Filing this post under "Even a broken clock is right twice a day" I note that I posted on November 6, 2006 that, "Mistakes (i.e., costly personal foul penalties) simply cannot occur on November 18th." Unfortunately, that is exactly what did occur. On third and 15, OSU QB Troy Smith threw an incomplete pass as he ran out of bounds with Michigan trailing 35-31 with 6:49 to go in the game. However, LB Shawn Crable hit Smith helmet-to-helmet and late (pictured above) and Crable was flagged for a personal foul. The penalty gave OSU 15 yards and an automatic first down at the Michigan 23-yardline that kept the Buckeyes' drive alive. OSU capitalized as it continued to use the clock and then capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Brian Robiskie with 5:38 to go in the game. Michigan was then down 42-31 and the Wolverines simply ran out of time as they were only able to cut the lead to three before the clock expired.
My post on November 6, 2006, was about the team in general and DE Tim Jamison specifically because Jamison (as noted in the post) had twice this season committed costly personal foul penalties. Unfortunately, Crable did not heed that lesson or my warning as he hit Smith unnecessarily. Never a team to pass up an opportunity, the Buckeyes consequently converted the new set of downs into a touchdown three plays later. Although the personal foul penalty on Crable was a play Michigan would like to have back, it is not the reason the Wolverines lost the game. In fact, Crable's play on defense had kept Michigan IN the game up to that point. Michigan wins as a team and loses as a team and the loss to OSU certainly does not fall on one player or on one play. Nevertheless, that is a play that should (and could) have been avoided. That is now three times this season that the Michigan defense has incurred a costly personal foul penalty that allowed an opponent to put the Wolverines in a bad situation. Defensive Coordinator Ron English needs to reign his troops in to the extent that they do not make costly mistakes at key junctures of a game. Go Blue!
*Note: Photo of Shawn Crable (2) and Terrence Taylor (67) running OSU QB Troy Smith (10) out-of-bounds by Ankur Dholakia/The Detroit News