NEW YORK – FOX College Football lead game analyst Joel Klatt appeared on FS1 daily studio shows on Wednesday to preview the biggest rivalry in college football – No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State on FOX. Saturday’s coverage begins at 11:00 AM ET with an hour-long edition of FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME. Once the game kicks off at 12:00 PM ET, Klatt calls the action alongside play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and reporter Jenny Taft.
Highlights from Klatt’s appearances are below:
On UNDISPUTED, FOX College Football lead analyst Joel Klatt said Ohio State will be the toughest test of the season for Michigan’s defense:
“This Michigan defense has not seen a quarterback or an offense anywhere near the caliber of what Ohio State is going to bring into this game. Dwayne Haskins is playing at a remarkably high level, and he should get more conversation in the Heisman Trophy race, because he’s doing exactly what Kyler Murray is doing for Oklahoma, which is carrying a team with a bad defense to a 10-1 record.
“If Michigan’s defense doesn’t play their best, Ohio State’s going to put up a lot of points. That offense is potent.
“Ohio State’s offense is more tested as the No. 2 overall total offense in the country than the No. 1 defense in Michigan, because Michigan has not seen what Ohio State will bring to this table. Not at all.”
Klatt expects Saturday’s game to be close:
“I’m not saying that Ohio State is going to win, but being at home and having that offense, it’s going to be a much closer game than a lot of people are expecting. People think Michigan’s just going to go out there and blow them out because Urban’s (Meyer) been grabbing his head on the sideline and the defense has been giving up big plays. This is going to be a one-possession game late, and somebody’s going to have to make a play. And the guy who has made more plays than anybody the entire season is No. 7 in the red jersey. That’s Dwayne Haskins. If you’re looking for an edge, it’s that quarterback right there.”
UNDISPUTED co-host Skip Bayless thinks Michigan will beat Ohio State this weekend:
“I believe Michigan will win this game, but I believed before the season started Michigan would win the national championship, and at that point they were nine-point preseason underdogs at Ohio State.”
"Obviously I believe @UMichFootball will win this game…"
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) November 21, 2018
Bayless thinks the quarterback position will be the difference-maker in Michigan-Ohio State:
“Right now, if I boil this game down, it’s quarterback vs. quarterback, and I will take Shea Patterson over Dwayne Haskins, because Jim Harbaugh finally has a quarterback. I’m not saying he’s going to be a big, great NFL quarterback, but he’s a really good college football player. He is a playmaker. He plays with poise and savvy and guts, and he can sneaky hurt you with his legs as well as his arm. He doesn’t have a big arm, but he’s got an accurate arm, and he’ll make big clutch throws in big moments.”
Klatt says Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson has the chance to be the most successful transfer in college football history:
“If he’s able to come in here as a transfer and win this game, it’s going to be the most successful transfer ever, even over Russell Wilson.
“If Patterson wins, this will be considered the most successful transfer in the history of college football.”
On THE HERD WITH COLIN COWHERD, Klatt says this weekend’s game is Jim Harbaugh’s most important since the 2013 Super Bowl:
“You can make a strong argument that this might be the most important game he’s coached since the Super Bowl.
“He’s favored. He’s got the team. It’s experienced on defense. They’re good on the offensive line. They’ve run the ball. And more importantly, he has a quarterback. With Ohio State struggling and going through what they’ve gone through this season, he’s got to win this game. This one is huge, because if you’re Michigan and you don’t win this game, when are we going to win?”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 21, 2018
Klatt says he expects Urban Meyer to be Ohio State’s head coach next season:
“If anything, Ohio State’s not making any sort of moves. Why would they have gone through what they went through this offseason unless they wanted him to be there long-term?
“Urban’s health might be an issue – the cyst in his head that gives him these pounding headaches. He looked exasperated last week – obviously, anyone would when the defense is giving up over 50 points the week before a rival. He doesn’t seem normal to me as my history with him has shown. Having said that, I don’t see him riding away this way. He’s one of the best coaches we’ve seen in this generation – you really think this is the way he wants to ride out? I don’t. If you’re asking me, having talked to him, having been around the program, I do not think this is the last year for Urban.”