The Wolverine

2013 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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ohio state• nov. 30 12 Eligible For The Postseason, OSU is Bidding For A National Title By Ryan Tice for a 6-foot, 242-pounder. He ran for 970 yards hio State recovered from the NCAA penand 16 scores last season despite injuries en alties that led to former head coach Jim route to second-team all-conference laurels. Tressel's ouster and, although the Buckeyes Miller will enjoy the luxury of throwing to weren't eligible to play in the postseason last senior receiver Corey Brown, who led the team year, they went a perfect 12-0 thanks to their with 60 receptions and 669 yards receiving last immensely talented roster in Urban Meyer's year, and has been named the school's most first year in Columbus. outstanding receiver in each of There wasn't much pressure the past two seasons. Big-play on the Buckeyes last year, but junior Devin Smith returns to they could be even better this the other outside spot. He has fall. Athlon says that OSU has hauled in 10 touchdowns during the Big Ten's best group of his career and finished with 618 quarterbacks, offensive linemen, yards and six scores on just 30 defensive linemen and defenreceptions last season. He has a sive backs, and each group is career average of 20.73 yards ranked by the magazine among per catch and finds paydirt once the top 10 in the nation; Athlon every 4.4 receptions. also ranked Meyer's stable of The defense returns just a Junior quarterback Braxton running backs as the eighth-best quartet of starters, but they are Miller racked up 3,310 yards in the land. of total offense and finished all of the highest quality and There is a legitimate All-Big fifth in the Heisman Trophy ranked as the four leading tackTen candidate or better at each voting last season. lers last year. Highly ranked photo courtesy ohio state recruits should be ready to step position group for the Buckeyes, and nine returning starters lead the way in at the other spots, including former five-star for Meyer's potent offensive attack. defensive end Noah Spence. Junior quarterback Braxton Miller racked up The secondary returns three starters, includ3,310 yards of total offense and finished fifth ing redshirt junior cornerback Bradley Roby, in the Heisman Trophy voting last season. The who led the nation with 19 passes defended reigning Big Ten Quarterback of the Year is, and earned several All-America honors. He's surprisingly, the first 1,000-yard rusher under just the latest in the long line of standout corMeyer and will make the offense tick once ners from Columbus. again. The starting safety tandem of Christian BryMiller will be working behind one of the ant and C.J. Barnett enter their final year of nation's top offensive lines, which returns four eligibility. Bryant ranks second on the squad senior starters and a total of 81 college starts. with 149 career tackles, 21 pass breakups and The field general is the top returning rusher, three forced fumbles, while Barnett is the most but he will be complemented by senior running 2013 Schedule back Carlos Hyde, who has impressive speed O Players To Watch OFFENSE: Carlos Hyde, Sr., RB — Although he has started just 11 times in his career, he has totals of 1,677 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground, in addition to 18 catches for 124 yards and a score …  Rushed for 970 yards and 16 scores last fall, despite missing two full games with an ankle injury … He was named second-team All-Big Ten and led the league in both scoring (10.2 points per game) and touchdowns (17). DEFENSE: Bradley Roby, R-Jr., CB — The speedster has started all 25 games over the past two years and was named a first-team All-American in 2012 by … He was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award last year after leading the nation with 19 passes defended, which included two picks and a school-recordtying 17 pass breakups … Has 110 tackles, including six for loss, and 23 passes defended, including five interceptions, during his career. DateOpponent Aug. 31 Buffalo Sept. 7 San Diego State Sept. 14 at California Sept. 21 Florida A&M Sept. 28 Wisconsin Oct. 5 Northwestern Oct. 19 Iowa Oct. 29 Penn State Nov. 2 at Purdue Nov. 16 at Illinois Nov. 23 Indiana Nov. 30 at Michigan 2012 Result — — W, 35-28 — W, 21-14 (OT) — — W, 35-23 W, 29-22 (OT) W, 52-22 W, 52-49 W, 26-21 experienced of the four seniors on defense and has four career picks and two All-Big Ten mentions. Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier will provide stability for the front seven after he ranked among the Big Ten's top 10 in five different categories. He led the league with 17 tackles for loss and ranked second with 115 total tackles en route to first-team All-Big Ten laurels. Despite the turnover on defense, there won't be many teams in the nation with as much talent as Ohio State. It will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes respond to the pressure that was not there last year, but this squad could contend for a national title. Notes Ohio State was 6-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less last year … Fifth-year senior Jordan Hall is an intriguing offensive weapon, who is ready to go following a medical redshirt last year. He's listed on the roster as a running back, but will also contribute as a receiver and returner. He has 2,765 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns during his career … Three of OSU's final four games come on the road — at Purdue, at Illinois and at Michigan. ❏ Quick Facts All-Time Series: U-M leads 58-45-6 First Meeting: U-M 34, OSU 0 (Oct. 16, 1897, at Ann Arbor) Last Meeting: OSU 26, U-M 21 (Nov. 24, 2012, at Columbus) Head Coach: Urban Meyer, 12-0 at Ohio State (2nd year) and 116-23 overall (12th year) Off./Def. Systems: Spread/Multiple 2012 in Review: 12-0 overall, 8-0 Big Ten (1st Leaders Division) Final 2012 Ranking: No. 3 Associated Press Returning Starters: 14 (9 offense, 4 defense, 1 specialist) Last Bowl Appearance: 2012 (Gator, vs. Florida, L 24-17) Big Ten Conference Championships (last): 35 (2010) Returning Leaders Passing: Braxton Miller (2,039 yards, 15 TD, 6 Int.) Rushing: Braxton Miller (1,271 yards, 13 TD) Receiving: Corey Brown (669 yards, 3 TD) Tackles: Ryan Shazier (115) Sacks: Ryan Shazier (5) Interceptions: Bradley Roby and C.J. Barnett (2) the wolverine staff Prediction Why Michigan Could Win: While many are buying into the OSU mystique after a 12-0 season, Michigan, which should have beat the Buckeyes in 2012, are not. These two teams are quickly separating from the pack, but the Wolverines have more overall talent in their starting 22 than the Scarlet and Gray do, at least for now. U-M will benefit from playing at home and features the better quarterback. Why Michigan Could Lose: Ohio State has a championship coach in Urban Meyer that knows how to motivate his team, and in year two will probably get even more from dual-threat QB Braxton Miller. The defense is young but skilled, allowing OSU to reload and not rebuild. The Buckeyes may have lost in Ann Arbor in 2011, but they had won their previous three at Michigan Stadium, and will carry confidence into the showdown. Prediction: Michigan will need this one to earn a spot in the Big Ten title game. Ohio State will have already clinched, setting up a scenario in which the Buckeyes could rest their starters if they'd like to. That won't happen, though. Pride would never allow it, and OSU also would like to prevent the double-header. But that's what we'll get. Michigan 31, Ohio State 24. The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 187

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