- Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.
Ohio State WR Brian Hartline vs. Michigan's pass defense
Hartline caught just two passes in Ohio State's 42-7 win over Michigan, but they covered 71 combined yards and both ended in touchdowns. His first touchdown came on second-and-12 in the second quarter with the ball at Ohio State's 47-yard line and the Buckeyes leading by seven points. Hartline lines up flexed to the right opposite Wolverines CB Trent Morgan. Morgan drops to the outside at the snap and creates a single-coverage matchup between Hartline and S Stevie Brown. Hartline runs a post pattern and breaks inside Brown about 15 yards downfield then uses his superior speed to separate, gets his head turned to track the ball and catches Terrelle Pryor's pass in stride before getting into the end zone.
Hartline's second touchdown comes early in the fourth quarter on a third-and-6 play with the ball at the Wolverines' 18-yard line. This time he lines up in the right slot. Michigan OLB Jonas Mouton drops into zone coverage at the snap but does not get deep enough, allowing Harline to use his initial quickness to slip behind him. Mouton isn't explosive enough to recover once Hartline has a step on him and QB Todd Boeckman does an excellent job of freezing the Michigan safeties by looking to the outside before delivering the ball to Hartline over the middle of the field.
Steve Muench's weekly film report examines big performances by WRs Brian Hartline of Ohio State and James Rodgers of Oregon State.