Michigan Hopes To Snap Ohio State’s Streak In ‘The Game’
The University of Michigan enjoys the relatively-new feeling of entering their rivalry game against The Ohio State University as the favorite, in a season that’s flipped the scripts for two of the most-storied programs in college football.
The Wolverines have yet to beat the Buckeyes since Urban Meyer took the Ohio State head coaching job in 2012, but Michigan comes into Saturday’s matchup in Ohio Stadium as a two-point favorite.
Fourth-ranked Michigan (10-1, 8-0 in conference play) leads the all-time series 58-49-6, but it’s been all Buckeyes in recent years. Ohio State, currently ranked 10th in the country, has won 15 of their last 17 matchups, including the last six contests.
Like many of their previous matchups, Saturday’s game will go a long way toward determining the Big Ten conference champion. The winner will be crowned champion of the Big Ten East and will play Northwestern for the conference title December 1 in Indianapolis.
Michigan appears to have turned a corner under head coach Jim Harbaugh, who took over a reeling program in 2014. The Wolverines are led by graduate transfer Shea Patterson. He’s given Michigan long-sought stability at quarterback, piling up 2,177 passing yards with 18 touchdown and just four interceptions.
It’s been an odd season for Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 in conference play), which has been especially disappointing on defense since the season-ending injury of All America defensive lineman Nick Bosa.
Despite the defensive struggles, quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. is having a record season for Ohio State. Haskins entered last year’s Michigan game after J.T. Barrett was injured, and drove the Buckeyes 60 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and an eventual 31-20 win.
As the starter this season, Haskins is in the process of breaking most of the school’s single-season passing records. The job will get a lot tougher against Michigan, which has the top-rated defense in all of college football this season.
If they can beat Ohio State and win the conference championship, Michigan is considered a lock to make the four-team College Football Playoff. Even if the Buckeyes win, they’re still considered an outside shot given their relatively-weak schedule, the quality of their wins, and a 49-20 loss to an unranked Purdue team in October.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this story