The Michigan Wolverines dropped to 10-2 (7-2 Big Ten) with a 30-27 2OT loss to Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon.
This game was gold from start to finish. It featured two of the nations top offenses, as well as two top defenses. Ohio State had the opportunity to put points on the board first, but senior kicker, Tyler Durbin missed a 37-yard attempt. Michigan got things started when they scored a few possessions later, as Kenny Allen drilled a 28-yard field goal. After trading possessions back and forth, Michigan took over inside their own ten-yard line with 4 minutes remaining in the half. As Wilton Speight dropped back, he was pressured, and forced to throw up a quick pass. The pass was intercepted by Malik Hooker, and returned for an Ohio State touchdown, giving the Buckeyes a 7-3 lead. On the ensuing drive, the Wolverines drove 55 yards in 3:57, and Khalid Hill pounded it in, from 1-yard out. The Wolverines took a 10-7 lead into the half.
On the first drive of the second half, J.T. Barrett had his pass intercepted by Jabrill Peppers, and the Wolverines took over on the Ohio State 42-yard line. Michigan was able to drive the ball down inside of the 2-yard line, but thanks to a mishandled snap by Wilton Speight, the Buckeyes were able to take back over. After each team scored a touchdown in the third quarter, they went to the fourth quarter, with the Buckeyes trailing 17-14. With 7 minutes remaining in the game, Ohio State got the ball down to the Michigan 2-yard line, and the Buckeyes were forced to attempt a field goal.
On what could be considered as a “gimmie” field goal, Durbin missed his second field goal of the game. Unfortunately, Michigan was not able to do much on offense, and were forced to turn the ball back to the Buckeyes with 5:30 left in the game. Ohio State drove down, and tied the game with a 23-yard, Tyler Durbin field goal, with 1 second remaining.
The two teams went into overtime knotted at 17. Michigan won the coin toss, and elected to play defense first. The Buckeyes wasted no time, scoring in just two plays, when Barrett ran 7-yards for a touchdown. Things were a little more difficult for the Wolverines, as they took 7 plays to find the end zone. On fourth and goal, from the 5-yard line, Wilton Speight connected with Amara Darboh in the back of the end zone.
In the second overtime period, Michigan gained just 6 yards, before being forced to attempt a 37-yard field goal. Thanks to Kenny Allen, the Wolverines took a 27-24 lead. The Buckeyes took over, and were stopped on their first three plays from scrimmage. Instead of kicking a field goal, and playing for another overtime period, Urban Meyer elected to go for it on fourth down. In a highly disputed play, J.T. Barrett was able to scramble the 1-yard he needed, and on the very next play, Curtis Samuel took the ball 15-yards for a touchdown, and the win.
This is a game people will be talking about for decades. Both teams played their hearts out, and left everything they had out on the field. Despite a few calls here and there, this was a classic. Michigan should be proud of the effort they gave in this one, as it was another great TEAM effort. A few players played above the rest however, so let’s see who are “Harbaugh’s Heroes” this week.
Amara Darboh, Senior, Wide Receiver
Grant Perry, Sophomore, Wide Receiver
Taco Charlton, Senior, Defensive Lineman
-6 solo tackles
-3 tackles for loss
Kenny Allen, Senior, Kicker/Punter
-2/2 field goals (28 yards, 37 yards)
-4 touchbacks, on 4 kickoffs
-5/7 punts inside the 20-yard line
-47.4-yard average punt
-Longest punt of 67-yards
Michigan will wait to see what bowl game they draw, and who their opponent will be. Despite the losses to Ohio State and Iowa, this has been a very successful, and great season. In just two years, Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines back in the top 5 in the country. With back to back 10 win seasons, Michigan is back! Stay positive Wolverine Faithful, great things are on the horizon! Go Blue!