Ohio State coach Ryan Day speaks bluntly, in keeping with his Northeastern roots. His straightforwardness often hurts to the core.

After the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame in the season opener, the theme of the win was Ohio State’s display of grit, improved defense, and some toughness that was thought to be missing from the previous Buckeyes edition. “We wanted to be known for more than just being talented,” Day said after the game.

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Will it happen in 2022? The final referendum is looming this weekend. The odds will be historic as the No. 2 of the Day the Buckeyes (11-0) and Wolverine No. 3 Jim Harbaugh (11-0) are undefeated in the Game for the first time since 2006. A potential Big Ten title, a college football playoff bid and the right to show off a rivalry in full force is at stake.

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Ultimately, the measure of this Buckeyes’ success will come down to how they react to last year’s 42-27 loss to Michigan, when the Wolverines ended an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry. Both teams are in the top 10 in offensive and defensive scoring this year in the country, which is indicative of the quality of play we can expect on Saturday.

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Who will win? Sportzshala spoke to 15 NFL coaches and scouts familiar with the teams to talk about the game. Ten chose Ohio to win, five predicted Michigan to win, and no one predicted failure.

“The passing game in Ohio State is better than American football has ever seen,” said one coach. “The Michigan running game is as good as anyone has ever seen.”

The picking theme came down to believing in a more talented team (Ohio State) or a team that some, though not all, felt could play better overall, due in part to the complementary football and balance across all three stages.

Here are 11 of the most important things to watch from coaches and scouts who have studied Ohio and Michigan.