January 1, 2013
Pass defense proves mortal against Gamecocks
When Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller completed a 52-yard pass against Michigan in the regular-season finale, his big play was considered an aberration. Throughout the 2012 campaign, U-M's defense yielded just nine rushes of 20 yards or more and 18 passes of 20 yards or more - Miller's completion, in fact, the longest the Wolverines' defense had surrendered all year.
On Tuesday, in the Outback Bowl, that pass defense would be victimized over and over and over again, surrendering touchdowns of 56 yards, 31 yards and 32 yards, the latter USC's game-winning score with just 11 seconds remaining in the contest.
"We gave up too many big plays," said fifth-year senior safety Jordan Kovacs, who helplessly stood two yards shy of making a play on the game's final TD pass. "That's what it was. That's how every game is - if you give up big plays, you're going to be in trouble."
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