5 Players to Watch Against Ohio State

5 Players to Watch Against Ohio State

Football

5 Players to Watch Against Ohio State

It was another boring week for the College Football Playoff rankings as the top eight left unchanged as Michigan defeated Indiana. This week should see a change as Michigan takes on Ohio State in a battle of two top 10 teams and is the countries game of the week hands down. Here are my five players to watch in this season-defining game.

1. QB Shea Patterson – Michigan

Shea Patterson gets his first taste of this rivalry and Columbus as the team will be playing in the horseshoe. The 90 percent chance of rain could limit what Patterson is able to do, but how he has improved throughout this season all lead up to his performance this week.

The Buckeye defense is ranked 73rd in the country and that should give Patterson and the wide receivers, along with the running backs, plenty of chances to get yards and put up points in a game where points are hard to come by.

2. QB Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is going to be the biggest difference maker in the game on Saturday. If the weather does stick to its plan then Haskins could be very limited in how many throws he can get off and with the number one defense coming into town, it’s only going to make his life harder.

Haskins was having a Heisman like season earlier on before the team started to struggle and barely win easy games. Haskins is 294/424 for 3685 yards, 36 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, along with 56 carries for 94 yards and four touchdowns. If the Wolverines can make Haskins uncomfortable, then it will be a long day for the Buckeye offense.

3. DE Chase Winovich – Michigan

This one is bold as there hasn’t been any true update on if defensive end Chase Winovich is playing on Saturday, but things are leaning towards a return for the leader of the “revenge tour” as head coach Jim Harbaugh said x-rays were negative and his teammate’s defensive end Rashan Gary and Patterson spoke hopefull on his return on Tuesday.

Winovich playing would be a big help for the Wolverines defensive line as he brings more than just pressure and a presence to the line, he brings a fire and heart to the defense and without that they could play differently. The defensive line will be fine without him if he misses time, as they were without Gary for three games this year and they still did well as defensive lineman Kwity Paye stepped up big, and with other linemen like Josh Uche, Aidan Hutchinson playing too they have the depth to make up if Winovich is out.

4. DL Dre’Mont Jones – Ohio State

The most impressive part of the Ohio State defense is the defensive line. When defensive end Nick Bosa was on the team still it was a great unit, and without him, it has taken a step back, but it is still the best unit on the defensive side of the ball. It is now lead by defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones.

Jones is having his best season yet, with 34 total tackles, 12 for loss, seven and a half sacks, three fumble recoveries, two pass deflections, a fumble recovery, and a pick-six. The Michigan offensive line will certainly get tested as they haven’t seen a good front four this good since week one against Notre Dame and we all saw what happened in that game, but this line has improved throughout the season and can have a better performance this week.

5. K Jake Moody – Michigan

After making all six field goals on short notice and breaking his teammate’s record for most field goals made in a game, kicker Jake Moody might have just won the job from Quinn Nordin. Now Nordin was out sick last week, but Harbaugh might ride with the hot foot and give the job to Moody this week.

Weather can also be a factor here as Michigan might have to kick more field goals with the rain possibly limiting the passing game, but it could also affect the kicking game as well so that’s something to watch for when either kicker is on the field. Moody has only played in one game in his career as he’s a true freshman, and now he might be starting in the biggest game of his career.

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