Football

Shea Patterson started thinking about this year's Ohio State game when Michigan lost to the Buckeyes last year.

He was then asked if he had what it would mean to win on Saturday. And for the briefest of moments, before affirming his focus was just on the next day’s practice, Patterson peeled back the curtain.

“I have,” he said. “I have.”

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.

Presented by The Michigan Daily’s sports section, a rotating cast of writers discusses Michigan sports.

Just days before The Game, senior sports editor Ben Katz speaks with football beat writers, Aria Gerson, Max Marcovitch and Ethan Sears, about the latest Michigan-Ohio State football showdown.

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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.

Senior quarterback Shea Patterson threw for 366 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday in a win over Indiana.

This year, the combination of talent and system are coalescing at the perfect time, and they give Michigan one clear reason for hope going into Saturday: quarterback Shea Patterson.

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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.