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Michigan's Struggling Offense Sets Up Huge Mismatch for Ohio State

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 09:  Devin Gardner #98 of the Michigan Wolverines is dragged down by Avery Moss #94 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second quarter at Michigan Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2013

Two of college football's fiercest rivals will take the field this Saturday when No. 3 Ohio State travels to Ann Arbor for its annual matchup with Michigan.

The Wolverines offense has struggled tremendously in the month of November, and with the Buckeyes leading the conference in points per game, that sets up a huge mismatch Urban Meyer will look to exploit.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had the offense rolling early. In their first seven games, the Wolverines were averaging more than 42 points and 445 yards of total offense.

When the calendar hit November, though, things took a dramatic turn, and Michigan has produced some historically bad numbers.

Michigan's Offense in November
Rushing YardsPassing YardsPoints
Michigan State-482166
Nebraska-2119613
Northwestern13922627
Iowa609821
Average per game32.518416.8
NCAA.com

Against its last four opponents, Michigan is averaging just 16.8 points per game. During that stretch, the Wolverines have only scored three offensive touchdowns in regulation and run for just 160 yards. 

For comparisons sake, the Buckeyes have scored more than three touchdowns and run for more than 160 yards before halftime in three of their last four games.

Michigan, which set a school record for least rushing yards in a game with minus 48 against Michigan State four weeks ago, will be facing an Ohio State offense that's rewriting its history books in a completely different way.

The 1998 Ohio State team set the single-season record by scoring 504 total points. Against Indiana last Saturday, the Buckeyes shattered that record, which now stands at 536 with three games to go.

Braxton Miller has the Ohio State offense hitting on all cylinders. The Buckeyes rank seventh in the country in total offense, averaging 530.9 yards per game. They're fueled by a rushing attack that ranks fifth with an average 314 yards per outing. The 48.7 points per game Ohio State is scoring is also third-best in the nation.

The difference in offensive production has Ohio State as 12.5-point favorites heading into this week's matchup, according to Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer.

If there's a bigger difference between these two teams, Meyer won't be afraid to expose it.

Michigan will need to get over its November slump to prevent a blowout.

 

All stats via NCAA.com.

David Regimbal is the Ohio State Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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