COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — No. 2 Ohio State has put together one of the toughest defenses in the nation, and it’s done so through several injuries to starters.

The next challenge is the team with the toughest defense nationally, Michigan, with the two set to play at noon on Saturday. In recent games, it’s appeared that Ohio State was giving some defenders extra time to heal before letting them play in a game again, and coach Ryan Day had a chance to update their statuses at his weekly news conference at noon on Tuesday.

Ohio State played Minnesota on Saturday without defensive regulars such as linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, tackle Mike Hall Jr. and safety Lathan Ransom, who is expected to also miss the Michigan game.

While Day did not address the injury status of any of his players, the much-improved Buckeyes defense even without key starters to ready to make adjustments to make amends for the last two Michigan losses. “You are going to see a confident group going out there,” said Day.

The Buckeyes (11-0) and their third-ranked defense are coming off a 37-3 win over Minnesota and the Wolverines (11-0) off a 31-24 win over Maryland.

The winner of the game will clinch the Big Ten East division title and advance to the conference championship game on Dec. 2 in Indianapolis. The loser will have to wait and see if its regular-season performance was good enough for one of four College Football Playoff spots.

With the stakes so high, the mission for Day and his players is to play fast and relaxed. “It’s our job to get them a good plan and let them go play,” said Day. “It is going to be a battle and the good news is this is something we’ve been preparing for all year.”