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Film Room: Ohio State Defense Crumbles At Michigan

The Buckeyes had a rough showing, allowing nearly 300 yards on the ground against their bitter rivals.

Ohio State's defensive effort on Saturday in Ann Arbor wasn't nearly good enough and it ended their hopes of a championship season. The Wolverines thrashed the Buckeyes on the ground and scored on every possession of the second half. 

If you missed our offensive film review, click here. Here are a few plays that demonstrate their breakdowns. 

Buckeye Defense vs. Michigan

After last week’s dominance against Michigan State and shutting down Kenneth Walker to 6 carries for 25 yards and 0 TDs, it seemed like the Buckeyes run defense was peaking at the right time. 

Unfortunately, Saturday’s run defense was the complete opposite with the Wolverines gaining 297 yards on the ground for 6 TDs and 7.2 yards a carry. Hassan Haskins was marvelous with 169 yards and 5 TDs. Give credit to the Wolverines' offensive coordinator Josh Gattis for the game plan and play-calling. As expected, the Wolverines tried to establish the run game and wound up running the ball twice as many times as they threw it (41 rushes, 20 passes). 

The Wolverine offensive line was able to get to the second level and wall off the Buckeye linebackers all afternoon. The defensive line for the Buckeyes had a major presence last week against the Spartans and throughout the season, but they did not spend much time on the other side of the line of scrimmage on Saturday with 0 sacks, 0 TFLs, and just 2 pressures. The Wolverines were very especially effective on first down with an average of 8.4 yards per first down play.

One formation that was effective for the Wolverines was the tight trips bunch. The clip below shows the right guard Zak Zinter (No. 65) getting quickly to LB Steele Chambers (No. 22) to wall him off and safety Ronnie Hickman attacking the C gap, giving Hassan Haskins a seam to for a big gain.

The Buckeye edge defenders lost contain on multiple occasions which led to big runs. Below is the first touchdown of the game for the Wolverines where DE Javontae Jean-Baptiste (No. 8) loses contain by turning hips inside and not staying square on this A.J. Henning WR reverse.

The best defensive play for the Buckeyes was Bryson Shaw’s interception on the second series of the game. The Wolverines were marching down with a short field and Shaw makes a huge play by reading the QB McNamara’s eyes and anticipating the post route of the middle. Watch how Shaw moves just prior the snap to the middle of the field to help disguise the coverage a bit.

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