Football The Rivalry

The-Ozone Staff Picks — Ohio State at Michigan

Ohio State Football Buckeyes Michigan Tunnel

It doesn’t matter who won the staff picks last week.

All that matters is this week.

Right here. Right now.

Every staff pick until today was just practice. Preparation.

For this moment.

For this pick.

Ohio State is at Michigan on Saturday and it is the most important thing in the world.

This is the staff pick you’ll tell your children about.

This is the staff pick that where legends are born.

This is the staff pick that will define a generation.

No pressure.


Caroline Rice

It looked like Ohio State could have beaten Penn State last week by a lot more than they did had they not turned the ball over and given Penn State opportunities to stay in the game. But the Buckeyes understand that they can’t get away with turning the ball over like that again this week.

Michigan has been improving throughout the season and I think the Wolverines are embarrassed about what happened last year and will be looking to ruin the Buckeyes’ season. They know how dominant Ohio State has been all season, but I think playing in the Big House will give them an edge and will be a new challenge for the Buckeyes as they have not played their biggest games this season on the road. I expect this to be a typical Ohio State and Michigan game.

I do not think Don Brown’s defense will be enough to limit Justin Fields’ passing abilities and J.K. Dobbins’ work on the ground. But they have to be more careful than last week. Michigan QB Shea Patterson has been improving throughout the season and can run the ball, but the entire Buckeye defense is playing really well and has been able to successfully force quarterbacks into bad throws.

I think this game will be a fight, but with Ohio State’s talent and the way they have been able to make really good teams look like bad ones, I have to say the Buckeyes will be too much for Michigan on Saturday.

Ohio State 41, Michigan 24


Michael Citro

If you want to hear someone talk themselves into something in real time, just listen to this week’s Silver Bullets Podcast, in which all of my Stockholm Syndrome from the 1990s returns all in a rush. The one thing I understand about this rivalry is that sometimes things happen that defy logic. It’s completely possible that Ohio State will win this game by four or more touchdowns, but I don’t expect that.

Michigan, to me, is a better team at this point in the season than Penn State and has a more complete defense than the Nittany Lions. Ohio State seemed afraid to test Penn State’s secondary and Michigan’s is better. Shea Patterson has embraced the jump ball and his quality receivers. On the other side, the Buckeyes struggled to protect Justin Fields against Penn State. They broke out no long runs. They turned the ball over and took penalties. Now Ohio State goes into The Game on the road with a quarterback who has never played in this rivalry (historically not a good indicator of success), who may not be 100%, and who doesn’t have a viable backup. It enters the game with a coach who has led his team into two big games this year and got ultra conservative in the second one. The Buckeyes have also laid some serious eggs after the Penn State game in recent years, albeit after much closer and more emotional victories.

All of these things have me greatly concerned and Saturday will be even more physical than the Penn State game. I hope Day and his staff have sufficiently worked out the kinks in pass protection this week. I hope they have stressed the importance of ball security and discipline and that the message has been appropriately received by the players. I hope Ohio State plays with more aggression. But most of all, I hope my lingering PTSD from the John Cooper years proves my prediction to be not only wrong, but also completely silly.

Michigan 26, Ohio State 24


Chip Minnich

Any time Ohio State plays “That Team Up North”, I am concerned. Something about the 1990s has me irredeemably scarred.

I have found solace in listening to Gerd and Tom’s podcasts, and the fact that the Wolverines are going to be trotting out a quarterback who has a tendency to make bad plays and choices periodically in just about any game, let alone THE GAME. I like Ohio State’s defensive line and linebackers clamping down on the Wolverines’ running game, and I also like Ohio State’s secondary being able to handle the talented wide receivers that the Wolverines will trot out. It will go all four quarters.

Ohio State 31, Michigan 21


Michael Meihls

Simply put, Ohio State is the best overall team in the nation. No one matches up this season with the Buckeyes evenly. And OSU is playing great football this late in November as well. Michigan, on the other hand, is coming into The Game overmatched. But they are an overmatched team that is playing its best football of 2019.

If Patterson is able to stay upright and connect with any of his talented receiving options, Michigan will move the ball. Bell, Collins, and DPJ are all good weapons. But if Michigan can’t keep Chase Young away from Patterson, they won’t be impact players. I fully expect the Silver Bullets to eat this week. OSU’s defense, even with the best player in college football, has been mostly overlooked this year, and this week they make a statement.

Michigan’s defense is, statistically speaking, the best team Ohio State will have faced all season. They are 13th against the run, and have allowed the 4th fewest passing yards. However, not one team they’ve faced has the weapons OSU does.

This episode of The Game will be a slobber knocker, and it will be much closer than last year’s matchup. If Ohio State plays terribly, and UM plays absolutely out of their mind, there’s a chance Michigan wins this game. But that’s as likely to happen as it is that pick Ohio State to lose this Game. In the end, talent and coaching will always win out, and Ohio State has a clear advantage in both.

Ohio State 35, Michigan 24


Brandon Zimmerman

The Game is finally here and surprisingly Michigan looks like a half-way competent team heading into Saturday. This is something none of us could have imagined about a month ago. I mean, they still have no consistent running game and their entire offense is predicated on their wide receivers coming down with a 50/50 ball, but I’m sure they will be fine on Saturday.

Offensively, we saw some chinks in the armor of Ohio State against Penn State. Those chinks were self-inflicted by key players and the coaching staff BUT they were exposed. With weather looking iffy and Justin Fields a little banged up, I think we will see a lot of JK Dobbins and Master Teague running the ball. It has been well-documented the team that runs the ball best usually wins the game. I think we will see OSU run the ball pretty darn well on Saturday. I think KJ Hill has a big day supplementing the run game.

On the defensive side of the ball, this game has Chase Young’s name written all over it. Michigan has found success throwing the ball but it takes a little time to develop. Even if Chase Young doesn’t get 3 or 4 sacks, him being triple-teamed will open up guys like Jashon Cornell and Zach Harrison time to get to Shea Patterson. Defensive player of the game will be Jordan Fuller with at least one pick.

Ohio State 45, Michigan 17


Tom Orr

Michigan is almost certainly the best team the Buckeyes have faced yet this season. But that doesn’t mean the Wolverines match up particularly well with OSU.

It sure doesn’t seem like Michigan is going to be able to run the ball consistently on Saturday. If they can’t, that’s going to put a lot of pressure on their passing game. The Wolverines have a very talented wide receiver group, and will almost certainly hit a few big plays through the air. But that passing game is going to be somewhat limited by the combination of OSU’s talented secondary and the ever-present pass rush threat of Chase Young.

On the other side of the ball, Michigan’s interior defensive line is fairly talented, but not particularly deep. It’s an area that the Buckeyes should be able to pound on throughout the game, and ultimately break at some point.

This shouldn’t come as a shock, but look for a big day from J.K. Dobbins and Justin Fields on the ground, and from Young on defense.

Ohio State 31, Michigan 20


Tony Gerdeman

Three times this season has an offense driven the length of the field on Ohio State’s first-team defense and scored a touchdown. That has to count for something.

Drue Chrisman will have to have his best game in order to make life difficult on the Wolverine offense.

The Buckeyes will need to protect Justin Fields for a number of reasons, but not least of which because he is banged up and Michigan smells blood.

Michigan must stop the Ohio State run game or else this will never be a game. The weather conditions may make throwing the ball difficult. Ohio State’s defense will also make throwing the ball difficult.

The weather favors the Buckeyes, as does the talent on hand. JK Dobbins goes for 170.

Ohio State 31, Michigan 17

20 Responses

  1. No tip sheet? Hey, what about rooting for UM this week? Well, all you need to know is to root for:

    Minnesota over Wisconsin
    Penn St. over Rutgers (so our win over PSU looks more impressive)
    Georgia Tech over Gawja
    Ohio State Buckeyes over Tony’s team up Rt. 23 in AA

    All of the pressure is on Harbaugh and now Patterson, heh-heh.

  2. 45 points? 42 points? With all due respect, to quote Sean Dillon, “Break out the crack pipes!”

    As far as worrying about 1969 that is superstitious nonsense and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Get a grip. Michigan has never equaled that feat since. Besides that was not Woody’s best team because they lost and the team that beat them lost the Rose Bowl (as always).

    1. Over the last 7 years the Buckeyes are averaging just over 39 ppg against the wolvervarmints. This happens to be the Buckeyes highest scoring offense of the last 8 years.

  3. THE ONLY GAME THAT MATTERS. As far as I’m concerned if OSU wins tomorrow they are the undefeated Big Ten champions, end of story. Hopefully Minnesota can get a win so we can play them in Indianapolis. Michigan will be tougher than Penn State but we win this and the season will be a success and assuredly there will be a chance to challenge on the national level. The weather will be nasty and the game won’t be pretty when the winds of November come slashing.
    OHIO STATE 31 MICHIGAN 23

  4. I think Mich is actually going to expose OSUs linebackers and run the ball well. I think they wikk double Chase and nobody else can get to the QB. Im still not sold on Fields. I agree with Michael Citro. Michigan wins this one. I sure hope we are both wrong.

    1. I think that you are a troll that delights in Ohio State losing. The last time you predicted that Ohio State would lose to Wisconsin and you were wrong. That Wisconsin would double team Chase Young and expose Ohio State’s linebackers. You were wrong then and you are wrong now.

    2. You and Citro are going to look foolish tomorrow. Did they put saltpeter in your mashed potatoes or something?

    3. I guess you were wrong again. Well maybe you can trot out this same nonsense post of yours again next week and make a fool of yourself again.

  5. Tsk, tsk. Whenever I hear someone talk about the awesome Buckeyes teams of the 90’s I can’t help but shake my head. Michigan didn’t own OSU because Cooper crapped himself. Michigan owned OSU because they HAD MORE DEPTH! And Cooper crapped himself. OSU is better than Michigan and so is Penn State. More importantly, OSU is DEEPER than UM. If the first half turnover margin is egual, OSU will be ahead by two TD’s minimum. Way too much for UM this year. When the season started I told anyone who would listen (maybe right here on this site) that UM was way overrated due to not having a single running back worth a damn. That has played out just as I thought. UM can’t run the ball. UM can’t win. No worries…

  6. What the Buckeyes don’t need is another 1969. I would believe the 1969 team went into that game overconfident, since I believe the Buckeyes were ranked bi both the AP and UPI rankings as #1 ALL YEAR LONG. Hence, although Woody would have been on their case all year long about TTUN, the adulation of the Buckeyes but all media, etc., made them feel to some extent they most likely just had to play well and that would be enough. In that team’s mind, I would think, they may have felt, we are #1, and TTUN has no chance = Disaster. Hopefully, with this year’s 2019 team, they know they are #1 yes, but they still have to prove to themselves that they need to reach their higher potential to be all that they can be as a team on offense, defense, and special teams. It will be hard fought. Hopefully at the end of the game the Buckeyes will have scored more points than TTUN, and move on to beat either WI or MN in the Big Ten Title Game the following week. Go Bucks!

  7. this will be pretty tough and close throughout but i believe the good guys win … just HANG ON TO THE BALL!!… OSU 34 scUM 23…. GO BUCKS!

  8. It’s been 50 years since TTUN beat the best team Woody Hayes ever had in possibly the biggest upset in history of an Ohio State team.
    This game is in AA. The Buckeyes are weak in pass pro AND have a dinged QB with no J.T. Barrett, Shotgun Jones, or Dwayne Haskins to come in to save the day. IF Fields goes down, it’s likely over for the Buckeyes.
    TTUN WILL sell out to stop the run. Since they really can’t run well themselves they’ll have to because as others have pointed out, if the Buckeyes can run, this is a route.
    Twice this year the Buckeyes have had close games at halftime (at least by this year’s Buckeye standards). 10 – 0 vs Wisky and 14 – 0 vs Penn St. I’m predicting a third this week.
    Three times this year the Buckeyes have faced fun defenses among the nation’s best: Michigan State, Wisky, and Penn State. The Bucks shredded all three to the tune of more than 200 yards rushing in those games. TTUN has a good defensive line interior, but as noted above not a lot of depth.
    Lastly, the Buckeyes have Chase Young. He will affect this game more than any other player in The Game. I expect him to be held, punched and otherwise mauled on nearly every play. I also expect him to have at least three sacks and given Patterson’s sometimes suspect ball security at least one of those will be a strip-sack.
    Buckeyes will be maddenly conservative again but will take better care of the ball.
    Buckeyes 42
    TTUN 14

  9. If Shaun is out that’s not good news. My original pick would have been 42-14 Buckeyes. With Shaun out?

    Ohio State 42
    Varmintville 17

    1. That’s funny, James! You posted as I was being verbose in coming to the same conclusion.

  10. Even without Wade, OSU doubles ttun on playmakers. Imo our OL is better this year as was their DL last year, not 1 QB hurry last year. This game could be over by the half if OSU starts fast. I just don’t think ttun could have bridged the large talent disparity that we saw last year. KJ Hill has a big game, all about the seniors imo. Not this year.

  11. Our traditional looking backwards to pre-dict, squirming with our feelings, and “dominating” by ‘not mentioning’ situational decision-making by our coaches…

    while we fans and gurus provide monumental distractions for our players once again.

    Kids hit the beaches of Normandy… kids will decide this epic battle as well.

    GO BUCKS!

    P.S. Shaun Was either out or playing at some less than 100% ,,, disquieting.

  12. Chase Young seals a trip to NYC, Chris Olave shines and the good guys win by 21 points.

  13. I see many parallels with The Game in 1969 when bo in his first year used the 1968 Buckeye 50 -14 win as incentive. He had 50 on practice jerseys and posted all over. In 1969 OSU undefeated, #1, ttun #12, 2 losses. Game away. Last year OSU put up enough points to embarrass ttun.
    In 1969 lived in Kalamazoo and watched the game with a touch of the flu. At the end my wife had to take me to emergency with a temp of 101, as horns were honking and people shouting. I also survived the Cooper years, but as with Michael Citro above, I am nervous about this one.

  14. Prediction: Ohio State 35 Michigan 10

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