|Mattison: Miller a tough prep (w/video)|
Braxton Miller leads the number one offense in the nation heading into Saturday's noon kickoff at Ohio Stadium. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison says Michigan can't be tricked into tendencies like in 2011.
Tendencies nearly cost Michigan a victory over Ohio State at the Big House in 2011. Braxton Miller, a true freshman starting at quarterback, came into Ann Arbor ready to attack with more than just his legs. Several Ohio State receivers were able to get behind the Michigan defense including a deep hook up with Corey Brown for 54 yards and a touchdown minutes into the start of the game. And Miller forced everyone in attendance to skip a breath with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines were able to hang on 40-34, but not before Miller missed a wide-open DeVier Posey down the sideline that could have quieted a crowd that was using its cheers, excitement to help end the Buckeyes winning streak in the rivalry.
Ultimately, Courtney Avery became the hero when he was able to seal the win on an interception with under a minute to play.
In 2012, Ohio State comes into "the game" at a perfect 11-0 despite being excluded from post season play due to a one year bowl ban as a result of NCAA violations involving former Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor during Jim Tressell's tenure in Columbus.
With Urban Meyer now in charge at Ohio State, Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is aware of last year's game but isn't spending any time looking back at the film as he and the Wolverines prep for an offense that comes in averaging nearly 40 points per game and just under 430 yards.
"We don't usually with most teams—we don't watch last year's (tape)," said Mattison. "The only thing we might watch it is if it's against ourselves, if it's the same opponent type deal. But no, everything is for this year."
And with Miller now a sophomore accounting for over 4,000 total yards of offense, Michigan knows exactly what they're looking at.
"He's a great talent," said Mattison. "Obviously I think they're the number one offense in the country right now, and its going to be a great challenge for us. He's a great football player. The good news is we've played against some really good quarterbacks this year, and we play against a great one everyday in practice."
Ohio State's offense may not actually be number one in the country, but Miller is completing 56% of his passes for 1850 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air with just 6 interceptions. The element of the run-pass quarterback has haunted Michigan so far this season.
Michigan's loss at Nebraska with Taylor Martinez running the show was more of an offensive issue than anything else, resulting in the 23-9 loss. But the Wolverines' recent 38-31 overtime win over Northwestern should be a little concerning. Wildcat quarterback Kain Colter routinely found himself in space, making Michigan defenders miss racking up yardage and first downs.
The presence on the field of Miller, who has 13 touchdowns on the ground and averages 110 yards per game, means fundamentals, discipline and contain will be of utmost importance Saturday for the Wolverines.
"He's very elusive," said Mattison. "He'll take off running full speed and stop on a dime. He looks stronger. Again, it's been so long ago when we played them last time—I thought he was good last time."
"This guy is way too fast for you to say, "Hey, I'm going to catch him, I'm going to take a chance here." I think you have to keep him inside all the time."
To watch video of Mattison from Tuesday's presser, press play below.