The mega guide to Week 12: Michigan at Ohio State
AnnArbor.com file photo
WHO: Michigan (7-4, 3-4) at No. 8 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1).
WHERE: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio.
WHEN: Noon Saturday.
ODDS: Ohio State is favored by 16 1/2 points according to sportsbook.com.
SERIES RECORD: Michigan leads, 57-43-6.
LAST MEETING: Ohio State won, 21-10, on Nov. 21, 2009. (AnnArbor.com coverage)
BROADCAST INFORMATION: TV: ABC; Radio: Michigan Sports Network (local affiliates), Sirius Ch. 125, XM Ch. 102.
RUNDOWN: The Game has become The Streak.
Ohio State is looking for its seventh consecutive win in its rivalry with Michigan, something neither team has accomplished since the Wolverines rattled off nine straight wins from 1901 to 1909. The Buckeyes hadn't won more than four straight since its current streak started with a 37-21 win in 2004.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has made beating Michigan his primary focus since he was hired, and he's lost only one of nine matchups — in 2003 against former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.
The stakes are not as high for Michigan as they are for the Buckeyes, who are in a first-place tie in the Big Ten standings with Michigan State and Wisconsin.
The Wolverines are relegated to playing the role of spoiler against the Buckeyes. Again.
Unlike the first two years under Rich Rodriguez, though, Michigan is bowl-eligible and has a chance to improve its postseason positioning if it can pull off one of the bigger upsets of the storied series.
AnnArbor.com has been previewing the game all week. Here's a look back at everything Michigan vs. Ohio State-related that can be found on our site:
FRIDAY â€¢ A rivalry within the rivalry: Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor vs. Michigan's Denard Robinson.
THURSDAY â€¢ Pete Bigelow reports from Deerfield Beach, a Forida town that finds reason to believe while watching its hometown hero, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
â€¢ Wolverines tear up Brutus ... at the Detroit Zoo.
â€¢ The Michigan defense has to be "better than OK" and more in our Big Ten notebook.
â€¢ What's new at Ohio State? Special uniforms, a quiet Terrelle Pryor and discarded blue clothes.
MONDAY â€¢ Rich Rodriguez is more confident than ever that Michigan football is on the right track.
â€¢ In our notebook: Rodriguez defends program, injuries mount and more.
â€¢ In his week in Ann Arbor history column, James Dickson looks at the "The Game" that wasn't back in 1942.
TAKE OUR POLLS We've been asking the following questions this week. Weigh-in with your votes:
AP PREVIEW Here is the Associated Press' preview capsule for the game:
WHAT'S AT STAKE Michigan will try to dodge the ignominy of a record seven-game losing skid to its rival. For the Buckeyes, a win brings a share of a record-tying sixth consecutive Big Ten title and a likely invitation to a BCS bowl.
KEY MATCHUP Wolverines QB Denard Robinson against Ohio State's defense. The Buckeyes rank third in the nation in both total and rushing defense. Robinson, despite some nagging injuries and some notable drops by his receivers, is second nationally in total offense (342.5 ypg) and third in rushing (139.8 ypg). Too bad he doesn't play defense, too.
PLAYERS TO WATCH Michigan: LB Jonas Mouton is one of the few non-matadors on a defense that has given up fewer than 34 points only once since September. The only way the Wolverines have a chance is if Robinson goes off, the defense suddenly starts making stops and the special-teams play tilts toward Michigan.
Ohio State: QB Terrelle Pryor's numbers are pedestrian, but when the Buckeyes need a big play he always seems to be making it. In a fourth-quarter comeback for a 20-17 win at Iowa last week, he ran for 14 yards and a first down on fourth and 10 on the pivotal drive. Against Michigan's porous defense, TB Dan "Boom" Herron might do a Tim Biakabutuka (313 yards for Michigan against Ohio State in the 1995 game).
FACTS & FIGURES Many of the younger Wolverines were in middle school the last time Michigan beat the Buckeyes, back in 2003. ... Michigan appears headed to the Insight Bowl if it loses, but could get into a better bowl should it pull the stunner. ... Jim Tressel is master of his domain since coming to Columbus, beating the Wolverines in eight of nine meetings. ... Michigan's Rich Rodriguez is 0-2 in "The Game." ... The Buckeyes will wear special uniforms — a marketing ploy by Nike — which honor the 1942 national champion Buckeyes. ... This is the 17th time that the rivalry game has been played after Thanksgiving. Michigan has won four of the last five such meetings.
AROUND THE BIG TEN â€¢ Standings
â€¢ Preview: Michigan State (10-1, 6-1) at Penn State (7-4, 4-3), noon. â€¢ Preview: Indiana (4-7, 0-7) at Purdue (4-7, 2-5), noon. â€¢ Preview: Iowa (7-4, 4-3) at Minnesota (2-9, 1-6), 3:30 p.m. â€¢ Preview: Northwestern (7-4, 3-4) at Wisconsin (10-1, 6-1), 3:30 p.m.
Plus, check out plenty more about Michigan State's quest for a share of the Big Ten title from our friends at MLive.com.
AROUND THE COUNTRY â€¢ Check out previews of all games involving top 25 teams.
The Associated Press contributed to introduction of this article.