Running backs in spotlight as No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan clash

In a showdown that could be decided by which powerhouse can successfully move the ball on the ground, the health of the running backs will be in the spotlight when No. 3 Michigan plays No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.The Wolverines (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) rely on Heisman Trophy candidate Blake Corum, who has rushed for 1,457 yards on 5.9 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns, but he left the Illinois game last Saturday in the third quarter with a knee injury.Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that he had no injury update although that could be some gamesmanship because Corum told the Detroit News on Sunday, “It’s good. I’ll be fine. I’ll be back.”The Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0) have the two-pronged attack of Miyan Williams (783 yards, 6.7 per carry, 13 touchdowns) and TreVeyon Henderson (571, 5.3, six), but they have rarely been used as a tandem in the game.Henderson has missed three games due to injury and was hurt in the first half against Maryland last Saturday. Williams did not play versus the Terrapins, has sat out two other games and left another early.Ohio State coach Ryan Day on Tuesday said he is hopeful they’ll be ready for Michigan.”We’d like for them to practice, but if they miss a little bit we’ll adjust accordingly,” he said.In their absence, freshman Dallan Hayden has filled the void. He rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns against Maryland and 102 yards and one score versus Indiana in the previous game, averaging 5.4 yards per carry in each contest.”To see the way he stepped up last week was tremendous and encouraging,” Day said.When asked if a healthy Hayden is better than Williams and Henderson if they’re not 100 percent, Day said, “I think it’s definitely worth a conversation.”Michigan backup running back Donovan Edwards and edge rusher Mike Morris also were unavailable against Illinois — Harbaugh did not have updates — but Corum is the key.