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Opinion: The best and worst parts from 2016 OSU-Michigan

The infamous game was one of the most nerve-wracking, back and forth games in the rivalry’s history

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The infamous 2016 Ohio State vs. Michigan game. If you’re a Buckeye fan, you know exactly where you were, what you were wearing, what you were holding (because it probably flew out of your hands), and who you were with when Curtis Samuel cut it back, and crossed into the end zone, arms stretched out wide in front of Buckeye Nation.

I don’t know how pathetic this might sound, (keep in mind, I got married and went on a honeymoon not long ago) but I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than in that moment. Time literally stopped, the crowd erupted like nothing I’ve ever heard before, and I suddenly found myself on the 30-yard-line, linking arms with a stranger, and singing Carmen Ohio with 100,000 fellow Buckeye fans.

This happiness, however, was amplified by the fact that during the three hours prior, I was an absolutely miserable, nervous wreck. I, at baseline, am a nervous fan. I get nervous when Ohio State plays Maryland and Indiana, (no offense Terps, Hoosiers) let alone during a rivalry game that the success of our post season relies on.

On top of the stakes being high, at no point did Ohio State have a comfortable lead. But then again, at no point did Michigan take over either. All I wanted was the sweet relief that comes with being two scores and a field goal ahead in the fourth. Instead we went into double overtime.

Still, that game was the best day of my life. The good, the bad, and the ugly—it was totally worth it for the end result. Here are a few things I loved/hated about 2016 Ohio State vs. Michigan.


HATE: The field goals

After keeping Michigan from scoring and driving 72 yards on its opening possession, Ohio State was off to a great start. Until they weren’t. Their 72-yard drive ended in a missed 37-yard field goal by Tyler Durbin, who was 16-of-17 coming into this game.

It’s easy to write this missed field goal off as pregame jitters. Until it happened again in the fourth.

Buckeyes, down by three with seven minutes left in the game, drove the ball 61 yards downfield and attempted a 21-yarder for the tie. Durbin, almost-perfect-record-Durbin, missed again.

LOVE: The field goal

Fast-forward to 5:36 left on the clock. Michigan had a three-and-out and the Buckeyes had one more chance to either win the damn thing with a touch down or tie the game with a field goal. After 13 plays and 77 yards, they decided to go for the tie. Durbin was up to bat after already missing two gimme field goals and with one of the most important games in the rivalry’s history on the line. (And that, my friends, is why student athletes should get paid, but I digress...) 23 yards. Snap. Hold. Kick.

It was good. The kick that mattered, Durbin made, sending the two teams into overtime and prolonging the torture.


HATE: Ohio State’s offense

Between the eight times J.T. Barrett was sacked, his pick to Jabrill Peppers, and the many missed opportunities to take control of the game, Ohio State’s offense made damn sure fans would not have a single relaxing moment throughout the entire 60+ minutes of this game.

LOVE: Wilton Speight

“Let them relax!” — Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, probably.

Speight may have looked better than Barrett on paper—averaging 5.3 yards per pass attempt to Barrett’s 2.4 and completing 64 percent of his passes to Barrett’s 47 percent— he wasn’t quite as clutch as the Buckeye quarterback. He made three mistakes that more or less cost Michigan the game.

1. The pick-six to Malik Hooker

2. The second-and-goal fumbled snap at the OSU 1 (Ohio State’s Davon Hamilton recovered)

3. The pick to OSU’s Jerome Baker

I will forever be in debt to Wilton Speight.


HATE: “The Spot”

Despite it being “good,” you could not pay me to relive this moment. My view in the ‘Shoe wasn’t great for this, and I was basically relying on the reaction from the crowd to know if Barrett made it over the line.

4th-and-1, game on the line. Barrett barely makes it. The officials call first down. The officials review it. The call stands.

Which brings me to...

LOVE: Angry Jim Harbaugh

As you can imagine, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was not happy with the official’s call. He was “bitterly disappointed,” in fact, which was really just the icing on the cake for Buckeye fans.


Want to relive one of the best/worst games in OSU history? ESPN is re-airing it Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. We at LGHL will be live tweeting the game, so join us there to cheer, complain, cry, etc.!