Michigan’s game this weekend against Maryland is cancelled because of COVID-19 but Ohio State AD Gene Smith apparently is confident next week’s rivalry game will take place.

Smith disclosed on his podcast that he believes the Ohio State-Michigan matchup will be fulfilled, which is vital for the Buckeyes’ CFP hopes. 4-0 Ohio State has had two of its games canceled this season. Unless there’s a last minute rule change, Ohio State needs to play 6 games to qualify for the B1G title game.

Smith cites Ohio State’s handling of COVID-19 as a factor in why Michigan will be ready to go.

“They have a lot to play for,” Smith said. “I know that they’re having some challenges this week because they had to shut down. But I think they’ll be back. I know they enhanced their protocols. They stopped on Monday. So that gives them a good seven days to try and basically do what we did – to try to make the corrections that need to be made. I think they’ll be back and we should be able to play unless they have a rash that’s uncontrollable. I know they want to play. I’m sure that they’re working hard to make sure they have the chance to play.”

Smith also confirmed that Ohio State will travel to Michigan State this Saturday for their road finale (11 a.m. CST/ABC).

“I feel good about the Michigan State game,” Smith told co-host Ben Waite of the Buckeye Club. “That’s obviously right here on our doorstep, and we will play.”

Michigan leads Ohio State 58-51-6 in the storied rivalry. However, Ohio State is on an eight-game winning streak in the heated matchup.