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Well, Michigan needed to win at some point, right? Once in a while, your little brother hits you with a shot in the nuts, and you think to yourself alright, I probably deserved that one, and that’s all Michigan’s win in Ann Arbor was last year. Make no mistake. What happened last season will not repeat itself. Sixteen years have passed since the last time Michigan and Ohio State entered their season-ending clash undefeated. There’s been a lot of talk about the big, bad Michigan defense, but none of the experts getting on their knees for the Wolverines talk about who Michigan has played. Rutgers…Nebraska…UConn…Hawaii! Michigan has faced seven of the 35 least-productive offenses in college football. For Pete’s sake, the best offense the Wolverines played this year was Penn State. You can’t control your schedule, but If you’re lining up against the Make-A-Wish offenses of college football, of course, you’re statistically going to have one of the better defenses in the country. Against a Heisman contender in Marvin Harrison Jr and a Heisman favorite in CJ Stroud, a relatively untested Michigan secondary is screwed. You guys like stats? Here’s a fun one. 78% of Marvin Harrison Jr’s 65 receptions have gone for a first down this year. Last week, the Buckeyes’ offense played below its standard…and they still had 401 yards, with the majority coming from the arm of Stroud. Stroud’s offense has eclipsed 40 points nine times this season, with the outliers being a 21-point performance in the season opener against Notre Dame and another 21-point outing against Northwestern. He will be the number one pick in this year’s draft and he has more weapons at his disposal than a drill ripper going on Instagram live.

The biggest mismatch between these teams is the Michigan offense vs. the Buckeyes’ defense- especially with the news from last week. The jury is still out on whether or not Michigan’s star running back Blake Corum (knee) or Donovan Edwards (undisclosed injury) will be healthy enough to play against Ohio State. But Wolverines’ offensive lineman Ryan Hayes may have slipped his tongue big time after their win against Illinois. When asked about Corum (who, to his credit, is the best running back in college football), Hayes responded with, “I think we’ve planned on this; he’s a great player, but I think everybody else is going to step up with him out and I think we’re up to the challenge and we’ll do that.” Michigan’s offense already pales in comparison to Ohio State’s. But without Corum? They’re nothing. While JJ McCarthy has been an upgrade from last year’s quarterback Cade McNamara, he’s efficient at his best and a below-average Big-10 quarterback at his worst. The Sophomore has struggled at times (see last week against Illinois) to get a grip on moving the chains. Maybe it’s his youth, or maybe it’s in his nature, but he seems to have his eyes on big gain fly routes and fades, and the result is a lot of overthrown balls and throw-aways. While Ohio State’s defense doesn’t get the praise on SportsCenter that Michigan’s does, they are still top 10 in the Nation in the following categories:

Opponent yards per play
Opponent yards per game
Opponent points per play
Opponent points per game
Opponent rush yards per play
Opponent third-down conversion rate

Michigan’s defense is faker than a Kardashian after age twenty, and their offense is too reliant on a running game made up of injured backs. In big games where two teams have the opportunity to keep things close, things come down to who is behind center. Who do you trust more, JJ McCarthy or CJ Stroud? That’s what I thought. Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State at home in more than twenty years, and unless WWIII starts mid-game, that won’t change. Vegas likes Ohio State -7.5, and they will cover that. Ohio State Fans, be sure to sign up today with BetMGM to get your free $200 when sports betting goes live!

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