Big Ten Rivals Collide in Ann Arbor: Ohio St Buckeyes at Michigan Wolverines

Ohio St Buckeyes at #15 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Stadium – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Saturday, November 26, 2011, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
Opening Line: Michigan -7 1/2
Current Line: Michigan -7 1/2
Opening Total: 45
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: Michigan -290 / Ohio St +245
Current Money Line: Michigan -280 / Ohio St +240

The Michigan Wolverines are 7 1/2 point favorites at home against arch-rival Ohio St. Michigan has a chance to go to a BCS game with a win.

Ohio St has beaten arch-rival Michigan 7 straight times. The 9-2 Wolverines will try to snap that streak against the 6-5 Buckeyes. When the Big Ten added Nebraska and expanded into 12 teams and split into two divisions, it was thought that Ohio St and Michigan would play two times a year during the regular season and in the Big Ten Championship game. It hasn’t worked out that way at least not this year. Michigan still has a lot to play for though as they can potentially play in a BCS bowl game if they win here and climb to at least #14 in the BCS rankings. Ohio St is  coached by Luke Fickell and Michigan is coached by Brady Hoke, both in their first year with their programs. Michigan leads the overall series 57-43-6 against Ohio St. Ohio St won last year in Columbus 37-7 but that win was officially vacated due to Ohio St using ineligible players.

Ohio St hosted beleaguered Penn St last week. The Buckeyes were 6.5 favorites at home on the college football betting line. Penn St jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the end of the first, and Ohio St never got closer than 3 points. Penn St kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half to take a 20-14 lead. Neither team scored in the second half, and Penn St escaped with the upset. Ohio St had 2 turnovers in the loss, and Penn St had one. Ohio St had 289 total yards, including 206 rushing yards. Ohio St quarterback Braxton Miller threw for 83 yards and a touchdown, and had 18 carries for 105 yards and a rushing touchdown. Running back Dan Herron had 18 carries for 76 yards. Jake Stoneburner caught a touchdown pass for the Buckeyes. Penn St had 327 total yards including 239 rushing yards. The Nittany Lions won for the first time since 1965 without Joe Paterno as the head coach.

Ohio St is averaging 314.7 total yards and 24.3 points a game. The Buckeyes are averaging 200.7 rushing yards and 114 passing yards a game. The running game is #27 in the country but the Buckeyes are near the bottom of the country in all other categories.  Ohio St has 12 turnovers and has allowed 36 sacks.  The Buckeyes are 65/161 on third and fourth down conversions and 29/33 scoring in the red zone, with 21 touchdowns.  The Buckeyes are allowing 318.1 yards a game on defense and 19 points. They are allowing 130.2 rushing yards a game and 187.9 passing yards. They have forced 16 turnovers and 12 sacks. Buckeye opponents are 70/177 on third and fourth down  conversions, and 22/28 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns. The Buckeyes have one special teams touchdown this year on a punt return.

Miller is 53/109 passing for 762 yards, 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 128 carries for 595 yards and 6 touchdowns. Quarterback Joe Bauserman has also taken some snaps and is 40/86 passing with 492 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also has 19 carries for 19 yards and a touchdown. Herron has 107 carries, 556 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 3 catches. Herron missed the first 5 games due to a suspension for accepting improper benefits. He is probable with an ankle injury against Michigan. Running back Carlos Hyde has 101 carries for 549 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 65 yards. Jordan Hall has 95 carries for 381 yards, and 2 touchdowns, plus 5 catches, 70 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rod Smith has 29 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Devin Smith has 11 catches for 241 yards and 4 touchdowns. Stoneburner has 13 catches for 157 yards and 7 touchdowns. Corey Brown and Chris fields also get significant catches. Brown is questionable with a shoulder injury. Fields has a punt return for a touchdown this season. Kicker Drew Basil is 30/31 on extra points and 13/16 on field goals with a long of 47 yards. Seven Buckeye players are listed as questionable or out including 4 defensive players.

Michigan hosted Nebraska last week. The Wolverines were 3.5 point favorites. Michigan was up 10-0 early but Nebraska tied it up. Michigan scored with six minutes to go in the second quarter to take a 17-10 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Wolverines broke it open in the second half with 28 points to win 45-17. Nebraska was unable to overcome 8 penalties and 3 turnovers in the rout. Michigan had 418 total yards including 238 rushing yards. Wolverine quarterback Denard Robinson threw for 180 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, and had 23 carries, 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint had 29 carries, 138 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Jeremy Gallon and Montavious Odoms each caught touchdown passes for Michigan. Nebraska had just 260 total yards including 138 rushing yards and 11 first downs.

Michigan is averaging 421.2 yards and 33.6 points a game. The Wolverines pass for 189.3 yards a game, but they have the #12 rushing offense in the country with 231.9 yards a game. The Wolverines have 20 turnovers this season and have allowed 15 sacks. Michigan is 78/158 on third and fourth down conversions, and 42/51 scoring in the red zone with 33 touchdowns. Michigan is allowing 312.6 yards and 15.6 points a game. The Wolverines are allowing only 184.3 passing yards and 128.4 rushing yards a game. The Wolverines rank in the top 14 in all categories except rush defense. Michigan has forced 26 turnovers and 24 sacks this season. Wolverine opponents are 58/162 on third and fourth down conversions, and 21/32 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns. Michigan has 3 defensive touchdowns this season.

Robinson has been almost unstoppable this season. He is the leading passer and rusher for the Wolverines, with 2,738 combined yards, 29 total touchdowns, with 14 interceptions.  Toussaint has 143 carries, 811 yards, and 7 scores, along with a touchdown catch.Vincent Smith has 46 carries, 282 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 104 yards and 2 scores. Michael Shaw has 27 carries and 2 touchdown runs. Nine Wolverine receivers have a touchdown catch, and no one has more than 29 catches. Junior Hemingway (who is actually a senior) and Jeremy Gallon are the top two receivers for the Wolverines. Hemingway has 29 catches, 554 yards and a touchdown. Gallon has 26 catches, 425 yards and 3 touchdowns. Roy Roundtree, Kevin Koger, Odoms, and Drew Dileo also get significant catches and each has at least 2 touchdown catches. Kicker Brendan Gibbons is 43/43 on extra points and 9/13 on field goals with a long of  42 yards.

Michigan is 8-3 against the spread this season and the total is 4-7 in those games. Ohio St is 5-6 ATS and the total is 5-6 in those games. The Buckeyes have covered 4 straight against Michigan and the last 2 have gone under the total. Ohio St is 7-0 ATS as an underdog of between 3.5 and 10 points, including 5-0 on the road, 7-1 as an underdog, 21-4-1 on the road against teams with winning home records, 5-1 as a road dog, 22-8-1 after a straight up loss, 27-10 after after scoring 20 points or less, 24-9-1 in road games, 28-8 after failing to cover, 19-8-1 on turf, 41-18-1 in conference games, 54-26-1 overall, 35-17-1 against teams with winning records, and 1-3-1 in November. The Wolverines are 4-0 ATS at home and as a home favorite, 5-1 as a favorite, on turf, and after allowing 20 points or less, 4-1 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, 6-2 overall, 5-14 with against teams with winning records, 7-23 in conference games, 2-7 at home against teams with winning road records, 1-4 after scoring 40 points or more, and 3-13 in November.

I do like Michigan to break their losing streak against Ohio St at home, but 7 1/2 points is too many. This feels like a field goal game, and both teams have dominant defenses so I don’t see a lot of points being scored either.

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