Check out our Know the Opposition feature for full information on TSUN. Below we have five things to look for as the Buckeyes host RichRod and the Wolverines:
1) Watch to see if the Silver Bullets can slow down Denard Robinson.
The unstoppable force meets the immovable object, as Michigan's big play offense (ranked #5 in the nation at 514.6 ypg) faces Ohio State's stingy defense (ranked #3 in the nation at 241.5 ypg). There is no doubt that Robinson is the key for UM, and it is crazy to think that the Buckeyes will completely shut him down, However, if they can contain the swift quarterback and keep him from making too many big plays, Michigan will be in trouble, because he has been their offense for much of the season. Ohio State will also try and force Mr. Robinson into some turnovers, which may be the best way to stop the Wolverine offense. He has battled turnovers in the biggest games this season, and when you add it that the Buckeyes have been very opportunistic, it could produce a similar result to last year's.
2) Watch Tressel's offensive game plan.
Michigan's defense has been down right awful (445.2 yards, 33.5 points per game). It will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes attack, because the Wolverines have been equally ineffective stopping the run and the pass. No doubt Pryor will want to light up the young secondary, but on cold, November days, Tressel usually prefers to play old-fashioned smashmouth football. Besides the fact that it will wear a smaller Wolverine defense down, it will also keep Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense off the field. So we expect Boom Herron should get every opportunity to rush for the 107 yards he needs to reach 1,000 for the year, but hopefully OSU will feature a diversified attack. And, since it is Michigan week it will be interesting to see if the coaches will throw in a couple of trick plays or new formations.
After a breakout 2009 season, coaches and fans alike had huge expectations for Posey this year. Although he has had his moments, the junior from Cincinnati has dropped too many passes and disappeared at times. Last week against Iowa, DeVier was quiet throughout most of the game, but had the chance to be a hero late in the contest when Terrelle Pryor hit him in the hands with a perfect pass, which would have been a touchdown. As has been well documented, Posey dropped it, but was bailed out by Pryor who converted a fourth and ten to keep the winning drive alive. Going against a young UM secondary that has been punctured regulalry in 2010, Posey has the chance to redeem himself and put up big numbers Saturday.
4) Watch Rich Rodriguez' disposition on the sideline.
This is a huge game every year, but some think RichRod needs to win this season to save his job. How will he respond? He is tempermental by nature, so it will be interesting to see if he keeps his anger in check. There is a fine line between motivating a team and losing them. You know he wants to be firey, but it won't take much for Rodriguez to lose control of his emotions and that could be detrimental.
5) Watch to see what effect special teams and turnovers have.
In an emotional, hard-fought contest, the game often hinges on the play of the special teams units, to say nothing of turnovers. Ohio State has protected the ball pretty well, although the interceptions at Iowa put that game in jeopardy. And, last week was the best the Buckeye special teams have looked all season. They will need to duplicate that effort Saturday and it would be a huge plus if Hall or Berry could finally take one to the house. Just ask Boise State how important special teams play is in a big game.
Bonus: Watch to see how if Greg Robinson pulls out any stuffed animals!