Game Data: Michigan at Ohio State

We have the pertinent information, television coverage details, depth charts and a prediction for Saturday's showdown between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan at Ohio Stadium (3:45 p.m., ABC). Click this free link for more.

Game Data: Michigan at Ohio State

* Date, Time: Sat., Nov. 18, 3:45 p.m. (Eastern)

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: ABC (national telecast). Announcers: Brent Musberger, Bob Davie, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters.

* Records, Rankings: Ohio State, 11-0 overall, 7-0 Big Ten; ranked first in Associated Press poll and USA Today coaches poll; Michigan, 11-0 overall, 7-0 Big Ten, ranked second in AP poll and coaches poll.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Jim Tressel (sixth year at OSU, 61-13; 21st year overall, 196-70-2; vs. Michigan, 4-1); Michigan, Lloyd Carr (12th year at UM, 103-34; vs. OSU, 6-5).

* Series History: Michigan leads the all-time series 57-39-6, including 27-21-2 in Columbus. OSU won 25-21 last year in Ann Arbor and has won four of the last five in the series. OSU has won three of the last four in Columbus as well. The series is dead even at 24-24-2 over the last 50 years. For a complete look at the OSU-Michigan rivalry, click this link:

History of the OSU-Michigan Rivalry

* Michigan Schedule: Sept. 2 Vanderbilt, W 27-7; Sept. 9, Central Michigan, W 41-17; Sept. 16, at Notre Dame, W 47-21; Sept. 23, Wisconsin, W 27-13; Sept. 30, at Minnesota, W 28-14; Oct. 7, Michigan State, W 31-13; Oct. 14, at Penn State, W 17-10; Oct. 21, Iowa, W 20-6; Oct. 28, Northwestern, W 17-3; Nov. 4, Ball State, W 34-26; Nov. 11, at Indiana, W 34-3; Nov. 18, at Ohio State.

* Michigan Key Players (2006 Stats): QB Chad Henne (156 of 252 passing, 1,932 yards, 18 TDs, 7 INTs), RB Mike Hart (278 catches, 1,373 yards, 11 TDs), WR Adrian Arrington (31 catches, 420 yards, 6 TDs), WR Mario Manningham (26 catches, 538 yards, 9 TDs), WR Steve Breaston (48 catches, 537 yards, 1 TD), MLB David Harris (85 tackles, 14 TFLs), OLB Prescott Burgess (43 tackles, 6-1/2 TFLs), SS Jamar Adams (41 tackles, 1 INT), CB Leon Hall (35 tackles, 3 INTs), DE LaMarr Woodley (29 tackles, 15-1/2 TFLs, 11 sacks).

* Michigan Fast Facts: Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Enrollment, 36,031; Nickname, Wolverines; Colors, Maize and Blue; Stadium, Michigan Stadium (surface, FieldTurf; capacity, 107,501).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

SE 80 Brian Robiskie, 6-3, 195, So.

8 Roy Hall, 6-3, 240, Sr.

LT 68 Tim Schafer, 6-5, 290, Sr.

75 Alex Boone, 6-8, 325, So.

LG 71 Steve Rehring, 6-8, 329, So.

68 Tim Schafer, 6-5, 290, Sr.

C 50 Doug Datish, 6-5, 295, Sr.

54 Tyler Whaley, 6-1, 270, So.

or 64 Jimmy Cordle, 6-4, 280, R-Fr.

RG 72 T.J. Downing, 6-4, 305, Sr.

63 Ben Person, 6-4, 315, So.

RT 74 Kirk Barton, 6-6, 310, Jr.

79 Jon Skinner, 6-5, 300, So.

TE 88 Rory Nicol, 6-5, 250, So.

86 Jake Ballard, 6-7, 255, Fr.

FL 7 Ted Ginn Jr., 6-0, 180, Jr.

5 Albert Dukes, 6-1, 190, So.

QB 10 Troy Smith, 6-1, 215, Sr.

12 Justin Zwick, 6-4, 225, Sr.

TB 25 Antonio Pittman, 5-11, 195, Jr.

28 Chris Wells, 6-1, 225, Fr.

FB 89 Stan White Jr., 6-2, 242, Sr.

49 Dionte Johnson, 6-0, 234, Jr.

SL 11 Anthony Gonzalez, 6-0, 195, Jr.

9 Brian Hartline, 6-3, 180, R-Fr.

K 20 Aaron Pettrey, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.

85 Ryan Pretorius, 5-9, 180, So.

Ohio State Defense

DE 99 Jay Richardson, 6-6, 276, Sr.

87 Lawrence Wilson, 6-6, 270, So.

DT 97 David Patterson, 6-3, 285, Sr.

98 Joel Penton, 6-5, 290, Sr.

DT 90 Quinn Pitcock, 6-3, 295, Sr.

92 Todd Denlinger, 6-3, 280, R-Fr.

DE 50 Vernon Gholston, 6-4, 260, So.

78 Alex Barrow, 6-5, 275, So.

WLB 1 Marcus Freeman, 6-2, 242, So.

55 Curtis Terry, 6-2, 234, Jr.

MLB 33 James Laurinaitis, 6-3, 244, So.

6 Larry Grant, 6-3, 225, Jr.

SLB 55 Curtis Terry, 6-2, 234, Jr.

52 John Kerr, 6-1, 233, Sr.

or 51 Ross Homan, 6-1, 237, Fr.

CB 2 Malcolm Jenkins, 6-1, 202, So.

13 Andre Amos, 6-1, 180, R-Fr.

FS 3 Jamario O'Neal, 6-1, 200, So.

8 Aaron Gant, 6-0, 205, Fr.

SS 32 Brandon Mitchell, 6-3, 205, Sr.

23 Nick Patterson, 6-2, 210, So.

CB 14 Antonio Smith, 5-9, 195, Sr.

20 Donald Washington, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.

NB 20 Donald Washington, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.

23 Nick Patterson, 6-2, 210, So.

P 15 A.J. Trapasso, 6-1, 220, So.

48 Jon Thoma, 6-1, 190, R-Fr.

LS 58 Drew Norman, 6-0, 230, Sr.

Michigan Offense

WR 15 Steve Breaston, 6-1, 180, Sr.

17 Carl Tabb, 6-2, 204, Sr.

LT 77 Jake Long, 6-7, 313, Sr.

71 Mark Ortmann, 6-6, 298, So.

LG 57 Adam Kraus, 6-6, 297, Sr.

70 Jeremy Ciulla, 6-4, 292, Jr.

C 54 Mark Bihl, 6-5, 299, Sr.

60 David Moosman, 6-4, 298, So.

RG 73 Alex Mitchell, 6-5, 317, Jr.

or 65 Justin Boren, 6-3, 314, Fr.

RT 72 Rueben Riley, 6-4, 305, Sr.

or 73 Alex Mitchell, 6-5, 317, Jr.

TE 85 Carson Butler, 6-4, 247, So.

or 35 Brian Thompson, 6-4, 240, Sr.

or 89 Tyler Ecker, 6-6, 246, Sr.

QB 7 Chad Henne, 6-2, 224, Jr.

19 Jason Forcier, 6-2, 218, So.

TB 20 Mike Hart, 5-9, 196, Jr.

3 Kevin Grady, 5-9, 216, So.

FB 40 Obi Oluigbo, 6-0, 229, Sr.

34 Will Paul, 6-3, 251, Sr.

WR 86 Mario Manningham, 6-0, 182, So.

16 Adrian Arrington, 6-3, 190, Jr.

K 38 Garrett Rivas, 5-9, 211, Sr.

Michigan Defense

DE 56 LaMarr Woodley, 6-2, 269, Sr.

50 Jeremy Van Alstyne, 6-4, 266, Sr.

NT 67 Terrance Taylor, 6-0, 305, So.

97 Will Johnson, 6-5, 291, Jr.

DT 80 Alan Branch, 6-6, 331, Jr.

97 Will Johnson, 6-5, 291, Jr.

DE 91 Rondell Biggs, 6-3, 278, Sr.

90 Tim Jamison, 6-3, 254, Jr.

WLB 6 Prescott Burgess, 6-3, 235, Sr.

or 37 Chris Graham, 5-11, 220, Jr.

ILB 45 Dave Harris, 6-2, 239, Sr.

49 John Thompson, 6-1, 234, Jr.

SLB 2 Shawn Crable, 6-5, 241, Sr.

6 Prescott Burgess, 6-3, 235, Sr.

CB 29 Leon Hall, 5-11, 193, Sr.

27 Brandon Harrison, 5-8, 206, So.

FS 31 Brandent Englemon, 5-11, 205, Sr.

or 21 Ryan Mundy, 6-1, 208, Sr.

SS 22 Jamar Adams, 6-2, 210, Jr.

19 Willis Barringer, 6-0, 210, Sr.

CB 14 Morgan Trent, 6-1, 184, Jr.

5 Charles Stewart, 6-1, 196, Jr.

P 3 Ross Ryan, 6-1, 203, Sr.

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: This is the match-up everybody has waiting for all season – the Ohio State offense and All-American QB Troy Smith against Michigan and All-American DE LaMarr Woodley.

Let's start with Michigan's rushing defense. The Wolverines are No. 1 nationally in that category, allowing just 29.9 yards per game. Only one team, Minnesota, went over the 100-yard mark in rushing against UM and the Gophers only netted 108. Ohio State, with Antonio Pittman and Chris Wells leading the way, averaged a respectable 179.5 yards per game on the ground. That figure ranks 20th nationally.

Getting talented LT Alex Boone back in to the fold should help the Buckeyes. The thought is Ohio State will try and establish the run, even if it means using Smith to do so with designed quarterback draws, sweeps and option plays. But it looks like it will be far from easy as LBs David Harris and Prescott Burgess appear to mean business.

Accordingly, the Buckeyes may have to go to the air to sustain drives. In two previous wins over Michigan, Smith has thrown for 541 yards, so he has some confidence he can complete some balls against the Wolverines, who rank 65th nationally in pass defense at 201.6 ypg. The key will be to keep Smith upright as Woodley, himself, has 11 sacks and the Wolverines rank second nationally in that category (3.6 sacks per game). Again, Boone could be a key pass protector, provided he is not rusty from missing the last two games.

UM CB Leon Hall may be called upon to check WR Ted Ginn Jr. The question will be who steps up to check Anthony Gonzalez, Brian Robiskie and the emerging Brian Hartline. Jim Tressel always has a wrinkle up his sleeve for Michigan. Last year, it was using converted OL Andree Tyree as a blocking TE. You know he has something in mind to keep this amazing Michigan defense on its toes.

* When Michigan Has The Ball: Ohio State's surprisingly great defense gets a match-up with Michigan's steady, if not spectacular, offense. The Wolverines are paced by junior QB Chad Henne and junior TB Michael Hart. Hart runs behind an OL that specializes in zone blocking schemes. UM is 12th nationally in rushing offense at 194.5 yards per game as the Wolverines are one of the rare teams that runs for more yards than it passes for.

Ohio State has gotten better against the run as the inexperienced defense has grown up. LB James Laurinaitis leads the way as he runs free and makes plays as DTs Quinn Pitcock and David Patterson absorb blockers. OSU ranks 11th nationally in rushing defense at 90.2 yards per game allowed. This match-up may be the key of the game because if Hart can run downhill and help UM maintain control, the Buckeyes could be looking at the reincarnation of Jamie Morris (1986) or Tim Biakabutuka (1995).

Henne will make his 36th career start against Ohio State, but he is 0-2 against the Buckeyes. You know he wants to rectify that and he has the receivers to do it with Steve Breaston, flashy Adrian Arrington and the surgically repaired Mario Manningham. UM averages 33 points per game with Manningham in the lineup against the 22 points per game the Wolverines averaged in the three games without him.

The key will be for Pitcock and DEs Jay Richardson and Vernon Gholston to get in Henne's face without an abundance of blitz pressure. If OSU can't get to Henne, he could pick them apart with throws to the trio of receivers, UM's solid batch of tight ends or even to Hart on designed screens, where he is deadly.

* How It Will Go: It would be nearly impossible for this game to live up to the billing, but I think it will. I see a tight game before OSU's amazing offense grinds out a game-clinching score in the fourth quarter.

Honestly, it could become a great shootout between Smith and Henne. Turnovers could also factor. The Buckeyes feasted on five Northwestern turnovers last week in that laugher. If a team commits two more turnovers than its opponent – especially if one is in its own end – it could be a real long day for that side.

And I haven't even mentioned special teams. Garrett Rivas has experience with pressure kicks, while OSU's Aaron Pettrey has distance but has not faced a tight have-to-have-it situation. At the same time, if one of this game's talented return men – OSU's Ginn or Michigan's Breaston – gets loose, that could really help shape this game.

But, as I say, I think the two great defenses will dominate. It figures to be a field position game. And, as I hinted above, I think Ohio State's deep and talented team pulls through on a raucous day on its home field.

Smith will move to 3-0 as a starter against Michigan with one more command performance, locking up the Heisman Trophy in the process. The Buckeyes will lock up their first outright Big Ten title since 1984 and will advance to the BCS title game. I've got it: Ohio State 27-17

* For The Record: I am 11-0 straight-up and 7-4 against-the-spread with Ohio State. (As of Tuesday, OSU was listed as a 6-1/2 point favorite.)

* Other Picks: On this week's Bucknuts Radio Hour, all of the panelists picked Ohio State. Mr. Bucknuts picked OSU 24-13. Jerry Rudzinski said OSU 20-17. Dave Biddle said OSU 21-10. Kirk Larrabee said OSU 24-20.

Tom Beaver of GoBlueWolverine.com picked Michigan 24-23 on the Bucknuts Radio Hour.

-- Steve Helwagen


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