Michigan Football fell to 9-3 on the season on Saturday when the Ohio State Buckeyes stormed into Ann Arbor and beat them by a score of 42-13.
Here are the post-game takeaways:
Ohio State Watched the Indiana Film
Michigan's defense was exposed in The Game. The Buckeyes ran for 369 yards as a team, led by Elliott's 214 yard, two touchdown effort. JT Barrett added 139 yards and three touchdowns of his own on the ground.
Everyone in the stadium knew that Elliott was going to get the ball a lot following the debacle against Michigan State. The Wolverines simply could not stop it and flat-out looked confused during most of Saturday's contest.
Mix in the fact that the Buckeyes pushed the tempo and it was a recipe for disaster for a depleted Michigan defensive line and unathletic linebackers. There's not much else to be said other than the Buckeyes dominated that facet of this game
There were a few NFL teams in attendance at the Big House that are now licking their chops at the chance of adding OSU defensive end Joey Bosa to their team in this spring's draft. He had a great game and helped seal the victory with an interception returned inside the Michigan ten-yard line. Bosa also had a big sack of Jake Rudock that forced him to leave the game with an injured right shoulder.
The Wolverines really struggled to account for Bosa and Adolphis Washington on Saturday. Which leads us to our next takeaway.
Run Game Woes Continue
I have been saying for weeks that regardless of Rudock's breakout at quarterback, the Wolverines were going to have to find a way to run the football to win a game like the one they had on Saturday and they just could not get it done.
Harbaugh and company dialed up some creative plays to try to get Jabrill Peppers the ball in space, but there was not a whole lot there. As a team, the Wolverines rushed for only 57 yards on 25 carries (2.3 avg).
Peppers led the rushing attack with seven carries for 29 yards, while De'Veon Smith led in carries with ten for 29 yards.
There are several factors for the lack of a run game. The backs haven't been productive enough and the blocking up front has been poor all season long outside of a few laughers early on. Michigan has to find a lead back and five road-grating offensive lineman to become the offense that Harbaugh expects them to be moving forward.
Fifteen bowl practices will help and that is the biggest thing to work on before now and the bowl game, wherever they end up.
Playmaking Gap on Full Display
The biggest difference between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday was that Urban Meyer's program has more talent and better playmakers right now.
It is not an excuse, it's a fact.
You tip your hat to Jim Harbaugh and his staff for squeezing every possible drop out of this Michigan team that is basically the same roster that went 5-7 last season. They are 9-3. Improvements were made and will continue to be made.
To slow down a team like the Buckeyes on offense, you have to have great athletes on the defensive side of the ball, namely at linebacker. Joe Bolden, Desmond Morgan and James Ross have been steady, but exposed in big games.
When the going gets tough it's nice to have an Ezekiel Elliott to hand the ball to and let him go out there and make plays. Michigan does not have that yet. They will soon enough, but they were not talented enough to play anything less than a perfect game against OSU to secure a victory.
Jabrill Peppers is a game changer, but he is only one man. The Wolverines need a few more of those guys to really legitimize what's going on in Ann Arbor.
What were your takeaways from The Game? Sound off in the comments below.