Michigan Football and Ohio State prepare to face off in Game of the Century, Part II

Columbus, Ohio – That Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio state horse chestnuts are ready to compete in the Game of the Century II for a chance to represent the East Division in the Big Ten Championshipremain undefeated and have the right to show off for the next 365 days.

The previous game of the century came in 2006 when 1st-ranked Ohio State met 2nd-ranked Michigan at Horseshoe Down in Columbus for a spot in the BCS Championship in which the Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines 42-42 . 39

COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 18: Ohio State Buckeyes’ Vernon Gholston #50 hits Michigan Wolverines quarterback Chad Henne #7 as Henne throws the ball on 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 adage goes that the more things change, the more they stay the same, because just like 16 years ago, both teams go 11-0 into their rivalry game. They achieve tough victories against Illinois and Maryland. As the record shows, they made it out alive after their hard-fought battles, but the dog days of the season left their mark on both teams.

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

Michigan injuries

Michigan limped away Large house without the production of Donovan Edwards, AJ Henning, Trevor Keegan, Eric All (off-season), Luke Schonmacher, Cade McNamara (off-season), Mike Morris, Nikhai Hill Green, Caden KolesarWilhelm Wagner and Blake Corum.

Blake Corum

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

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

Michigan Wolverines’ Hassan Haskins #25 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)

Injuries in Ohio State

Buckeyes fans will have no sympathy for the Wolverines as they too have a plethora of injuries. For example wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba was injured in September and did not return. He was on the Biletnikoff Prize watch list.

COLUMBUS, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 03: Ohio State Buckeyes’ Jaxon Smith-Njigba #11 runs with the ball in 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 ran back to their third string Miyan Williams injured and was carted off to Indiana. TreVeyon Henderson, returning from a foot injury, was reinjured against Maryland and was substituted Dallas Haydenbecame the 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)

Match

The game will mark Michigan and Ohio State’s 11th match while they rank in the AP Top 5, which is the most in college football rivalry history, and jump Texas and Oklahoma, who have 10. It will also be the 25th time the Wolverines and the Buckeyes have met if they finish in the top 10.

Aside from 2006, both teams were unbeaten (not 11-0), including the 1973 fiasco, which ended in a tie, and 1970, when the Buckeyes won 20-9, taking the Wolverines to 0-2-1 in undefeated matchups brought against Ohio State.

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

October 21, 2000: Michigan Wolverines quarterback Drew Henson #7 scrambles as he attempts to pass the ball during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at 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 vs Michigan and Corum vs Ohio State representing the identities of both sides and pitting the running game against the passing game.

Michigan has the team and style of play to defeat Ohio State like in 2021. They have the kind of defense that goes against them, especially with edge rushers Morris and Eyabi anoma. They could prove crucial to the Wolverines’ success.

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 got the Buckeyes to play their style last season as they controlled the clock while gaining massive yards with their fast attack, which wears down a team the later the game gets, which Haskins did last season Has.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes’ CJ Stroud #7 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 make big plays. He can inflate any game in a game or two, which is why he’s the front-runner for the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.

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

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 27: Blake Corum #2 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball while 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 second-best defense in the country, averaging 11.7 points per game, and haven’t conceded a point in the fourth quarter in their last six games.

McNamara set the standard last season, but it was a sophomore JJ McCarthy leads this year’s team in the 118th matchup. It feels like the game is on his shoulders, and the NCAA has yet to get him to his best ability in 11 games. During the season he has 2,165 total passing rushing yards with 17 total touchdowns and two interceptions.

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 27: Michigan Wolverines’ JJ McCarthy #9 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 not only seeking revenge for last season, but for 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 marbles for everyone.

Michigan will hold on to what got them there by running the ball and playing good defense. Ohio State will try to capitalize on its airstrike with Stroud and Marvin Harrison Jr., but they can differ and give Hayden the ball 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?

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