Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Game Preview

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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This was supposed to be Michigan’s year. Ohio state was supposed to be down, opening the door for the Big Ten East title. Ann Arbor was buzzing with playoff aspirations, and hopes of beating the Buckeyes. How quickly things changed. Ohio State didn’t skip a beat without Urban Meyer, and the Michigan Wolverines struggled with Middle Tennessee and Army before getting stomped by Wisconsin. Jim Harbaugh’s trying to keep his job, Ryan Day’s trying to make the playoff. Despite Michigan’s shortcomings thus far, the intensity for this game remains as high as it’s ever been.

Date: Saturday, November 30th
Start time: 11:00am CT
How to watch: FOX
Line: Ohio State -8.5
Location: Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, MI)


Players to watch

Michigan Wolverines

QB Shea Patterson
DE Kwity Paye
LB Khaleke Hudson
CB Lavert Hill
WR Nico Collins

Ohio State Buckeyes

QB Justin Fields
RB J.K. Dobbins
DE Chase Young
WR Binjamen Victor
LB Malik Harrison

Michigan Wolverines Outlook

The more you think about this game, the more it seems like a must win game for Harbaugh. What will he have to show if he doesn’t beat Ohio State this season? Wins over Iowa and Notre Dame were impressive, but not as much as they could have been. This certainly would quiet down his doubters. Given that Michigan already beat Michigan State, going 2-0 against their rivals ends the season on a high note. The Wolverines offense improved under Josh Gattis, averaging 33.5 points per game, and the defense under Don Brown remains solid (16.2 points per game allowed). Beating the Buckeyes won’t come easily, but the Wolverines aren’t too far away.

Ohio State Buckeyes Outlook

It’s playoff or bust for the Buckeyes, but they can’t get caught looking ahead. Michigan might have their issues, but they aren’t a bad team. This rivalry brings out the best competition in these two teams, so expect a tight one. The Buckeyes played their first close game of the season against Penn State, and Michigan would like nothing more than to ruin their playoff aspirations. All the Wolverines need to do is slow down Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins, and block Chase Young better than Penn State did. See how tough that sounds? Ohio State’s as loaded as they’ve ever been, and slowing down three guys still might not be enough.

Prediction

Michigan appears poised for an upset, but Ohio State’s arguably the best they’ve ever been. Harbaugh needs this win more than ever. A loss puts him in the hot seat discussion, but a win gives fans hope. Ohio State can still make the playoff if they lose this one, but it will be tough. It’s just too difficult to pick against the Buckeyes. OHIO STATE 30 MICHIGAN 24

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