Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss No. 3 Michigan’s dominant win over No. 2 Ohio State, and debate if Ryan Day coached scared in the second half against the Wolverines.
PAT FORDE: You put the game in the hands of Deamonte Trayanum, who did used to play running back at Arizona State, but then transferred and became a linebacker and had one carry on the year, and all of a sudden he's the offense in the third quarter against Michigan? Like, what the hell are you doing?
DAN WETZEL: What the hell did you see from Ohio State yesterday.
PAT FORDE: Right.
DAN WETZEL: Their defense was terrible, their offense was terrible, their coaching was terrible. They lost at home to a team that was missing its best player. This wasn't like, wow, if the defense was a little better, they would have beat Michigan. No, they were horrible at everything.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, no, they were. I mean, that was a very, very bad performance. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about that.
DAN WETZEL: It's 2017 Ohio State and Michigan is in this game through a couple of long passes, where Ohio they didn't believe in the position of safety. Somewhere Ed Reed is weeping.
What about me? Troy Polamalu is like, you guys never heard of me? And I go, I feel good, because I picked Ohio State and everyone else picks Michigan. And Pat says to me, yeah, Michigan's got to make eight adjustments.
They got 10 or 11 yards rushing. They're not getting a pass rush, all this stuff. And Ohio State's just got to make one adjustment, put a safety in there. Stop doing zero blitz.
And we both agree and then Michigan comes out and beats them in the second half, 28-3, and totally emasculates them. And Ryan Day plays scared, and the Buckeyes play stupid, and the whole thing is disaster. It just collapses. And Jim Harbaugh stitches a clown suit for Brutus Buckeye and half of Ohio stadium's gone by the last three minutes of the game. What the hell happened, Pat?
PAT FORDE: It was incredible. I mean, it really was, and yeah, we were sitting about four seats apart or something and for the first, I don't know, quarter and a half or whatever the length of time was, it was like, Michigan was barely avoiding getting run out of the stadium. Ohio State wouldn't finish drives or would make a dumb mistake or whatever. And then Michigan hits the touchdown to Cornelius Johnson, he shakes the tackle and he's gone, because, again, there's no safety help.
But it's like, boy, how is Michigan really hanging around in this game? And then all of a sudden the second half was just like, Michigan was just so much better at everything. I think they scored their first possession in the second half, right? And it was like Ohio State just got scared, and nervous, and tense after that. I mean, they hurtled, I thought, big time, starting with Ryan Day. Play calling--
DAN WETZEL: After the touchdown, they get to fourth and 4, I believe, on Michigan's side of the field and he punts.
PAT FORDE: Yep, with that offense. And then I think it was the possession after that where they get to midfield and they run three straight plays with their converted linebacker-running back. I mean, you got Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka, CJ Stroud, you got all these receivers and you put the game in the hands of Deamonte Trayanum, who used to play running back at Arizona State but then transferred him became a linebacker and had one carry on the year, and all of a sudden, he's the offense in the third quarter against Michigan? Like, what the hell are you doing? I was just flabbergasted at some of the decisions that Ryan Day was making there.
DAN WETZEL: They punted from the Michigan 48. Well, it was at the Michigan 43, and then I think they got a penalty and they punted from their own 49 on back-to-back possessions. As you said, with those weapons.
PAT FORDE: I mean, it's just astounding. They were so scared all of a sudden. I mean, just bizarre to me. I was so flummoxed. They had all these advantages and just did not use them.
DAN WETZEL: What did you see, Ross?
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah. Yeah, I was just stunned every time I looked up to see somebody wide open downfield. I thought JJ McCarthy's comments after the game were interesting. They were kind of obvious, but he was talking about how they knew that Ohio State was going to focus defensively on stopping the run. That's what they do well, and they kind of knew that going in and part of the plan was, hey, if they're going to do that, we're going to go deep, and boy, did they, and it played right into their hand.
It was really impressive. And he put some of those balls right on the money. Yeah, of all the crazy things that happened on Saturday, there was quite a bit, LSU falling and Clemson falling. That was the biggest surprise. I'm still just stunned that unfolded the way it did.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I thought that they coached scared, then they played scared. They have all this talent.