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No. 1 Ohio State demolishes No. 13 Michigan 56-27

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OSU has now won eight in a row, and Harbaugh is now 0-5.

Ohio State State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Its a new Day in Columbus, but the result of The Game is still the same. The No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes went into the Big House, and first year head coach Ryan Day led his guys to a blowout 56-27 victory over the No. 13 Michigan Wolverines.

J.K. Dobbins put the team on his back on offense rushing for 211 yards and four touchdowns as the Bucks desperately needed him to help pick up a defensive unit that struggled for the first time all year. Without Shaun Wade in the defensive backfield, who dressed as a game-time decision but did not play, Michigan was able to put up significant yards through the air. In the end, OSU was able to do more than enough on offense to come away with a victory in the biggest rivalry in sports.

Justin Fields had perhaps his Heisman moment as a member of the Buckeyes. After seemingly suffering a devastating knee injury, he would return just a few plays later to throw a beautiful 30-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson, one that would seal the game late in the third quarter. The sophomore QB would finish with 302 yards passing and four touchdowns.

Ohio State has now won The Game eight-straight times — the longest winning streak for the Buckeyes in the history of the series. UM head coach Jim Harbaugh now falls to 0-5 in the matchup, losing all four games against Urban Meyer and now his first against Day. The Wolverines had some opportunities in the first half to really give OSU a scare, but thanks in part to a fumbled snap and a few incredibly costly penalties, a happy rendition of “Carmen Ohio” got to ring through Michigan Stadium when all was said and done.


Michigan won the toss and elected to receive, and as the ball sailed out of the back of the end zone we were all set to go in the Big House. The Wolverines were able to pick up a pair of quick first downs through the air, and after a questionable late hit call on OSU, the home team was all the way down to OSU’s 30-yard line. Two plays later, an end-around to Giles Jackson went 22 yards to the house, as Michigan took an early 6-0 lead following a missed extra point.

Ohio State started its first possession with a bang, as Dobbins recovered his own fumble and sprinted 34 yards into UM territory.

After Fields took a sack on first down, setting up a long 3rd-and-14, Dobbins was able to catch a ball out of the backfield for 28 yards and a first.

One play later, Dobbins powered his way in for a touchdown as OSU took a 7-6 lead.

The Buckeye defense looked a bit more locked in on the next TTUN possession, forcing a quick three and out. OSU was able to pick up a first down on the ground, but two straight incompletions by Fields on second and third down forced a punt as the Wolverines took over deep in its own territory following a block in the back on the return.

Michigan was able to pick up 20 yards early on a pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones, but made the questionable choice of targeting Jeff Okudah on back-to-back throws. It would not work out, and again they would punt.

Fields, still trying to get in rhythm, was able to hit Chris Olave on a wide receiver screen for a pickup of 11 yards to start the drive.

Dobbins was able to power through for a first on 3rd-and-1, and on the very next play Fields dropped a dime to a wide-open Olave 57 yards downfield for a touchdown, as the Bucks took a 14-6 lead in the closing minutes of the first quarter.

Michigan took advantage of zone coverage on its ensuing possession as they torched Ohio State’s linebackers on the easiest touchdown drive of all-time. Pete Werner got caught looking twice, allowing first a 41-yard catch and run by Sean McKeon and then a 25-yard touchdown pass to Peoples-Jones as the Wolverines cut the lead to 14-13. The Buckeyes were really missing the services of Shaun Wade, as the slot corner appeared to be out of commission for the afternoon.

Ohio State worked the ball to midfield, and after a holding call looked like it may end the Buckeye drive, Fields found Garrett Wilson for 41 yards on a catch-and-run across the middle. OSU faced a crucial 3rd-and-4 on the UM 6-yard line, and Dobbins was able to find a lane around the outside for a Scarlet and Gray touchdown, now back up by eight with a 21-13 lead.

Michigan continued to attack Ohio State’s linebackers, and without Wade locking things down in the slot, Tuf Borland and Werner were getting exposed time and time again. The Wolverines were on the doorstep at the OSU 12-yard line, but UM QB Shea Patterson dropped the snap, and the Buckeyes were able to recover the fumble in the red zone.

OSU was ready to punt the ball on 4th-and-4, but were gifted a new set of downs after Michigan jumped offsides on the kick. Ohio State capitalized on the mistake immediately, and after Wilson hauled in a 47-yard bomb from Fields, Dobbins walked into the end zone for his third TD of the day, now leading 28-13 with 3:15 until the break.

The Ohio State defense would find a way to bend but not break on the Wolverines’ final possession before the half. After driving down the field with ease once again, with the Buckeyes getting no pressure on the d-line and the linebackers overmatched in coverage, Jordan Fuller was able to knock the ball free with his helmet in the end zone on third down, forcing UM to kick the field goal as the Scarlet and Gray headed to the locker room up 28-16.

In one of the odder moments in rivalry history, since the Wolverines couldn’t stop Dobbins legally, they took off his shoe following a run, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.

Dobbins picked up in the second half right where he left off, taking the first play from scrimmage 41 yards down to the Michigan 34-yard line. After finding Dobbins through the air for 21 yards on the next play, the Wolverines got two penalties on the same play — a defensive holding and a late hit on Fields — Fields linked up with K.J. Hill in the end zone, extending the Ohio State lead to 35-16 to start the third quarter.

The Buckeye defense looked like it drew up some new blitz packages at the half, as they were finally able to get some pressure on Patterson. After Jonathon Cooper came up with a huge sack on second down, Patterson’s pass fell incomplete, forcing another Wolverines punt. It felt as though a score on the ensuing OSU drive may be enough to put the game out of reach.

Just when it seemed as though nothing could go wrong for Ohio State, Fields got hit hard in the legs and went down holding his knee. He would walk off the field gingerly on his own power as he headed to the medical tent, and Chris Chugunov would take over at quarterback. In a shocking turn of events, Fields would return to the game, and on his very first play back in rolled out and threw a 30-yard TD pass to Wilson, putting his team up 42-16 as the rout appeared to be on.

Ohio State was about to get the ball back right away after forcing a quick three-and-out, but Wilson muffed the punt to give the Wolverines the ball back on the edge of the red zone. The Buckeye defense was up to the task, bending but not breaking as Jim Harbaugh elected to kick a field goal down 26 points late in the third quarter. OSU led 42-19 with a little over two minutes until the fourth.

The Bucks would go three-and-out on their ensuing possession, as the Wolverines still had a some life heading into the fourth quarter. Things got a lot more interesting as Michigan was able to punch the ball into the end zone in the opening minute of the final quarter, getting the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 42-27.

Ohio State got the ball back looking to try and regain some of the momentum. They were unable to do so, as a false start on 3rd-and-1 pushed the Buckeyes back and were unable to move the chains, giving Michigan the ball back again down just two scores with all the time in the world left on the clock. The Wolverines would choose to go for it on 4th-and-2 from inside their own 30, and would come up short as OSU regained possession near the red zone.

The Buckeyes would take advantage of the short field as their transfer QB continued to put on a show. After scrambling out of the pocket and finding Jeremy Ruckert for a first down, Fields completed a slant to Austin Mack for 16 yards and a touchdown, putting the good guys up 49-27 with 10:11 still remaining in The Game.

Davon Hamilton sacked Patterson on first down, but a roughing the passer call on the next play would nullifying the negative yardage. The Wolverines were again faced with a 4th-and-short, this time from their own 47-yard line. Again the OSU defense would come up big, this time as Amir Riep knocked the pass away as the Buckeyes took over on downs now fully in command of the ballgame.

Ohio State was just looking to run some clock on its ensuing possession, but Dobbins had other plans. After picking up a 3rd-and-short, Dobbins sprinted 33 yards off the edge and into the end zone, with the Buckeyes now fully dominating their rival 56-27 as time continued to wind down.

Riep, forced into action with a banged up secondary, came up with yet another huge play, picking off Patterson on the next Michigan possession as Ohio State was now dancing on the graves of TTUN fans. In fact, the Bucks were beating up the Wolverines so bad that Fields and Dobbins would not even return to the field as Day looked to just run out the clock and avoid anymore potential injuries.

As the chants of “O-H-I-O” rang throughout the Big House, it was Ohio State coming away victorious against its rival for the eighth-straight year. The final score: 56-27.

Next up for Ohio State is the Big Ten Championship Game, where they will take on the winner of todays game between No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 8 Minnesota as they search to continue the undefeated season into the College Football Playoff.