The Big Ten East will be on the line Saturday as the top two teams, the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (11-0, 8-0 in Big Ten) and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0 in Big Ten), battle it out for conference supremacy. The Buckeyes will host this game at Ohio Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 pm ET.
Michigan comes into this one having had a brief scare last week in a 19-17 win over University of Illinois. They were able to survive thanks to a late field goal, but they will have to play significantly better to beat the Buckeyes. In the win, J.J. McCarthy threw for 208 yards, while Blake Corum rushed for 108 and a touchdown.
Ohio State had a little easier time taking down Maryland last week, as they won on the road 43-30. CJ Stroud threw for 241 yards and a touchdown, but it was Dallan Hayden that did the most damage. He rushed for 146 yards and three scores.
The Buckeyes come into this one as the favorite playing at home. They are -295 to win, while the Wolverines’ moneyline sits at +235. The spread features Michigan +7.5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 56.5.
Wolverines Underdogs For First Time This Season
In the battle of these two unbeaten Big Ten teams, the Michigan Wolverines find themselves as underdogs for the first time this entire season. Looking to upset Ohio State, who are just 7.5 point favorites, their lowest margin for a home game since 2017, the Wolverines will certainly have their work cut out for them.
Trying to lead the sixth-best offense (averaging 39.4 points per game) is quarterback J.J. McCarthy. He has thrown for 1,952 yards, 14 touchdowns, and just two interceptions this season. He has also rushed for another 213 yards and three scores.
The biggest weapon in their offense, though, is running back Blake Corum. He has rushed 245 times for 1,457 yards and a whopping 18 touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 80 yards and another score through the air.
Corum’s health is a major concern, though. Last week, he had to leave the game versus the Illini with a knee injury. While it won’t be a shock if he is playing this week, it will obviously be a huge blow for the Wolverines if he is not a full strength.
Defensively, the Wolverines have been the best in the nation. They rank atop the list in scoring defense, allowing just 11.7 points per game to opponents (13.7 on the road).
Buckeyes Dealing With Their Own Health Concerns At Running Back
Just like Michigan, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been dealing with their own injuries at running back. TreVeyon Henderson struggled in his first game back from injury last week, and Miyan Williams is questionable as he is dealing with a lower-body injury.
Still, even if these two can’t go, freshman Dallan Hayden proved last week he is up for the task. On the season, he has rushed 100 times for 503 yards and five scores.
Under center for the Buckeyes is quarterback C.J. Stroud. This season, he has thrown for 2,991 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. As a testament to the offensive line, he has also been sacked just seven times this year.
Stroud’s favorite targets are Marvin Harrison Jr (65 receptions, 1,037 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Emeka Egbuka (57 receptions, 914 yards, eight touchdowns)
On the defensive side, the Buckeyes rank eighth in the nation, allowing 16.9 points per game to opponents (16 at home).
Take Ohio State To Win And Cover
The Buckeyes have had this date circled on their calendars all season. After losing to the Wolverines on the road last year, they are trying to return the favor this season.
In a game that has major implications at both a conference and a national level, take Ohio State to win this one at home. Especially if Blake Corum is not at full strength, it could end up getting ugly, too.
Take Ohio State to win and to cover the 7.5-point spread (-110).