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HOLY CRAP OHIO STATE BEAT MICHIGAN LETS TALK ABOUT ITPosted by Land-Grant Holy Land - For Ohio State fans on Saturday, November 26, 2016
After surviving a close road game at Michigan State, the one-loss Ohio State Buckeyes hosted the third-ranked team in the country and their arch rival Michigan. Ohio State ranked as second in the nation coming into the game and had a chance of a berth in the College Football Playoff riding on this final regular season game for the Buckeyes. Perhaps the biggest showdown between Ohio State and Michigan since 2006, when the teams were ranked first and second in the country, respectively, Saturday’s contest was just as tightly contested and lived up to the hype, stretching into the first ever overtime game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
Michigan would start the game off with the ball and start moving the chains pretty consistently with Wilton Speight at quarterback. Eventually, Ohio State would get the stop and the Buckeyes would take over deep in their own territory. It wouldn’t take long for Curtis Samuel to get involved rushing for a first down while J.T. Barrett would find Noah Brown for another one. After more successful plays the Buckeyes would try for a field goal but Tyler Durbin would miss on somewhat of a shank to the left, keeping the score locked at zero.
After trading possessions, the Wolverines would continue gashing through the Buckeyes defense after starting with good field possession. Speight and Jake Butt would connect for a big play on the left sideline pushing Michigan in the red zone. After a couple more plays, the Buckeyes defense would get a stop, holding the Wolverines to a field goal. Michigan would take a 3-0 lead early on in the second quarter.
Ohio State would have a quick three and out, giving the ball back to the Wolverines on their own 35-yard line. Michigan would respond with its own three and out but again pin the Buckeyes deep in their own territory. Once again the teams would trade possessions as the defenses continued to lock in on its opponent. After a Cameron Johnston punt would pin Michigan deep in their own territory, Malik Hooker would pick off Wilton Speight and house the interception for a touchdown. Ohio State then took the lead 7-3 late in the second quarter.
The Wolverines would take the pick six in stride though, as Speight and company drove down the field on the very next drive to get right on Ohio State’s goal line. With just seconds remaining in the first half, Michigan would call a timeout on third and goal before a fullback run would push through for a touchdown to give the Wolverines a 10-7 lead at halftime.
Ohio State would start with the ball in the second half and get a quick completion to Marcus Baugh for a first down. A few plays later, Barrett would throw an interception off a deflection to Jabrill Peppers and Michigan would take over. From there it was an easy drive for the Wolverines until they got to the goal line, where a mishandled handoff ended up in a fumble recovery for Ohio State. But another tough defensive stand by the Wolverines would force yet another punt for the Buckeyes. Instead, a fake punt ran by Cameron Johnston would be sniffed out and Michigan would take over with great field position.
A handful of plays later, Michigan would extend its lead over Ohio State with a short touchdown to put the Wolverines up 17-7 late in the third quarter. Perhaps a somewhat shell shocked Ohio State team would take over on its next drive. Though the Buckeyes would string together a few first downs, a punt would pin the Wolverines deep in their own territory.
Following a Jerome Baker interception, Ohio State would start with excellent field position and two plays later, Mike Weber would dive over a pile into the endzone for a touchdown. Michigan’s lead would be cut to 17-14. On Michigan’s next drive, the Buckeyes defense would hold strong and force a punt from the Wolverines. With momentum on its side, Ohio State would still have trouble moving the ball and would eventually have to send off another Cameron Johnston punt.
A Nick Bosa sack would halt Michigan’s drive and set Ohio State up with another good spot of field position. On a second down play, J.T. Barrett would keep the ball himself and run up the middle of the field for big gain to put the Buckeyes in the Wolverines’ territory. A fourth down in field goal range, Ohio State would elect to go for it. A handoff to Mike Weber would burst through the line and get a first and goal for the Buckeyes.
After three plays, Tyler Durbin would line up for a game-tying field goal that would, in dramatic fashion, go wide left from a short distance keeping the score at 17-14 in favor of Michigan. Another stop by the Ohio State defense would give the Buckeyes yet another shot at potentially winning or even tying the game. A key pass interference call would give the Buckeyes a big first down. Barrett would find a receiver to set up Mike Weber for a first down at midfield.
Barrett would find Noah Brown for a first down to set up Ohio State near the goal line and another opportunity to score. After a false start and two busted plays, Ohio State would set up for a game-tying field goal. With 22 seconds remaining, Tyler Durbin would line up for the field goal and connect on the short field goal to tie the game at 17-17 and force overtime.
Ohio State would start overtime with the ball. Curtis Samuel would take the first carry and push the Buckeyes inside the 10. J.T. Barrett would take the very next handoff right up the middle and into the endzone as the Buckeyes would take a 24-17 lead with Michigan up next on offense.
Wilton Speight and the Wolverines would show their own might with a couple of nice plays of their own. Facing the goal line on third and goal, Michigan would hand the ball off only to meet a wall of Buckeye defenders, coming down to one final play on fourth and goal. Speight would find his man deep in the endzone for a touchdown to once again tie the game at 24-24.
Michigan would start with the ball in double overtime but after three plays the Wolverines would kick a field goal to give them the lead 27-24 with Ohio State up next. The Buckeyes would take over with a J.T. Barrett run up the middle to start things off. Barrett would then take a sack on the next play setting up third down and long. A long Curtis Samuel run, fourth and short would be the result. Buckeyes would then go for it and Barrett would go for the keeper that came down to just inches over the first down marker.
With a new set of downs, Ohio State would hand to Curtis Samuel for the game winning touchdown in double overtime
Here are three things we learned from Ohio State's 30-27 overtime win.
3 things we learned:
1. Defense ruled The Game. It’s the way Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler would have wanted it. In such an important game between arch rivals Ohio State and Michigan, it only made sense for this year’s edition of The Game to be a defensive showcase - and it didn’t disappoint on that front. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines seemed to move the ball well early on, but eventually the two defenses would lock things down. A halftime score of 10-7 really told much of the story as well. A stark contrast from the 2006 version of the rivalry which ended in a 42-39 shootout, the 2016 version didn’t feature an Ohio State touchdown until later in the second quarter when safety Malik Hooker intercepted a Wilton Speight pass and took it all the way into the endzone.
And the Wolverines wouldn’t find the endzone until the waning seconds of the first half when Michigan pounded it with their fullback on the goal line. Other than that, a field goal only separated the two teams after one half of play.
In the second half, Michigan seemed to crush any sort of hope the Buckeyes offense had. And though Ohio State’s defense did all it could, it was only a matter of time before the Wolverines found the endzone yet again. Jerome Baker would provide a spark with another interception for the Buckeyes setting them up in excellent field position and eventually a touchdown. Ohio State found some offensive sparks later on in the fourth quarter but as a whole, it was tough sledding.
2. The offense still had trouble finding an identity. Though you can point to the poor starting field position for Ohio State, the Buckeyes simply had trouble finding any sort of rhythm against Michigan’s vaunted defense outside of the first drive of the game (which didn’t end up coming out with any points at all). Quarterback J.T. Barrett struggled to find consistency through the air, throwing for only 40 yards in the first half on 5-of-11 passing. The ground game didn’t really have much success either. Weber and Samuel had 14 and 12 yards respectively at the half on six and four carries.
It seemed that the wide receivers still had trouble separating themselves from the defensive secondary of Michigan and when Ohio State’s offensive line was being rushed at all, it put all the pressure on Barrett who misfired on plenty of open looks. Simply put, Michigan’s defensive front caused nightmares for the line all game long and it took its toll on Ohio State’s offense.
As mentioned earlier, the starting field position game for Ohio State surely played a huge role in the difficulty of sustaining drives. The first several drives for the Buckeyes started at eight, 11, 25, and 4-yard lines which against a defense like Michigan’s can be nearly impossible to move the football effectively.
Mike Weber would find the endzone in the second half after an interception from Jerome Baker but without great field position, the Buckeyes seemingly couldn’t move the ball very well at all. In overtime, with a shortened field, it didn’t matter as Curtis Samuel and Barrett came up big for a touchdown and a lead.
3. Ohio State is (likely) going to the College Football Playoff. Ohio State may have sealed its own fate on Saturday with a win against Michigan. After being ranked second in the country, it seemed like the Buckeyes were well positioned to make another trip to the College Football Playoff despite likely missing the Big Ten championship game. And with the win at home over the rival Wolverines, Urban Meyer’s team will likely make a trip to the playoff after all is said and done.
With other games yet to be played, its hard to say who Ohio State will meet should the Buckeyes make the playoff, but if things hold, Urban Meyer’s squad could face a third-ranked Clemson team which could be an extremely interesting matchup with Deshaun Watson.