The Michigan Wolverines can salvage their sinking season on Saturday in Michigan Stadium by handing No. 3 Ohio State its first loss since Urban Meyer took over prior to the 2012 season.
An upset win would destroy the Buckeyes' national championship hopes and put the 7-4 Wolverines in much better position heading into bowl season.
Unfortunately for Michigan, that outcome is not likely.
The Wolverines have lost four of their last six and are getting worse by the snap.
Hoke asked if Michigan can win a shootout with Ohio State, says, "However we have to get it done." Real answer: not a chance.— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) November 25, 2013
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes continue to do nothing but win, and will enter this game with no margin for error in the race for the BCS title game.
Not only does Ohio State need either No. 1 Alabama or No. 2 Florida State to lose, but there is no guarantee the Buckeyes will stay ahead of all one-loss teams.
If the Wolverines are expecting a lackluster effort from the Buckeyes, they are going to be in for a long day.
When: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV Coverage: ABC
Spread: Ohio State -16 according to Bovada
All injury info via USA Today.
|James Ross III||LB||Questionable||undisclosed|
Key Storyline: Can Michigan win the turnover battle?
The Wolverines are a mess. The running game has all but vanished, while quarterback Devin Gardner completed just 13 of 28 passes for 98 yards last week.
He did throw for two touchdowns with no interceptions, though, and Michigan will need him to avoid turning the ball over again this week.
Given its offensive struggles, it is impossible to see a way Michigan can win this game without getting a key turnover or five.
To win the turnover battle, Michigan will have to be better than it has for the season. The Wolverines are plus-four in turnovers this season and have surrendered the ball over 19 times.
The Buckeyes are plus-seven with just 13 turnovers.
Prediction: Ohio State 35, Michigan 6
Screwy things can happen in rivalry games, but I just don't see a path for Michigan's success in this one. The Buckeyes will destroy Michigan's run game, which will put too much pressure on Gardner, which will lead to a couple of interceptions.
This will be way too much for the Michigan defense to withstand.
Stats via CFBStats.com.