“The Game” Preview

By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor

Michigan has a shot to ruin their arch-rivals season on the final game of the season. The Wolverines will travel to Columbus and look for their first win in the Horseshoe since 2000.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently 11-0 on the season, and are ranked fourth in the AP Top 25. Unfortunately for them, they cannot reach the postseason because of an NCAA ban.

As for Michigan, they are ranked 21 in the BCS, and they need a lot of help to get to a BCS bowl game.

Prediction: Michigan 35, Ohio State 24

LAST YEAR: Michigan ends 7 year losing streak, “Beats Ohio” (SLIDESHOW)

Saturday afternoon’s game should be one for the ages. Ohio State has won at home every year against Michigan since 2002.

It will be a battle all day tomorrow. The offenses will match up pretty well. The ground attack is fierce for the Buckeyes, while the Wolverines are slightly better in the air. That’s counting the whole season, not the past three games in which quarterback Devin Gardner has been immaculate.

The Buckeyes have scored more points, averaging about 38 per game, while Michigan is only averaging about 30 per game. As for allowing points, the Michigan defense is the best in the nation in the passing game.

Currently, the Wolverines only allow 18 points per game, while Ohio State allows 23 points per game on average.

Michigan has no shot at the B1G Ten Championship game as Nebraska ousted Iowain a close game Friday, winning 13-7 in Iowa City.

The Wolverines still have plenty to play for. They still have an outside shot at a BCS bowl game, plus ruining the Buckeyes season and playing for a share of the Legends Division title.

Ohio State has Braxton Miller at quarterback, who has been nothing short of amazing this season for them. He’s accounted for 14 touchdowns on the year, and nearly 2,000 yards.

Miller has also been their entire ground game, or at least most of it. He has 207 carries for 1,214 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Michigan will counter with a two-quarterback system, or something along those lines. Gardner is the clear choice to start at quarterback and surely Denard Robinson will be inserted at some point during the game.

He will also probably be at receiver and running back, especially now that Fitzgerald Toussaint is out for the rest of the year with a broken leg. Thomas Rawls will carry the load at running back, other than Robinson, and the passing game, should be near flawless, even with a really good Ohio State defense.

This game will come down to defense though. Both have potent offenses and whichever defense decides to show up Saturday, should win the game.

The Gardner and Robinson duo, dual threat backfield should give the Buckeye defense problems, many problems not knowing what is going to come next.

It happened to Iowa, and even though they didn’t perform to their expectations this year, and were actually, quite bad, they still expected just Gardner to throw, not a running attack from Robinson, or the possibility of a throw from Robinson.

Michigan has a shot to do something really special on Saturday. They can ruin a perfect season, all while helping their cause to further advance in the standings to a hopeful BCS Bowl game.

Game starts at 12:00 p.m. on your local ABC affiliate (WXYZ in Detroit). Be sure to follow@TMJSports for the latest scores and highlights during the game.

To read the original post that appeared online only in The Michigan Journal, on Friday, November 23, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org

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