COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For the second year in a row, Michigan played spoiler to Ohio State University’s quest to return to the Big 10 championship, handing the Buckeyes its first loss of the season with a 45-23 win Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Michigan has chewed up over seven minutes of clock time and run 14 plays, chugging down to the Ohio State two-yard line. McCarthy finally broke through, running it in on third and goal from the Buckeyes three-yard line. A really dominant 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up nearly eight minutes puts the Wolverines up by two scores.
Ohio State was unable to do anything with its possession and punted, with Michigan fair catching at its own 28. The Buckeyes continued their undisciplined play with another unsportsmanlike penalty, taking it to the Michigan 43. A pass interference penalty took it to the OSU 42-yard line.
The Buckeyes perked up on defense, holding UM to just two yards. The Wolverines gambled and attempted a 57-yard field goal, which Jake Moody pushed to the left with 9:21 remaining in the game.
The Buckeyes faced third and 8 at their own 41 when Stroud threw a laser to Egbuka on a post, taking the ball to the Michigan 15. Trayanum ran it to the 9, and Stroud threw a pretty ball to Cade Stover on third-and-four but Michigan’s Mike Sainristil broke it up in the end zone, forcing OSU to settle for a 27-yard Ruggles field goal with 7:23 to play. The Buckeyes went 52 yards in seven plays.
The one-score deficit ballooned again when Edwards went 75 yards off tackle right, the fourth touchdown of 45-plus yards for the Wolverines on the day. Ohio State continues to stay in man coverage, which means there is no support on the back end and allows big plays.
Ohio State took advantage of Michigan’s passive coverage and moved to the Wolverines 16, where it faced third and 10 with 4:27 left to play. Stroud was flushed out of the pocket and just flung the ball forward to no one in particular, and it was picked off by the Wolverines’ Taylor Upshaw at the OSU 8-yard line.
Edwards exploded for an 85-yard touchdown on the next series, to put the game on ice.
Michigan played bully ball in the second half and it was successful.
MICHIGAN PASSING: 12-24, 263 yards, 3 TDs
OHIO STATE PASSING: Stroud 31-48, 349 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
MICHIGAN RUSHING: Edwards 22-216, 2 TD; McCarthy 6-27, TD
OHIO STATE RUSHING: Trayanum 14-83
MICHIGAN RECEIVING: C Johnson 4-160, 2 TD; Loveland 1-45, TD
OHIO STATE RECEIVING: Egbuka 9-125, TD; Harrison Jr 7-120, TD
TOTAL YARDS: MICHIGAN 530, 278 passing, 250 rushing; OHIO STATE 492, 349 passing, 143 rushing
Michigan converted a fourth and inches on its first possession of the half at its own 34 to keep its drive going and scored on another busted coverage when McCarthy found Colston Loveland on a 45-yard touchdown strike. Michigan went 75 yards in seven plays and consumed just over three minutes.
Ohio State gained one first down but was forced to punt when a third-down sweep was blown up by the Wolverines defense. Mirco’s punt was fair caught at the UM 13-yard line. After opening the game converting four-of-five third downs, Ohio State has been unsuccessful on its last six tries.
OSU forced a three and out and got the ball at the Michigan 49, but was its own worst enemy, getting a 23-yard completion to Trayanum that was negated by a hold and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed the ball back to the 27-yard line. The Buckeyes were forced to punt, Mirco’s boot going into the end zone with 6:01 left in the quarter.
Michigan got back to its DNA, running the ball eight times and moving it down to the Buckeyes’ 16. McCarthy helped the cause by picking up chunks of yardage on called quarterback runs.
McCarthy’s third-down pass to Bell was high, forcing a Brad Robbins punt, which was fair caught by Egbuka at the OSU 30.
The Buckeyes marched into Michigan territory when Stroud found Egbuka for 11 yards to the Wolverines’ 42. Ohio State moved to the UM 34 and faced fourth and two, but a Stroud pass to Stover went off the fingertips of the tight end.
Michigan went three-and-out on its next series, which got behind the chains early when J.T. Tuimoloau brought down Donovan Edwards for a loss on first down. Robbins punted to the OSU 23.
Ohio State picked up a quick first down but bogged down and was forced to punt when on third down UM got pressure on Stroud, whose pass to Xavier Johnson was wide. Jesse Mirco’s punt was nearly downed at the one but rolled into the end zone. A holding penalty on the Buckeyes moved the ball to the UM 30-yard line.
OSU got great pressure on McCarthy on third down, but his pass to Johnson left Cam Brown alone to make the tackle and he missed. Johnson took it 69 yards to the house, tying the game despite the Wolverines having a huge yardage deficit.
The Buckeyes answered with a 24-yard run by Chip Trayanum and a perfect throw to the sideline to Harrison Jr to the Michigan 29. A run by Trayanum took it to the 24, but a false start penalty stagnated the drive. OSU got a 47-yard field goal from Ruggles with 5:36 remaining in the half, covering 41 yards in six plays.
Michigan struck back immediately, getting a 75-yard TD catch from Johnson, who made Cam Martinez look ridiculous with an out fake.
The Buckeyes pushed into Michigan territory when Julian Fleming took a short pass for 15 yards to the Wolverines’ 42, and then Stroud found a mismatch with Harrison Jr getting single-covered and delivered a beautiful deep ball for a touchdown. OSU went 79 yards in four plays.
Michigan had third-and-1 at its own 29 when Tommy Eichenberg stuffed Kalel Mullings before he could get a head of steam, forcing a Wolverines punt that was fair caught by Egbuka at the OSU 20.
The Buckeyes went three and out, choosing a difficult route with which to convert a third and four. Mirco’s punt went 46 yards and was returned five yards to the UM 33 with 1:14 left in the half. A big run by McCarthy was negated by an Ohio State timeout, and consecutive false start penalties pushed the ball back to the Wolverines’ 31. Third down was short, forcing a Michigan punt with nine seconds left.
MICHIGAN PASSING: McCarthy 8-14, 204 yards, 2 TD
OHIO STATE PASSING: Stroud 17-26, 191 yards, 2 TD
MICHIGAN RUSHING: Edwards 5-9
OHIO STATE RUSHING: Trayanum 8-64; Williams 8-34
MICHIGAN RECEIVING: C. Johnson 4-160, 2 TD; Bell 2-41
OHIO STATE RECEIVING: Harrison Jr 3-79, TD; Egbuka 5-53, TD
TOTAL YARDS: Michigan 214, 204 passing, 10 rushing; Ohio State 315, 191 passing, 124 rushing
Ohio State got the ball first and picked up four first downs on its opening drive, including a great one-handed sideline catch by Marvin Harrison Jr for 19 yards to the Michigan 25. The drive was capped with a five-yard touchdown strike from CJ Stroud to Emeka Egbuka, covering 81 yards in 12 plays and nearly five plays.
Michigan opened its first possession with an incompletion and a run by Blake Corum, who didn’t have his usual burst early. The Wolverines converted on third down when JJ McCarthy found Cornelius Johnson for 12 yards on third-and-6 and converted again when Denzel Burke lost Ronnie Bell on a go route for a 32-yard completion to the OSU 24. Faced with third-and-20 at the Buckeyes’ 34, the Wolverines settled for a crossing route to AJ Henning for three yards. That left a 49-yard field goal attempt for kicker Jake Moody, which he nailed. Michigan’s drive was 44 yards on 10 plays.
OSU got the ball at its own 28 and quickly moved past midfield when Egbuka took a short pass for 13 yards and drew a facemask penalty on the Wolverines, moving the ball to the Michigan 40. OSU got into the UM red zone on a pair of short runs by Williams, down to the 15. Michigan was able to hold, forcing a Noah Ruggles 32-yard field goal. The Buckeyes went 58 yards in 10 plays, in another nearly five-minute drive.
Michigan deviated from the script by passing on its initial drive but opened its next series with a pair of runs, netting five yards.
Second-ranked Ohio State headed into Saturday’s rivalry showdown against Michigan with redemption on its mind.
The Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0) were bullied and beaten 42-27 in Ann Arbor a year ago, and were labeled “soft” after the Wolverines ran for nearly 300 yards and scored all six touchdowns on the ground.
Michigan has punched its ticket to the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis and keeps alive hopes of a berth in the College Football Playoff.
The Buckeyes were without the services of running back TreVeyon Henderson, who aggravated a foot injury last week against Maryland.