Michigan vs. Ohio State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 24
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
Michigan (10-1) vs. Ohio State (10-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Michigan Will Win
The secondary isn’t allowing much of anything.
Granted, it hasn’t had to deal with a quarterback like Dwayne Haskins and a receiving corps as good as Ohio State’s, but it has faced several good enough quarterbacks and a whole slew of veterans who couldn’t move the offense a lick.
Over the last five games, no one has been able to to connect on more than 47% of their passes. Take away the SMU game, and no one else has thrown for 200 yards, and there have been just four touchdown passes allowed.
But the Wolverines had a great pass defense last year, too, and it lost despite allowing just 124 yards. This time around, there’s a real, live offense to contend with.
The skill guys are strong, but the line is making the biggest difference – it’s not allowing plays in the backfield, and it’s cranking up the running game.
And it has a quarterback to block for.
The Ohio State defense has had more problems than just the ugly performances against Maryland and Purdue. The run defense hasn’t been the consistent rock it’s needed to be over the last have of the season – giving up 13 touchdowns in the last five games after allowing just 13 all of last season – and it’s not great at dealing with balance.
Shea Patterson hasn’t been flashy, and he hasn’t been cranking up 400-yard games with regularity – or, at all – but he’s not making massive mistakes, he’s letting the defense and running game win, and he’s connecting on the key throws for the Big Ten’s best team on third downs.
This is a complete Michigan team, and Ohio State has had a whole lot of issues with the incomplete ones. However …
One Reason Why Ohio State Will Win
Maybe we should slow the roll a little bit here.
Yeah, Michigan has been fantastic, but it sputtered against Northwestern, its drives stalled way too often against Indiana, and is winning at home against Wisconsin and Penn State – and on the road against Michigan State – that big a deal?
Ohio State has an NFL-caliber quarterback. It has the flash and dash among the skill guys, and it has the ability to score points in a hiccup. Yeah, Michigan has the secondary and pass defense, but it hasn’t faced anyone who can put up 400 yards like Haskins can. As long as he gets a little time to work, he’s proven to be cool enough and calm enough to get the O moving.
Defense, schmefense. The offense is – for the most part – getting the job done.
Yeah, the Maryland game was ugly and a too-close call, but lost in the shuffle was that the Buckeyes were dominated in so many ways … and won.
The Nebraska game was a fight. Minnesota hung around for a while, Penn State and TCU had their respective games there for the taking, and Michigan State played a lot closer than 26-6, and …
Ohio State won all of those games.
It hasn’t been the season many expected, but just like Michigan, the Buckeyes are 11-1 and – most likely – two wins away from being in the College Football Playoff.
All of the pressure is on the other side of the field, and yeah, OSU can really and truly play the “no one believes we can win” card.
What’s Going To Happen
Just how tight will Michigan be?
Ohio State is used to winning this. It’s used to beating Jim Harbaugh. It’s used to finding ways to get the job done and advance. Ohio State will have the attitude we’ve all been waiting for, and it’ll have the focus that’s been lacking, and …
Michigan will still win on the lines.
The Wolverines aren’t going to do anything fancy. They’ll slow down the tempo, create several manageable third down opportunities, and they’re not going to make the big mistakes.
Haskins and Ohio State will hit a few home runs, and the Michigan D will be challenged like it hasn’t been all year. But slow and steady will win this race.
This really is a different Michigan team.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan 30, Ohio State 24
Line: Michigan -4.5, o/u: 56.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
5: Beef tenderloin for Thanksgiving
1: Turkey for Thanksgiving