Joel Klatt wouldn’t be surprised if Michigan handles the Washington offense well come Monday.

He explained how Michigan was built to compete with offenses like Ohio State on the latest edition of “The Joel Klatt Show.” Prior to 2020, the Wolverines were solid on defense until they had to play Ohio State at the end of the year.

“Before Covid, Michigan was a really good college defense. In particular with teams that they would overmatch from a skill standpoint. So they would dominate until they would match up with Ohio State. They didn’t have the speed in the secondary to play the structure they were trying to play back in those days,” said Klatt. “That structure was a man-oriented defensive coverage scheme. … For the majority of their schedule, it worked because other teams wouldn’t have the athletes to combat what Michigan was trying to do. Until they saw the Buckeyes.”

The talent at wide receiver for Ohio State would prove too much for Michigan and it typically didn’t end well. Everything changed once Jim Harbaugh took a pay cut after 2020 and started to really changes things in Ann Arbor.

“Then the Buckeyes would roll out there and they would have great wide receivers and speed all over the place and a terrific scheme from then offensive coordinator Ryan Day or head coach Ryan Day in 2019. Ohio State would obliterate that defense,” said Klatt. “Then came to the Covid season and that was just a debacle. There’s talk that they’re gonna move on, there’s that they’re gonna fire Jim Harbaugh. They keep him and if you remember, he reduced his contract. He took a pay cut to stay and try to fix things at Michigan.”

Fast forward to now and Harbaugh has beaten Ohio State 3 years in a row and is on the brink of winning a national title. Washington running a similar style of offense could play in Michigan’s favor.

“Jim changed everything about the program. They changed the structure of the defense to run the Baltimore Ravens’ defense,” said Klatt. “Why? To matchup with Ohio State … You see the old Michigan defense, Washington would torch that defense. This Michigan defense? Actually uniquely suited to match up with this specific style of offense because it was a style of offense that Jim needed to beat.”

Can Michigan have similar success on defense like it has recently with Ohio State? Fans will have to wait and see until kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.