Michigan may be out of the national title hunt, but the Wolverines would like nothing more than to knock their rival out of contention as well. According to 247 Sports, Ohio State opens as 13-point favorites against Michigan. Michigan’s offense had started to hit its stride with Brandon Peters under center, but Peters was carted off the field during Michigan’s game against Wisconsin.
The Detroit Free Press reports Peters is dealing with a head injury, and his status for Saturday’s game is uncertain.
Michigan leads in the overall history of the rivalry at 58-48-6, but it has been all Ohio State in recent years. The Buckeyes have won five straight games against Michigan, but three of those games were decided by five points or less. Ohio State has won 11 of the last 13 matchups as Michigan is waiting for their first rivalry win in the Jim Harbaugh era.
Let’s take a look at the data for both teams, and how they stack up.
By the Numbers
Ohio State has the third ranked offense in the country with its 44.9 points per game. Michigan’s offense has sputtered this season, and is ranked all the way down at 78th with 26.3 point per game.
The Wolverines do have an advantage when it comes to defense as Michigan has a top 10 unit only allowing 17.1 points per game. Ohio State ranks 21st allowing 19.8 points per game.
J.T. Barrett has thrown for 2,698 yards, 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 66.9 percent of his passes. Barrett has also rushed for 605 yards and eight touchdowns. Barrett struggled in the passing game in last season’s rivalry matchup. Barrett threw for just 124 yards, one interception while failing to throw a touchdown. Barrett was effective on the ground rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Michigan relied on their defense to stay in the game as the Wolverines had a massive eight sacks in the 2016 matchup against Ohio State. Taco Charlton, who now plays for the Cowboys, had 2.5 sacks for the Wolverines. Michigan also had a big game from wide receiver Amara Darboh who had eight receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. Like Charlton, Darboh is now playing in the NFL for the Seahawks.
While Michigan’s defense is once again one of the best units in college football, it is hard to imagine their offense being able to keep up with Ohio State given how much the Wolverines offense has struggled this season.
Ohio State vs. Michigan: Each Team’s Resume
Ohio State only has two losses, but the Buckeyes were dominated in their two defeats by Oklahoma and Iowa. The Buckeyes marquee wins include Penn State, Michigan State and Indiana. The Buckeyes have won eight of their last nine games. Ohio State is coming off a 52-14 win over Illinois.
Michigan has lost to the top three teams on their schedule: Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The Wolverines biggest wins came against Florida, Purdue, Indiana and Minnesota. Michigan is coming off a 24-10 loss to Wisconsin as they host Ohio State.