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Getting to know Ohio State: Different year, same respect

Big Game. Big Stakes.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of the year again. The last game of the season. The Big Game. It doesn’t matter where the teams are in the standings, the intensity and anticipation always remains the same.

Ohio State is ranked No. 9 in the CFP Rankings and will need a late surge and a lot of help if it hopes to reach the playoffs. Michigan goes into this game as a huge underdog, and even more of one if Brandon Peters isn’t able to play.

While the Buckeyes have had a good season, it’s been a disappointing one, they sit at 9-2, losing 31-16 to Oklahoma and 55-24 to Iowa. Two impressive victories have transpired during the year, a 39-38 come from behind win over Penn State, and annihilating Michigan State 48-3.

While Ohio State has had a couple bumps in the road in 2017, they’re a very solid team on both sides of the football, ranking in the top 20 in nearly every category.

Players To Watch

- QB J.T. Barrett: Completing 66.9% of his passes for 2,698 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. As dynamic as any quarterback in the country, Barrett has also rushed for 605 yards and 8 touchdowns. Michigan has faced a handful of scrambling quarterbacks this year and they’ve had varying degrees of success against them. Pressuring Barrett will be paramount.

- RB J.K. Dobbins- The freshman sensation has rushed for 1,089 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. His build is similar to Barry Sanders, he’s hard to take down, and has a knack for elusiveness as well. Dobbins is the real deal.

- Wide Receiver Depth- Barrett likes to distribute the ball to a wide variety of playmakers, as 8 players have over 17 receptions. It’s hard preparing for which one will be the big threat on a given week.

- DE Nick Bosa- Joey Bosa’s brother is dangerous too, with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, Bosa will be someone the Wolverines offensive line will have to bottle up.

Notable Rankings

  • Passing Offense- 19th
  • Rushing Offense- 11th
  • Third down conversion percentage: 4th (49.6)
  • Offensive efficiency- 4th
  • Passing Defense- 15th
  • Rushing Defense- 15th
  • Sacks- 21st (29)
  • Interceptions- 64th (9th)
  • Defensive efficiency- 14th