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Ohio State-Michigan Preview Capsule

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No. 3 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) at Michigan (7-4, 3-4), noon EST (ABC)

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Line: Ohio State by 14 1/2

Series record: Michigan leads 58-45-6.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Ohio State needs to stay unbeaten to have a shot at playing in the BCS national championship game. Michigan is playing for pride and postseason positioning.

KEY MATCHUP

The Wolverines will likely have to figure out a way to block standout LB Ryan Shazier to have any success on offense. And if that happens, it would be surprising. Michigan has struggled to protect Devin Gardner in the passing game and to open up holes in the running game. Shazier is one of the best linebackers in college football. The Butkus Award finalist leads the Big Ten with 108 tackles, 19.5 for losses and four forced fumbles.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ohio State: RB Carlos Hyde has run for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games. The senior has 100-plus yards rushing in six straight games.

Michigan: Gardner will have to make plays with his arm and feet to keep it competitive. He has been spectacular at times, scoring five touchdowns in two games and accounting for 503 yards of offense once this season. Gardner, though, had a key fumble late in last week's loss at Iowa and has thrown at least two interceptions in four games.

FACTS & FIGURES:

Ohio State has won a school-record 23 straight games since losing to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012, and at Michigan to close the 2011 regular season. ... Since the Wolverines won their last Big Ten title in 2003, they have lost eight of nine games against the Buckeyes. ... Ohio State is averaging a Big Ten-best 48.7 points per game, ranking third in the nation. ... Devin Funchess has 686 yards receiving, a single-season record for a Michigan tight end. ... Ohio State will meet Michigan State for the Big Ten title next week in Indianapolis. ... Michigan is hoping for its biggest upset in the rivalry since it was a 17-point underdog and beat Ohio State 13-9 at home in 1996.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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