What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder — Michigan Game Edition

I know that Michigan has not faced a quarterback as good as Kyle McCord this season. The best quarterback the Wolverines have faced was Taulia Tagovailoa last week. The second-best quarterback was probably Drew Allar. You can all do that math. Allar was no test, and the Wolverines knew (just as the Buckeyes knew) that eventually Tagovailoa would give you the game if you just let him.

I think things are clearly trending in Ohio State’s direction for this game. Michigan trying to get a struggling pass offense going against a pass defense like the Buckeyes isn’t exactly a likely-to-happen scenario. Like jump-starting a car by pushing it up hill.

I wonder if Dallan Hayden will get some snaps. Chip Trayanum played well in this game, and I like his physicality, but I also like Hayden’s quickness in getting to the hole. I don’t know if there’s enough carries to go around, however, because you also need to get Xavier Johnson his touches – and maybe Emeka Egbuka as well.

I know that the Ohio State defense is even angrier than the Ohio State offense. Michigan fans get mad when you say that last year’s game was decided by five plays. They like to pretend that it was an all-around beatdown. What they ignore is that their five long touchdowns accounted for 349 of their 530 yards of total offense. The other 55 snaps averaged 3.3 yards per play. Overall, Michigan had seven explosive plays on offense last year – one on each of their scoring drives. When they were held without an explosive play (12-yard run, 15-yard pass), they failed to score at all. Their seven explosive plays accounted for 397 yards – or 56.7 yards per play. Their other 53 plays averaged 2.5 yards per snap.

I think the theory that Michigan is just sandbagging offensively is not the dumbest Michigan conspiracy theory I’ve seen out there over the last month, but that doesn’t make it smart.

I wonder how effective Roman Wilson will be in this game. He’s Michigan’s leading receiver but has three or fewer catches in seven of their 11 games this year – and seven of their last nine. He left last week’s game after a head shot in the first quarter but should be back. Michigan nickel back Mike Sainristil is probably going to make the All-Big Ten team, but Jordan Hancock is outplaying him right now in the slot. I mention that because Wilson is Michigan’s slot receiver and Hancock is going to be key in defending him this week.

To read the rest of this extended edition of What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder, you can click here, but you must be a premium subscriber. Additional topics include more on Kyle McCord, the workload of TreVeyon Henderson, the effectiveness of Emeka Egbuka, the Michigan running game, the Wolverine pass defense, Jordan Hancock’s being the best nickel in this game, Michigan’s safety placement, one of the worst things you can allow an enemy to do, and more.

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