Check out the Michigan vs. Ohio State fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan (10-1) vs. Ohio State (10-1) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Nov. 26
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Bowl and Conference Implications
Michigan wins the East with a win and goes off to the Big Ten championship. A loss would likely mean a berth in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State wins at least a share of the East with a win, but would need Penn State to lose to Michigan State to play for the Big Ten championship. At absolute worst, the winner will almost certainly play in the Rose Bowl.
What’s Going To Happen?
It’s not the Game of the Century. It’s merely a step in the process, but it’s also, of course, a really, really big game in the best rivalry in all of sports.
Granted, it would be nice if both teams came into the game rocking and rolling instead of limping across the regular season line, but whatever – these are still two of the best teams in the country, no matter what happened last week.
It’s been a rough two weeks for Michigan, getting exposed offensively by Iowa and Indiana, losing QB Wilton Speight in the process.
The defense and ground game were able to save the day in the snow against Indiana – De’Veon Smith tore off 158 yards and two sores against the Hoosiers for his second 100-yard game in three weeks – but John O’Korn had his problems under center.
He’s experienced, and he’s good enough to almost won the starting job this offseason, but he only hit 7-of-16 passes for 59 yards for the one-dimensional attack. Granted, it was in bad weather, and he didn’t give up any picks, but now he’s got to try to keep from screwing up against a defense that’s picked off six passes in the last four games.
And that’s going to have to be the goal – don’t give the Buckeyes any easy chances.
The offense might be an issue, but the Wolverine D has stayed amazing, allowing 14 points or fewer in seven of the last eight games and nine of the 11 on the year.
The stats are skewed – they haven’t faced a who’s who of top passers – but the Wolverines aren’t allowing any yards after the catch and they’re keeping the deep plays to a bare minimum. For an Ohio State offense that likes to get the receivers on the move, and is relying on Mike Weber and the ground attack more and more, moving the chains will be like pulling teeth.
Weber still isn’t a workhorse, but he’s coming up with big play after big play, tearing off 204 yards and averaging close to eight yards per pop over the last two weeks. He doesn’t have to hit the home run against the Wolverines, but he needs to take some of the pressure off of J.T. Barrett, who’s coming off an awful day against Michigan State and will have to try pulling out a win using his legs.
It’s not going to happen.
Oklahoma’s mistake was trying to play hurry-up, short-passing-game on the OSU D, and it didn’t work until it was too late.
Wisconsin’s offensive line went smashmouth early, and along with a few jet-sweeps, was able to average over five yards per run, as did Northwestern, who gave the Buckeyes fits until the end.
Last week, Michigan State lined up and blasted away, and LJ Scott almost carried the way to the massive upset with 160 yards.
And now it’s the Michigan offensive line’s turn.
Ohio State will score quickly on an impressive opening drive, and then Michigan will settle down, control the clock and the game by blasting away with a just-effective-enough running game to give O’Korn a few short-range third down throws.
Meanwhile, the defense will stuff Weber while frustrating Barrett, who’ll complete a ton of passes that won’t go anywhere.
And then it’ll be time for Mr. Jabrill Peppers.
He’ll get a few runs and register a giant sack on a critical third down, but it’ll be his gamebreaking punt return that leads to a short field and a key Wolverine score in the second half.
And then the defense will take care of the rest.
Michigan vs. Ohio State Prediction
Michigan 19, Ohio State 16
Ohio State -6.5, o/u: 48.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Store bought anything – 1: Homemade anything … 3
Must See Rating: 5: NFL kickers attempting extra points – 1: Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love … 5