Opinion Roundtable: What Aspect Of Ohio State's Team Is The Biggest Concern?
Michigan hasn't beaten Ohio State since 2011 and it's going to be extremely difficult to snap that streak against a very solid Buckeye squad this Saturday. Ohio State is No. 1 and for good reason. They are undefeated, beating everyone by a ton of points and have a Heisman candidate on both sides of the ball in sophomore quarterback Justin Fields and junior defensive end Chase Young. With such a loaded roster, a ton of momentum and a chance to play for a national title, what aspect of Ohio State’s team is the biggest worry? Steve Deace, Michael Spath and myself discuss...
I think whenever the team you're playing has the best player in the entire country, that guy is priority No. 1. That's how I feel about Chase Young.
Young has 16.5 sacks in just nine games and can absolutely change the course of a game. He's forced six fumbles this year and has also been really good against the run.
I don't think Michigan is going to have the same kind of offensive success against the No. 1 defense in the country that they've had over the last two weeks, but they definitely seem to have found something. If U-M wants to keep pace with Ohio State's offense, they'll need to keep Young in check by any means possible. If he's able to get his hands on Shea Patterson and potentially knock the ball loose once or twice, it could really swing the game in OSU's favor. If Michigan can keep Young at bay, they'll have a shot. I really think that's the biggest concern for Saturday.
I think it’s their overall athleticism, because unless you catch them having an off day or are plus-2 or better in turnovers, you have to execute at such a high level to beat them. They have the kind of athleticism that even if you do everything right they can make a man miss or outrun the angle during the play. Or just come off the edge so fast with a guy like Chase Young you’re beaten pre-assignment. They’ve had a lot of great teams during this 15-year domination. I think their two best were the 2014 and 2006 editions, because they also had that type of explosiveness. This year’s Buckeyes are right up there with those two. This will be the most talented Ohio State team Harbaugh has faced yet.
My biggest concern is that they're actually as good as their 30+ point margin of victory per game has been. Everyone is talking about how this could be the best team they've had in 20 years. I don't want to buy it. They haven't played a good team on the road. They've been tested only once, last week against Penn State, and showed some shakiness, but last year they were reeling a bit too coming into The Game and had a lights-out game plan (and the athletes to execute) to take advantage of Michigan. If Ryan Day is really an offensive savant and these athletes like Justin Fields, JK Dobbins and Chase Young are as good as advertised then U-M's best might not even be enough to stay within 10 points of the Buckeyes.
What is your biggest concern? How can Michigan keep pace with U-M's athletes? Can the Wolverines keep Chase Young in check? Comment below!!!