The Ohio State football team is approaching the end of the regular season, and the next two weeks will determine where the Buckeyes will play in the playoffs.
Saturday’s game versus Purdue was dominated by the Buckeyes. Yes, the defense still doesn’t seem to have it all together, but with the Boilermakers’ pass-happy offense, it’s difficult to get a fair picture.
In what is basically a playoff elimination match, Ohio State now meets Michigan State. Will the Buckeyes defense be able to stop Kenneth Walker, who many consider being the Heisman favorite? Hold on to your hats, supporters! The next two weeks are shaping up to be a rollercoaster.
Ohio State’s Victory Strategy
For the previous few weeks, Ohio State has been playing at a high level. However, since Week 2 against Oregon, Michigan will be the greatest opponent the Buckeyes have faced. The Spartans are a far more balanced squad than East Lansing has seen in recent years.
This Spartan squad has embraced head coach Mel Tucker’s physical toughness. This MSU squad does not give up, as seen by their fourth-quarter comeback victory over Michigan. And it mostly did it on the ground, behind Wake Forest transfer Kenneth Walker III’s legs.
If Ohio State hopes to leave Saturday still in playoff contention, the defense must keep Walker in check. As mentioned earlier, Kenneth is a Heisman candidate with nearly 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns for the season.
Even if the Ohio team can bottle Walker up, they’ll have to account for an aggressive passing attack led by Payton Thorne. The Spartan quarterback has passed for close to 2,500 yards and 21 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. You’ll also hear a lot about Thorne’s childhood friend, Jaydon Reed, who is one of the top receivers in the Big Ten. The bottom line is that the Spartans have multiple weapons at their disposal.
The Spartans are only second in the Big Ten with 31 sacks, trailing only Ohio’s 33. However, Sparty ranks dead last in yards allowed per game, giving up 444 yards on average each week.
While we do not even know where the Spartans may finish in the CFP, we believe they’ll be in the top seven. That will make them the Buckeyes’ highest-ranked opponent this season. They do, however, provide some particular obstacles.
The Spartans are coming off a victory against Maryland. They won 40-21. Kenneth Walker had another excellent performance and if Ohio State hopes to leave the Shoe with a win, they’ll have to stop him. However, having the game at home is a significant advantage for them.
As for the Spartans, this will be their first time entering a setting like Ohio Stadium and facing the depth that the Buckeyes possess. The Spartans will score first, but they will be unable to stay up with Ohio State’s high-powered attack. In the second half, Ohio State pulls away to set up a rematch with archrival Michigan State.
- Ohio State defeats Michigan State by a score of 42 to 24.
- Ohio State is an 18.5-point favorite.
Already this season, the Spartans have come behind as underdogs against the Wolverines. They may do the same against the Buckeyes so don’t ignore the Spartans Moneyline at +750.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Georgia Bulldogs Orange Bowl Preview
The Georgia Bulldogs made their first participation in the College Football Playoff in 2017, defeating Oklahoma in double overtime 54-48. They also went beyond regulation in the title game, but fell short in overtime, losing 26-23 to Alabama. The third-ranked Bulldogs (12-1) want to escape overtime in their second CFP appearance, when they face the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (12-1) at the much-awaited 2021 Orange Bowl semifinals.
Michigan has won five consecutive games, including back-to-back wins against Ohio State and Iowa. Meanwhile, Georgia Bulldogs seemed to be the ones on the verge of becoming undefeated till the SEC Championship match.
Storylines from Michigan vs. Georgia
Michigan has been in excellent form recently in the NCAA season. They have won five games in a row in their past five games (WWWWW). Georgia, like its opponents, has been in excellent form recently, with four victories in a row and only one defeat in their past five games (WWWWL).
After 13 games in the 2021 season, the Wolverines were ranked first in the Big Ten table with a win percentage of 0.923. In the meanwhile, the Bulldogs ended first in the Southeast with a win percentage of 0.923 after 13 games.
These two teams are so similar that it’s difficult to envisage a situation in which one of them may break away from the other. Both strategies rely on rushing the ball behind a strong offensive line that may wear down and break down an opponent’s defense late in the game. Due to a pair of quarterbacks who aren’t great but are more classic “game-manager” sorts, both teams’ passing offenses are underappreciated. Then there are the counter-measures. Georgia has an outstanding front seven that has been impregnable to virtually everyone it has faced this season. Aidan Hutchinson, a Heisman nominee, and David Ojabo lead Michigan’s pass rush.
Alabama exposed Georgia’s secondary in the SEC Championship Game, even though it is still fairly excellent! Michigan’s secondary is improved, and Daxton Hill is an X-factor who can assist against the run while also covering receivers and the tight ends like Georgia’s Brock Bowers. That isn’t enough to lead Michigan to win, but it is just enough to prevent Georgia from pulling away. So, when we gaze at the Wolverines’ hook at the seven on the spread, we can’t help but choose them. We’d pick Georgia if the spread falls below seven points before kick-off. That looks to be the razor-thin margin. Michigan is the predicted winner. +7.5
We’re going to do something that looks paradoxical. Yes, both teams have excellent defenses, but they have been obscured by two excellent attacks. Georgia’s offense has the best success percentage in the country and is sixth in points per drive. Michigan is sixth in the country in terms of success percentage and ninth in terms of points per drive. While we don’t expect this game to become an 80-point shoot-out, a final score of 27-20 is certainly within the realm of possibility. Let’s take a step back and consider the broad agreement. Over 45.5 is our pick.
Michigan Win Big Ten to Make Playoffs
Number 2 placed Michigan on Saturday earned its first Big 10 title since the year 2004 and the 43rd in program history. This followed their win against Iowa, thus securing a position in the College Football Playoff field. In the Big Ten Championship Game, the Wolverines thrashed No. 13 Iowa 42-3, leaving no debate about who the top team in the conference is this season.
After the game Aidan Hutchinson was voted by the media to win the Grange-Griffin MVP award, adding to his collection of honors. The Wolverines defense smothered everything Iowa tried to accomplish, including shutting down the run game.
Following the celebrations, several of the players and Jim Harbaugh gathered with the media to discuss their historic victory.
The Michigan Vs Iowa game
Cade McNamara threw for 169 yards and a touchdown during the Iowa game. Blake Corum led the team in rushing with 74 yards, with the bulk coming on his 67-yard scoring run, but Hassan Haskins had 17 carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Haskins’ two scores gave him 20 on the season, a new single-season record for the Wolverines.
Defensively, the Wolverines held the Hawkeyes to only 279 yards of offense and 3.9 yards per play. Star rushers Hutchinson and Ojabo combined for six tackles as well as a sack to keep the Hawkeyes out of the end zone. Aidan became the first-ever defensive player to get the Big 10 Championship Game MVP.
Many media commentators predicted that the Wolverines had little chance of winning the Big Ten or even reaching 10 victories, let alone finishing with a 6-6 or slightly better record. That was good bulletin board material for Michigan, as it was for most teams. And Aidan Hutchinson said it did remain in the back of the team’s mind — to overcome the odds.
Michigan-Georgia to Put Defence in the Spotlight in the Orange Bowl
On selection Sunday, the skies in Georgia’s capital city were unusually dark. Perhaps echoing the attitude of Dawgs supporters who awoke with a similar hangover after losing to them in the SEC championship game in Atlanta on Saturday. While Georgia finds itself in a familiar situation for better or worse after a disheartening defeat (it is still in the dance, after all), Michigan is in rarefied air.
Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines have consistently passed the tests as the stakes have risen, and now the big one has arrived. Michigan, welcome to the College Football Playoff.
Despite their thrashing at the hands of Alabama in the SEC title game and how well Michigan has played recently, the Dawgs are a touchdown favorite. There will be a lot of talk about this game. So let us be one of the first to offer you a sneak peek.
Important Fact to keep an eye on
This season, the Wolverines’ defense has flourished so far. On the defensive side of the ball, new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has done a good job. He’s completed Don Brown’s partial job of retooling the Wolverines to be more multiple and less of a blunt instrument.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Game Preview
Last weekend, the Big Ten saw a major shake-up as the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines defeated the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time since 2011. The Buckeyes controlled the game for a long time, but couldn’t secure the win to top the Big Ten East.
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines will meet at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend. Jim Harbaugh has finally taken his team to the promised land, and the College Football Playoff is now only one win away. It would be their first conference title since 1997, and it would turn Harbaugh’s Michigan coaching career around in a single game.
The Wolverines will face a suffocating Hawkeye defense, which is sixth in yards per play and eighth in turnover margin (1.08 per game). It’ll be intriguing to watch how they do against Michigan’s tenth-ranked scoring offense, which averages 451.2 yards per game.
Betting Trends for Michigan vs. Iowa
- In their previous eight games, the Wolverines have gone 7-1 against the spread (ATS).
- For 12 games, the Wolverines have gone 11-1 straight up (SU).
- In their previous nine games against the Hawkeyes, the Wolverines are 6-3 ATS.
- In their previous five games versus the West Division, the Wolverines are 4-1 ATS.
- For their previous 18 games, the Hawkeyes are 12-6 against the spread.
- In the past five meetings between these two clubs, the UNDER is 4-1.
- In their previous five games versus the East Division, the Hawkeyes are 5-0 ATS.
Prediction and Pick for Michigan vs. Iowa
Michigan was consistently underestimated by the bookmakers throughout the season but finished up leading the country with a 10-2 ATS record.
The offense is one of the most effective in the league, scoring all of those points and gaining all of those yards while mostly rushing the ball. Hassan Haskins is the centerpiece of this rushing assault, but Blake Corum’s efforts cannot be overlooked. They’re the essence of a one-two punch, and teams have struggled to deal with them.
Even though the Hawkeyes made it to the show, they are the weaker team here. On offense, they struggle to move the ball and average fewer than 300 yards each game. In terms of yards per game, they are outside the Top-120, while their 25.7 points per game rank them 81st. Iowa’s defense is the name of the game, as they rank in the Top-10 in opponent points per game (17.3), yards per game (315.8), and points per play (17.3). (0.240).
So, while Michigan has a huge lead on offense, their defense is on par with, if not better than, Iowa’s. We believe Michigan and Harbaugh have waited much too long for this opportunity to squander it. We’re betting they’ll run all over the Hawkeyes, cover, and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.
- Michigan Wolverines are a -11.0 favorite (-110)
Spread and Over/Under for Michigan vs. Iowa
- Michigan has a -11.0 point spread (-110), +11.0 for Iowa (-110)
- Michigan is a -440 favourite, while Iowa is a +350 favourite.
- Total: 44.0 (Under -110) (Over -110)