Saturday’s iteration of ‘The Game’ looms especially large. The greatest rivalry in college football history will receive its annual renewal when Michigan plays Ohio State at Ohio Stadium. The ramifications are massive. The No. 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines (11-0) and No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0) meet as undefeated programs for the first time since 2006. The victor clinches the Big Ten East Division championship.
The winner will possess an excellent opportunity to finish 13-0 and eventually qualify for the College Football Playoff. Several 2023 NFL Draft prospects will take the field Saturday. We’ve swiftly identified three player-vs-player matchups that will directly impact the outcome.
OHIO STATE QB C.J. STROUD VS. MICHIGAN SECONDARY
All eyes will be on Ohio State superstar quarterback C.J. Stroud. The No. 7 overall prospect and top quarterback in our latest TDN100 update, Stroud is enjoying yet another excellent campaign. Stroud has completed 66.4% of his passing attempts this season while throwing for 35 touchdowns and just four interceptions. In-house scout Kyle Crabbs sent Stroud to the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft in our latest NFL mock draft.
Stroud’s presence under center makes Ohio State the favorite against every opponent they encounter. Stroud is a premier candidate to capture this season’s Heisman honor. Stroud can take another sizable step forward toward winning college football’s most prestigious individual award with a strong performance against Michigan while leading his Buckeyes to victory.
Michigan EDGE Mike Morris is easily the program’s top quarterback hunter this season. Morris leads all Wolverines defenders with 7.0 sacks. On tape, Morris possesses the arm length necessary to thrive as a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end. Morris’ versatility also allows him to play as a stand-up outside linebacker. Morris’ aggressive approach and heads-up football IQ. make him a difficult opponent for opposing offensive tackles.
Morris will encounter a first-round offensive tackle prospect in Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. on Saturday. Johnson has made an admirable transition as Stroud’s blindside protector after starting at right guard last season. Johnson hasn’t been credited with allowing a single sack this season. His exceptional range and easy movement skills help him protect the edges with the desired consistency. Morris versus Johnson is must-watch television.
MICHIGAN’S RUNNING GAME VS. OHIO STATE RUN DEFENSE
Michigan’s best chance to upset the Buckeyes runs through their ground attack. Head coach Jim Harbaugh’s keys to victory will include controlling the clock while playing his preferred brand of football. The Wolverines enter Saturday’s contest as the nation’s fourth-ranked rushing offense (243.8/contest). Ohio State’s 15th-ranked run defense (107.9/game) will be tested.
Running back Blake Corum is questionable with conflicting reports emerging regarding his status. No. 2 running back Donovan Edwards also missed last week’s contest against Illinois with an undisclosed injury. Corum, who has totaled the nation’s fourth-most rushing yards (1,457), is the focal point of Michigan’s offense. Corum’s change-of-direction abilities allow him to hit the occasional home runs. A dual-threat back, Corum’s versatility is crucial to Michigan’s ability to keep Ohio State’s defense guessing. The Wolverines require a legendary performance from Corum. Their chances of capturing victory suffer a significant downgrade if Corum is ruled out.
- Dec 08, 2022
- Dec 08, 2022