The Buckeyes of Ohio State are so close to perfection they can taste it. Naturally standing between them and the best hope for 2012 they could've possibly mustered is the much hated Michigan Wolverines. Michigan, while eliminated from the Big Ten Leaders Division championship race, could still very conceivably play their way into BCS at large bowl consideration with a win on the road in the hostile confines of Ohio Stadium.
In order to asset how things might play out this Saturday afternoon, we take a look how these teams matchup objectively from a statistical perspective. A few quick odds and ends from what we noticed from this exercise:
- Ohio State's pretty clearly got the much better offense. It's not a total surprise, but given how much Michigan's struggled in run defense (as well as getting to the quarterback), that could play a pretty pivotal role in deciding how this game plays out.
- In spite of their inability to get to the quarterback on a pass rush, Michigan's tackles for a loss are pretty daunting cumulatively. If they can stay true to their numbers on Saturday, it could be a long afternoon for Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, and the Ohio State offense.
- Remember when Ohio State was good at punting? /le sigh
- Devin Gardner's been an absolute beast on third down conversions, but even before he took the reigns, the Wolverines were extremely efficient in that regard. If Ohio State can force the Wolverines into punting situations (and keep them from living up to their billing from that standpoint), it'll go along way from determining the outcome.
Without further adieu, here are how the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes stack up: