Check out the Ohio State vs. Michigan fearless prediction and game preview.
Ohio State (9-2) vs. Michigan (8-3) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 25th
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Urban Meyer is a legend, and Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in all of football at any level.
Neither one is on any sort of a hot seat, but this is a big, big game outside of simply being the best rivalry in all of American sports.
This is a good enough Ohio State team to win the national championship. When its head is on straight and it’s ultra-focused, it’s a breathtaking team with the talent to go on a massive run.
And that’s the good and the bad for Meyer. The Buckeyes are supposed to win it all, but if they lose to an above-average Michigan team, on top of the home loss to Oklahoma, and on top of the home loss to Oklahoma, this will be seen as a lost season – especially if it comes back roaring in the Big Ten Championship vs. Wisconsin.
But there’s still hope. Blow out the Wolverines, blow out the Badgers, and as a Power Five champion in a year without a whole slew of other obvious options, there’s a chance to get into the fun for a third time in four years.
It’s a different world for Harbaugh, who is supposed to be in a rebuilding year, but that year is almost over.
Michigan is doing just fine, but this isn’t supposed to be a program that’s just fine.
It’s going to a solid bowl, it’s got a great base for next year and beyond, and it seems like the program is just this close to turning that corner to become truly special.
But the losses to good teams are starting to pile up, and it has yet to beat a team this season that’ll go bowling.
At some point, Michigan needs to beat Ohio State again. If it doesn’t do it this time around, then it’ll be a whole other year of questioning whether or not Harbaugh can actually get the job done.
And next year’s game is in Columbus.
One Reason Why Ohio State Will Win
The Michigan offense doesn’t have it.
Of course, Iowa’s offense didn’t have it, either – and still doesn’t – and it came out roaring in the blowout win in Iowa City.
However, rising-star Wolverine quarterback Brandon Peters is still going through the concussion protocol and is iffy at generous best. The running backs are dinged up, and the offense isn’t doing enough against the better teams.
Wisconsin’s CFP-worthy defense locked down and allowed just 234 total yards. Penn State gave up just 269, and Michigan State gave up a mere 300 yards. Those were the three worst games of the season for the Wolverine offense, and those were the three losses.
After getting hit early on by Indiana and Oklahoma, the Ohio State defense has allowed more than 300 yards just twice over the last nine games – the blowout win at Nebraska and the loss to Iowa.
If the Ohio State run defense can pin its ears back and rock against the Michigan running game – the Buckeyes have allowed under 100 yards rushing in five of the last six games – there won’t be a problem.
Especially if John O’Korn is under center.
One Reason Why Michigan Will Win
The Wolverine defense has to get to the Buckeye backfield before it can get anything started.
This is a quick-hitting offense that’s unstoppable when it gets into a groove. That’s where the Michigan D line has to take over, coming up with enough tackles for loss to force long third down tries and to get off the field.
Michigan has come up with with seven or more tackles for loss against everyone but Michigan State, leading the Big Ten in plays behind the line. Wisconsin was able to wear away the Wolverines in the second half, but that’s not necessarily what Ohio State does.
This is a quick-hitting momentum Buckeye team that has to get out to a hot start. Michigan has to win the first drive, the first quarter, and the early part of the game.
That defense has to be great from the start, the offense has to take advantage of every opportunity, it’s going to take an Ohio State meltdown for a few stretches.
What’s Going To Happen
J.T. Barrett hasn’t thrown all that well in his three games against Michigan, but he’s been fantastic on the ground.
He overcame a rough day with 125 yards and a score on the ground in last year’s win, took over in 2015 with 139 yards and three scores, and before getting hurt, he ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns in 2014.
This time against Michigan, he’ll throw well and let the running backs do the work on the ground.
Barrett will be sharp early on, the defense will keep the mediocre Michigan O under wraps, and after the early emotion wears off, the Buckeye talent will shine through as the game goes on.
Ohio State has Barrett in the backfield. Michigan doesn’t.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Prediction
Ohio State 30, Michigan 16
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Ohio State -11.5, o/u: 50.5
5: Thanksgiving dessert
1: Thanksgiving dinner … 3.5
Must See Rating
5: The inside of your eyelids for Thanksgiving nap
1: The Star … 5