Well, we’ve finally reached it. The Michigan/Ohio State game is always the most important of the season, but this year it is particularly meaningful with both teams coming in undefeated. Simply put, Michigan is going to need its star players to make plays and carry the team to a victory.
Here are the Wolverines to watch this weekend.
QB J.J. McCarthy
Winning against any top-five team will require a good performance from your quarterback, and McCarthy will face even more pressure with Blake Corum hobbled with an injury he sustained last week.
There have been many concerns about Michigan’s passing game over the past few weeks, whether it be McCarthy’s throws not being accurate or the wide receivers failing to make plays. McCarthy will need to be locked in and make tough throws to keep up the pace with Ohio State’s offense.
RB Blake Corum
Even though he won’t be 100% for The Game, Corum is the engine that makes Michigan’s offense run. We saw last week what happens when Corum isn’t there to break runs — it isn’t very pretty.
Encouragingly, Corum came back after his injury in the second half of the Illinois game and carried the ball once before coming out, which means he should be ready to go in some capacity. But he’ll likely have to play through some pain if Michigan hopes to demoralize Ohio State in the trenches like last year.
Edge Mike Morris
Morris did not suit up last week, but he should be good to go for this Saturday. He is the prime source of pass rush for Michigan, something it will need a lot of to make C.J. Stroud uncomfortable in the pocket.
If Michigan lets Stroud sit back and scan the field all day, he is going to find an open man every time — the Buckeyes’ receiving core is just too good. Michigan will have to draw up some exotic blitzes to create pressure, but it will also fall on Morris to create pressure organically and not give Stroud time.