Michigan Preview

The "revenge tour" is coming to Columbus. 

You see, Michigan (10-1) defensive end Chase Winovich believes there are certain teams that the Wolverines owe a little payback, and he has dubbed that portion of their schedule the "revenge tour." 

There is no doubt the Buckeyes qualify. They have beaten Michigan the last 6 times they have squared off. 

There is some doubt, though, as to whether Winovich himself will be on the field. Last week, he suffered a head/shoulder injury and was taken to the hospital. X-rays were negative, but that's really all the Wolverines have disclosed. Teammates have even refused to say whether Winovich has returned to practice this week. 

The 6'3", 255-pound senior leads the top defense in the country in terms of yards per game with 13.5 tackles for loss.

However, as you might expect from a defense that has only been giving up an average of 234.8 yards and 13.5 points (ranked 4th nationally) a game, it's been more than just Winovich making plays.  

Linebacker Josh Uche leads the team in sacks and is 36th nationally with 7.0 sacks. Fellow linebacker Devin Bush is pacing the Wolverines with 73 tackles. Defensive backs Josh Metellus and Brandon Watson each have three picks.

And that's not even mentioning Rashan Gary, who missed three games and was limited in two others by a shoulder injury, and yet still has 3.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, and five quarterback hurries. 

Offensively, Michigan isn't that different than 2017, according to Ohio State's Dre'Mont Jones...except for one teeny, tiny thing: "He can throw a little bit better, and he can run more than the quarterback last year."

"He" being Shea Patterson, who is completing 65.9 percent of his passes, has 18 touchdowns to 4 interceptions, and who--when he runs--averages 4.25 yards a carry. 

It is, however, Karan Higdon who carries the bulk of the running game. He's rushed for 100+ yards in all but two games (Notre Dame, Rutgers) this season. He leads the team with 10 rushing touchdowns, but sometimes in the red zone, Michigan will turn to 6'3", 254-pound fullback Ben Mason instead. He has 6 rushing scores. 

Michigan's top receivers are Donovan Peoples-Jones, Zach Gentry, and Nico Collins, all with remarkably similar numbers of around 30 catches, roughly 470 yards, and who average about 15 yards per reception. 

The winner of this one will represent the East in the Big Ten title game. 

Ohio State and Michigan play at noon. 

Extra Points:

  • This is the 22nd time these teams have met when both were ranked in the Top 10. Ohio State is 10-9-2 in those matchups.
  • Today's game is the first time since 2004 Michigan has played at Ohio Stadium and been a favorite. Despite that, the Wolverines have a winning record in Columbus, although OSU can change that this afternoon. If they can muster a win, the Buckeyes home record vs. Michigan will officially move to 27-27-2.
  • Courtesy of our very own Matt McCoy! Rankings of the team's Michigan has faced on the road in total offense: Notre Dame (28), Northwestern (111), Michigan State (114), Rutgers (128). For more stats regarding The Game, click here

And here is audio from some of the Buckeye players who spoke to reporters this week.