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Ohio State blows out Michigan 62-39, Urban Meyer stays undefeated against rival


NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After sleepwalking on defense for the better part of the past month, the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes came out on fire against the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 318 yards, and picked apart the “vaunted” Michigan defense en route to a 62-39 victory. In the process, the redshirt-sophomore quarterback rewrote the Big Ten record books passing a pair of Purdue quarterbacks to set new single-season passing yardage and touchdown records.

As he set Big Ten records, Haskins was carving away at the Michigan defense in the process. The Potomac, Md., native went 19-of-30 in the air, and tallied 5 touchdown passes. Two of those passing strikes went to the freshman wide receiver Chris Olave; both hauls were from 24 yards out—and gave the Buckeyes momentum in the early going.

Parris Campbell led the WR efforts in The Horseshoe, grabbing five receptions for 114 yards and a TD. Campbell also took a 78-yard rush down the far sideline for another TD. K.J. Hill received four catches for 51 yards and Johnnie Dixon caught a solo pass for 31 yards. Both receives had TD grabs as well.

On the ground, Mike Weber led the rushing efforts with 96 yards on 13 carries. J.K. Dobbins pulled together a 12-carry afternoon, tallying 46 yards in total.

Even though the Buckeyes had 12 penalties for 150 yards and a fumbled kickoff, they forced two turnovers from the UM offense—converting those for 14 points. Additionally, the Bucks blocked a punt, and sacked Michigan QB Shea Patterson three times.

The biggest stat of the day? Urban Meyer is now 7-0 against that team up north, while Jim Harbaugh is now 0-4 against Meyer and the Bucks. Michigan entered the game as a 4-point favorite, and ended up losing by 23. It was the first time in 51 games that Meyer and the Bucks were underdogs, and for the seventh time since arriving in Columbus, has emerged victorious in those games as the underdog.

Michigan’s opening drive began with an 8-yard carry from Karan Higdon. However, Chase Young negated the yards on second down by sacking Patterson. The Wolverines’ lost momentum, and could not convert on the third down.

Ohio State’s opening drive led to the game’s first score. With the help of a 23-yard punt return from K.J. Hill, the Buckeyes had a starting position at their own 43. It took just six plays to march into the end zone, thanks to three big pass completions from Haskins. On a third-and-4 from the MICH24, Haskins hit true-freshman Chris Olave over the middle in stride; he’d turn on the jets and rush toward the sideline — scoring a touchdown.

Exactly five minutes later, the visitors were on the board. A run-heavy drive focused around Higdon and Chris Evans got the Wolverines a field goal from 39 yards out. Of the nine offensive plays on the drive, seven of them utilized the ground game.

On the following drive, a Luke Farrell holding call put the Bucks in a deep first-and-20 hole that they couldn’t get out of. After a near interception that bounced off a Michigan defender’s helmet on third down, OSU punted the ball away.

Draining the clock was a theme in the first quarter from Jim Harbaugh’s squad, as the ensuing drive lasted over five minutes — and would bring us to the end of the first quarter. At the start of the second quarter, UM was in the red zone and facing a third-and-6 from the OSU13. A perfect pass from Patterson to tight end Zach Gentry all but resulted in a touchdown, because Pete Werner got a hand in at the last second and forced the incompletion. Once again, the Wolverines settled for a field goal, but cut the deficit to 7-6.

Getting the ball back, the offense picked up for OSU, but penalties hampered any chance of scoring. Following a 9-yard carry from J.K. Dobbins, offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon was accessed a personal foul after the play. That 15-yard penalty took the air out of the drive, and forced another punt. On the punt, Terry McLaurin was called for a false start. With not even five minutes off the clock in the second quarter, Ohio State had five penalties for 50 yards; the Wolverines had zero. Punting from the doorstep of their own end zone, Drue Chrisman kicked the ball 36 yards to midfield.

With premier field position, another Wolverine score seemed probable. That was until Robert Landers had something to say about that. Big Bob brought Patterson down for a sack, and the best that the Wolverines could do was fourth-and-2 after a completion to Donovan Peoples-Jones. On the OSU40, Harbaugh elected to go for it. But before the snap, a false start was blown — forcing a punt instead.

And Ohio State would make them pay.

Haskins drove the Bucks 80 yards in just nine plays, topping the drive off with a 24-yard post pattern connection with Chris Olave.

Farrell, McLaurin and Hill all caught passes on the second TD drive of the afternoon for the Buckeyes. on the drive Haskins went after defensive back Brandon Watson, who showed time and time again in the first half that he couldn’t cover the speed of the OSU receiving attack.

Up 14-6, Ohio State now had to defend the lead once again. After a 15-yard Higdon carry up the middle, another UM drive began with promise. That promise would be short lived, however. Two small-yard carries followed by an incompletion forced another punt from that team up north.

Ohio State would go back on the attack — but it almost imploded before it even started. After a 7-yard pickup from Haskins, he was hit while sliding. That didn’t sit well with Urban Meyer, who was irate — and with good reason — with the referees, who did not throw a flag.

Due to his sideline hysterics, Meyer was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. On the next play, a third down, the yardage was made up after White was flagged for defensive pass interference. And from there, the Buckeye offensive machine was cooking.

Haskins hit Parris Campbell for a 33-yard screen; with Campbell weaving around countless would-be defenders to get to the sideline. A handful of plays later, Haskins cranked a deep ball to Johnnie Dixon, who was wide open — like no one within 15 yards wide open — for a 31-yard score.

The Buckeyes were just about to runaway with the game, until disaster struck. After Nico Collins hauled in a TD grab in the corner of the end zone to bring the score 21-13, the Wolverines got the ball back after a Demario McCall fumble on the kickoff.

McCall tried fair catching the ball just outside of the end zone, but it bounced off his chest and tumbled forward. After a failed scoop by a member of the OSU special teams — he slipped — the visitors corralled the ball at the OSU9. It took one play for Patterson to find Evans on a wheel route for six points. However, on the two-point conversion to tie the game, Jonathon Cooper yanked a scrambling Patterson down from behind.

While most of the lead evaporated within a matter of six seconds, the Bucks still held a two-point advantage 21-19. With 41 seconds remaining in the game, Meyer had two timeouts to work with.

Instead of kneeing, they took their shots down the field. Fortunately, the Wolverines couldn’t keep up. Watson was dinged for defensive holding, defenseman David Long got too handsy with Johnnie Dixon and was flagged for PI, and too many men on the field helped OSU get down inside the UM40. From there, Ohio State would quickly be on the doorstep for a touchdown as Haskins hit McCall with a redeeming wheel route down the sideline; McCall wound up at the UM3.

Getting those three yards would be tougher than it appeared, however. Mike Weber picked up only one yard, Tate Martell on a QB draw got stuffed, and an incompletion to Binjimen Victor at the pylon brought on fourth down. Instead of gambling for a TD, Meyer put the FG unit on, and they settled for three points.

At halftime, Ohio State had a 24-19 lead. Here’s some of the stats from the first 30 minutes of action in Columbus.

Out of the gate in the second half, both offenses did, well, nothing explosive. Ohio State picked up just 16 yards to open up the fresh quarter, while UM had a three-and-out.

The Buckeyes would go on to net a field goal, as the Wolverines took some personnel losses to injury. Devin Bush and Rashan Gary both got shaken up on the drive, with Bush being helped off the field.

Injuries weren’t the only thing affecting the Wolverines. Ohio State’s special teams unit was also tough on the Wolverines. After the FG to push OSU up 27-19, Olave blocked a Will Hart punt and Sevyn Banks took it to the house.

Then on the next UM offensive drive, Chase Young hit Patterson’s arm on a throw — forcing an interception into the hands of Jordan Fuller.

After Hill picked up 20 yards to get to the UM2, Mike Weber punched the ball into the end zone courtesy of a stretch run. The Buckeyes led 41-19, and by the end of the third quarter, gave Michigan their largest deficit of the season.

UM started their next drive in the waning minutes of the third frame—and now with their backs really against the wall. The Wolverines had to move down the field. And down the field they moved. An 8-play drive collected 75 yards (and a TD) and chewed less than four minutes of clock. Patterson found Collins in the end zone for another highlight worthy score. Once again, Harbaugh went for the two points. And once again, the play went absolutely nowhere.

Even though it was a 16-point game, there was still plenty of time remaining in the game. Ohio State wasn’t out of the woods yet. But that was before Campbell sprinted 78 yards down the sidelines.

Michigan would get a touchdown of their own, but in the process, would lose Patterson for a little bit with an apparent knee injury.

Both teams would continue trading touchdowns, but the Buckeyes were in the clear.

Ohio State punched their ticket to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. They’ll face Northwestern, the Big Ten West Division winner, next Saturday. FOX will broadcast the game.