College Football: Michigan vs. Ohio State Preview and Prediction

Andrew MontagContributor IINovember 19, 2012

Will Robinson be as successful on the ground against the Buckeyes as he was last year?
Will Robinson be as successful on the ground against the Buckeyes as he was last year?Eric Francis/Getty Images

Last year, Denard Robinson led the Michigan Wolverines to a thrilling victory over the Buckeyes in the big house. This year, things are a little different.

While Ohio State sports an undefeated record at 11-0, it is ineligible for any bowl game. Therefore, its successful record is seemingly meaningless. However, Michigan, with a victory and a Nebraska loss, can find its way into the Big 10 championship game against Wisconsin. Ohio State has all the motivation it needs, as nothing would please the team more than spoiling Michigan's hopes for a successful season.

Ohio State has, arguably, the most talented quarterback in the Big 10: Braxton Miller. Miller is just as mobile as Robinson, but experts say he has a far better arm. Robinson got the best of Miller last year, as the Wolverines edged the Buckeyes 40-34.

Look for this year to be slightly different. With Robinson still not at full strength due to a nerve injury in his arm, Devin Gardner will take snaps at the quarterback for the Wolverines. Expect Robinson to be used as a dual threat with Gardner while taking snaps at both running back and wide receiver.


Key Matchups

Robinson vs Miller:

With Robinson besting Miller in last year's rendition of the rivalry, look for Miller to respond with a stellar game. The Wolverines' defense at times has had issues with mobile quarterbacks. In order for Michigan to make it two in a row against the Buckeyes, it must make Braxton Miller a passer, and limit his ground game.

Also, last year Denard was highly successful against the Buckeyes on the ground by rushing for over 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. If he can successfully run against Ohio State, Robinson will leave the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry a winner.


Hoke vs. Meyer:

In his first season as the head coach of Ohio State, Urban Meyer has had overwhelming success. Although his squad remains ineligible for a bowl game, his teammates have had no trouble motivating themselves for big games. With victories against Nebraska, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin all in their back pocket, the Buckeyes have played well in Big 10 games.

On the other side, it seems as if Hoke's team has had a bit of a hangover from its Sugar Bowl victory last season over Virginia Tech. In a match-up of world-class coaches, Hoke and Meyer will have their teams raring to go come Saturday.


Prediction: Ohio State 31, Michigan 27