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Nov 24, 2022

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Clash of the Big 10 Titans

Clash of the Big 10 Titans

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COLUMBUS (AP) — The stakes could hardly be higher for this year’s edition of The Game.

A win for No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 2) or No. 3 Michigan (11-0, 8-0, CFP No. 3) will mean a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship — and keeping their national championship dreams alive.

While a scenario may exist that the loser of Saturday’s game could still backdoor its way into College Football Playoff, the more likely result is a consolation bowl game and 365 days of pain.

“When you lose this game, it’s a tough year,” said Ohio State coach Ryan Day, whose team had to swallow a 42-27 beating by the Wolverines in 2021. “There’s no hiding from that.”

Both teams come into the game unbeaten for the first time since 2006.

This will be the 13th time since 1942 they’ll clash as top-5 teams in the AP Top 25.

Arguably, it’s the biggest game in the series since 2016, when second-ranked Ohio State beat third-ranked Michigan 30-27 in double overtime.

“It’s like two superheroes going at each other,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Michigan running back Blake Corum are Heisman Trophy candidates whose teams expect them to take charge on Saturday.

It could be Stroud’s last chance to beat the Wolverines; he is eligible for the NFL draft in the spring.

For Ohio State, there is the revenge factor.

The Buckeyes were No. 2 last season when they were humiliated in Ann Arbor.

That loss snapped a streak of eight straight wins in the rivalry game, denied the Buckeyes a Big Ten championship for the first time in five years, and killed their hopes of getting to the CFP.

“It motivated us all offseason, so we’ve worked very hard to get to this moment right here,” Day said this week. “And now it’s time to go prepare the best we can, and that’s what we’re going to focus on physically, mentally and emotionally, to go play the hardest game we’ve ever played.”

Harbaugh last year earned his first victory in the series in six tries.

He’s every bit as confident this time.

He called his players “happy warriors on a happy mission.”

“I think you’re going to find we’re made of the right stuff,” he said.

BANGED UP

Corum, who was injured last week, said his left knee is fine and he expects to play.

The Wolverines are also hoping his backup, Donovan Edwards, as well as tight end Luke Schoonmaker and defensive end Mike Morris will play after missing last week’s game with undisclosed injuries.

“We’re not spending any time investigating whether (Corum is) playing or not,” Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said. “Just assuming he’s going to play. He’s an exceptional back.”

NEXT BACK UP

Ohio State’s star running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams have battled various injuries all season.

Henderson had to leave last week’s game against Maryland, and finished it on the sideline wearing a walking boot.

Williams didn’t even dress for the game.

Their status for Saturday is unknown.

A pleasant surprise for the Buckeyes has been the emergence of true freshman Dallan Hayden, who turned in his second 100-yard rushing game in a row.

Hayden carried 27 times for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 43-30 win over the Terps.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE

The Wolverines have not played at Ohio Stadium since 2018.

“Most of the players on this team haven’t been there, obviously last time was COVID and we weren’t able to go,” left tackle Ryan Hayes said. “I’ve heard stories. I’m expecting a loud, crazy environment. We’ve played in those games before. I think we’ll be prepared.”

LEBRON ON THEIR SIDE

Ohio native LeBron James said he wanted to make sure the Buckeyes had stylish footwear for the big game, so he provided specially-designed Nike cleats stamped with his logo.

* * *

AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Tags: last week’s game week’s game last week’s big ten championship for the first time the wolverines the wolverines in the series in ann arbor the buckeyes running back the buckeyes for the big

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Where to Watch Richmond vs Sac State Football

Getty Sacramento State looks to make a big run in the FCS playoffs.

Unbeaten Sacramento State hosts Richmond in the FCS Playoffs on Saturday, December 3.

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The game (5 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Richmond vs Sacramento State live on ESPN+ right here:

Get ESPN+

ESPN+ includes every second-round FCS playoff game, dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year (or $13.99 per month for a bundle of all three of ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu).

Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Richmond vs Sacramento State live on the ESPN app or ESPN.com.

Compatible devices for the ESPN app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.

Richmond vs Sacramento State Preview

Sacramento State (11-0) enters the FCS playoffs with enormous expectations with an unbeaten record and a Big Sky Conference title in tow. The Richmond Spiders (9-3) will look to play spoiler after making the cross-country trip to the west coast from Virginia.

Richmond opened FCS playoff action with a bang amid a 41-0 rout of Davidson on November 26. Spiders quarterback Reece Udinski threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Running back Milan Howard also posted a big game for the Spiders with 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Sac State’s defense will pose a challenge for the Spiders offense. The Hornets allow 21.82 points and 372.7 yards per game, and that’s from competition in a pass-happy Big Sky league.

Hornets linebacker Armon Bailey gives opposing offenses trouble with a team-high six sacks, two forced fumbles, and 78 tackles. Defensive back Marte Mapu poses a threat to the Spiders passing game. Mapu has two interceptions, a forced fumble, a sack, and 64 tackles thus far.

Boys of fall ???? #StingersUp pic.twitter.com/1OMuHu2dav

— Sac State Football (@SacHornetsFB) December 2, 2022

Udinski, who has 3,396 yards passing and 26 touchdowns this year, will look to get around the Hornets defense. Jakob Herres, Jasiah Williams, and Nick Degennaro have all been reliable receivers for Udinski. All four tallied 50 or more receptions and 515 or more yards, and three of them have three or more touchdowns. Tight End Connor Deveney and running back Savon Smith also pose touchdown threats.

“They’re going to throw it a ton,” Hornets defensive coordinator Andy Thompson said via the Sacramento Bee. “They have a big, tall quarterback, and he’s good. We’ve got to always attack on defense and give them different looks. Overall, we’re going to do what we always do.:

Sac State can also pile on the offense with 41.5 points and 480.6 yards per game. Hornets quarterback Jake Dunniway has 1,867 yards passing and 16 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions this season. Running back Cameron Skattebo has 1,250 yards rushing and five touchdowns this fall, but the biggest running threat comes when quarterback Asher O’Hara gets under center.

O’Hara has 798 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. When he does throw the ball, he has 642 yards passing and eight touchdowns versus zero interceptions.

Sac State looks to change course on its recent history in the FCS playoffs, an 0-2 mark since 2019. That includes last year’s 24-19 loss at home to South Dakota State.

“It used to take me months to get over losses,” Hornets head coach Troy Taylor said via the Sacramento Bee. “I’ve gotten better about it because, as a leader, you’ve got to be able to move on from it and learn from it. You don’t like losing. It’s one of those things that, if you play sports long enough, it’s part of the deal. The reality is, there’s only one team that wins the last game. It’s how you respond.”

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