The purpose is, No. 10 Ohio State and No. four Michigan made it to “The Sport” with similar 10-1 data and nearly the identical stakes as 2016. They’re right here now, and either side needs to be feeling fearful — and assured — heading into the showdown.
The Buckeyes beat Maryland 52-51 in extra time on Saturday within the early slot, and the Wolverines bested Indiana 31-20 within the late afternoon sport.
Ohio State needs to be fearful. The Buckeyes’ protection allowed 535 yards, together with 339 dashing yards, in opposition to the Terrapins. Ohio State’s protection nonetheless provides up too many large performs within the operating sport, a season-long situation that continues to hang-out that aspect of the ball. Maryland operating again Anthony McFarland had 231 of his 295 dashing yards by halftime.
Michigan needs to be fearful, too. The Wolverines scored one landing on 5 red-zone journeys within the first half in opposition to the Hoosiers. The Wolverines kicked six area targets within the sport. Michigan’s top-ranked protection allowed 249 first-half yards, too, sufficient for Ohio State to dissect. Indiana had success with beneath routes within the passing sport in opposition to the Wolverines’ aggressive protection, which doubtlessly suffered an enormous loss when Chase Winovich left Saturday’s sport with an harm.
That is why Ohio State needs to be assured. Dwayne Haskins pinch-hit for J.T. Barrett in final 12 months’s 31-20 victory in opposition to Michigan, and he is having fun with a record-setting season at quarterback for the Buckeyes. He is the very best passing quarterback the Wolverines have seen this season with an arm that may stretch each angle of the sphere. Haskins, nevertheless, hasn’t confronted a protection fairly like this in 2018.
Michigan needs to be assured, too. The Wolverines have a wholesome quarterback in Shea Patterson — the greatest passing quarterback they’ve taken into “The Sport” in years, and his playmaking presence can be an enormous difference-maker in Columbus. The quarterback place has been the distinction within the rivalry, and Patterson is an equalizer. The Wolverines’ protection stays nasty, with or with out Winovich.
The Buckeyes needs to be someplace in between with Meyer. He is 6-Zero in opposition to Michigan, and the Wolverines have not gained at Ohio Stadium since 2000. Meyer, nevertheless, has endured a drama-filled season that featured a three-game suspension and continued well being points with complications stemming from an arachnoid cyst. That is a telling sport for the route of his tenure in Columbus.
The Wolverines needs to be someplace in between with Harbaugh, too. He is 0-Three in opposition to Ohio State, however this Michigan crew has embraced the “revenge tour.” It has included victories in opposition to Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State. Ohio State is the final cease on that tour.
Michigan has been extra constant, however we nonetheless do not know who the higher crew is — and that is why it is good that “The Sport” comes with the Large Ten East division title in the stability. All of these storylines converge in the identical place the place the Buckeyes gained a 30-27 double-overtime thriller in 2016.
The winner will transfer on towards a attainable Large Ten championship and Faculty Soccer Playoff berth. The loser will really feel this one much more — maybe much more than the 2016 matchup.
All people ought to really feel assured, and all people ought to really feel fearful. That is how you realize this one can be good.
It would not matter how they received right here. Ohio State-Michigan is right here.