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Predicting the Michigan football vs. Ohio State game in Ann Arbor on Saturday at noon on Fox from Michigan Stadium:
MICHIGAN VS. OHIO STATE: Scouting report, prediction
For as good as Mike Macdonald's defense was at containing Penn State's star receiver Jahan Dotson, trying to stop Ohio State's three-headed monster is something entirely different. Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo will keep Michigan in it with timely pressures and sacks, but the downfield passing by Stroud could be too much to overcome. Another win for the Buckeyes in a game that comes down to the wire. The pick: Ohio State 33, Michigan 26.
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The fallout from 2020 lingers over this rivalry. There was the testy exchange between Jim Harbaugh and Ryan Day that prompted the Ohio State coach to tell his team the Buckeyes would “hang 100” on the Wolverines. Then the Buckeyes were miffed when the game was canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan’s program. An extra-motivated Ohio State team is a scary Ohio State team, especially when it’s armed with the No. 1 offense in the country. The Buckeyes won’t get to 100. But it’s a good bet they’ll approach half that total. The pick: Ohio State 44, Michigan 27.
The Wolverines will keep the score down — at least, compared to recent disasters against Ohio State — and eat up time with a running game and short-passing game. Michigan’s defense might get some pressure on the quarterback. But Ohio State has more talent and too many weapons for the Wolverines to keep this under 10. The pick: Ohio State 37, Michigan 23.
The numbers, the history, the eye-test, the talent — nothing suggests Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines will win this game. Except that U-M matches up well on the edges, and its offense can control clock, and its chemistry and desperate desire to change the story will provide a jet-powered boost. Also, the Wolverines are good, and for the first time in eons, they get the Buckeyes at home while they are good. It adds up to Harbaugh's best win. The pick: Michigan 33, Ohio State 31.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football vs. Ohio State picks: Can Wolverines end skid?