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Michigan wins at Ohio State for first time since 2000, goes 12-0 for first time since 1997

It was a dominant second half for the maize and blue.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

For the second consecutive season, the Michigan Wolverines have beaten the Ohio State Buckeyes. The 45-23 victory was their first win in Columbus since 2000, and it feels like a beginning of a shift in this rivalry. For the first time since winning the National Championship in 1997, your Michigan Wolverines went a perfect 12-0.

Michigan out-Ohio State’d the Buckeyes with six touchdowns, all going for more than 40 yards out. The Wolverines racked up 531 yards on offense and controlled the second half by scoring 28 points to Ohio State’s three points in the second half.

It was apparent early Michigan’s offense was going through some issues. Heisman hopeful Blake Corum played one snap in the first half and wouldn’t be seen again. Donovan Edwards showed off the club on his hand that prohibited him from having much of an impact. Then, C.J. Stokes missed a few massive cutback holes causing the Wolverines to turn to linebacker Kalel Mullings on a third down attempt. Overall, Michigan ran for only 10 yards on 11 carries in the first half.

If I had told you that would be the rushing total early in this game, many fans would say this game was over at halftime. Ohio State’s offense put up big first half numbers. Sixteen first downs, 19 minutes of possession and 315 total yards from the Buckeyes pointed to a blowout. But the resiliency of this Michigan program showed. The defense made several big stops and the bend-don’t-break defense forced two field goals when the Buckeyes were cruising.

Because of that, Michigan kept pace. McCarthy was 5-of-7 on third down, one going to Cornelius Johnson off a heavy blitz:

After the defense forced a field goal, Michigan took over. McCarthy found Johnson deep down the field on a post route for the second touchdown in as many plays:

The lead was very brief for the Wolverines as C.J. Stroud hit Marvin Harrison Jr. on a fly route down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown. Heading into the half, the Wolverines went toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes in Columbus and were down 20-17, but would receive the ball out of halftime.

It was the big play again for the Michigan offense. After a 4th and 1 conversion in their own territory, McCarthy had a double play-fake and hit a streaming Colston Loveland for a 45-yard touchdown. The Wolverines grabbed the lead right back, 24-20.

It began a third quarter that was dominated by the Wolverines. It was two possessions and no scores for the Buckeyes in the period. Meanwhile, the Michigan offensive line started controlling the trenches and Edwards was picking up chunk carries. On 3rd and 1, Mullings entered the game again, was handed the ball and threw it to a wide open Luke Schoonmaker for a pivotal first down pickup.

It was a commanding 15-play, 79-yard drive that ate up 7:51 of clock. A pass interference call in the end zone pushed the Wolverines to the two-yard line. On third down, McCarthy kept it on a designed run and punched it in for six. Michigan took the two-score advantage, now up 31-20.

It was the sophomore’s fourth touchdown of the game and gave the Wolverines a two-possession lead.

The defense continued to choke the life out of this game. It was third-straight punt for the Buckeyes after another three-and-out as Braiden McGregor knocked down his second pass of the day. Michigan took over and another defensive pass interference put the Wolverines in plus-territory. But a cautious three runs went no where, and Harbaugh trotted out Jake Moody for a 57-yard attempt that ended up wide left.

Sure enough, Stroud hit Emeka Egbuka for a 44-yard pick-up over the middle, and the Buckeyes were threatening. On a 3rd and 4 from the red zone, Sainristil came underneath and poked the ball free from tight end Cade Stover in the end zone. The Buckeyes settled for a field goal in the red zone for the second time this game, and Michigan maintained a touchdown advantage, 31-23.

Michigan had its second chance to put the Buckeyes to bed in this game, and this time, it wouldn’t let it slip through their fingers. Edwards, injured hand and all, was given the ball on a run to the right and there was a whole lot of green in front of him.

The 75-yard touchdown run put Michigan up 15 points with seven minutes to go.

Ohio State, now needing two scores and a lot of help, moved the ball consistently down the sideline with quality throws from Stroud. But on 3rd and 10, Stroud was under pressure and flipped the ball to a check down, which bounced off the receivers’ hands and right to Taylor Upshaw, who came away with an interception.

On the next drive, Edwards did it again, to the right side, with no one in front of him. Eighty-five yards later, he had his second touchdown of the game and Michigan officially sealed the game going up by three scores.

Michigan is heading to the Big Ten Championship for the second year in a row and there is so much ahead for this team. After a performance like today, it’s hard to say why the Wolverines should not be the No. 1 team in the country. They’ll have a chance to prove it if they win in Indianapolis and head to the College Football Playoff.