Michigan Stuns Ohio State at Home in 45-23 Loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State waited for its revenge game for 365 days. But for the second year in a row, Ohio State lost The Game to Michigan. Saturday’s 45-23 loss was the first loss to Michigan at home in 22 years for Ohio State and the first back-to-back wins for Michigan since 1999-2000.

Penalties, play calls and missed scoring opportunities, short yardage situations, and an undisciplined secondary plagued the Buckeyes, who uncharacteristically broke down in the second half of the game in all facets.

Ohio State’s message all year was competitive stamina, toughness, and physicality. But it just wasn’t enough.

Ohio State was down four points with less than seven minutes left in the third quarter, it was 4th-and-5 from the Michigan 43 yard line. Quarterback C.J. Stroud wanted to go for it, but Day called on the punt team. After that, Ohio State looked defeated and the game got out of hand.

All of the talk coming into the game was on Michigan’s run game but Michigan found its offense early on with the deep ball. Michigan had touchdowns good for 45 yards, 69 yards, and 75 yards.

The Wolverines had one pass play over 60 yards all season leading up to this game, was the 99th ranked passing offense in the country, but quarterback J.J. McCarthy had the most touchdowns over 45 yards by a Michigan player in the series history on Saturday. McCarthy had the game of his life with three touchdown passes and 263 yards, the second highest of his career.

Ohio State’s offense on the other hand got progressively worse through the first half, fizzling through its first four possessions going from a touchdown, to a field foal, to turning it over on downs, then punting. Wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka continued to show up big for the Buckeyes with 120 yards and a touchdown, and 125 yards and a touchdown respectively.

Ohio State started out strong converting 4-of-4 third down attempts. But then failing to convert on third downs kept Michigan in the game and kept giving them chances.

At halftime, Ohio State had 315 yards of offense, 124 on the ground as compared to Michigan’s 214 with 10 rushing yards. But despite the lopsided statistics, Michigan had a chance to take the lead coming out of halftime. And it did.

When the Buckeye defense didn’t force three-and-outs, Michigan’s offense scored. The recipe was that simple.

But not only did Michigan take advantage of Ohio State’s lackluster secondary, but it also began to set the tone on the ground.

With running back Blake Corum limited and out after two carries early on, Michigan was able to establish the run with backup Donovan Edwards in the the third quarter of the game. He finished with 216 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Stroud ended up 31-of-48 passing for 349 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Running back Chip Trayanum led on the ground with 81 yards on 14 carries.

Tommy Eichenberg led the Ohio State defense with seven tackles and five solos.

The Buckeyes will miss out on the Big Ten Championship game for the second year in a row. With that, Ohio State shifts focus to what’s next. But what exactly is next?

19 Responses

  1. After a couple days since the loss to TTUN, I still believe the common denominator to the problems with the Bucks is DISCIPLINE. Not enough discipline causes: Penalties: false starts, delay of game , un-sportsman conduct, pass interference. Actions: Poor tackling, out of position, wrong angles, not looking back for ball, not able to sustain blocks, not achieving the right leverage to block, running backs not planting and cutting to go north and south, a QB refusing to use the run to gain yards to keep momentum as opposed to an incomplete pass. Coaching: Refusing to adjust outside the comfort zone of play calling. (Predictability), Head Coach not delegating enough to assistants for play calling (micro managing), Defense being too aggressive when not called for (restraint). Too much rotation of players on defense especially the d-line. And last but not least Culture: A lot of factors in, this category. Couple examples, a player announcing his departure during the week before game. A player commenting after the game, that “THE GAME” does not define this team. In my opinion, lack of discipline creates the above problems. I also believe discipline plays a big part in the relationship between the coaches and the players. Yes, you must treat them fairly, you must tend to their needs both physically and mentally, but you can not be their best buddy, you must be their coach, thus discipline and respect is needed and that has an affect on the culture as well. I might add, that the discipline factor has been a continuing problem all season, and that animal just really raised its head in the most important game Saturday.

  2. Luke Fickell signs with Wisconsin….. a sad day for Ohio State. Fickell made the CFP with fraction of the talent OSU has at Cincinnati no less. A school that had no presence on the national scene before they hired Fickell. He cleaned up the mess, then they showed him the door before he had a shot at a level playing field.

    Tressel– National Championship in his second year.
    Meyer – National Championship in his second year.
    Day – Two straight losses to Michigan, with mostly players he recruited.

    It’s just not acceptable for an Ohio State coach. The first loss to Michigan, OK, maybe it was a fluke. The second, he knew what was coming.

    Can he turn this around? My guess is, this is who he is. Did John Cooper ever turn it around?

  3. OSU missed a dual threat QB. Easier to defend for the linebackers and DBs when you did not have to keep a defender spying the QB. Troy Smith, Braxton, JT Barret, J.Fields all could run and throw. Defense had to respect the dual threat QB. Now they can just camp back there play zone because CJ will not run. Running back is the only player that is going to run the ball, so defenses do not have to worry about a play action fake.

    Day is a good coach, he cant catch the balls that are catchable on third down and 4 to go. But Day needs an identity, a team will always play to their identity of their coach. Look at Urban – he was so intense, not afraid to call players out and it worked.

    1. Previous dual threat OSU QBs were all good but none of them won a National Title. The last two OSU QBs to win national titles were pocket passers, not dual threat: Krenzel and Jones.

      1. Watch the 2002 title game against Miami(FL) again. Krenzel ran for 81 yards because Miami was stacked against Clarett (47 yards).

      2. Sorry, JT Barrett and Miller who were the first and 2nd string were dual threat QB’s and Cardale Jones ran plenty in all 3 OSU post season wins to the National title. Very true about Tressel ball, but CFB has moved on since then.

        1. A team can win with either dual threat or pro style. It isn’t one or the other. Georgia won it all last year with a pro-style QB and a dominant defense. They might just repeat with a pro style QB.

        2. I agree Krenzel was also the king of the QB sneak.

      3. You must have missed Cardale Jones absolutely destroying Landon Collins (Unanimous All-American safety at Alabama and 2nd round NFL pick) after a 30 yard run straight up the middle. Collins was worthless the rest of the game – he should have been on the bench with a concussion.

        1. I’d love to see CJ take off and run over a DB but that isn’t who he is. And that isn’t the issue with this team. It’s the coaches who haven’t developed an offensive identity. This team still hasn’t established the run.

  4. Ryan Day is is the 2nd coming of John Cooper. He has great talent, but no O or D identity. MI made adjustments that OSU couldn’t and OSU was done for. We also need to consider how ‘great’ an asset that Knowles was. Besides some better D stats through a rather bland schedule, Knowle’s D fared WORST than last year’s versions against MI. Can’t remember such poor CB play or busted plays, it was the most points MI scored on OSU since 1946. Give the Ryan Day dog and pony show two more years and his ‘days’ are done, because I think J. Harbaugh will outcoach him easily the next two years.

  5. The coach was coaching scared, he was coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win. The team seemed to do better with the faster paced play calling. Then the coaches seemed to be paralyzed by over analyzing . Why let the defense have 25 seconds or so to look at your formation so they can make adjustments and get lined up properly.

  6. You paid two million for Jim Knowles, he sucks! Sits up in the press box and does nothing, no one in the big 12 plays good defense, whoever coaches the dubs should be fired, they can’t cover or tackle never turn and look for the ball, Ryan day and his chip Kelly scheme sucks!

    1. The defense made big improvements from last year to this year. The defense was one of the worst in the country last year and this year is one of the best based on rankings. The strategy was wrong for this game but not sure if we can expect a bad defense to be fixed 100% in one year. If they continue to make progress at the same rate they will be elite again soon.

  7. Michigan played a great game. They deserve credit for the exceptional effort particularly on defense. This loss is all on the coaches for not making defensive adjustments. I wouldn’t blame any players. The high risk high reward defense didn’t work and yet they kept getting burned by big plays due to that aggressive strategy on defense.

    This team is very good. They had the lead going into halftime which should have been an even bigger lead if they capitalize on more redzone opportunities. Lack of a few coaching adjustments on the defense was the big difference. This is fixable and since we can see it the coaches will as well going forward.

  8. Well all I can say Buckeyes are screwed the next few years,Day talked about being scarred after last year’s lost to xichigan,wonder what he thinks now!Now he knows how John Cooper felt.

    1. It took UM 20 years to get back to consistent top level play. The Buckeyes have been at that level and will stay there for the forseeable future. Not the end of the world. It just means the rivalry is back to being a tossup.

  9. 362 to go. Ryan Day isn’t fooling anyone. His original style was new and unpredictable, but now every one knows his preferences. Maryland played Ohio State close the week before. Michigan came out in the same defence and it works flawlessly, Day on the other hand was trying the same stuff that didn’t work last week. Coombs was let go for not making adjustments. Day didn’t make any adjustments that I could see. Not even after the scare at Maryland. It was like Michigan was in Day’s head. They knew what he was going to call. It looked like a game coached by an NFL offensive co-ordinator, coaching against a former NFL player and a head coach who took his team to the Super Bowl. Advantage gone. The sad thing is, I think who can beat Harbaugh? Where do we find a coach with both recruiting and Super Bowl experience? I can’t even think of one,

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