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Friday, November 18, 2005

Who's It Going to Be?

Who is going to make the plays that bring Michigan a victory over tOSU on Saturday? Who will cement his reputation as a clutch legend in Michigan Football lore? Most importantly, who will Brent and Gary be talking about as the man who delivered the Pontiac Game Changing Performance, adding $5,000 to the University of Michigan's general scholarship fund?

Submitted for your consideration:

Mike Hart - Our emotional catalyst; he's rested, ready, and the toughest guy on either team.

Jason Avant - The only non-lineman UM starter playing in his last tOSU game and near the top of the list of Steadiest Wolverines Since 1975.

Steve Breaston - He's healed. And he's spectacular.

Chad Henne - Can he put together four quarters of the kind of play he demonstrated in the first half vs. Sparty and at the end of the game vs. Penn St.?

Unsung Hero - Lots of candidates: Mario Manningham striding past diving Buckeye defenders to paydirt; Antonio Bass executing a sandlot play to perfection and six; my personal favorite, the underutilized Tyler Ecker snagging a pass across the middle before flattening would-be tOSU tacklers on the way to a crucial score.

Woodley? Watson? Rivas? Who's it going to be? Who will add his name to those of AC, Biakabutuka, Woodson, and Perry as a player forever linked to a huge win over the Buckeyes?


The King said...

Probably Troy Smith.

Yost said...

NOTE: This post would have been much longer a few minutes ago when I was almost done w/ it before my computer decided to freeze up. Here is the gist...

Ah, good post, Ian. Finally back on topic after a day of... distractions.

First off, the entire team as a whole is going to have to play it's best game b/c I think, the way they're playing now on the both sides of the ball, OSU is the best team we'll have faced this year. Usually, the D is great, the O is so-so. Not this year. Both sides are clicking for them. That could be trouble since we've yet to do the same 100%.

Thus, while it's always offensive guys who are the most visible if Michigan wins, I think we'll need someone on defense to play out of his mind to blunt their attack. Gabe Watson needs to go out in style. Or one of our previously-injured DBs needs to have a Woodson-esque game. But the defense must contain Troy Smith or it will be a long day.

On offense, I'd like to see Steve Breaston put together back-to-back big games. He's yet to do that in his career. He'll have a big game then disappear for a few games... then have a big game again. To show that he's a superstar on this team, he needs to step up Saturday and put up numbers like he did last weekend. So I'm going to call him out to be the leader he needs to be.

My second choice on "O" is Henne. He's been ok all year but not great. A big game for him Saturday would go a long way toward silencing the "sophomore slump" and "it was all Braylon" critics. Careers are made in this game. Time to shine.

Katie said...

Incredible photo, what a wonderful cover! I agree with you Yost, the entire team needs to have a "good day". Great post Ian btw! Go Blue!

Benny Friedman said...

You left off maybe the best single game performance by a Wolverine against tOSU: Ohio native John Kolesar in 1988. 216 combined yards, 100 of which came on the game winning drive at the end of the 34-31 victory. Kolesar had a bit of a star-crossed career, suffering from injuries. But he went out with a bang.

IC said...

Good point, Benny. I should have remembered that one as I was in Columbus that day. But don't you think that Biakabutuka's 37 rushes for 313 yards (the most given up in tOSU history) in '95 was the best individual performance ever? Or do you credit TB's stats more to the huge holes opened by the o-line?

Benny Friedman said...

There's no doubt TB's effort was top-notch, but that tOSU team didn't even seem to care that the O-line was opening holes big enough for William Carr to run through. Kolesar's last drive heroics snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.