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THE GAME #119: #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0) @ #3 Michigan Wolverines (11-0)


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michigan_logo.png.24ddf3ef92248ffef80394700863f4d7.png          vs.          osu_logo.png.f26422e672f5e536007ff6443259ab24.png

Setting: 11/25/2023 12:00pm EST on FOX

Site: Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI

Weather: 40° High, 23° Low, 23% chance of rain/snow mix, 7mph Wind

Opening Spread: Michigan -4.5

All-Time Series Record: Michigan leads, 60-51-6

Last Meeting: 11/26/2022, Michigan won 45-23


#2 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0)

Head Coach: Ryan Day (4th Season: 55-6)

Projected Starting QB: Kyle McCord (Junior: 12-0)

Last Week: 37-3 W v. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-6)



#3 Michigan Wolverines (11-0)

Acting Head Coach: Sherrone Moore (1st Season: 3-0)

Projected Starting QB: JJ McCarthy (Junior: 23-1)

Last Week: 31-24 W @ Maryland Terrapins (6-5)



"THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM" -Bo Schembechler 



"[We are] going to hang a hundred on them" -Ryan Day



"Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple." -Jim Harbaugh


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I’m actually less confident this year than I was last year. Last year, I didn’t see why they wouldn’t win. Road game be damned, Michigan was the better team, the matchup favored them, and they had already rid themselves of the proverbial monkey on the back that was two decades of losing to Ohio State. I still think they can win this year, but I would take OSU and the points if I was a bettor.

Karsen Barnhart is an absolute liability on the offensive line. He’s been really bad. Jon Jansen (at 100 pounds less than his playing weight) could do a better job if he took the elevator down to field level on Saturday. They won’t be able to hide him like they have for 9-10 games this season and they won’t be able to say “eh we’ll just run the clock out” like they did against Penn State. If you go one-dimensional, you will lose. You need to put a TE with him, or he needs to step WAY up, or that rotating door will be impactful on the game.

Meanwhile, Ohio State is not one-dimensional either anymore. Henderson can run, and if they can get him going, it is nearly impossible to stop both Harrison and Henderson. Michigan definitely has the QB edge (if even 70% of JJ’s potential shows up), and a key will be getting to McCord early and often. Rattle him, make it clear that this ain’t just any B1G game. He got shaken up last week and did not perform well against Minnesota, despite the final score.

And then the intangible in the room. I’m not sure missing Harbaugh matters that much in terms of Xs and Os, Sherrone Moore is a good game manager and they’ll have Harbaugh all the way up to the walk to the stadium. I do think it matters in terms of it being The Game, and having your leader on the sideline when the going gets tough, which I think it will.

If they get a chance to stick the dagger into Coach Charmin and his band of toilet paper cubs, they absolutely need to take it. Michigan takes up a LOT of his mental energy, and despite his posturing after Notre Dame, until he walks the walk with a tough team in this game, he’s sawft as they come. Make them believe that the tides have shifted. Make them believe that not only won’t they beat Michigan, they can’t beat Michigan.

I’ll save a prediction until we are closer, but I think both teams are better than they were last year, and I expect a very close game.

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46 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

I saw a headline that said we were favored for the first time in 5 years. The surprising part of that to me was that it was only 5 years and not like 20.

I kinda forget about those Shea Patterson 2018 and 2019 teams and how good they were.... atleast going into the OSU game. 

Michigan was 4.5 point favorites in 2018 before giving up 62. 😖

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So, I'm driving into the facility where I work.  Its drizzling and cold. I have U-M plates on my car.  Security guard checks my badge and drops a "Go Buckeyes" on me.  I just sort of nod at him and grin.   Under my grin is the satisfaction that I'm in my car driving into a heated building to work and his OSU degree (of course he doesn't have a degree) got him a job in the sleet.  

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I expect a very different affair than the last two years have been. I expect a low scoring, extremely physical game where the team that wins is the one who first and foremost takes care of the ball.

Ultimately, I think JJ is rattled early by the pass rush, thanks in part to the revolving door that is Karsen Barnhart. Without his coach there to settle him down he gets into turnover trouble and costs Michigan a close one.

Ohio State 27 Michigan 21

I do think there is a path to victory for Michigan. It starts with establishing the run like it’s 2021, putting a TE on the line as your 6th offensive lineman full-time, using play action like your life depends on it, and generating pressure on McCord in a way he hasn’t experienced this season.

Finally, I think the National Champion will be the winner of this game. Either of these teams can beat Georgia head to head.

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