Correctly, Dan Dakich informed viewers Tuesday night that Michigan-Ohio State no longer is much of a football rivalry.
Dakich continued, noting “The best thing that’s happened for Michigan is Urban Meyer retiring.”
Well, there’s much time to see if Ryan Day’s ascension atop the Buckeyes’ storied football program changes anything for That Team Up North on the gridiron.
On the hardwood this night in Ann Arbor, Mich., the fifth-ranked Wolverines proved far too much for the Buckeyes as the home team persistently pulled away for victory.
Here are “Three Points” in the Ohio State loss, its six in seven games, as Michigan’s Zavier Simpson notched a rare Wolverines triple-double in their pull-away, 65-49 win:
Enough with the turnovers, Buckeyes
Open a bakery already; the volume of turnovers during this prolonged losing skid has been absurd.
As Ohio State lost for its sixth time in seven games, it amassed an embarrassing 19 turnovers against the fifth-ranked Wolverines — giving them 95 in less than three weeks since their galling loss in early-January at Rutgers.
It is a variety of absurd issues for the Buckeyes, who have offensive breakdowns, lazy passes and brain-dead moments to blame for their turnover problems.
Ohio State needs some offense
Less than 18 minutes into this contest, the Buckeyes led 26-25 – and most importantly, had found a way to match the host Wolverines bucket-for-bucket.
Then, well, then it was an all-too-familiar scene. Ohio State forgot how to score; lost its poise; flat-out went cold from the floor.
The Buckeyes watched, somewhat helplessly, as Michigan closed the first half on an 7-0 run. By the team Holtmann’s squad mildly had recovered and stabilized, the Buckeyes had scored just 19 points through the final two-plus minutes of the first and 17 minutes of the second half.
At its worst, Ohio State was outscored 40-19 as its hosts transformed a 26-25 deficit into an 65-45 bulge on the strength of the diminutive Simpson’s stat-stuffer.
Ohio State shot just 30 percent in the second half and made only six total trips to the free-throw line in the defeat. Simply put, the Buckeyes have no chance to beat anyone, let alone a team the quality of Michigan, without more trips inside reflecting a commitment to their interior strengths.
Kaleb Wesson can still get it done
Sophomore Kaleb Wesson had a team-best 12 points, as well as seven rebounds, in just more than 20 minutes for the Buckeyes. The unquestioned team MVP, Wesson exploded early as Ohio State led by a half-dozen in the opening half and kept itself in position throughout the opening 20 minutes.
But Wesson needs help, and he also still is evolving into his role. His fire late in the game, when Michigan already had secured a win, was commendable; the Buckeyes need more emotional leaders.
Kaleb Wesson can flat-out score it for the Buckeyes; he must get more help on both ends of the floor.