The biggest upset in the history of this great rivalry came in 1969 when underdog Michigan pulled off the upset over the Buckeyes and ended their 22-game winning streak, which was the longest in school history until just last week. This year’s team beat the Indiana Hoosiers last week to extend their winning streak to the longest in school history at 23 games. It’s very ironic that Michigan could get the opportunity again to end a school-record winning streak for the Buckeyes.
It is not very likely that Michigan will be able to pull the upset on Saturday, despite the game being on their home turf at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State has one of the most explosive offenses in the country, and their defense has shown improvement recently. Michigan, on the other hand, has struggled on offense all season, and their defense just isn’t very good. They are definitely not good enough to stop the Ohio State offense.
Ohio State has a Heisman-caliber quarterback in Braxton Miller and a 1,000-yard rusher in running back Carlos Hyde leading their offense. Miller is a mobile quarterback with the threat to run or pass the ball. Both are good at finding holes in a defense and can break through for a big run at any time. Better defenses than Michigan’s have had trouble slowing down this dangerous duo. Ohio State’s injury-plagued defense has looked better lately and should look even better against Michigan as they have two starters returning from injury this week.
Michigan has quarterback Devin Gardner leading their struggling offense. Gardner has had his troubles this season, especially with turnovers, but he has essentially been their running game since running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and the rest of their running game have had trouble getting anything going. The Wolverines recorded negative rushing yards two games in a row, against the Michigan State Spartans and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Michigan’s offensive line cannot get into any kind of rhythm because coach Brady Hoke keeps switching it up to see what works best. Hoke has used five different offensive line alignments this season, none of which seem to work very well. Michigan’s defense allowed 407 total yards in their loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes last week so just imagine how many total yards they will give up to Ohio State if they allowed Iowa over 400 yards.
It will likely take a miracle for Michigan to pull the upset on the Buckeyes. The Wolverines have too many problems they need to overcome both offensively and defensively before they can beat one of the top teams in the country, and that doesn’t happen overnight.
Gardner promised a win over Ohio State at the beginning of the season, but it looks like he will be breaking his promise to frustrated Michigan fans everywhere.