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Football: No. 10 Ohio State keeps playoff hopes alive in 62-39 win against No. 4 Michigan

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins lines up for a play against Michigan on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 62-39 Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

In the first game Michigan has been favored against Ohio State since its most recent victory in 2011, the Wolverines came into Ohio Stadium, trying to complete their final stop of their self-proclaimed “Revenge Tour.”

For Michigan, with the No. 1 defense in the nation, two 25-point victories against then-ranked opponents and an offense in the top 25 in scoring, this was the year for the Wolverines to end the six-game losing streak.

Except it wasn’t.

After a tight first half, No. 10 Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) exploded with 20 unanswered points in the third quarter, enough to secure a 62-39 victory against No. 4 Michigan (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) for the seventh straight season.

“We didn’t need the underdog score point. We didn’t need the revenge tour. We didn’t need the guaranteed win. We know what this game means to our school, to our teammates and to our coaches,” redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins said. “I gave it my all today, and I’m glad we got the win.”

Ohio State scored the most points allowed by the Wolverines in the history of the rivalry and the first time the Buckeyes have recorded 50 points in a game against Michigan since 1968.

The 62 points are the most Michigan has ever allowed in regulation in the program’s history.

The Wolverines had given up 10 points on the road in the second half all season heading into this game. They gave up 38 in the second half on Saturday.

Head coach Urban Meyer said he was happy about the win, but didn’t know were to rank it among his seven Michigan victories.

“I’m not going to shortchange any of those other efforts we’ve had. But the team we beat today was very good,” Meyer said. “Where does that rank? I don’t know. But I know the team we beat, that’s a heck of a team we beat.”

On senior day, with a veteran receiver core to work with, it was freshman wide receiver Chris Olave who made the largest impact early, scoring two touchdowns of more than 20 yards to give the Buckeyes an early advantage.

The scores were Olave’s first and second of his collegiate career.

But Olave’s biggest difference came on special teams, where he blocked a punt in the third quarter that was returned 62 yards by freshman cornerback Sevyn Banks for a touchdown, giving Ohio State a 34-19 lead.

“Buckeye Nation, get used to that one now. That’s the real deal,” Meyer said. “You could see right out of the jump when he started practicing, he’s got the ‘it.'”

The blocked punt was the ultimate shift in momentum.

On Michigan’s next drive, junior quarterback Shea Patterson was intercepted by junior safety Jordan Fuller, ultimately leading to a 2-yard rush touchdown by redshirt junior running back Mike Weber to put the Buckeyes up 41-19.

They would not give up that lead for the rest of the game.

Michigan came back with an eight-play, 75-yard drive topped off by a Patterson touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Nico Collins for the pair’s second score of the day, cutting the lead to 41-25 after a failed two-point conversion.

But on the very next play, Ohio State redshirt senior wide receiver Parris Campbell shut down any doubt, running 78 yards to the endzone on a sweep to give the Buckeyes a 48-25 lead, their largest of the game to that point.

Campbell finished the game leading the team with 114 receiving yards, recording both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the process.

Ohio State played some of its best football for the majority of the first half, allowing the Buckeyes to jump out to a 21-6 lead late in the second quarter.

Haskins found redshirt senior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon wide open for the 31-yard score to put Ohio State up 15 with 3:18 to go in the half.

But Michigan would not go back to the locker room without any momentum.

Patterson found Collins on a beautiful catch and throw into the corner of the endzone to bring the Wolverines to within eight.

The Collins catch came after a pass interference on junior cornerback Damon Arnette, which occurred on a third down that extended the Michigan drive.

After making it a one-possession game, redshirt sophomore running back Demario McCall muffed a kick return, allowing Michigan to recover the ball with 45 seconds on the clock deep in Ohio State territory.

The Wolverines capitalized on the first play from the Buckeyes’ 9-yard line. Patterson found junior running back Chris Evans for the touchdown, failing on a two-point try and leaving the Buckeyes in the lead 21-19.

Ohio State would drive down the field thanks to a handful of Michigan penalties and kick a 19-yard field goal to take a 24-19 lead into halftime.

The Buckeyes had 278 total yards in the first half to Michigan’s 183. Haskins had 222 of those yards through the air, the most any quarterback has thrown against the Wolverines in a full game this season.

Haskins finished the game completing 19-of-30 pass attempts for 318 yards and five touchdowns.

On his fourth touchdown of the game, a 1-yard pass to redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill to put Ohio State up 55-32, Haskins threw his 40th of the season, passing Drew Brees for the most pass touchdowns in a single season in Big Ten history.

In the same drive, Haskins connected on a 10-yard throw to redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell, which broke the record for most passing yards in a single season in Big Ten history.

Haskins said, even with the pass defense ranked No. 1 in the NCAA, he was excited to take on Michigan’s secondary.

“I was licking my chops, I see the one-high covers and that’s a quarterback’s dream,” Haskins said. “Once we picked it up, receivers made great plays, and I’m going to put it there, and it was a great overall team effort today.”

With less than seven minutes remaining in the game, Michigan put in freshman quarterback Joe Milton, who was intercepted by sophomore safety Brendon White on his first throw. The pick led to a 16-yard touchdown pass from Haskins to Campbell, extending the lead to 62-32.

For Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh, after an 0-4 start to the rivalry, his focus is on next year.

“We’ll come back motivated and make darn sure it doesn’t happen again,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan redshirt senior defensive lineman Chase Winovich came into the matchup as a gametime decision, and ended up playing against Ohio State, finishing with four tackles with a tackle for loss.

The Wolverines faced injury issues all game, with junior defensive back David Long and junior linebacker Devin Bush both leaving the game with injuries.

Patterson also left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury, and was replaced by junior quarterback Brandon Peters.

Junior defensive lineman Rashan Gary also went down with an injury in the third quarter for the Wolverines, but returned to the game in the same quarter.

With less than two minutes to go in the game, Ohio State redshirt senior offensive tackle Demetrius Knox was carted off the field with an injury and did not return.

Ohio State takes on No. 19 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 1

Updated at 6:30 p.m. with postgame quotes from Meyer, Haskins and Harbaugh.

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