It's hard to imagine that Michigan will be playing its final regular season game this week, the time has flown.
Unlike last year, this meeting between Michigan and Ohio State has something extra behind it. Both teams need a lot of help but it needs a win to hope to make it to the Big Ten championship game.
The Michigan Insider previews The Game,
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeats Michigan 42-28 on November 29, 2014.
What a win means for Michigan: Well, this goes without saying. A victory over Ohio State usually defines a season. A victory this season would be no different and would be considered quite miraculous consider what the team looked like headed into the season. Not only would this be a huge victory that reflects well on the polls and could have bowl implications down the line, this would set Jim Harbaugh with extreme confidence behind his program. This too goes without saying, they want to snap the streak against Ohio State. I mean, who wouldn't?
What a win means for Ohio State: A victory for the Buckeyes proves that it can still continue its domination over Michigan despite a back-breaking loss to Michigan State the week before. Like Michigan, Ohio State needs some help from other teams in hopes it can get to the Big Ten championship game, they need this one first. A victory over the surging Wolverines would bring some confidence back in this team in preparation for the bowl game and potential post season.
Player to watch: J.T. Barrett could certainly be that player to watch out for. However, considering how last weekend ended, running back Ezekiel Elliott is a player to watch out for. We all know he's going to play but just how much will they attempt to rely on him considering Michigan hasn't been able to stop the run as of late (although it was improved against Penn State.) This will be Elliott's last game against Michigan so there will be plenty of emotion behind it for both sides.
Currently Elliott has over 1400 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns on the year. He's the Buckeyes' workhorse and there isn't a doubt in the world that he's going to carry the football a lot over the weekend. With the way the offensive playcalling was scrutinized last weekend, it'll be interesting to see if new wrinkles will be implemented against the Michigan defense looking to step up and dominate play one more time.
What they're saying: All quotes used from www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com
Head coach, Urban Meyer
- On Michigan's turnaround: "Oh, very, very impressed. Not surprised because I think they're very good coaches, and I think -- I've always, you know, I just recruit against that. They are very good recruiters. The previous staff was excellent recruiters, and they are very good players up there. When someone says are you surprised they have very good players up there, not at all. For those of you who have been covering this game, just check out the last few games we've played them. I mean, it is just swinging as hard as you possibly can against very good players."
- On D.J. Durkin and Greg Mattison: "Good guys, good friends. D.J. was a graduate assistant for me at Bowling Green. We hired him at Florida, so we know him and his family very well. Greg is a life-long friend and good coaches."
- On Harbaugh's 'guarantee' in 1986: "I do remember that. And I remember us missing a wide left right at the end as the clock ticked zero. He won't want me to name his name, but I remember the kicker's name. A great kid. I'm certainly not going to say that."