The game this week in college football was “The Game”.
For the second year in a row, Michigan beat rival Ohio State by multiple scores to throw a wrench in the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes. On Saturday, the Wolverines used a big second half to leave Columbus with a 45-23 victory.
For its efforts, Michigan is the final Fifth Quarter/CFBHome Team of the Week of the regular season.
A Big Second Half
Ohio State led 10-3 early and 20-17 at halftime, but the second half was all Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines outscored Ohio State 28-3 over the final 30 minutes.
Donovan Edwards put the game away with touchdown runs of 75 and 85 yards in the final quarter. As a team, Michigan put up 530 yards of offense with 252 of that coming on the ground.
Quarterback J.J. McCarthy finished just 12-for-24 passing, but averaged nearly 22 yards per completion. McCarthy finished with 263 yards passing and four total touchdowns. Cornelius Johnson led Michigan with four catches for 160 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Edwards finished with 216 yards rushing.
C.J. Stroud and the potent Ohio State offense put up yards, but in the second half, points were hard to come by. Taylor Upshaw and Makari Paige each came up with interceptions for Michigan to thwart potential scoring opportunities. Michigan did not turn the ball over in the contest. Eyabi Okie had the lone sack for the Wolverines while Michael Barrett led the team with 11 total tackles.
A Long Time Coming
For Michigan, Saturday’s victory was its first in Columbus since 2000. Prior to the last two seasons, the Wolverines had lost eight straight in the series. This marks the first time since 1999 and 2000 that Michigan has defeated the Buckeyes in consecutive seasons.
For Ohio State, the loss is its first Big Ten defeat at home since falling to Michigan State late in 2015. The 22-point defeat is the worst for the Buckeyes since falling at Purdue in 2018 by a 49-20 score.
Saturday’s drubbing also serves as the worst home loss for Ohio State since a 46-20 loss to Illinois in 1999. It ties the worst home loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes lost 22-0 at home to the Wolverines in 1976.
Previously unbeaten, Ohio State falls to 11-1. The Buckeyes will most certainly get a New Year’s Six bowl bid and hope to sneak into the College Football Playoff.
With the win, Michigan clinched the Big Ten East. Head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines will aim for their second straight conference crown as they battle Purdue in the Big Ten Championship on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Photo courtesy of Michigan athletics
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.