Michigan Football: Keys to Wolverines Destroying Ohio State's Perfect Season

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 20, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is sacked by Ryan Van Bergen #53 of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Ohio State isn't eligible for the postseason this year, but they have a shot to finish undefeated and possibly sit atop the Associated Press rankings, and you know Michigan would love to destroy those hopes. 

To pull this off, Michigan will have to buck recent history. They have lost five straight in Columbus, which is where "the Game" will be played at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

Here are three things they can do to end this trend. 


Get Creative with Denard Robinson

With stellar play while Denard Robinson sat out with injury, Devin Gardner has made the Michigan quarterback job his. 

While head coach Brady Hoke isn't going to come out and say it, it is obvious to anyone paying attention that Gardner will again start at quarterback against Ohio State. 

This frees up Robinson to use his immense skill in other areas. Last week, he started at running back, and went on to gain 98 yards on 13 carries. He also added two catches for 24 yards. 

What he didn't do was throw a pass. Michigan is in a very unique position. There is a whole world of plays they can devise to take advantage of the fact they have a weapon like Robinson free to run what would essentially amount as a run/pass option from the running back or receiver position. 

There is no way an opposing defense can prepare for all the possible different looks, and this could lead to some easy points against Ohio State.


Stop Braxton Miller From Running

Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is a legit dual-threat quarterback, but there is a lot more room for error in his passing than his running. 

Miller has gained 1,214 yards rushing this year at 5.9 yards per carry. He has gained at least 64 yards rushing in all but two games this season. 

The two he didn't? Those were the two games that undefeated Ohio State was forced to go to overtime. 

Michigan must key on Miller in the ground game, and take that option away as much as possible. This will slow down the Buckeyes, and possibly lead to some interceptions. 


Get an Early Lead

Miller isn't the only Buckeye effectively rushing the ball this season. As a team, Ohio State has rushed for 2,700 yards at 5.3 per carry. This makes them the ninth-best rushing team in the nation. 

Michigan's defense is solid against the run. It is allowing just 3.7 yards per carry this season, but that rush defense is not so great that it can hope to eliminate the Buckeyes' running game.

The only way they are going to do that is by getting an early lead and making Ohio State play catch up. 

This will get the Buckeyes out of their comfort zone and allow Michigan to control the flow of the game.