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Alright, fam, all of the fun and games (figurative games, of course, there are still hopefully four literal games left to play) are over. After 11 double-digit victories, the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes are once again matching up with their rivals the No. 3 Mitten State Weasels in The Game.
These two teams haven’t played in Columbus since 2018 thanks to the COVID-canceled 2020 contest, and last season, the Corn and Blue got their first win in the series in two decades (don’t fact-check me on that). Because of that rare OSU loss in the rivalry, Buckeye fans, players, and coaches all seem to have a new level of focus (and anxiety) about The Game.
So, we wanted to turn the full force of our weekly fan survey on the rivalry to see just what everybody in Buckeye Nation thinks about Saturday’s contest. Check out the questions here and then make sure to vote in the survey at the bottom of the page.
Question 1: Who do you think Ohio State should start at running back?
Look, I’ve made my position on this topic well-known already. I love TreVeyon Henderson, and Miyan Williams might be one of my favorite Buckeyes in recent memory, but having running backs who are nowhere near 100% carrying the ball in this game is not a recipe for success.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate both Trey and Miyan working as hard as they have to get back on the field following their myriad injuries this season, but as running backs, as you are dealing with injuries, especially to your legs, the only thing that can truly get you back to being healthy is time. And, unfortunately, they just haven’t really had the opportunity to take the time to heal, because they have been pushing themselves to get back on the field.
I admire that, I do, but now is not the time to run a guy out there that is less than 80%. In Week 13 of the regular season, nobody is going to be 100% healthy, but given a choice between Henderson (who averaged 1.7 yards per carry against Maryland last week) or Miyan Williams (who was last seen on crutches and in a walking boot against Indiana), I’m going to take the guy who is closest to being healthy and showed a tremendous amount of heart, burst, and vision; so sign me up for the Hayden Trai(de)n (you see what I did there?).
Now, if either Henderson or Williams is at 80-85-90% for the Big Ten Championship Game, then we can talk, but personally, I would rather they both shut it down for the College Football Playoff semifinals (should the buckeyes get there).
Question 2: Do you want TTUN running back Blake Corum to play in The Game?
This is one of those questions where I understand both rationales. Since I haven’t already written about my thoughts on this — like I have on the starting running back situation — I will keep my thoughts to myself.
But one thing I will say is that if Blake Corum doesn’t play, or even does play like he has all season, and the Buckeyes win, I do not want to hear any Skunk Bear fans trying to put an asterisk or caveat of any sort next to the victory.
Ohio State has played without the best wide receiver in the country for damn near the whole season, and if things go the way I want them to, will be leaning on their pre-season fourth-string, true-freshman running back to carry the ball in the biggest game of the year.
So I am preemptively telling all of the Winged Helmet Wingnuts out there to save your excuses if your only real offensive weapon can’t go on Saturday.
Question 3: What are you most worried about in Saturday’s game?
If you, like me, came of age in your Buckeye fandom during the coaching tenure of one John Harold Cooper, you are never not at least partially worried about this game, even if it is the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the Buckeyes just won by 40 points. There will always be a certain unquenchable level of existential dread associated with The Game.
In terms of these options, my pick will be what I write about in Wednesday’s edition of “You’re Nuts,” so I won’t spoil it now, but I think that three of the five options are all incredibly worthy of worry.
Question 4: What do you think the results of The Game will be?
The line, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, is at OSU +7.5. SP+ has the score at 28-22 in favor of the Buckeyes. The College Football Nerds are projecting the score to be 28-26. The NCAA Game Simulator is spitting out an average score of 29.6 to 23.2.
So, of course, I’m going OSU by 36+! After all, I did pick 100 to -6 before the season started.
Have your voice heard and share your thoughts on the Buckeyes here:
Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Ohio State fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.