The Game! The greatest rivalry in sports, Ohio State vs. Michigan. Michigan leads the all-time series, but Ohio State currently holds a seven-game win streak. The rivalry dates back over a hundred years and contains some of the greatest moments in College Football history. There was the Will Smith pick in the end zone which sent the Buckeyes to the National Championship, Charles Woodson’s Heisman game, and most recently, who can forget J.T Barrett and the spot? The Game this year has a chance to be another classic.
Both coaches enter Saturday’s game without a win as the head coach against their rival, but both have won in this rivalry. Harbaugh as a player and Day as an assistant. Day has proven he is a better play caller then Harbaugh and has developed players this year better than Harbaugh. However, Harbaugh has experience. He has called plays for four years against the Buckeyes and is very familiar with the Buckeyes defensive staff.
Greg Mattison coached at Michigan last year and had the number one ranked defense in the country. In the offseason, he was hired by Ryan Day and transformed Ohio State’s 53rd ranked defense into the first-ranked defense. Harbaugh knows Mattison and his scheme, but what good is that if he has more dominant players?
This game will be a battle and will be won in the trenches. The weather will be a significant factor because it will be rainy, snowy, and windy. A lot of people think this is a great equalizer for Michigan, but this may actually help Ohio State. Michigan’s last two games have been their best of the season because of Shea Patterson’s passing. He threw for nine touchdowns and over 800 yards. Patterson nor Fields will be able to showcase their passing ability so both teams will rely on their backs and line.
Michigan has two backs in Charbonnet and Haskins, who have 1,100 yards rushing on the season. Ohio State has J.K Dobbins, who has 1,400 yards on the ground and back up Master Teague has over 700 yards on the ground. Plus, Ohio State has the best player in the country, and he plays on the defensive line, so a battle in the trenches would be an advantage for Ohio State.
This game has a lot of odd but true history behind it. For Ohio State, they are trying to become the first team ever to win ten conference games in a season. It doesn’t sound like a crazy feat, but in the 150 years of college football, a team has never won 10 conference games. Ohio State can be the first if they beat Michigan then win the conference championship game. On Michigan’s side, Harbaugh is trying to avoid becoming the first coach in the history of this rivalry to start 0-5. Finally, Ohio State wideout K.J Hill is five receptions away from breaking the all-time Ohio State reception record of 191 held by David Boston.
This game will not be pretty because the weather will play a significant role in the game. The rain and snow will make the footballs hard to handle, so expect multiple fumbles and muffed snaps. If either team can establish a run game, they will have a great chance at winning. With that said, the Buckeyes should use Master Teague a lot on Saturday because it is going to be hard to tackle. He is bigger and taller than Dobbins. Dobbins is much faster and more elusive then Teague, but Teague is stronger and more powerful, which is perfect for a game in the rain and snow.
Michigan has to take Chase Young out of the game. He has been outstanding this season and can stop the run, which is what Michigan has to establish. Michigan will have to double team block him every play or run in the opposite direction of him. Saturday will be a great game and will be a hard-fought battle between two hated rivals.
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