Michigan (8-3, 5-3) will welcome Ohio State (9-2, 7-1) to the Big House on Saturday to renew one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. Jim Harbaugh is 0-2 against the Buckeyes since taking over as the Wolverines’ head coach. Michigan will come into the game as a 12 point underdog at home. The game will start at noon eastern time with tv coverage on Fox.
Does Michigan have a chance if Brandon Peters can’t play?
Brandon Peters has looked solid since taking over at starting quarterback, but he may not be able to play on Saturday. He was carted off the field in last week’s game, and has been diagnosed with a concussion. With Peters’ status unknown for Saturday, the Wolverines will have to rely on the inconsistent John O’Korn. Before being replaced by Peters, O’Korn threw for 761 yards, 1 touchdown and five interceptions. When he’s in at quarterback, the entire offense seems to play with less confidence. If O’Korn is named the starter on Saturday, I don’t see Michigan having a chance. He turns the ball over too much and just can’t find open receivers down the field. He will have quite the challenge too, facing the nation’s No. 8 ranked defense.
Ohio State’s keys to victory
Ohio State can use many different weapons to take down Michigan on Saturday. I think the most important thing for them to do is run the read option frequently. The Wolverines were destroyed by Penn State’s read option attack, which has been the unit’s only soft spot thus far. If they could pound the ball down Michigan’s throat, they should have no problem winning. If they can’t get their offense going, they could just shut down Michigan’s offense. The best way to do that is to take their running attack out of the game. Without the run game working, the Wolverines’ offense is stagnant. Neither Peters nor O’Korn are good enough to win with the passing game alone.
Michigan’s keys to victory
The only way Michigan could win this game is if they deliver a solid rushing performance. Their defense is good enough to keep them in any game, but their offense is a real issue. Even if the Wolverines are running well, they may still need a defensive score. If they could rattle J.T. Barret enough to get some turnovers, Michigan will put themselves in a position to win the game.
Regardless of Michigan’s quarterback situation, I think their defense will have problems with Ohio State’s No. 4 ranked offense. The Buckeyes average 546 yards per game and the Wolverines’ defense struggles with tempo. Michigan just doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up with Ohio State. They’re just going to score more frequently than the Wolverines. I have the Buckeyes winning in the Big House 35-17.
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