There have been 599 games played in Ohio Stadium over the last 100 years, but you would be hard-pressed to find a game with higher stakes than Saturday’s matchup between second-ranked Ohio State and third-ranked Michigan.
The winner will keep their undefeated season alive, clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game and remain on track for the College Football Playoff. The loser, meanwhile, will have to live with it for the next year, just like the Buckeyes have since their 42-27 loss to the Wolverines last November.
“When you lose this game, it’s a tough year,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said this week. “There’s no hiding from that, but there’s only one way to handle it, and that’s to go back to work, address the issues that you think need to get addressed so that when you go back to play The Game, you’re ready to roll.
“It motivated us all offseason and we’ve worked very hard to get to this moment right here, so now it’s time to go prepare the best we can. That’s what we’re going to focus on physically, mentally and emotionally, to go play the hardest game we’ve ever played.”
This marks just the fourth time that both Ohio State and Michigan will head into the regular-season finale unbeaten and untied, as well as the 12th all-time meeting where both the Buckeyes and Wolverines are ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll.
“It’s like two superheroes going at it,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “They’ve got great players, we’ve got great players. They’ve got great coaches, we have great coaches. They have players with Heisman habits, we have players with Heisman habits.
“It’s just a tremendous honor to be able to go play against this kind of opponent with these kinds of circumstances in that kind of setting at Ohio Stadium with the championship of the east side of the Big Ten Conference at stake.”
Date: Nov. 26, 2022
Where: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, OH)
Expected Weather: 52 degrees, partly sunny
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Current Betting Numbers
Spread: Ohio State (-7.5)
O/U Total: 56.0
Betting: Check out the new SISportsbook!
How to Watch/Listen
Streaming: fuboTV (get a 7-day free trial)
Announcers: Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (analyst) and Tom Rinaldi (sideline)
Local Radio: Ohio State Sports Network from Learfield IMG College
Flagship: WBNS 97.1 The Fan
Announcers: Paul Keels (play-by-play), Jim Lachey (analyst), Matt Andrews (sideline reporter)
Michigan leads Ohio State, 59-51-6
• OSU record at home: 27-27-2
LAST TIME THEY MET
2021: Michigan 42, Ohio State 27
• At Ohio State: 4th Season, Record: 45-4
• Overall: Same
• Record vs. Michigan: 1-1
• At Michigan: 8th Season, Record: 72-24
• Overall: 15th Season, Record: 130-51
• Record vs. Ohio State: 1-5
More News From Sports Illustrated: Week 13 College Football Scoreboard | Ohio State, Michigan And The Fitting Rematch One Year In The Making | Expert Predictions For Rivalry Week | How A 12-Team College Football Playoff Would Look After Week 12
Ohio State Capsule
Ohio State running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams likely won’t be at 100 percent for Saturday’s game, as Henderson aggravated a lingering foot injury in the win over Maryland while Williams was held out after suffering an ankle injury in the win over Indiana one week prior.
That, of course, begs the question: Is true freshman Dallan Hayden a better option to start against the Wolverines? After all, he’s fully healthy and productive, having rushed for 248 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games after Henderson and Williams went down.
“I think it’s definitely worth a conversation,” Day said. “When you put on the film and the film speaks for itself, you’ve got to make that decision of who’s the best guy, in this moment, to go put on the field?
“To see the way he stepped up last week was certainly tremendous and encouraging as we move into this rivalry week. It was great to see him taking care of the football. That’s the No. 1 thing we need, so he’ll have to have a good week of practice now and prepare hard to play in this game.”
It’ll be a tall task for whoever starts, though, as they’ll face a Michigan defense that allows just 2.8 yards per carry and 79.5 rushing yards per game, both good for second nationally. The Wolverines have also surrendered just six touchdowns on the ground all season.
“They’re one of the best defenses in the country,” Day said.
The Buckeyes might be forced to make a change at right guard, as well, after fifth-year senior Matthew Jones had his right leg rolled up on late in the fourth quarter of the win over the Terrapins. He was spotted on crutches after the game, putting his status for this weekend in question.
“If need be, we’ve got a couple of options right there that we’ll work through during the week and figure out if we do need to go to depth, you know, who to choose,” Day said. “A lot of that has to do with how the week goes and how Matt’s feeling and how well those guys do and pick up the game plan.”
Redshirt junior Enokk Vimahi played the last four offensive snaps of the game in place of Jones, just as he has periodically throughout the season, but redshirt sophomore Josh Fryar – who started in place of injured right tackle Dawand Jones against the Hoosiers – could also be an option.
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“He’s mostly been a tackle this year,” Day said of Fryar, “but he’s played with the tight ends, he’s played guard at some points last year and sometimes the year before, so he has some experience going inside and outside.”
Similarly, Michigan could be without its best offensive player after running back Blake Corum suffered an apparent knee injury in second-quarter of last week’s 19-17 win over Illinois.
Harbaugh did not provide an update on his status this week, but offensive tackle Ryan Hayes seemed to imply that Corum, who has rushed for 1,457 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, would not be available.
“I think we’ve planed on this,” Hayes said on Monday. “He’s a great player, but I think everybody else is just going to step up with him out and we’re up to the challenge, and I think that we’re up to the challenge.”
Corum walked to the locker room under his own power, where he received x-rays, before returning to the game on the opening drive of the third quarter. He played two snaps, including one carry for five yards, before watching the remainder of the game from the sideline.
“Obviously, it has an impact,” Hayes said. “He’s probably one of the best – if not the best – players in the the country. Losing Blake is huge for us, but I think we had a lot of guys step up and we ended up finding a way to win, which was great for us.”
Backup running back Donovan Edwards also missed the win over the Fighting Illini with an undisclosed injury, leaving freshman C.J. Stokes, sophomore Tavierre Dunlap and walk-on Isaiah Gash to carry the load in the come-from-behind win.
While it’s unclear if Corum and Edwards will be available against Ohio State – as the Wolverines, like the Buckeyes, will surely keep injury-related news close to the vest leading up to the game – the defense is still preparing as if they’re both going to play on Saturday.
“He’s a great player,” Day said of Corum. “We’re going to prepare for him to play, we expect him to play and we’ll just do the best we can. They’re a very good offense. They have plenty of running backs, plenty of good players, so while he is very, very good, we’ll just continue to prepare for all of them.”
Although he was overshadowed by former running back Hassan Haskins’ 169 yards and school-record five touchdowns, Corum added 87 yards on the ground in last year’s game. That includes a 55-yard run in the third quarter that ultimately helped Michigan helped the Wolverines pull away.
“We’re not spending any time investigating whether he’s playing or not,” defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said. “We’re just assuming he’s going to play. He’s an exceptional back, very talented.”
- Ohio State has won 29 straight Big Ten home games dating back to a 17-14 loss Michigan State in 2015. The Buckeyes have won those games by an average margin of 30.4 points per game.
- Five of those games have been decided by one score or less, including a 24-20 win over Northwestern in 2016, 30-27 win over Michigan in 2016, 39-38 win over Penn State in 2017, 36-31 win over Nebraska in 2018 and 42-35 win over No. 9 Indiana in 2020.
- Ohio State and Michigan have played 43 games that were decided by seven points or loss. The Buckeyes’ last one-score victory in the series was 2016, while the Wolverines’ last one-score win came in a 40-34 victory in Ann Arbor in 2011.
- Following up some earlier notes, Ohio State is 7-3-1 in the 11 previous meetings with Michigan where the Buckeyes…