Michigan Football: 5 predictions for Wolverines against Ohio State

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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The Game has nearly arrived and Michigan football will take on Ohio State Saturday for the Big Ten East title and a whole lot more.

It all comes down to this. Michigan football and Ohio State for the Big Ten East title. Both teams are ranked in the top five and both control their playoff destiny.

This is what the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is all about. And it’s the third time in the Jim Harbaugh era with 2016 and 2018 being the others, that Michigan football and OSU have each had 10-1 records going into The Game.

We all know what happened in the previous two matchups. And the struggles against the Buckeyes, who Harbaugh is 0-5 against, have dated back to the days of Jim Tressel when he was hired in 2001 to replace John Cooper.

Since then, Michigan football has beaten Ohio State twice. Lloyd Carr did it once in 2003, in a top-10 showdown very much like this one. Ohio State was the favorite and could clinch a BCS title berth with a win, but with Braylon Edwards, Chris Perry, and John Navarre, U-M won the game and the Big Ten championship.

The last win was in 2011 over an Ohio State team that was 6-6 or something like that. So in truth, it’s been 18 years since Michigan football won a significant game against Ohio State.

The winner will likely face Wisconsin and be one win from the College Football Playoff. For Michigan though, this game means much more.

For both programs, legacies are defined by what happens in this game. But these players want to end the losing streak so bad you can taste it. Will it happen?

Here are our five predictions for the Wolverines against Ohio State.

1. Hassan Haskins gets 100 and lots of carries

It’s not talked about a lot but Ohio State’s run defense is really good. The Buckeyes are nearly Wisconsin level and are holding teams to just 3.1 yards per attempt.

Yet, Michigan is averaging 218 yards per game on the ground (2nd in the Big Ten), and Haskins has been on a tear of late. He didn’t hit 100 yards last week against Maryland but he will be running like a man possessed against Ohio State.

Two years ago, he was among Michigan’s best players in the game and he’s one of the best backs in the country at getting yards after contact.

It will take 20-25 carries but Haskins will get 100 yards rushing and that will help keep Ohio State’s offense on the sideline more than the Buckeyes would like.