Almost everyone had Michigan losing to Ohio State by a large margin and it seemed crazy to think otherwise. But people overlooked the fact that it was a rivalry game. In the best rivalry’s, previous records might as well be thrown out. The passion that the players share is more than enough to create a close game.
The Michigan Wolverines have been struggling since their third game performance against Akron. Inconsistent play from both the offense and defense have been to blame. Devin Gardner started as a poised upper classman but quickly regressed into a turnover machine.
It has been the opposite story for Ohio State. They have rolled through their season even when starting quarterback Braxton Miller was injured. Their goal is to make it to the national championship. Michigan was supposed to be just another tally in the win column.
The game ended up being a great back and forth contest with neither team letting up. It was a thriller to the end with Michigan going for two instead of kicking the extra point to more than likely send the game into overtime. The attempt was intercepted and the Buckeyes won 42-41.
Many people are critical of Brady Hoke’s decision to go for two. The general rule is to take it to overtime when you are at home. Hoke left the decision up to his seniors. They wanted to go for it. I don’t have a problem with the choice of going for it, I have a problem with the play call. A quick throw to the right just seems like a waste of Devin Gardner’s skill set. I would have preferred some type of rollout or at least another jump ball to Devin Funchess.
Michigan did a good job mixing up play calls in the first half. They got creative with many of their plays. For instance, the double screen that was throw back at Gardner. If it had been caught it was pretty much a sure touchdown. This could have been a key play for the Wolverines. If they had scored on that play they would have been up 14 creating a whole different game. Michigan got a lot more conservative in the second half.
Carlos Hyde’s monster game was one of the key reasons that Ohio State won the game. The Michigan defense couldn’t stop him. He ran for 226 yards on 27 carries. Devin Gardner was Michigan’s answer for Hyde as he threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran one in.
There were three ejections after a fight during the game. Ohio state starting right guard Marcus Hall and kick returner Dontre Wilson were tossed along with Michigan linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone. Hall gave the crowd the middle finger as he exited.
Michigan now awaits their bowl game fate while Ohio State will play Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship.