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Michigan & Jim Harbaugh knew this spring they could run on Ohio State

Smashmouth Football is alive and well for Michigan.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines came out against the Ohio State Buckeyes and played a smashmouth brand of football. They ran it aplenty, and it worked in magnificent fashion.

Michigan rushed for 297 yards in their 42-27 win against Ohio State — Hassan Haskins had 169 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was an incredible effort from Michigan’s offensive line and running backs.

“It was a big emphasis to be able to run the ball this week. A lot of teams came out and maybe played a little scared against them, played a little timid — and that’s just not Michigan Football,” tackle Andrew Sturber said.

Michigan set the tone way before the season began, dating all the way back to early 2021 the staff and players realized they could run it down Ohio State’s throat.

“Back in spring ball, that was something we felt we could do, and we wanted to get really good at it,” Harbaugh said. “As prepared for the game as we had been all season. Didn’t seem like anybody tried that approach and we felt confident that our offensive line could (keep) movin’, our receivers would block and our running backs would be incredible, and they were.”

Dominant from start to finish. When Michigan needed a first down, Haskins and the o-line kept delivering. And when Michigan had a chance to seal it late with another scoring drive, Haskins and the line came up huge once again to stretch the lead to 16.

“It was dominant. The offensive line, no question about it, there was movement, continual movement up front by the guys. Hassan Haskins, they might have thought they saw a ghost, but it was No. 25 Hassan Haskins,” Harbaugh said. “He was running with great determination, great purpose, great ability. Five touchdowns on the day, ties a school record. He’s probably break the season touchdown record for it’s over. Held by Ron Johnson back in 1968. Gives you a glimpse of how good a runner Hassan Haskins is.”

Michigan has an old-school formula, and it worked to perfection against the Buckeyes. We’ll see if this physical style of football leads to a Big Ten Championship victory and a berth in the College Football Playoff.