - This may have been the most bitter loss...Michigan led 21-12 with 7:45 to go...a loss would have sent Ohio State to the Capital One Bowl...victory seemed so close for Michigan...once again Jim Hermann's defense could not finish as Troy Smith made every crucial big play over those last 8 minutes...Antonio Pittman scored the winning touchdown with 23 seconds left...the Buckeyes headed to the Fiesta Bowl to take on Notre Dame...

2006 - Ohio State 42-39 - Columbus
#1 Ohio State (11-0) vs. #2 Michigan (11-0) - Bo Schembechler died the day before...it was a perfect storm...but once again the Michigan defense could not stop Ohio State...Michigan's offense poured through the Buckeye defense as Mike Hart was a beast in running the ball...but the Michigan defense could not make a third down stop throughout the game...in the end, Ohio State always stayed one step ahead of Michigan...

2007 - Ohio State 14-3 - Ann Arbor
#7 Ohio State (10-1) vs. #21 Michigan (8-3) - Henne and Hart stayed for their senior year just for this game...they were 0-3 against Ohio State...coming into the game, Henne was nursing a separated shoulder and Hart was still not 100% from a high ankle sprain...Chris Wells scored the second of his 2 touchdowns on the second play of the 3rd quarter to put Ohio State up 14-3 in the steady November drizzle...Mario Manningham did not help as he dropped two crucial passes when Michigan started to get a bit of momentum...knowing that Hart and Henne were not 100%, Tressel went conservative and ran the ball the rest of the game to kill the clock...


The following is a 5 minute clip of the 2001 game...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the worst article I have ever read. Maybe that is why Michigan is 1-7 against thee Ohio State University. (I know it is only 1-6, but lets be serious, OSU way win by triple digits this year) It is hilarious that you Michigan fans have to take pride in almost winning. Stop whining about being close and face the fact that you are Tressel's little b!tch.

Jamie P said...

I am a Buckeye fan, but I still enjoyed the article. Stating that this is the worst article you have ever read just shows your lack of journalistic appreciation. I don't necessarily agree with the points made int he article. The author is obviously anti-Tressel, but he states his opinion and uses facts to support his viewpoint. That is what journalism is all about. The fact remains though, Michigan is Tressels' bitch. Some games have been close, but to say that Tressel escaped is disrespectful. The bottom line is that good teams and good coaches win close games. I don't always agree with Tressel, especially in his unwillingness to change a gameplan when he is getting romped. Look back at Texas, Florida, LSU, etc. I think he can be hardheaded at times.

jordan1811 said...

The '04 section is not accurate. Michigan had not wrapped up the Rose Bowl bid. In fact, if Iowa had not upset Wisconsin later that day, the Badgers would have gone to Pasadena.

Anonymous said...

The turnover battle only counts when comparing 2 evenly matched teams. OSU could turn the ball over 10 times to MU's 0 and it would still come out victorious. That's what happens when you are far inferior

Anonymous said...

The turnover battle only counts when comparing 2 evenly matched teams. OSU could turn the ball over 10 times to MU's 0 and it would still come out victorious. That's what happens when you are far inferior