On Saturday afternoon the Michigan Wolverines head into Columbus as the favorite over the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time in 14 years. The winner of this game will go on to face Northwestern in the Big 10 Championship game. Both teams enter this game with a 10-1 record, with Michigan being ranked number 4 and Ohio St comes in ranked number 10.
Michigan will come out motivated, as a victory nearly cements their spot in the College Football Playoff if they can go on to beat the less talented Northwestern Wildcats next week. The Wolverines have won 10 straight games after a season-opening loss to the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and are certainly one of the hottest teams in the nation. In their last game, Michigan beat Indiana 31-20. Shea Patterson had an average game, throwing for 250 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. They did most of their damage on the ground, rushing for 257 yards. Karan Higdon lead the backfield, turning 21 carries into 101 yards and a score, rattling of 4.8 yards per run.
Ohio State is all but eliminated from the playoff but would love to play spoiler to their long-time rival Michigan. Ohio State has won three in a row after being dominated by Purdue four weeks ago. Last week, Ohio State barely avoided an upset as they defeated Maryland 52-51 in overtime, with Maryland failing to convert a two-point conversion to win the game. Dwayne Haskins dominated this game, passing for 405 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He also ran the ball 15 times for 59 yards and three touchdowns. JK Dobbins had a strong game as well. He turned 37 carries into 203 yards and one touchdown.
Michigan possesses a balanced attack on offense, averaging 211 passing yards and 219 rushing yards per game. They may turn to the ground game a little more often againt the Buckeyes on Saturday. Ohio St is allowing 161 rush yards per game and allowed 298 yards on just 21 carries to Maryland’s Anthony McFarland. Karan Higdon is a much more talented back and should be able to run all over this soft Michigan defense. Shea Patterson should have a solid day as well, with Ohio St allowing 237 yards a game through the air.
Ohio State has been a pass heavy offense throughout the year, averaging 360 yards through the air each game compared to 182 a game on the ground. They are going to have to air it out to keep up with Michigan because their defense won’t get them many stops. This will not be an easy task as Michigan’s defense is one of the strongest in the nation. They allow only 235 total yards per game and allow only 123 passing yards each game. Dwayne Haskins may be in for a long day.
Michigan enters this game as 4.5-point favorites. Michigan’s offense will be able to get whatever it wants and should be able to put up a bunch of points. Ohio State will have trouble keeping up against this stellar Wolverine defense. This game will be close early, but the defense of Michigan will quiet the crowd en route to a 7+ point victory. Take Michigan minus the points.
Free Pick: Michigan Wolverines at -4.5
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