A Michigan fan and an Ohio State fan debate Saturday's big game.

The stadium scene.
Nov. 16 2006 12:53 PM

Mutual Contempt

A Michigan fan and an Ohio State fan explain why they hate each other and who's going to win Saturday's big game.

(Continued from Page 4)

Look for Ohio State to come out throwing to set up the run, as they have most of the year. Ohio State likes to spread the field with QB Troy Smith in the shotgun—he has 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions this year, by the way—and three or four wideouts in the game. Our wide receivers are extraordinary: There's the sprinter speed of Ted Ginn, the impeccable hands of Anthony Gonzalez (surely you recall his back-breaking catch near the goal line in Ann Arbor last year), and the wise coach's son play of Brian Robiskie, whose father is an NFL lifer. The Wolverines will have no choice but to roll a safety over to double Ginn—everyone has all year—leaving the soft middle open for the slant to Gonzalez and Co. Forget three yards and a cloud of dust, the slant pattern to Ginn's opposite side has been our go-to play in 2006.

Your defensive line will be looking for the sack, but it's easier said than done with Smith in the shotgun. He's nifty with his feet, and his lower-body strength allows him to throw downfield with guys hanging on him. Sure, Ohio State could turn the ball over a bunch, and Mario Manningham is good enough to single-handedly turn the game in your favor. Heck, maybe there will be a torrential downpour that will really improve your lot. But those boys out in Vegas were trying to tell you something when they made Ohio State a seven-point favorite.

Advertisement

In the fourth quarter with the game in doubt, rivalry football comes down to quarterback play and a coach that excels—not chokes—under pressure. We have Troy Smith and Jim Tressel, you have Chad Henne and Lloyd Carr. Troy has won two in a row against Michigan, and our coach has won four of five against yours. I like our chances. Ohio State by 10.

By the way, I have a pair of tickets to the game. And they're not for sale.

Jonathan: A few final points:

1. You're right that Michigan gives up a lot of passing yards, but that's only because their opponents pass the ball a lot. Michigan's defense gives up exactly as many yards per pass as Ohio State. A lot of sportswriters have called Michigan's pass defense a weak spot, but that's just a sloppy use of statistics.

2. Mike Hart is indeed small. In fact, he's not even fast. But he does not need lanes to run through. He needs crevices so tiny they often cannot be detected by the human eye.

3. I remember the last time Michigan was a touchdown underdog. The result was this.

Aaron: Let me sum up this game as succinctly as possible: We have Troy Smith. You don't.

Good luck.

Jonathan Chait is a senior editor at the New Republic. He is a lifelong fan of the Michigan Wolverines and a graduate of the University of Michigan. Aaron Marshall is a Columbus bureau reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is a lifelong fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
Crime
Oct. 1 2014 4:15 PM The Trials of White Boy Rick A Detroit crime legend, the FBI, and the ugliness of the war on drugs.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 4:26 PM How to Measure the Value of Your Personal Data in Cookies: A Slate Guide
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.