Ohio State Football: The Game will be undefeated battle in November

Nov 27, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) rushes against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) rushes against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Ohio State football team and Michigan Wolverines will be two of the top teams in the country this season setting up an undefeated showdown in November.

I can already hear Gus Johnson welcoming everybody to The Horseshoe in Columbus as the world-famous Ohio State football team looks to avenge last year’s loss to archrival Michigan in a battle of unbeaten football teams.

To quickly recap, Michigan ran the ball down Ohio State’s throat for four quarters of physical football the Buckeyes could not match. Michigan went on to win the Big Ten, make the College Football Playoff and lose to Georgia in the semifinal. It was the Wolverines’ first victory in the rivalry in a decade as the Victors won 42-27 in Ann Arbor.

This year, however, Ohio State will be a much tougher football team with a stout multiple-front defense under new DC Jim Knowles. The Game stung last year for the Buckeyes while being widely celebrated up north. For younger fans like myself, it was my first true experience of Ohio State losing to The Team Up North.

The Buckeyes enter the 2022 season with potentially one of the most prolific offenses the sport will ever see with CJ Stroud at the helm. His perimeter weapons include Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming, and Kamryn Babb, as well as a dynamic backfield of TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams.

Ohio State’s roster is filled with a core group of super sophomores leading the charge and priming the Buckeyes for an elite two-year run. The Silver Bullets will be back to flying around and being aggressive as JTT and Jack Sawyer will be twin DEs wreaking havoc all year.

The key to the defense will be the linebacker play and the health of the cornerback room. Denzel Burke and Cam Brown lead that room with the steepest drop-off between starters and reserves.

Schedule-wise, Ohio State opens with a prime-time showdown against Notre Dame and matchups with Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, and Penn State looming mid-season. The Buckeyes’ two crossover games aren’t the easiest draws but still very winnable contests for the Scarlet and Gray. Look for Ohio State to be 11-0 heading into Thanksgiving week.

The Michigan Wolverines will not have to deal with much to open their Big Ten Title defense a few hundred miles north. Michigan returns 87% of its offensive production from last year, including Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, making for a dominant and dynamic running game.

Ronnie Bell will also return from a torn ACL and immediately impact the field. There’s a lot of talk about Ohio State in the Big Ten, which may allow Michigan to stay under the radar while they work out early kinks in the defense.

A weak out-of-conference slate brings the Wolverines to Iowa City in early October. This game will indicate 2022 Michigan football in a hostile environment on the road. Still, the Wolverines have too much offensive firepower and a good enough defense to escape with a win.

Michigan will have another tricky matchup against big brother Michigan State, but like Penn State, the game will be in the Big House. Home field advantage gives the Wolverines the edge in both clashes.

Taking all of this into consideration, it sets up a massive showdown in Columbus — somewhere Michigan has not been since 2018. It will be another installment of a Top 3 heavyweight chapter in the greatest rivalry in American sports between 11-0 Ohio State and 11-0 Michigan.

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Get ready because this rivalry is back, and it’s time to bring the juice. Don’t be surprised to see a strong case for Ohio State and Michigan to make the College Football Playoff in December – they will both be deserving football teams.