We explain why Michigan football will beat the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time in consecutive years since 2000.
The Michigan Wolverines have not beaten the Ohio State Buckeyes back to back since 1999–2000, a few years longer than most Michigan football seniors.
Buckeye quarterback and Heisman trophy contender, CJ Stroud, looks to come out on top for the first time as the Ohio State starting quarterback.
Despite throwing for 394 yards last season, Michigan’s football defense certainly seemed to contain Stroud and company, keeping the high-flying Buckeye offense at 27 points, their second-lowest offensive output on the season (second only after the game against Nebraska, where Ohio State managed to score 26 points).
What about the Wolverines?
We here at GBMWolverine.com certainly hope that returning star Blake Corum can at least play and hopefully make a significant impact, but his status is up in the air. However, many Michigan players will return.
Star players such as running back Donovan Edwards, tight end Luke Schoonmaker, defensive lineman Mike Morris and linebacker Junior Colson are expected to not only play, but likely play starter level snaps in this game.
Does Michigan football have enough in the tank to get the job done? Can JJ McCarthy get the job done? Will Blake Corum’s injury be too much to overcome?
We discuss those questions and more. Join us as we break down the reasons why we think Michigan rules the Buckeyes.
Michigan football is a terrible game for Ohio State
What is Ohio State doing well? Score in bunches and take advantage of their opponents’ turnovers.
What does Michigan do well? Dominate the possession battle and don’t flip the ball on a foul.
This iteration of the Michigan Wolverines is a worst case scenario for these Ohio State Buckeyes. Michigan has been a dominant team in regards to keeping the enemy offense off the field and ranks third nationally (behind only Minnesota and Air Force) in possession time. But why is this important?
Easy said; Ohio State was not built as an offense to play patient, methodical football. They want to get an early lead and attack the enemy. In games where their opponent was of the same ilk as Michigan, the Buckeyes struggled (see Penn State and Northwestern).
In addition, the Wolverine defense poses a unique challenge to Buckeye quarterback turned Heisman trophy contender, Stroud. What’s the challenge?
They’re getting pressure from the inner line of defense.
Stroud is downright bad under pressure and even worse when pressured in the middle. He has a bad habit of not moving in the pocket and instead bails or throws foul far too often. Fortunately for Michigan football, the best part of its defense is the inside line of defense.
Led by frosh Mason Graham, captain Mazi Smith, veteran Kris Jenkins and frosh Kenneth Grant, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, and the Wolverine defense, Ohio State’s domestic offensive line appears to be collapsing and getting that aforementioned pressure on Stroud.
As long as Michigan wins in the trenches, maintains the advantage in possession time, and gets pressure from the inside line of defense, they will win this game.