Michigan vs. Ohio State
Betting Line: Ohio State -17
There isn’t anything quite like a Michigan and Ohio State football Game. This year’s rendition sends the 7-4 Wolverines to Ohio State Stadium to face the 10-1 Buckeyes. Michigan enters the Game after a 48-28 whipping at the hands of Wisconsin. Ohio State was last seen narrowly escaping the Iowa Hawkeyes with a 20-17 win. Last year’s meeting saw Ohio State win on the road by a score of 21-10. All bets are off in a rivalry Game of this magnitude. Look for both teams to bring everything they’ve got and then some. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against one another.
Other than a slip up against Wisconsin, the Buckeyes have been near perfect. They have responded very strongly to the pressure. Their two biggest wins of the year came against Miami and Iowa. Last week’s Game against the Hawkeyes was a thriller. They were able to overcome two INTs thrown by Terrelle Pryor thanks to a stout defensive effort. Pryor played one of his worst Games of 2010, but still helped by adding a passing TD, and rushing for 78 yards on 15 attempts. The offense was quite lethargic. They shouldn’t have any problem getting things back into gear at home against a Michigan defense that is best described as pathetic.
The Wolverines have won 2 of their last 3 after dropping 3 in a row. They beat Illinois 67-65 in a thrilling 3OT event, then dropped Purdue 27-16. Wisconsin beat them 48-28 last week. QB Denard Robinson played a great Game by passing for 239 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT while rushing for 121 yards and 2 more TDs. He became the first QB in NCAA history to rush for 1,500 yards and pass for 1,500 yards in the same last week. Robinson is one of the best and most prolific offensive players in the country, but he can’t do it all by himself. Other guys will have to step up this week if the Wolverines are going to challenge the Buckeyes. The defense also has to do their part. No matter how good Michigan is on offense, they won’t win many Games if the defense gives up 48 points.
The defense of the Buckeyes has been nearly flawless. On the year they are allowing an average of 242 yards per Game. At home that number shrinks to 223 yards per Game. They rank 5th in the nation in Points against at 13.9 PPG. One of their best efforts came on the road against the 27th nationally ranked Illinois offense. They held the Illini to 252 yards and sacked their QB 3 times. While the Buckeyes do an excellent job of keeping points off the board, they don’t come up with many turnovers.
RB Dan Herron could be the X factor for the Buckeyes. On the year he has rushed for 893 yards and 14 TDs. He played well to have 91 yards and 2 TDs in OSU’s loss to Wisconsin. He looked great against Penn State when he rushed for 190 yards and a TD. He was slowed last week against Iowa when he carried the ball 20 times for 69 yards and a TD. If he can have a big day the Buckeyes winning this thing will be money in the bank. The Michigan offense ranks 15th in the nation at 36.8 PPG, but 99th in Points against at 33.5 PPG. The hopes of the Wolverine faithful will come down their ability to make big stands on defense.
Most feel the outcome of this Game will determine the fate of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. It would be a blessing in disguise if Ohio State were to win this Game in blowout fashion. Rodriguez was a bad fit at Michigan from day one. While this is a a rivalry Game, the biggest of them all, and anything can certainly happen, the talent of Ohio State should prevail. This Game is not unlike the Boise State Game this week. Both teams have an offense, but only one has a defense, and it’s not Michigan.
Last week the line was simply wrong when Wisconsin visited Michigan. At -4, we had Wisky winning by more than a couple of touchdowns and cashed a nice, easy Key Release winner. This week, Ohio State opened -18 and like last week, Michigan money has pushed that number down to -17. LAying a big number on a football Game is not something we like to do. LAying a big number in a huge rivalry Game is something we NEVER do. So, we won’t be playing this Game Ourselves, even though we have Ohio State winning this Game by close to 30 points. By the way, check out the turnover margin of the two teams. Michigan -7, Ohio State +12, a differeNCe of 19!!
Predicted score: Ohio State 48 Michigan 21