Expert predictions for Ohio State football vs Michigan


The game is a really big game this year, with No. 2 Ohio and No. 3 Michigan facing each other with a lot on the line.

The winner advances to the Big Ten Championship game and wins away a College Football Playoff attempt. The loser will need help to get into the playoff.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) throws the ball against a Michigan Wolverines defense during the first quarter of NCAA college football at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI on November 27, 2021.

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) throws the ball against a Michigan Wolverines defense during the first quarter of NCAA college football at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI on November 27, 2021.

Ohio State is favored by 7 points.

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So the smart people of Vegas have their picks, but what about the experts at the Columbus Dispatch and the Detroit News? Here’s how they see the game:

Bill Rabinowitz

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football team beat journalist Bill Rabinowitz photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football team beat journalist Bill Rabinowitz photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

Ohio State won writer

Columbus Dispatch

Wouldn’t this result be funny? A lot depends on whether running back Blake Corum (and Donovan Edwards) is healthy. If so, this is closer to a 50-50 game. But I suspect Corum wouldn’t be at his full strength if he played, and quarterback JJ McCarthy wasn’t consistent enough as a passer. CJ Stroud should be able to exploit Michigan’s secondary as long as his protection is in place. The Buckeyes are at home, highly motivated and most talented across the board. It’s not a sure thing, but I suspect OSU will live up to the moment.

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Joey Kaufman

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football team beat reporter Joey Kaufman photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

The Columbus Dispatch Ohio State football team beat reporter Joey Kaufman photographed April 29, 2021 in the Columbus Dispatch newsroom.

Ohio State won writer

Columbus Dispatch

There is no shortage of motivation for the Buckeyes as they look to avenge a particularly crushing loss in the competition from last season, a stinging defeat that prevented them from reaching the College Football Playoff for the first time in the Ryan Day tenure. Look for them to come out with laser focus on Saturday as a result. But the sentiment numbers were only one reason why Ohio State bounced back in November. His run defense, porous in the previous game with Michigan, was much improved under Jim Knowles and bottles on the back enough to get the Wolverines to go into the air as often as they liked.

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Rob Oller

Rob Oller, sports columnist for the Columbus Dispatch, pictured Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Rob Oller, sports columnist for the Columbus Dispatch, pictured Thursday, February 11, 2021.

Sports columnist

Columbus Dispatch

If the shoe fits you… . Ohio State hasn’t lost to Michigan at home since 2000, which is why I’m giving the Buckeyes the advantage in a showdown that will end in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter; Unless Michigan Tailback Blake Corum is less than 95% healthy, in which case, OSU will win by at least two touchdowns. There’s a lot going for the outcome: CJ Stroud’s Heisman trophy hopes, Ryan Day’s reputation in the big games and a trip to the Big Ten championship game. Attach the chin strap. The game might just be a game for the ages.

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Colin Jay

real time reporter

Columbus Dispatch

This showdown against undefeated challengers will live up to its billing. While Michigan puts up one of the best running games in the country, Ohio State has a proven track record of stopping runs when it counts, allowing seven rushing touchdowns all season with opponents averaging 3.1 yards per carry. And while Michigan has one of the best defenses in the country, it hasn’t seen an offense like Ohio State this year. Expect the latest edition of “The Game” to feel close throughout, but it ends with the Buckeyes back on the winning pole and heading to the Big Ten championship game.

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Angelique S

Angelique S

Angelique S

Michigan beat the starter

Detroit News

Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

The first of many storylines is the case of Blake Corum, who committed Michigan’s offense this season. QB JJ McCarthy is irresistible, but he and his receivers need a big game against an Ohio State defense determined to stop Michigan’s running game. Both UM’s offensive line and OSU’s defense under Jim Knowles are better than they were last year. Michigan should be able to put pressure on C.J. Stroud. UM’s secondary has given up on the big plays, but its defense is usually able to stop opponents when it counts, especially on fourth down.

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This article originally appeared in the Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State vs Michigan predictions in the Big Ten football game



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