Michigan football and Ohio State prepared to square off in game of the century part II

The Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes are prepared to square off in the game of the century II for a chance to represent the east division in the Big Ten Championship, remain undefeated, and have bragging rights for the next 365 days. (WDIV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes are prepared to square off in the game of the century II for a chance to represent the east division in the Big Ten Championship, remain undefeated, and have bragging rights for the next 365 days.

The previous game of the century took place back in 2006, where No. 1 ranked Ohio State played host to No. 2 ranked Michigan in the horseshoe down in Columbus for a spot in the BCS Championship, in which the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-39.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 18: Vernon Gholston #50 of the Ohio State Buckeyes hits quarterback Chad Henne #7 of the Michigan Wolverines as Henne throws the ball November 18, 2006 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 42-39. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) (2006 Getty Images)

The old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same, as like 16 years ago, both teams are 11-0 heading to their rivalry matchup. They’re coming off tough victories against Illinois and Maryland. As the record indicates, they made it out alive after their hard-fought battles, but the season’s dog days have left their mark on both teams.

Read: Michigan football hits late field goal against Illinois to improve to 11-0 for first time since 2006

Michigan injuries

Michigan limped away from the Big House without the production of Donovan Edwards, A.J. Henning, Trevor Keegan, Erick All (out for season), Luke Schoonmaker, Cade McNamara (out for season), Mike Morris, Nikhai Hill-Green, Caden Kolesar, William Wagner, and Blake Corum.

Blake Corum

The health of Corum is all that’s on the minds of the Michigan faithful, as they are a team known for their ground-and-pound attack. But with their best player limping into the biggest game of his collegiate career, the Wolverines can only pray that he is healthy enough to suit up.

Corum finished the first half of last week’s matchup with 103 rushing yards and one touchdown giving him his 18th of the season, which is only two away from the school’s record set by former running back Hassan Haskins in 2021 with 20.

Hassan Haskins #25 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (2021 Getty Images)

Ohio State injuries

Fans of the Buckeyes will have no sympathy for the Wolverines as they, too, have a plethora of injuries. For instance, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba got hurt in September and did not return. He was on the Biletnikoff Award watch list .

COLUMBUS, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 03: Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball during the first quarter in a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium on September 03, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images) (2022 Getty Images)

They are down to their third-string running back after Miyan Williams got injured and was carted off against Indiana. TreVeyon Henderson, who came back from a foot injury, was injured again against Maryland and was replaced by Dallan Hayden, who won Big Ten freshman of the week after carrying the ball 27 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Dallan Hayden #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium on November 19, 2022 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) (2022 Getty Images)

Matchup

The Game will be the 11th time Michigan and Ohio State will have matched up while being ranked in the AP top five, which is the most in college football rivalry history, jumping Texas and Oklahoma, who has 10. It will also be the 25th time the Wolverines and the Buckeyes will have met when ranked in the top 10.

Besides 2006, both teams had matched up undefeated (not 11-0), including the 1973 fiasco, which ended in a tie, and 1970 when the Buckeyes won 20-9, which put the Wolverines at 0-2-1 in undefeated matchups against Ohio State.

Since 2000, Michigan has won three games in the matchup, and the last time the Wolverines won back-to-back games goes back to 1999 and 2000.

21 Oct 2000: Quarterback Drew Henson #7of the Michigan Wolverines scrambles as he looks to pass the ball during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 16-0. Mandatory Credit: Danny Moloshok /Allsport (2022 Getty Images)

Both teams have players with Heisman hopes on the line. We’ve all been waiting to see Stroud against Michigan and Corum against Ohio State, representing the identity of both sides putting the running game against the passing game.

Michigan has the team and the style of play to take down Ohio State as they did in 2021. They have the type of defense that matches up against them, especially with edge rushers Morris and Eyabi Anoma. They could prove vital in the success of the Wolverines.

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 05: Mike Morris #90 and Eyabi Okie #18 of the Michigan Wolverines before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium on November 5, 2022 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) (2022 Rich Schultz)

Michigan made the Buckeyes play their style last season as they controlled the clock while gaining massive yards with their rushing attack, which wears a team down the later the game gets, which is what Haskins did last season.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass in the second half of the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

But Ohio State has elusive horses and a quarterback in Stroud who can create big plays. He can blow any game open in one to two plays, which is why he is the front-runner for the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.

Stroud has 2,991 passing yards with 35 touchdowns and four interceptions, while Corum has rushed 245 times for 1,457 yards and 18 touchdowns.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: Blake Corum #2 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball as Ronnie Hickman #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends in the second half of the game at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

The Wolverines have the No. 2 scoring defense in the country, averaging 11.7 points per game, and they haven’t allowed a point in the fourth quarter in their past six games.

McNamara set the standard last season, but sophomore J.J. McCarthy leads this year’s team in the 118th matchup. It feels like the game will be on his shoulders, and the NCAA has yet to see him to his highest capabilities through 11 games. On the season, he has a combined 2,165 passing-rushing yards with 17 total touchdowns and two interceptions.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 27: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the third quarter of the game at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Choose your side

The Buckeyes are looking for revenge not only for last season but due to them not hosting the Wolverines in Columbus since 2018 due to the pandemic. The atmosphere will be different in the horseshoe, especially since The Game will be for all the marbles.

Michigan will stick to what got them there by running the ball and playing good defense. Ohio State will try to use their air raid attack with Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr., but they may differ and give the ball to Hayden to establish the run to set up the play-action pass.

Who do you think will prevail in the game of the century II? Will Michigan improve to 1-2-1 in undefeated matchups, or will the Buckeyes continue to dominate the matchup?


About the Author:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.