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Bold Predictions: Tommy Eichenberg puts on a classic performance against Michigan

Even though the linebacker is playing with two injured hands, he is looking for revenge this year against the Wolverines.

Ohio State v Northwestern Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Before each Ohio State game this year, LGHL is going to bring you some “bold predictions”. This will include somewhere a few hot takes for the game, whether it be passing yards, points scored, sacks, or some other things that we could see happening during the game.

We’d love to hear your bold predictions. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your bold predictions in the comments.

Tommy Eichenberg records a season-high in tackles

The Ohio State linebacker has been phenomenal all season long, and it’s criminal that Eichenberg wasn’t named a finalist for the Butkus Award. Eichenberg’s high tackle mark came in the win over Penn State when he made 15 stops. Since then, Eichenberg has been just as good, recording 13 tackles apiece against Northwestern and Maryland. Even more impressive about his performance against the Terrapins, Eichenberg made those tackles while dealing with injuries to both hands.

While Eichenberg won’t match Chris Spielman’s 29-tackle mark from 1986 against Michigan, he will play a huge roll in slowing down the Wolverines on Saturday. Last year saw the Buckeye defense dominated by Michigan’s rushing attack. After making just five tackles against the Wolverines last year, Eichenberg has been great in some of Ohio State’s biggest games since. In the Rose Bowl against Utah, Eichenberg notched a career-high 18 tackles, and he was tremendous against Notre Dame and Penn State. You just know Eichenberg and company have revenge on their mind.

Dallan Hayden will rush for more yards than Blake Corum

It feels like Dallan Hayden is the healthiest running back on these two teams heading into The Game. Hayden has rushed for over 100 yards in the last two games, including a career-high 146 yards in the win over Maryland last Saturday. After seeing carries late in blowouts to start the year, Hayden has been able to find some comfort getting the pigskin during situations with a little more pressure. Ryan Day would be wise to ride the running back that is not only healthy, but also gaining more confidence.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 19 Ohio State at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the other side, Corum’s status for the game is a little more up in the air after he left last week’s game against Illinois with a knee injury. I’m expecting Corum to play on Saturday, but he won’t be facing the same rush defense that he and Hassan Haskins saw in Ann Arbor last year. The addition of Jim Knowles has transformed this defense. Ohio State is allowing just 3.1 yards per carry this year. The Buckeyes have held five opponents under 100 yards this year.

Even though Michigan’s rushing attack has been tough to bottle up for opposing defenses this year, Ohio State will benefit by Corum not coming into Saturday at 100 percent.

J.J. McCarthy will throw at least two interceptions

The Michigan quarterback has been smart with the football this year, only throwing two interceptions. If you look a little deeper at McCarthy’s play, he hasn’t been asked to do a ton passing the football since Michigan’s running game has been so dominant. McCarthy is going to likely be in a different position on Saturday, since he’ll likely be forced to pass the football more than the Wolverines would like him to. Aside from last week against Illinois, Michigan hasn’t really been in many positions where they have needed to throw the football.

Much like C.J. Stroud was running for his life with Aidan Hutchinson chasing him last year, McCarthy is going to have J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, and the rest of the Ohio State defensive line after him. The Wolverine offensive line has been able to keep McCarthy clean. It’s hard to see that being the case today. With McCarthy not used to dealing with so much pressure, as well as playing in such a hostile environment, the Buckeyes should be able to pick off a couple of his passes.

Emeka Egbuka will record 86 yards receiving to reach 1,000 yards for the season

This wouldn’t have seemed bold at all six games into the season, as Egbuka went for at least 90 yards in five of those games. Since then, Egbuka has been very quiet, with his high mark coming last week against Maryland when he finished with 82 yards receiving. One of those games was when the winds in Evanston didn’t allow for the Buckeyes to pass the football, but Ohio State had little trouble throwing in the other ones.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 19 Ohio State at Maryland Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Once Egbuka hits the 1,000 yard mark, he’ll join Marvin Harrison Jr., who has already made it into quadruple digits. With conditions in Columbus expected to be favorable today, it would be a perfect time for Egbuka to break out of his recent slump and hit some big gainers. If the Buckeyes have any designs on making a run at the national title, they’ll need another receiver to step up and take some of the pressure off Harrison. Egbuka did it early in the season, he just needs to show he can do it in crunch time.

The Game will be decided by more than a touchdown

43 games in this rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less. While Vegas has Ohio State as a 7.5-point favorite, a lot of people are expecting this game to come down to the wire. It’s easy to think that way with games like 2006 and 2016, where both teams came into The Game highly ranked, being decided by a field goal.

Double-digit victories have become more of the norm since 2000. In the last 21 meetings, 13 have seen the winning side victorious by at least 10 points. Ohio State is out for blood after what happened last year in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes were embarrassed by their performance in The Game, and have had to stew over it for a year. Ryan Day’s team is going to be ready to do exactly to the Wolverines what Michigan did to them last year. Even though many are already stressing out over today’s game, if the Buckeyes play to their potential, it shouldn’t be as close as some are expecting.