The numbers behind Ohio St. vs. Michigan - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

The numbers behind Ohio St. vs. Michigan

(Source: WTOL) (Source: WTOL)
ANN ARBOR, MI (WTOL) -

One of college football's most intense rivalries will be renewed for the 111th time in Ann Arbor Saturday. Ohio State comes in as a heavy favorite against the Wolverines to chalk up their sixth straight victory.

Michigan still leads the series overall with a record of 58-48-6. The Wolverines built an early dominance against Ohio State, winning 54 games between 1897 and 1999. That comes out as 56 percent of the games.

In the 21st century, Ohio State won an overwhelming majority of the games. The Buckeyes were victorious in 14 games since 2000, which comes out as 82 percent winning percentage.

As members of the Big 10 Conference, Ohio State actually leads the series 48-46-4.

Since Urban Meyer's first season in Columbus beginning in 2012, the Bucks beat Michigan every year, including the last two against Jim Harbaugh. Three of his five victories were decided by less than one score. Two of those games, including last year's double overtime thriller, were decided by less than a field goal.

Ohio State is fourth in the FBS in total offense, putting up more than 6,000 yards over the course of the season. The Buckeyes also rank third in scoring offense, averaging 44.9 points per game. The Buckeyes also rank fourth in third down conversions, with nearly a 50 percent conversion rate.

Ohio State is less prolific on defense, ranked 22nd in scoring defense.

On the other side of the coin, Michigan boasts one of the country's better defenses while having great struggles on offense.

The Wolverines rank third in total defense, allowing 261 yards per game. They also rank 11th in the country in scoring defense, allowing only 17.1 points per game. 

Offensively, the Wolverines rank 102nd in total offense and 82nd in scoring offense. The majority of their offensive struggles stems from a passing offense that averages only 166 yards per game. Also Michigan has eight touchdowns through the air compared to seven interceptions.

As in many games, turnovers will likely play a key role. Neither Ohio State nor Michigan ranked in the top 50 in turnover margin, but Ohio State does hold a slight advantage.

The Buckeyes have a +2 turnover margin while the Wolverines have a -1 turnover margin.

Both teams rank among the worst in the FBS in penalties, though Michigan is slightly better. The Wolverines rank 95th in total penalties while the Buckeyes rank 109th in penalties.

While statistics give perspective about a game, in rivalry games, statistics and record books are non-factors.

And while historians and statisticians record numbers, fans remember the result, the only two numbers that truly matter: The winner's score and the loser's score.

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