On Saturday Ohio St #2 will meet #10 Michigan St for the B1G10 title, with BCS implications as well as a National title game on the line for The Ohio State University a win over Michigan St all but likely seal them a place against #1 Florida St if they beat Duke in the ACC title game.
An easy schedule along the way and help along the way have helped OSU jump to #2 in the poll rankings as Urban Meyer goes for his 25th win. Wherever Meyer has gone he has had success, Bowling Green, Utah and of course most recently with the Florida Gators winning back to back national titles. Meyer likes to have dual threat QBs, i.e Alex Smith (Utah), Tim Tebow (Florida) and it’s no different with Ohio St with Braxton Miller the starting QB, after a shaky season in 2012 in a new system, Miller has improved as a passer, making better decisions, missing 2 games to injury this season. He has thrown for 1,759 yards for the season with a 65.3% pass completion rate compared to a year ago where it was 58.3% showing he has shown better awareness, Miller will unlikely surpass 1,200 rushing yards from last season. It would be wise for Miller to return for his senior year and improve on his throwing ability as well as his pocket present. Carlos Hyde is one the most physical backs in the BIG10, but has durability issues missing the first 3 games of the season, missing 2 last season and 5 as a freshman, He has rushed for 1,290 yards, including 107 receiving yards showing he capable of catching the ball.
The Buckeyes are stacked on defense with junior Ryan Shazier at OLB, who is one of the better pass rushers and possibly a first round draft pick in 2014. Shazier has 6 Sacks, 22 TFL and over 100 tackles on the season improving in all 3 categories from 2012. Watching him from a year ago you can see he has improved as a player against the run and is able to get into the backfield much quicker. Bradley Roby CB went into the season as the ranked #1 CB for many draft analysts, Roby has shown why many considered him best CB prospect but at times he has struggled. He has broken up 13 passes thrown his way, giving up 120 yards compared to 49 yards last season, having 3 INT this season. Ohio St rarely used Roby in the run defence something he will need to work at the next level.
Michigan St have the best defence in the country being ranked #1 in total defence in 2013, the coaching staff have done wonders if they had offence earlier in the season they would be unbeaten heading into the title game. Their defence beings with senior LB Max Bullough who has led the team in tackles in 2011, 2012 with over 100 tackles. His numbers have come down from a year ago to 79 tackles, 9 TFL and 1 sack. Bullough is a physical LB, where he holds up well against the run, biggest issue for Bullough is in coverage. Darqueze Dennard has had a good season for the Spartans with 4 INT, 2.5 TFL and 8 passes broken up, Dennard is one of the better players against the run he been utilised on the blitz with 5 QB hurries to his name this season, Dennard is one the better CB that will be declaring for the draft, he has a chance to go top 64.
The Spartans continue to have defensive players that are seniors that we will see at the draft including 3 year starter Free Safety Isaiah Lewis,, Lewis skills are very sound, he is able to hold up against the run, a very experienced player playing over 20 games for the Spartans, with S being a premium position Lewis could be a day 2 early day 3 pick. Denicos Allen is an explosive on the edge coming into his own in 2011, 2012 was another good year for the pass rusher but with teams paying extra attention to him in 2013 double teaming him at times but has shown he is capable creating pressure with 15 TFLs, 5.5 sacks in 2013.
Saturday will be a fascinating game between the two teams, Michigan St can’t get into a shootout which they all but likely lose.