Football

Junior wide receiver Nico Collins will be a pivotal part of Michigan's gameplan against Ohio State..

Even in a game that will feature future NFL talent up and down the field, Collins’ skillset will stick out. Ohio State will likely line up cornerback Jeff Okudah on Collins for the majority of the game, who, for all his merits, will be at a three-to-four inch size disadvantage. Collins, coming off a monstrous six-catch, 165-yard, three-touchdown outing against Indiana will be out for more in the most important game of his career to date.

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Just when all looked depleted, when the only source of intrigue for the Ohio State game was going to be the margin of defeat, Michigan lifted a moribund season from its already-constructed grave. In the process, it instilled just a kernel of that pesky, pesky thing called hope.

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Last week, as students tailgated before Michigan’s game against Michigan State, Psi Upsilon fraternity draped a bedsheet out a window of their house. The banner, ostensibly to offer up a roast of the Spartans, read: “You can’t touch us, @LarryNassar.”

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As Saturday afternoon faded into night, nobody in the Michigan locker room wanted to talk about Indiana.

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Jim Harbaugh strode to the podium Monday afternoon. He tapped his fingers on the wood. He leaned forward, antsy.

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The Daily breaks down how Michigan matches up with the Buckeyes in all facets of the game.

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BLOOMINGTON — Shea Patterson’s previous pass had fallen hopelessly incomplete, a wide-open Donovan Peoples-Jones looking on as the ball clattered to the end-zone turf.

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BLOOMINGTON — Nico Collins took his time walking off the field Saturday night. Helmet off, Collins peered up at a cluster of visiting Michigan fans. He heard a few “Let’s go Blue” chants mixed in with “Beat Ohio,” a smattering of yells rendering both incoherent.

Michigan's defense allowed less than five yards per play against Indiana on Saturday.

After the promise of the game’s opening 20 minutes, Indiana ran into the same wall that befell Michigan State, Maryland and Notre Dame. In the end, Michigan won, 39-14, holding an offense that came into Saturday ranked top-15 in SP+ to less than five yards per play and next to no production after three opening drives that seemed to poke holes in a maize and blue facade.

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BLOOMINGTON — Five minutes in and the game already seemed like a nightmare.