Michigan

The Wolverine Red Zone: Michigan looks to get bowl eligible against arch rival Ohio State

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Michigan v Ohio State

Leading 16-9 entering the fourth quarter last weekend against Maryland, The Wolverines (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten), went scoreless to finish the quarter while the Terps rallied for two touchdowns and a 23-16 win at the Big House. Now entering the final weekend of the regular season the Wolverines are in need of one more win to just get bowl eligible against hated rival Ohio State while the Buckeyes (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten) are eyeing a much bigger prize, a possible berth in the first ever college football playoff. Simply put a loss for Michigan ends their season and more than likely the Brady Hoke era in Ann Arbor while a win may not save Hoke’s job but could help reignite a rivalry that’s gone lifeless for the better part of a decade.

Kickoff: 12PM ET

Location: Ohio Stadium (104,944) Columbus, Ohio

Kickoff Forecast: Partly sunny and 44 degrees with winds out of the S at 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is one percent.

TV: ABC

Radio: WWJ, AM Radio 950. Sirius (113), XM (195)

Spread: Michigan +20.5, T:54.5

Series vs. Ohio State: Michigan leads series 58-46-6

Live Coverage: Follow the game on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Last Meeting vs. Ohio State

Trailing 35-21 entering the fourth quarter, Michigan stormed back as Devin Gardner, hampered by a foot injury led to 20 points in the final 15 minutes only to fall short 42-41 on a failed 2-point conversion. The Wolverines ended up finishing the month of November 1-4 and continued their slide under the direction of head coach Brady Hoke.

Michigan Keys to the Game

Grind things out on the ground

Out of all the negativity that’s happened this season, a couple bright spots over the past couple of weeks has been the improved play of the offensive line and the signs of life from the running game. Drake Johnson and De’Veon Smith need nice games to limit the passing attempts from Devin Gardner because if he’s forced to air the ball out often things will get ugly fast.

Get the big play anywhere you can

The big plays have been few and far between for Michigan this season. Last week we saw a punt return for a touchdown negated by a penalty while Devin Funchess has been essentially a ghost as a downfield threat. The Wolverines cannot go toe-to-toe talent wise with the Buckeyes… they’ll get blown off the field. However if Michigan can capitalize on a few big plays throughout the day they’ll give themselves a chance.

Channel the 2013 Devin Gardner

Devin Gardner wasn’t good last season but the Wolverines would love to have back the Devin Gardner who led Michigan to 20 fourth quarter points against the Buckeyes last year. Who knows maybe we get something out of Gardner to help extend his college career by just one game. He’s shown he can do it before.

Injuries

Michigan Injuries

D. Green (RB) – Out for season (clavicle)
F. Clark (DE) – Out for season (disciplinary)
D. Morgan (LB) – Out for season (hand)

Ohio State Injuries

N. Spence (DL) – Out for season (disciplinary)
S. Miller (DL) – Out for season (shoulder)

Prediction

I’d love to see another game that we saw that season that had Michigan come back and actually make something out of it. However where Michigan is currently at and what Ohio State has on the line this season I can’t foresee anything close despite the rivalry between these two teams. Ohio State wins and wins big to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Ohio State 38, Michigan 13

 

About Adam Hernandez

Adam Hernandez is the founder of The Majors Sports Network and EMPIRE Media LLC.

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