College Football

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7 7 14 14 42
42
9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 AM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Nov. 27, 2021
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan  Attendance: 111,156

No shortage of storylines as No. 2 Ohio State visits No. 5 Michigan

Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines

  1. Ohio State owns an eight-game winning streak against Michigan, the second-longest winning streak by either team in this rivalry behind a nine-game win streak by Michigan from 1901 to 1909.
  2. Ohio State beat then-No. 7 Michigan State at home last week, 56-7. It was the second-largest victory by an FBS team against an AP Top 10 opponent since 1980. The largest is Ohio State's 62-3 win against then-No. 9 Nebraska in 2016.
  3. Buckeyes QB CJ Stroud passed for 432 yards and six touchdowns against then-No. 7 Michigan State. The last two players to match that stat line against an AP Top 10 opponent were Joe Burrow in 2019 (vs. Oklahoma) and Patrick Mahomes in 2014 (vs. Baylor).
  4. Michigan won on the road at Maryland last week, 59-18. The 41-point win was the Wolverines second-largest road victory under Jim Harbaugh (78-0 at Rutgers in 2016). Prior to Harbaugh's arrival, Michigan's last 40-point road victory was in 1993 (58-7 at Minnesota).
  5. Cade McNamara and Donovan Edwards connected for a 77-yard touchdown last week at Maryland. It was McNamara's fourth touchdown pass this season of 75 or more yards, tied for most in the FBS with Alabama's Bryce Young.
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Forget the cliche that records don't matter when Ohio State and Michigan renew one of the fiercest rivalries in sports Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The reality is that everything is at stake for the No. 2 Buckeyes (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) and the fifth-ranked Wolverines (10-1, 7-1) a year after the game in Columbus, Ohio, was canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Michigan program.

A ninth straight win for the Buckeyes would give Ohio State an 18-2 edge in the series since 2001 and would clinch the East Division for the Buckeyes, earning them a trip to the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis on Dec. 4. A win there would assure Ohio State a third straight selection to the College Football Playoff.

"It's what you love about Ohio State," wide receiver Garrett Wilson said Tuesday. "It's why you're recruited here. It's why you play here, to play in these situations."

Two wins for the Wolverines would put them in position for their first CFP appearance.

"Both of these teams have a lot on the line," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It's a true playoff in that sense. In the College Football Playoff world, this is the start of the playoffs. The team that wins will advance, the team that doesn't won't. It is that. It's also the big game, The Game, the rivalry."

The teams prepared for The Game by posting impressive wins last weekend. The Wolverines scored on offense, defense and a kick return during a 59-18 trouncing of Maryland.

Ohio State scored on its first seven drives to pummel then-No. 7 Michigan State 56-7.

C.J. Stroud thrust himself to the forefront of Heisman Trophy consideration with his performance against Michigan State, completing 32 of 35 passes for 432 yards. He tossed six first-half touchdown passes while setting a school record with 17 straight completions.

His job is made easier throwing to the trio of Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who have combined for 187 catches for 2,919 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Michigan will counter with two of the nation's best pass rushers in Aidan Hutchinson (nine sacks) and David Ojabo (10 sacks).

"I just want to walk off that field as a winner knowing I was on the team that beat Ohio State," Hutchinson said on Inside Michigan Football radio.

When Ohio State isn't passing, TreVeyon Henderson has rushed for 1,019 yards and 14 scores.

The Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring (47.2 ppg), total offense (559.9 ypg) and touchdowns (67). Michigan is seventh in scoring defense (16.3 ppg), eighth in pass defense (178.4 ypg) and ninth in total defense (306.6 ypg).

"They're real good at every position," Olave said. "It's going to be a tough challenge for us."

While Michigan has the 15th-best running game in the nation (218.4 ypg), the Buckeyes are 11th against the run (102.3 ypg) and are also tied for ninth with 36 sacks.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day said the pregame hype has not affected his team's preparation.

"We certainly don't need any extra motivation for this game," he said. "Everything is riding on it."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 24, 2021

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