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Saturday, November 22, 2008
Halftime update: Michigan rallies, still trails 14-7

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It's amazing what a first down can do for a team.

After looking totally uncompetitive for a quarter and a half, Michigan's offense finally showed life midway through the second quarter. Martavious Odoms' second effort notched Michigan's first first down, and quarterback Nick Sheridan and the offense seemed to gain confidence from there. I liked Rich Rodriguez's decisions to go for two fourth downs -- Michigan might not have many scoring chances left -- and Brandon Minor converted on fourth-and-goal to put his team on the board.

For Michigan to hang around, Minor needs to get the ball more. He has been by far the Wolverines' most consistent offensive performer this season. Michigan also appears to have survived some woeful special-teams play (muffed punt, missed field goal, shanked punt) early on.

Ohio State remains in the lead and somewhat in control, but Jim Tressel might be a little concerned about his offense. Aside from the two scoring plays -- Chris "Beanie" Wells' 59-yard run and a 53-yard pass from Terrelle Pryor to Brian Hartline -- Ohio State hasn't done much (52 total yards). After a dominant two weeks, Pryor looks a bit like the guy who took snaps in Week 5, holding the ball too long and taking three sacks.

Michigan's defensive line won't make it easy, and Ohio State needs to find ways to sustain drives. Wells likely has another big run in him today. The junior eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the season and became just the sixth Ohio State back to record back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns.

Players on both sides are definitely amped for this one. There have been several mini-skirmishes, though officials did a nice job of preventing anything at halftime. By the way, Rodriguez has five security guards surrounding him today. It's not quite the Nick Saban treatment, but pretty close.