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Buckeye brainteasers: Ohio State vs. Michigan

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What Michigan players could pose a threat to OSU’s defense?

The key to Michigan’s offense is junior quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson is a dual-threat to run and pass the ball and has gotten better each year in the Michigan program.

Robinson has passed for 1791 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year, but has also rushed for 947 yards and 14 touchdowns. Despite his success, he has shown a tendency to turn the ball over this year and has amassed 14 interceptions on the season.

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell said he’s wary of the Michigan quarterback.

“He poses a lot of problems,” Fickell said. “Any defensive anytime the quarterback’s got the ability to keep plays alive, running the football, it makes you struggle a little bit on defense with some things you can do and the chances you can take.”

Can freshman quarterback Braxton Miller handle the “Big House?”

Playing in front of 110,000 is always a daunting task, but has to be especially intimidating to a true freshman quarterback.

OSU quarterback Braxton Miller has backed down from pressure all season, but Michigan Stadium will be a different test.

The last Buckeye freshman quarterback to play in the OSU-Michigan didn’t seem to have any problem — former OSU signal-called Terrelle Pryor led OSU to a 42-7 victory as a freshman in 2008.

Fickell said he doesn’t think Miller will have any problems.

“I think that Braxton will continue to do what he’s done,” Miller said. “He’s a competitor. And sometimes the best thing you can be as a young guy and not realize exactly the magnitude of some different things.”

 

Will the Buckeyes be at full strength Saturday?

Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat missed last week’s game against Penn State with a concussion. Sweat has been ruled out for Saturday’s game due to an elbow injury he sustained during a Wednesday practice. 

The only other Buckeye who’s status is uncertain is sophomore defensive back Christian Bryant. Fickell also called Bryant “questionable.”

 

Can Ohio State continue their dominance and beat Michigan?

OSU has won its last seven meetings against Michigan with the last lost coming in 2003. On average the Buckeyes have won by an average of over two touchdowns as 15.7 points per game.

But this year OSU comes into Ann Arbor as the unranked underdog coming off back-to-back losses. Michigan is ranked No. 15 and is coming off consecutive victories against Illinois and Nebraska.

Fickell disregarded the notion of being an underdog and said that in a rivalry like this, records don’t matter.

“In a rivalry like this, a lot of those things go out of the window and records go out of the window, and a lot of things are going to be scrapped,” Fickell said. “There’s going to be unbelievable passion on both sides of the football because of what this means.”

Fickell will be sure his players know the importance of the game, but the OSU defense has struggled all season against teams that can run the ball on the edge, something Michigan specializes in.

Expect Robinson and the Wolverines to end OSU’s winning streak.

 

Final score prediction: OSU 20, Michigan 31

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