The storylines will write themselves as Michigan and Ohio State collide. The 2022 chapter of one of college football’s finest rivalries has extra juice with a berth in the Big Ten Championship game on the line. The winner of Saturday’s duel secures a perfect 12-0 regular season and nearly secures a berth in the College Football Playoffs.
But Michigan’s hopes are focused on the returning star’s health Blake Corum who was sidelined with a knee injury for most of the second half of the 19-17 win over Illinois.
“He’s such a big part of their offense,” ESPN’s Desmond Howard said. “We’re talking about a guy who was Heisman’s frontrunner against Illinois last week. What it means for this offense I don’t know if you can measure it. This guy has 256 touches in the season. The next next player is Donovan Edwards with 84 touches. So you get the idea Blake Corum means of committing this crime. He’s a special talent, he does a lot on the pitch, not just as a running back, but he blocks, he also catches passes. The big question is what percentage will he be when he plays? Is he 90%? Is he 75%?”
If Corum is out, Michigan’s run-heavy offense won’t change.
“They’re going to have to do what brought you to the party,” Howard said. “I think JJ McCarthy is a very talented passer. But JJ McCarthy is also a very athletic quarterback and Jim KnowlesOhio State’s defense coordinator spoke this week about being able to lock JJ McCarthy in and keep him in the bag because he’s a legitimate double threat quarterback and can also hit you with his legs.
Michigan used its fast offense and the best defense in the Big Ten to start 11-0. Ohio State is countering with the league’s top offense despite a plethora of injuries to stars like wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams.
“There’s no need to hate,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Be thankful for the opponent. It’s like superheroes. It’s through a strong opponent that you can find out who you are. They have a lot of players who are really good. They have great players. We have great players. They have great coaches. We have great coaches. They have players with Heisman habits. We have players with Heisman habits.”
The Buckeyes clearly have revenge on their minds after Michigan defeated their arch-rivals 42-27 last season.
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“Well, it’s one of the greatest rivalries that’s going on in the country,” the Ohio State coach said ryan day said. “And every time you fight tooth and nail to win the game because it’s at stake, you know sometimes there’s friction. Thats how it works. And we tried to just focus on ourselves and focus on respecting the rivalry.” Working on that every day of the year and going to play as hard as we can on Saturday.