Urban Meyer wanted an angry football team, and so far he has that, as he will lead his 11-0 Buckeyes into Ohio Stadium in what will be the last game for the Bucks in the 2012 campaign. Buckeye nation will be rocking, the 2002 National Championship team will be honored and a Buckeye legend will be making his return to The Horseshoe in what will be an electric atmosphere.
Here are Ohio State’s keys to the game to come out as the victors.
There isn’t a player in America who means more to his team than what Braxton Miller means to Ohio State.
We’ve seen him take over games and shred the Legend’s Division champ Nebraska to the tune of 63 points, but we have also seen him play timid like this past weekend against Wisconsin.
Whether it’s through the air, on the ground, or carrying out fakes, Braxton Miller will control what kind of day the Buckeye offense will have.
Miller will be playing in his second Michigan game, and I don’t see Urban Meyer holding anything back against the Wolverines this Saturday.
It doesn't matter if Devin Gardner is starting under center or if it's Denard Robinson, the plan has to be the same: put pressure on the quarterback.
If it’s Gardner under center, he will be making his second career road start and fourth overall start as a collegiate QB.
However, if it’s Denard Robinson at the helm, it will be his first game back after missing the last three-and-a-half with an elbow injury. Robinson, as you remember, started the 2010 game in Ohio Stadium in which the Bucks rolled 37-7.
Either way, both quarterbacks have the ability to get outside the pocket and make plays with their feet.
John Simon will cause havoc along with fellow senior Nathan Williams. Simon has been exceptional this season with 14.5 tackles for loss, including nine sacks. He, like Williams, will be playing in his final game as a Buckeye in what has been a fantastic career by an outstanding individual...I expect him to bring "The Juice" on Saturday.
For those of you who don’t know the name Carlos Hyde, you’re missing out on one of the most underrated backs in college football.
Hyde missed two games early in the season and still has a chance to top 1,000 yards with a big game against Michigan.
Besides Braxton Miller, of course, Carlos Hyde has been a huge reason for the Buckeyes' success this season.
He’s not a guy who will out run everyone for a 90-yard TD, but he is someone who will pick up over five yards per carry and won’t be afraid to lower the boom on any defender. Hyde, who has 715 rushing yards in seven Big Ten games, wasn’t targeted enough in the win versus Wisconsin last week.
The final drive in overtime, however, he was given the ball twice for 12 yards including the decisive two-yard touchdown run. Bottom line, keep feeding Hyde on Saturday.
If there’s one thing Michigan has done in prime-time road games this season, it’s turn the ball over.
Michigan has turned it over a total of 10 times in its three biggest road games this season: Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska. Granted, Alabama was a neutral site in Dallas, but still a long way from home.
Looking at those numbers it seems as if the Buckeyes may get a few extra opportunities to put up points.
Bradley Roby is as good as they come at cornerback for the Buckeyes, and I expect him to make plays everywhere on the field this Saturday.
The last thing Michigan needs to do is give an undefeated Buckeye team extra opportunities to score.
A huge question mark going into the season was how the Ohio State offensive line would perform. Eleven games later, the Buckeyes' offensive line can now be considered a strength of the team.
To win big games, teams need to be able to be physical at the line of scrimmage and run the ball.
Well, the big uglies in Columbus have been making holes all season long as Ohio State has averaged 245.5 yards per game on the ground. Not to mention, an effective running game will open up passing lanes for Braxton Miller, which would make this offense the Ferrari that we have seen shades of.
The most pleasant surprise of the season is how well Reid Fragel has transitioned from being moved from tight end during the spring. Though he has a lot to learn, Fragel may be the best offensive lineman on the team and will suit up for the scarlet and gray for the last time this Saturday.