Four days until ‘The Game’: Here are four things on Michigan’s mind before Ohio State game

When Michigan defensive back was asked about the state of the Monday afternoon, he took it personally.

“It’s currently the most important thing in the world to me,” he said.

Here are four thingsare thinking about with four days until the in Columbus.

Ohio State football news:

Michigan football has prepped for Ohio State all year

To , after for the first time since 2011 last season, “The Game” is competitive again.

“We know that they have every motivation to come in and put what we did to rest,” the Michigan defensive lineman said Monday. “We got every intention and motivation to keep the road going.”

And since preparation for the 2022 season started in January, the was at the back of each player’s mind.

Smith remembers members of the Michigan coaching staff putting things around the building, “planting seeds” for players to know who they are preparing for long-term as they focus on the present.

Sainristil said Michigan has “Beat Ohio” periods to either watch film on the Buckeyes or prepare specifically for their meeting in the last weekend in November.

Offensive lineman said Michigan watches a few plays of Ohio State every week leading up to the game and remembers watching a defense that really flies to the ball under defensive coordinator .

“Every day since January we’ve always had them in the back of our mind,” Hayes said. :Everything we’re doing is about them, it’s about winning this game at the end of the season.”

Michigan prepares for first trip to Columbus since 2018

Most players on Michigan’s roster has not experienced “The Game” in Ohio Stadium.

After COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 edition of the game, the Wolverines have not played a road game against the rival Buckeyes since 2018, a game which Ohio State won 62-39.

“Obviously, I’ve heard stories,” Hayes said. “I’m expecting a loud, crazy environment. And we have played in those games before here, so I think we’ll be prepared.”

Smith remembers what it was like to be a recruit at Ohio Stadium, saying he recalls a crowd that got “pretty live” during his visit.

It’s a hostile environment the defensive lineman said he’s excited for, but one the the Wolverines have handled before, knowing they will have to be “calm and collected in the face of adversity.”

“This is the type of game you really get up for,” Smith said. “This is the type of game you came to Michigan to play.”

Will Michigan’s offense change if running back Blake Corum doesn’t play?

Michigan coach did not have an , who left the Wolverines’ win vs. Illinois with an apparent knee injury, saying if he doesn’t practice this week, he will not play against Ohio State.

But Hayes said that even if Corum is absent, Michigan’s game plan remains the same.

“He’s a great player, but I think everybody else is just going to step up with him out,” Hayes said. “And I think that we’re up to the challenge to do that.”

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) grabs at his knee after being injured on a run against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Hayes and Harbaugh both said Michigan’s success on offense starts with quarterback , who is set to make his first start against Ohio State Saturday.

It’s a stage, McCarthy’s left tackle said, the quarterback is ready for.

Jim Harbaugh ‘grateful’ for OSU vs. UM:

Early glance at Michigan:

“He’s an extremely calm player,” Hayes said. “He doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low. I always try and talk to him during the game, but I don’t think he really needs anyone talking to him. He just has that about him. Some people have that and he has it.”

With Corum as the centerpiece, , averaging 243.8 yards per game and 5.5 yards per rush, while scoring 32 of the team’s 51 touchdowns on the ground.

But , Hayes expects Michigan’s offense’s identity to be like it’s always been.

“I don’t think we’re going to change our identity this game,” Hayes said. “Obviously Blake’s a huge part of our offense, huge part of our team. But I think our identity stays the same.”

Michigan vs. Ohio State is won in the trenches

Even with Michigan’s success in the run game, Hayes feels Ohio State vs. Michigan is a game won up front no matter what.

“I think in a game like this, I think winning the line of scrimmage, winning rushing totals is a huge factor in the game.”

The Michigan left tackle said Ohio State’s defense is the “best front seven we have played up to this point,” but that the preparation remains the same.

Smith is preparing for his battle up front, planning for what the Ohio State offensive line’s tendencies are in run and pass fits, protecting which he said is a “very efficient passer” and makes “great connections with his receivers.”

But Smith agrees that Ohio State vs. Michigan will be decided up front.

“Football is won in the trenches anyway,” Smith said. “But these type of games really get decided there.”

Ohio State football’s 2022 schedule

  • Sept. 3:

  • Sept. 10:

  • Sept. 17:

  • Sept. 24:

  • Oct. 1:

  • Oct. 8:

  • Oct. 22:

  • Oct. 29:

  • Nov. 5:

  • Nov. 12:

  • Nov. 19:

  • Nov. 26:

Michigan football’s 2022 schedule

  • Sept. 3: Michigan 51, Colorado State 7

  • Sept. 10: Michigan 56, Hawaii 10

  • Sept. 17: Michigan 59, UConn 0

  • Sept. 24: Michigan 34, Maryland 27

  • Oct. 1: Michigan 27, Iowa 14

  • Oct. 8: Michigan 31, Indiana 10

  • Oct. 15: Michigan 41, Penn State 17

  • Oct. 29: Michigan 29, Michigan State 7

  • Nov. 5: Michigan 52, Rutgers 17

  • Nov. 12: Michigan 34, Nebraska 3

  • Nov. 19: Michigan 19, Illinois 17

  • Nov. 26: Michigan vs. Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio, noon

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