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Scouting Report: Ohio State's Defense Squares Off Against Productive Michigan Offense

Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum have given defenses fits this season, while Cade McNamara has only throw two interceptions all year.

Let's take a look at the Michigan Wolverines offense, which has done a nice job of protecting the football this year and is scoring 36.9 points per game, good for 15th in the nation.

Michigan Offensive Scouting Report

Offensive Coordinator: Josh Gattis, 3rd Season

Key Players: RB Hassan Haskins, RB Blake Corum, QB Cade McNamara, WR Cornelius Johnson, C Andrew Vastardis, RT Andrew Stueber

Season Stats

Average Points Scored Per Game: 36.9

Average Total Yards Gained Per Game: 447.9

Average Passing Yards Per Game: 229.5

Average Rushing Yards Per Game: 218.4

What to Look For

The Wolverine offense is one of the most balanced in all of college football with their per game average of rushing and passing being near equal. They rank second in total offense in the Big Ten trailing only the Buckeyes. The Wolverine offensive will likely try to establish the run game as much as they can to win the time of possession battle and keep the Buckeye offense on the sidelines. 

Cade McNamara has been playing good football and does not turn the ball over (only 2 INTs on the year). With the game being at home, the lack of noise when the Wolverines are on offense will serve as a benefit, especially in rivalry games like this one.

Cav’s Three Keys for Buckeyes

1) Discipline in Run Fits: This is a repeat key from last week as the Wolverines have been very effective in the run game and have two strong backs in Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum. Corum’s status is uncertain for Saturday and has been out since suffering a high ankle sprain on November 6th against Indiana. The 29 rushing touchdowns by the Wolverines is proof that they like to run the ball in the red zone and goal line situations.

2) Donovan Edwards: The highly touted true freshman running back had a huge game last week in the pass game with 10 catches for 170 yards (most receiving yards by a Michigan RB in school history). He showed his big-play capability and ability to run in space on a 77-yard TD reception. The Buckeyes may adjust their defensive coverage when playing man coverage and put a safety on Edwards rather than a linebacker.

3) Defensive Line Pressure: Jim Harbaugh gave praise to the Buckeye front during the press conference this week by saying, “really athletic, really good at taking on blocks, defeating blocks. Blocking is going to be paramount.” If the Buckeye defensive line can continue to get pressure and use their long wingspans to force smaller throwing windows and tip passes, this will be a major benefit to the Buckeye pass coverage. 

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