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Five questions for Ohio State – Michigan

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Do Ohio State players realize how impressive their streak of dominance against the “team up north” is?

OSU has won eight of nine games against Michigan since coach Jim Tressel took over, including six in a row. Center Mike Brewster said part of the reason for the team’s success against the Maize and Blue is that the players never stop thinking about the game.

“The Michigan thing, it’s always on our mind, even since camp, when we have our Maize and Blue period,” Brewster said. “That’s always very important to us.”

Also at stake this year is a record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten championship, which would be No. 35 in OSU football history.

Will OSU approach Wisconsin-like rushing numbers against an overmatched Wolverine defense?

Last week against Wisconsin, Michigan gave up 357 yards rushing even though the Badgers played without running back John Clay, reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. At one point, the Badgers ran the ball 28 consecutively against the Wolverines.

Expect more of the same on Saturday against the nation’s No. 92 rush defense. Running back Dan “Boom” Herron could extend his streak of 10 straight games with a touchdown and cross the 1,000-yard threshold this season.

How long can Denard Robinson keep Michigan in the game?

One thing the Wolverines have going for them is quarterback Denard Robinson, their one-man offensive wrecking crew. Last week, Robinson became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 1,500 yards and rush for 1,500 yards in the same season. He leads the Big Ten in rushing and has accounted for 30 total touchdowns this year.

Tressel knows his defense faces a tall task in containing the 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore from Deerfield Beach, Fla.

“He’s got great quickness. He’s tough and he’s got a live arm,” Tressel said. “He’s hard to get on the ground. He’s just a great player.”

Is this Rich Rodriguez’s last trip to Columbus as Michigan’s coach?

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is running out of reasons to keep Rodriguez, who has a career record of 15-20 and a dreadful 6-17 conference record. He’s winless against OSU and Michigan State, the program’s top two rivals.

However, this season has brought small improvement. At 7-4, the Wolverines are bowl-eligible for the first time under Rodriguez. On the other hand, a blowout loss to OSU, coupled with a poor bowl game showing, might be enough for Michigan to move in another direction.

What would an OSU win mean for the team’s BCS bowl hopes?

Unless Wisconsin falls to Northwestern on Saturday, OSU likely won’t play in the Rose Bowl. Not only did the Badgers beat the Buckeyes, but they also rank ahead of OSU in the BCS standings. Even if OSU was to beat the Wolverines by 80, it probably wouldn’t be enough to jump Wisconsin.

However, a win for OSU on Saturday virtually assures the team of another BCS bowl appearance, possibly the Sugar Bowl, making it OSU’s eighth BCS appearance in 10 years under Tressel.

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