Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
2018 record: 10-3
Head coach: Jim Harbaugh
2019 record so far: 2-1
Record against Ohio State since 2010: 1-8
On Dec. 30, 2014, Jim Harbaugh was officially named the 20th head coach at Michigan.
After poor performances under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, Michigan believed Harbaugh could turn things around.
Three games into his fifth season as head coach, Harbaugh has a record of 40-15.
Over the course of his Michigan tenure, Harbaugh is 0-4 against Ohio State, 1-9 against top 10 opponents, 0-7 as the underdog and 1-6 on the road against ranked opponents.
The talent has been there for Michigan, as its had three top ten recruiting classes, including the No. 5 class of 2017.
After finishing no higher than No. 53 nationally in passing offense during Harbaugh’s first three seasons, including a No. 111 finish in 2017, the Wolverines are hoping senior quarterback Shea Patterson can lead them to their first College Football Playoff appearance, even after those aspirations took a massive hit following a 35-14 loss to then-No. 13 Wisconsin.
The former five-star recruit and Ole Miss transfer had an impressive 2018 season, as he threw for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first season as a Wolverine.
Complementing Patterson is junior wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, who finished the 2018 season with 612 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The former five-star recruit has been battling a lower leg injury but made his season debut in Week 4 against Wisconsin, his only reception coming on a five-yard touchdown pass from Patterson.
Michigan also will lean on freshman running back Zach Charbonnet, who is looking to replace Karon Higdon’s production. Higdon finished 2018 with 1,178 yards and 10 touchdowns. Charbonnet was a four-star recruit and the No. 4 running back in the class of 2019.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Wolverines are replacing a few key pieces from their 2018 defense, which ranked No. 2 in the nation for yards allowed. Linebacker Devin Bush, defensive back David Long and defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich were all selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Leading the Wolverines’ secondary is senior defensive back Lavert Hill, who finished 2018 with first-team All-Big Ten honors, third-team All-American honors and was a Jim Thorpe Award finalist, an award that recognizes the nation’s best defensive back.
Senior linebacker Khaleke Hudson anchors the Wolverine defense, as he leads the team with 34 tackles.
The Wolverines are off to a rocky start, as they are currently 2-1 with wins over Middle Tennessee and Army, who took them to overtime, with their only loss coming from Wisconsin.
Michigan’s upcoming schedule only gets tougher as five of its nine remaining games come against ranked opponents, including No. 14 Iowa, No. 12 Penn State, No. 10 Notre Dame, No. 25 Michigan State and No. 5 Ohio State.
The rivalry game against Ohio State will be in Ann Arbor, where the Wolverines will look to snap the Buckeyes’ seven-game win streak against them.
Michigan’s last win against Ohio State came in 2011 when it defeated the Buckeyes 40-34. Then-quarterback Denard Robinson exploded for 167 passing yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 170 yards and two scores on the ground in the victory.
The Wolverines lead the all-time series with a record of 58-50-6. However, the Buckeyes have won 14 of the past 16 matchups.
Michigan looks to improve to 3-1 on the season when it faces off against Rutgers Saturday at home.