The Michigan Wolverines have now beaten Ohio State in back to back seasons. No. 3 Michigan dominated the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, 45-23, to take ownership of the Big Ten East. They will take on the Purdue Boilermakers next Saturday.
Both teams played a close first half, but after halftime adjustments and a fourth quarter game plan, it was all Michigan. The Wolverines outscored the Buckeyes 28-3 through the final 30 minutes.
But what was this week’s turning point? Michigan was down by a field goal to begin the second half and got the ball to begin the third quarter.
After a 19-yard gain from McCarthy, the Wolverines sat at the OSU 45. McCarthy found a wide open Colston Loveland for a 45-yard touchdown pass. It was the freshman’s first touchdown of his career and it put Michigan back on top.
Ohio State had no response, punting the next two drives while the Wolverines kept rolling. A pass interference call on third and long for the Wolverines moved Michigan to OSU’s 2-yard line. Two plays later and McCarthy ran in a touchdown to go up 31-20.
Again, the Buckeyes had no response and time was ticking. Now in the fourth, after a missed Michigan field goal, Ohio State was moving. The Buckeyes got to Michigan’s 9-yard line facing a third down. C.J. Stroud took a shot at the end zone to Cade Stover. Mike Sainristil was there in coverage and popped the ball out of Stover’s hands to force fourth down. The Buckeyes settled for a field goal, their lone score of the second half.
Sainristil came up with a huge play to keep Ohio State out of the end zone in the fourth quarter. While Michigan was up by two scores at this point, the denial within the red zone solidified Ohio State’s defeat. That’s why this week, the turning point of the game goes to Sainristil’s pass breakup.
This game produced a lot of highlights, which I’m sure we have all been watching religiously since the conclusion of the game. It was tough to come up with a moment that defined Michigan’s win. The Wolverines had such a dominant effort in the second half that it was hard to pick one moment.
Take Donovan Edwards stepping up in place of a limited action Blake Corum. He rushed for the longest touchdowns scored ever by a Wolverine against OSU. Those touchdowns shut the door on Ohio State, so it’s hard not giving him a mention.
Michigan returns to the Big Ten Championship for the second year in a row. So in the wise words of McCarthy, “the job’s not finished yet.”