Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) at Michigan (9-2, 6-1)
When: Saturday, November 28th 2015
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 12:00 ET | TV: ABC
The Ohio State Buckeyes come limping into their big game with the Michigan Wolverines Saturday after losing their first game in two years last week. Ohio State was shocked 17-14 at home last week to a Michigan State team without its starting quarterback. Heisman candidate Ezekiel Elliott, who had only 33 yards on 12 carries, criticized the play-calling right after the game and declared for the NFL draft. Elliott later apologized and head coach Urban Meyer said he would not be disciplined. Elliott still leads the Big Ten with 143.3 rushing yards per game, but his streak of 15 straight games of over 100 yards was snapped. The Buckeyes couldn’t get anything going offensively against the Spartans collecting only 132 total yards. J.T. Barrett was held to 46 yards on 9-of-16 passing and Michael Thomas, who leads the Buckeyes with 47 catches for 659 yards, was limited to two receptions for eight yards, but has caught at least one pass in his last 27 games. Ohio State has won 10 of the last 11 meetings with Michigan and have scored at least 34 points in four of the last five meetings. The Buckeyes can clinch the Big Ten East title with a win today and a Michigan State loss to Penn State.
Michigan can also claim the Big Ten East title the same way – a win and a Michigan State loss. The reason for that scenario is Michigan’s heart-breaking loss to the Spartans last month in which their punter fumbled the snap and Michigan State picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown as time expired. Despite that loss, the Wolverines has been one of the best teams in the country having won four in a row including three of those on the road. Quarterback Jake Rudock’s stats aren’t all that impressive looking with 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, but he has 10 of those touchdowns in the last three games including six in a win at Indiana two weeks ago. They finished undefeated in conference road games for the first time since 1997. Tight end Jake Butt, who is a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, caught five passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in the win over Penn State to give him over 1,000 receiving yards for his career. Jehu Chesson, who has caught 14 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games, suffered an arm injury against the Nittany Lions but Harbaugh expects the junior wide receiver to recover in time for Saturday’s game. Michigan will be looking for its first win over Ohio State since 2011.
Earlier in the week I thought Michigan might be a good bet here with all the drama off the field with Elliott and Cardale Jones, but I think its more of the media blowing things up. Meyer and Elliott sounds like they have an understanding and I expect him to get the ball a lot more. I’m still sticking with Michigan today, but I think it will be a very close game.
Pick: Michigan +1