Free Press sports writers share their predictions for the Michigan football game against Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio (noon, Fox):
Ultimately, it's hard to bet against the Buckeyes at home. They have had 364 days to sit and stew over last year's loss, the first to Michigan in a decade. This is the first truly difficult road test of the year for the Wolverines, it's likely too much to overcome. Michigan won't be able to make its usual second half adjustments and the Buckeyes will pull away in the second half. The pick: Ohio State 34, U-M 24.
Blake Corum, Blake Corum, Blake Corum. If the Wolverines don’t have their Heisman Trophy candidate running back, or if he’s limited in this game, they don’t stand much of a chance against the Buckeyes. J.J. McCarthy hasn’t elevated his game to the next level and has had accuracy issues. Defensively, we found out U-M’s no-star defense actually does have a star, and it’s Mike Morris. The Wolverines couldn’t generate pressure without him and his availability will be the biggest difference in Heisman favorite C.J. Stroud’s effectiveness. The pick: Ohio State 28, U-M 20.
The last time the Wolverines beat Ohio State in Columbus, Jim Harbaugh was still in the NFL … as a player. But up until a week ago, Michigan seemed primed to break its losing streak in the Horseshoe. Then, Corum, its pacesetter, hurt his knee and the Wolverines started to show some cracks. The wear and tear will take its toll Saturday before Michigan eventually succumbs. The pick: Ohio State 30, U-M 27.
Revenge is a powerful emotion. Trying to overcome it in a hostile environment is hard. Trying to play against a talented rival without a passing attack is even harder. Trying to do it with a pair of injured running backs – even if they play, sounds insurmountable. The Buckeyes haven’t looked great lately. But everything points to an Ohio State win. The pick: Ohio State 37, U-M 24.
If the Wolverines were fully healthy this would be a toss-up. But with the info available it will take McCarthy and the receivers showing a downfield connection they haven’t for most of this season to have a real chance. That’s possible but unlikely as the Buckeyes will control the game. The pick: Ohio State 36, U-M 24.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan-Ohio State 2022 predictions: Can Wolverines win?