The Michigan Wolverines are 12-0 and beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus for the first time since 2000, 45-23. Read that sentence again, it’s real. The Buckeyes only managed three points in the second half, and Michigan running back Donovan Edwards had the two longest running plays against the Buckeyes in the rivalry’s history.
Is that game ball worthy? You’re damn right it is! Let’s not waste any time or look ahead to the Big Ten Championship. Here are the game balls for Michigan’s victory in Columbus, and of course more than three are being handed out.
QB J.J. McCarthy
J.J. McCarthy’s completion percentage won’t blow you away, but if you watched the game you will understand this was his best career game as a Wolverine. McCarthy finished the day 12-for-24 for 263 yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. But in the first half, McCarthy kept the Wolverines alive with his deep ball.
McCarthy connected with wide receiver Cornelius Johnson on back-to-back touchdown passes of 69 yards and 75 yards. The first throw was off his back foot and the second was perfectly placed into the bucket for Johnson to walk into the end zone.
Speaking of Cornelius Johnson...
WR Cornelius Johnson
After an up and down career, this was by far Johnson’s best game as a Wolverine, finishing with four catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson was magnificent as a route runner, deceptive as a decoy and pulverizing in the run game. It was the big game Wolverines fans have been waiting for from a Michigan wide receiver, and Johnson delivered on the biggest stage.
RB Donovan Edwards
Backup running back Donovan Edwards had just nine rushing yards at halftime. He was playing with a cast on his right hand (his dominant hand) and was struggling to gain his footing.
Edwards’ final stat line: 22 carries for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
Donovan Edwards’s 75 yard run was the longest running play Michigan ever had against Ohio State … until his 85 yard run a few minutes later.— Matt Pargoff (@MaizeBlueNews) November 26, 2022
Edwards had a career day and sealed the game for Michigan.
The No-Star Defense
What an unbelievable performance by the entire defense and first-year coordinator Jesse Minter. The Wolverines continued to make adjustments throughout the contest and SEVERAL players popped off the screen.
Mason Graham, Rod Moore, Will Johnson, Kris Jenkins, DJ Turner, Makari Paige, Junior Colson, Michael Barrett, Taylor Upshaw and Braiden McGregor all had their moments, but team captain Mikey Sainristil might have popped the most.
Sainristil was beat for the first touchdown — despite good coverage — and responded like how a veteran and leader should. He was an integral piece to the defense and had one of the plays of the game when he broke up a would-be touchdown to OSU tight end Cade Stover.
This was a team effort that limited the Buckeyes to only three second-half points.
RB Kalel Mullings
TE Colston Loveland