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Michigan’s 2023 football opponent preview: Ohio State

The Buckeyes look to take back the Big Ten from Michigan in 2023.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

As always, The Game will once again serve as the last regular season contest for the Michigan Wolverines, and it will come against a hungry Ohio State Buckeyes squad.

The Wolverines won their second straight game against the Buckeyes last year, as J.J. McCarthy had a breakout game and Donovan Edwards ran for over 200 yards in the 45-23 win. Michigan would then go on to win the Big Ten for the second-straight season a week later in Indianapolis.

The Buckeyes are now out for double the revenge, but will have to find a way to beat the Wolverines in the Big House on Nov. 25.

Week 12 - Ohio State Buckeyes

  • 2022 Record: 11-2 overall, 8-1 in Big Ten
  • Head Coach: Ryan Day, sixth season
  • Key Losses: QB CJ Stroud, OL Paris Johnson Jr., WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
  • Key Additions: CB Davison Igbinosun, S Ja’Had Carter

The Buckeyes have the tendency to reload not rebuild, but they have a big question mark at the quarterback position after losing CJ Stroud to the NFL. Stroud was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes and threw for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. His career numbers were certainly impressive, though couldn’t beat the Wolverines in two chances.

Despite those losses, he was still one of the best quarterbacks in the country and is going to be tough to replace. Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are in competition for the starting spot, and it is still up in the air as we get within a month of the first game of the year.

The good news for whoever wins the starting spot is that they will have arguably the best wide receiver in the country to throw to in Marvin Harrison Jr. The impressive junior had 77 receptions for 1,263 yards last season and it resulted in 14 touchdowns. He will be a huge safety net for whoever starts.

Running back TreVeyon Henderson is also back after his 2022 season was cut short due to an injury. Henderson was great in 2021 when he went for 1,248 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns.

The offense shouldn’t be the problem, as the Buckeyes will have one of the most potent attacks in the Big Ten. The defense is where they will need to be better, especially against the Wolverines.

Though the defense statistically was great last year, could it be accounted to the fact that the Buckeyes scored a ton of points and were playing with the lead for almost the whole season? As we saw, the secondary had its troubles last season against tougher competition, as both Michigan and Georgia averaged over 11 yards per pass.

The linebackers are led by leading-tackler Tommy Eichenberg, and Steele Chambers, Denzel Burke, and even Lathan Ransom should be good again.

The defensive line will be another question, even though there is a ton of talent, but they need to show that they can stop the run consistently if they want to get by Michigan and even Penn State this year.

The Buckeyes will once again be one of the best teams in the Big Ten, but did they make enough adjustments on defense to get by Michigan for the first time in three years? For once, the ball is in Ohio State’s court to make the requisite changes to match the superior opponent.