COLUMBUS - We're in kind of a vacuum here in the press box, so I can't really tell you how loud it was at Ohio Stadium this afternoon. Put it this way - the Michigan State-Michigan game at the Big House? Couldn't hear myself think.
Up on the third tier of the Ohio Stadium press box? Nothing. Of course, I was trying to keep my literal cool while seated right under a vent that piped nothing but hot air. By the third quarter, someone could have basted me.
But that's all besides the point.
Anyhow. I got a text from a fellow Big Ten writer that essentially asked me this: "Is Al Borges that stupid?"
Now Borges is no mad scientist, but he's widely regarded as one of the more prodigious offensive coordinators. But what did Albert Einstein - another prodigy - say? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.
Guess what. It's all relative.
Urban Meyer is no spring chicken. And when he saw Denard Robinson pop his first long run - on Michigan's first play of its first drive - Meyer didn't hesitate to call out his next move and defer to his defensive coordinator.
“Stop the quarterback run,” Meyer said. “That’s the input I had. I’m sure 107,000 people said that, as well.”
Advantage, Ohio State.
Michigan's best chance to gain ground yardage faded in the second half, and Robinson registered his last carry early in the fourth quarter - a one-yard run, to finish with 122 yards on 10 carries. Before halftime, Robinson had 124 yards. Take that for what it's worth.
Michigan led by a point at halftime after Buckeyes kicker Drew Basil nailed a 52-yard field goal, but finished with 60 total yards and zero points in the second half. Michigan tried to do the same thing over and over again, without getting fresh results - including the failed decision to allow Robinson to unsuccessfully run the ball on fourth down early in the second half.
Advantage, Ohio State.
Michigan didn't take enough chances in the air - or they didn't take advantage of the fact that the Buckeyes aren't as strong defending the pass as they are on defending the run.
And Michigan has no viable supplement for Robinson, a problem that's plagued the Wolverines through much of the season, with the underachieving Fitz Toussaint scurrying mostly for short yardage before a gruesome injury to his left leg ended his season last weekend, and Thomas Rawls - whom Brady Hoke all but said was forced to take over as Michigan's No. 1 back - and Vincent Smith unable to take pressure off Robinson in the backfield. Smith and Rawls combined for 14 yards on 10 carries.
Again. Advantage, Ohio State.