The Buckeyes won every facet of the game. The offense, defense, coaching, special teams, effort, everything was conquered by Urban Meyer and his staff as he moved to 7-0 against Michigan.
In an opportunity for Jim Harbaugh to finally prove himself and his team, he failed miserably in one of the most despicable losses in Michigan history.
Harbaugh had a shot to solidify the Wolverines’ spot in their first Big Ten Championship and potentially a place in the College Football Playoff. Instead another 10-2 season, and yet another loss on the road to Michigan’s bitter rival.
There is a ton to unpack in this one, here is what we learned in the final week of the regular season for Michigan Football.
Ohio State owns Michigan
Right now, The Game is anything but a game. It is a complete annihilation of any hopes of a successful season for fans of the maize and blue.
Let’s call it as it is.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have won seven straight in the series and 16 of the last 20. In 14 of those 16 wins, Ohio State has been ranked in the top-10. The Buckeyes have suffocated any hopes of a Michigan dynasty and continue to do so year after year.
Every year Michigan faithful believe it is their season to finally beat those scoundrels from down south. In fact, Michigan fans base the success of their entire season on this one game. Yet every year Ohio State fights with more heart, better coaching and seemingly an unstoppable offense.
Ohio State came out of the blocks sprinting and Michigan tried to play catch up for the entirety of the game. Eventually they had to concede and realize once again Ohio State is the better opponent.
When will this reign end? Who knows. But for now, whether you want to believe it or not, the Wolverines have become lap dogs for Ohio State.
The defense was obliterated
What happened to the defense? Remember the one that held Trace McSorely to just 83 yards and had three straight Revenge Tour-style dominant performances? The one that bullied everyone, took names and dominated every player on offense no matter what name was on the back of the jersey? I loved that defense.
That defense hasn’t existed since Michigan’s beatdown of Penn State. This defense has been in a downward spiral since that game. What changed? It seemed like the Monstars came and sucked out all their powers.
Coming in as the No. 1 ranked defense in the country, and deservedly so, they gave up 252 yards of offense to a horrific Rutgers team, then proceeded to allow a whopping 385 yards to Indiana. Leading to an incredible 567 yards allowed to OSU.
This one is difficult to explain, but there is no doubt Michigan’s defense took a huge jump back after their mid-season streak of impressive defensive performances.
The defensive line was manhandled by a below-average Buckeye offensive line. It seemed like days, weeks and months went by before even a little pressure was put on Dwayne Haskins. This led to Michigan’s corners and linebackers to keep up with the quickest and most athletic receiving corp they had seen all year. Haskins easily was able to pick on the weak links as Brandon Watson and Devin Gil were caught in insane mismatches against some of the Buckeyes fastest players.
Don Brown and this defense were beaten by a better coach and a better offense because of its lack of variety. Playing only man defense is excluding, but your guys better be the most talented and athletic on the field. On Saturday, they weren’t.
Sure it was a disappointing ending to a good run from Michigan and its staff. They had every team’s number in the middle of the season and were an extremely talented team for several weeks. But the wheels all came off at the end of the year and once again a good season (10-2) will be tarnished by a loss to the Buckeyes.
But as always, let’s have blind faith that this will all turn around next year when the season will come down to Michigan-Ohio State once again.