It’s all about The Game on this week’s episode of Real Pod Wednesdays.
Typically, we start each week’s episode of RPW by breaking down the previous week’s game before previewing the next opponent. This week, however, we jump right into previewing Ohio State’s season-defining rivalry game with Michigan, weaving in a few takeaways from the Buckeyes’ 37-3 win over Minnesota but otherwise focusing fully on the impending clash of titans in Ann Arbor.
With the College Football Playoff set to expand to 12 teams next year, it’s not hyperbole to say that there might never be another regular-season game in college football as big as the one the Buckeyes and Wolverines will play this Saturday. Next year, Ohio State and Michigan would already be locks to make the CFP with their respective 11-0 records, but everything is on the line for both teams this week as they play for the Big Ten East title.
Of course, this game would be highly anticipated even without those stakes as the Buckeyes look to earn their first win over their rivals in four years. And the hatred between the two sides has only grown hotter amid the revelations of Michigan’s impermissible sign-stealing scandal that may have helped the Wolverines beat Ohio State in the last two meetings.
But even without Jim Harbaugh and Connor Stalions, Michigan presents the toughest test of the regular season for Ohio State. What do the Buckeyes need to do to beat the Wolverines, and do we think the Buckeyes will make it happen? We break all of that down in our hourlong lookahead to Saturday’s No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup.
The full rundown for this week’s show:
- 0:11: There might never be another regular-season college football game as big as this one
- 2:37: Ohio State or Michigan making the CFP with a loss looks much less likely than last year
- 4:18: Biggest positives from Minnesota: Ohio State’s run game, Jack Sawyer and no major injuries
- 9:16: Ohio State’s pass defense should have edge vs. Michigan, but stopping the run will be crucial
- 19:15: Sawyer and JT Tuimoloau could exploit Michigan’s offensive tackles as pass rushers
- 23:16: Ohio State’s defensive tackles face their biggest challenge of the year vs. Michigan guards
- 24:36: Ohio State’s run defense has shown improvement and ability to adjust over the season
- 29:04: How many points does Ohio State need to score to beat Michigan?
- 35:44: Kyle McCord, offensive line must rise to the occasion
- 41:25: TreVeyon Henderson, OSU’s other game-breaking playmakers can make the difference
- 47:31: Ohio State needs to avoid unforced errors on special teams, penalties and turnovers
- 51:46: A reason for confidence: Ohio State has shown it will find a way to win close games
- 54:31: Why we’re both picking Ohio State to win a close, low-scoring game
- 1:00:29: Fair or not, this game will be a referendum on Ryan Day as Ohio State’s coach
- 1:02:45: Whether you’re for or against CFP expansion, appreciate this game while you can
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