Battleground Ann Arbor:  Scarlet vs Blue

In what will be the final regular season game of the 2017 season, the Buckeyes CFB Playoffs hopes are still alive and well, but before getting too ahead of ourselves, the Buckeyes will face their archrival in Ann Arbor in The Game before facing Wisconsin in the BIG 10 Championship game.  The stage is set for another clash between rivals Ohio State and Michigan, Urban Meyer versus Jim Harbaugh will square off for the third time with Meyer looking for his third straight victory over Harbaugh, while Harbaugh is looking to secure his first victory over their most hated rival.

This collision will not be without emotion on either side after the twitter was among former Alums is still on-going.  Current Michigan RB Karan Higdon stated earlier this week that “everyone here knows that we won that game last year”, noting the questionable spot from a season ago.  The bitterness will plunge this game on a different level, as the Wolverines are looking to dash the Buckeyes’ CFB Playoffs hopes to avenge last season perceived screw job by biased referees.

This year, Ohio State will be wearing another alternate uniform, and what better way to debut them during The Game when everyone will be watching.  Per The Lantern, these uniforms will be all white, with wolf accents to make the uniform pop.  The helmets will also include a Terry Glenn decal, dedicating their respects to a Buckeye Legend who passed away earlier this week from a car accident.

This will give the Buckeyes added motivation as they travel into a hostile environment with a lot on the line.  The uniforms will also resonate and appeal to prospective recruiting targets, which would not hurt at all, to be honest.  With Coach Meyer and his assistants constantly get top tier, hidden gems in, but this will definitely help their cause.

The Game is a yearly tradition, but with so much at stake and with an excess amount of national exposure, this game will be one to watch and it will be as intense as previous years because the Wolverines are in a position to upset the Buckeyes and ruin their dreams of another playoff berth.

J.T. Barrett will look to become the first Buckeye starter at QB to go 4-0 against TTUN and after last season, this will not be an easy task to accomplish.  He will lean on his big-game experience to will his team to victory.  He has not had to depend on his arm the last couple of weeks, but I do not anticipate that he would need to during this game due to the emergence of Dobbins and Weber in the run game.

#83 Terry McLaurin will look to have a big game, dedicated to Terry Glenn and his family. He and the rest of Zone 6 will look to make clutch and timely plays for Barrett to keep the chains moving.  The value of earning their Gold Pants, their last pair of them as well, will fuel this Buckeye team, but they will most likely be tested early and often by another stout front seven that could give them fits.

The Offensive Line will need to perform at their highest level to keep Barrett upright to give him time in the pocket to find his playmakers.  With good pass rushers, Michigan will look to disrupt the flow of things to put them in more favorable conditions. This will be a physical game for both sides, which only adds to the anticipation and the excitement of the game. The passion will undoubtedly be there, but it will be up to either team to take advantage of the momentum swings

There is no doubt that defenses can certainly win championships, but during this game, the defense needs to come up big to stop the Wolverine power running game.  They possess three capable ball carriers that have their own style of running, and four if you include Hill, their goal line FB who scored twice against the Buckeyes last year.

The biggest question for the Buckeyes defense will be, who will end up being the starting QB?  Peterman has not been cleared of his concussion issues and it is a toss-up between O’Korn and Speight, who is also coming off of an injury.

The Opposing WR’s will be a tough test for the secondary, who has had the tendency to give up a few bad plays or penalties here and there.  Thankfully, no one was ejected in the last game, so it will be something to watch if any Buckeye, whether on offense or defense lets their emotions get the best of them, but I think each side will be up to the task of handling business.

Prediction:

I cannot stress what a rivalry game can do, and the outcome is usually unpredictable.  I would like to see a blowout, but I know it’ll be another hard-fought BIG 10 game that will feature the power running game often. With the Buckeyes and the Wolverines having something to play for, Ohio State a potential CFB Playoff berth and Michigan playing to dash those hopes, it will be another fun edition of The Game.

Buckeyes defeat Wolverines 34-21

Comments

  1. Jimmy Wiggians says:

    Kudos on a very close prediction. I question whether Captain Checkoff (J.T.) could have pulled that game out.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: