It happened, it finally happened.
The Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time since 2011 by the final score of 42-27.
It became overwhelmingly evident the Buckeyes had no answer for the Michigan rushing attack in the second half. Running back Hassan Haskins finished the day with 28 carries for 169 yards and five touchdowns. After the half, Michigan as a whole averaged 9.5 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Wolverines were the same bend-don’t-break unit they had been all season and did just enough to hinder the most explosive offense in college football. Senior pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson finished with three sacks, breaking the single-season record at Michigan (13) and entering late-season Heisman Trophy discussions.
Michigan has secured its first 11-win season since 2011 and heads to Indianapolis next week to face Iowa for the Big Ten Championship.
Let’s hand out some game balls. This is easy because it took every single person inside of Schembechler Hall to win this one and they all deserve recognition.
The Coaching Staff
The Michigan Wolverines were prepared down to the smallest details for this game. There were only two penalties against Michigan (season-low) and even in scuffles, the Wolverines remained poised, yet were not bullied.
Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis called a brilliant game and constantly put the Michigan offense in a position to succeed. Moreover, the Wolverines averaged only three yards to go on their eight third down attempts.
Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald did the impossible and slowed down an offense many were deeming unstoppable. The disguise of coverages, twists and stunts on the defensive line, assignment discipline and prevention of the big play were exactly what Michigan needed to keep the Buckeyes under control.
Lastly, head coach Jim Harbaugh. What more needs to be said? From 2-4, to unranked, to now 11-1 and beating Ohio State. He stated it was beat Ohio or “die trying,” and today, death was avoided.
The offensive and defensive line spit on one of the most dominating displays in the trenches I have ever witnessed. Offensively, the Wolverines rushed for 297 yards and allowed zero sacks or tackles for loss. While the defensive line held Ohio State to less than 100 yards rushing, racked up four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Not to be outdone, the skill players also contributed in mass. Nine different Wolverines caught passes and five ran the ball outside of Hassan Haskins. Running back Blake Corum battled through an ankle injury and produced 87 yards on a mere six carries.
The secondary contained three future NFL receivers and never allowed the big plays which haunted them in 2018 and 2019. Middle linebacker Josh Ross might have played his best game as a Wolverine as the captain of this defense.