Ohio State vs. Michigan fearless prediction and game preview.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Broadcast
Date: Saturday, November 30
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Ohio State (11-0) vs. Michigan (9-2) Game Preview
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Why Ohio State Will Win
Penn State pushed Ohio State.
The Buckeyes were up 21-17 in the fourth quarter, there were too many sloppy mistakes, too many errors, too many …
The Nittany Lions only gained 227 yards on the day and lost 28-17.
Ohio State wasn’t in that much trouble, but that’s what passes for drama when a team is playing so incredibly well.
Even if the offense isn’t sharp, and even if Justin Fields is off – he connected on 16-of-22 passes against Penn State – and even if the great Michigan run defense holds JK Dobbins and company in check, there’s still a historically great Buckeye D to deal with.
Ohio State is allowing 217 yards per game, fewest in the nation. No one has finished a season allowing fewer than 250 per game since the 2011 Alabama team – the monster gave up just 184 yards per game and 938 rushing yards all year – that won the national title.
Chase Young gets all of the love and attention, but the linebacking corps is eating up everything. If it wasn’t for Young, we’d be talking about Malik Harrison as possibly the best defensive player in college football – if it isn’t CB Jeff Okudah, who has top five overall draft pick potential, just like Young.
Meanwhile, Fields continues to be close to flawless. Even his mistakes – a few fumbles against Penn State – come from effort and coming close to doing something big.
He threw an interception against Michigan State. One. That’s it so far to go along with his 33 touchdown passes, big runs, and general command of an offense loaded with next-level stars.
This team is really just that good.
Throw in the focus, the attitude, and now the toughness to get through a game like the Penn State win when everything wasn’t going quite right, and it plays like a team that thinks and knows it’s the best in college football.
Why Michigan Will Win
Michigan has been playing lights-out ever since halftime of the loss to Penn State. Over the last 18 quarters – including a total wipeout of Notre Dame – this might be the best the team and program have played under Jim Harbaugh.
Ohio State’s defense has been amazing, but over the last eight games after the debacle at Wisconsin, the Michigan run defense has been better.
Maryland busted off a few decent runs, and Penn State had a big dash, but no one’s gashing the group that’s been allowing fewer than 100 yards in six of the last eight games.
The line has been more active, the pass rush has been better, the third down stops are there, and overall, it’s the No. 4 D in college football allowing just 50 more yards per game – the stats are a bit high after a rough start.
But this needs to be Shea Patterson’s game.
Last year in the 62-39 loss, he threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns with a pick – he wasn’t the problem – but he sharpened up his game over the last few weeks and is playing the best ball of his career.
Michigan State is one of those big games – at least rivalry-wise – that Jim Harbaugh doesn’t get credit for winning, and Patterson came up large, throwing for 384 yards and four scores. Last week he averaged over 11 yards per throw with 366 yards and five touchdowns in the win over Indiana. In both games, he was able to bail the team out of jams and make big play after big play.
This Wolverines will never be more ready for a game like this, but …
What’s Going To Happen
This is the best Buckeye team yet in the Harbaugh era.
Ohio State will strike fast, and there will be some, “oh no, it’s happening again,” but the Wolverine defense will settle in, Fields will struggle to keep drives moving, and it’s going to be a fight.
Chase Young won’t be neutralized, but he’s not going to take over and dominate. The Michigan offensive line will be solid, it’ll pound away like nothing Ohio State has dealt with so far, even against Wisconsin, but …
The Ohio State O line will take over in the second half.
It’s not going to be pretty, and it’s not going to be the high-flying fun show the Buckeyes are capable of, but this is where their toughness will shine.
Michigan will be just good enough to keep this from getting out of hand, but Ohio State’s NFL talent is too strong.
The Buckeyes will make those extra few plays in the second half on both sides that Michigan can’t and won’t in a game with just enough drama to be interesting for a full four quarters.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Prediction, Line
Must See Rating: 5
5: The fried chicken sandwich of your choice (and side)
1: All things Thanksgiving dinner