By: Joe Cardoso
Michigan Wolverines 10-1 vs Ohio State Buckeyes 10-1
Well, Michigan fans this is it, the one that matters the most and also has us nervous and feeling sick until it ends. We call it “The Game” Michigan Vs Ohio State two bitter rivals whose fans and players don’t like each other. Dare I say it some of us HATE each other the founder of the company I work for is an Ohio State grand. He never lets me forget how they have owned us these last few years. But this is a different type of year, this is the revenge tour and it has been a sold-out hit city after city minus a slip up with Notre Dame. Sitting at number four in the college football playoff and a spot in the Big Ten championship game all lay ahead. Sounds simple enough but it isn’t and throw in a team that has crushed more of our dream then I’d care to admit. Maryland gave the Buckeyes a heck of a run and almost pulled it off but as has been the case a lot this year somehow the Buckeyes made it out with a win. Coach Urban Myer looked like he was having a heart attack or stroke or both on the sidelines. To fully understand how things have been let’s look at some stats and they are not pretty or pro Wolverine.
Last Win vs OSU was 2011
Jim Harbaugh 0-3 vs OSU
Michigan last WIN at “The Shoe” was 2000
Ohio State has WON 15 of the last 18
Rushing yards the last 3 years OSU 801 Michigan 248
Now the keys to this game are stopping the run and forcing the Buckeyes to throw the ball can Dwyane Haskins keep his great season going against THIS defense? Are the Buckeyes out of good luck charms after weeks of nail-biters? Entering the game on a real roll after steamrolling their past few games Michigan confidence is high and it should be. Ohio State gave up 339 yards rushing last week to the Terps, we need to pound the rock and use RPO(run, pass, option) Unlike the past few games all signs point to the Wolverines having the advantage but with that comes pressure. This is why you have a Shea Patterson on the roster to provide great play and leadership. He is mobile and that will help with making plays out of the pocket.
All season long it has been about the defense and Saturday is the biggest test to date. They have struggled with mobile QB’s and Haskins could tuck it some as well as his backup Tate Martell who has gotten playing time this season. Pressure from the front four will force things outside and this linebacker corp is fast and can cut them off easy. Allowing the run game of Ohio State to get going is not a good look when you have a quarterback in Haskins that has shown he can sling the rock and get it done through the air along with an underrated wideout group. Boasting, in my opinion, the nations best secondary making big-time plays when the chance comes is major. Another one of the keys is having a fast start and winning the turnover battle.
With more confidence then ever my pick is Michigan wins this one 27-24 and the monkey is off coach Harbaugh back. This would be the perfect game for Tarik Black to show up and show out, and if the heart and soul of the defense Chase Winovich is banged up, who steps up for him? Every goal this team had at the start of the season is right in front of them, they just need to believe and fight for it 60 minutes. For more sports talk follow our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP and myself @JoeCardoso301 as always GO BLUE!