The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 1, 2013

Jon Hall's Buckeye Notebook: Ohio State eeks out win

(Continued)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Defense

To think what the defense gave up in points at 41 is to gain some perspective — Ohio State defense was supposedly great in 2006, but allowed 39 points to Michigan. That’s why they call “The Game.”

Ranked No. 95 in total offense in the country, Michigan had great control in scheming with screens, options, end around to keep the defense honest.

“We were blown out on defense from playing too many guys and playing guys too many plays. I wanted to call time out to give them a deep breath,” Meyer said about the 2-point conversion the Wolverines tried. “I would have done the same thing (as Hoke did) no question. The offenses were in that kind of unstoppable mode. They would change at the line of scrimmage and passing the ball with high efficiency. That’s why I called the timeout and let our guys think about it. We stopped them.”

Michigan averages 234 passing yards a game. Their huge total of 451 in the are was due to Ohio State having an inordinate amount of missed tackles, out of position, and missed assignments by the Buckeyes. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had been magnificent up until his fumble and last interception to end the game. An escape act for the most of the day and until Michigan had only had three turnovers in the last five games.

Gardner was 11 for 15 for 238 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Overall he was 32 of 45 for 451 yards and four scores, connecting nine times for 175 yards and a score to Jeremy Gallon (17-yards). He also ran for a 1-yard touchdown that gave Michigan the first lead in the shoot-out that went to halftime tied at 21.

“Gardner is an excellent thrower,” Meyer said. “Early in the season (today) he looked like he did against Indiana,.

“I have seen them throw the back screen. Michigan did a nice job of recognizing that and we did not do a very good job defending it.”

Shazier once again led the Buckeyes with 14 tackles (seven solo). Defensive back C.J. Barnett was credited with 11. All year long Gardner has worn jersey No. 98 in honor of Wolverines great Tom Harmon, who wore the number from 1938 to '40. Harmon won the Heisman Trophy in his final season.

In his last college game, on Nov. 23, 1940, Harmon powered Michigan to a 40-0 blasting of Ohio State. That afternoon Harmon scored three touchdowns, passing for two, kicked four PATs, punted three times for a 50-yard average, returned three punts for 81 yards, and stood out on defense. After nearly 59 minutes of play according to prior game stories, he received a standing ovation from the Ohio Stadium crowd.

Jeremy Gallon (5 catches for 137 yards in first half) and his hauling in an 84-yarder from Gardner tallied a team-high 175 yards on nine catches.

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