ANN ARBOR, MI — The No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0, 9-0) hammered #13 Michigan (9-3, 6-3) 56-27 in Ann Arbor on Saturday, marking the first time in this rivalry that one team has scored more than 50 points against the other in consecutive games. Last year, OSU walked away with a 62-39 win over the Wolverines in Columbus.
There were about two moments of concern in this game for Ohio State. The first came when Michigan took the ball to begin the game and drove for a touchdown rather easily, and the second came midway through the third quarter when starting quarterback Justin Fields went down with a knee injury and had to leave the game.
Fields returned after a few plays to continue driving the dagger into Michigan’s heart. In fact, on his first play back, he rolled to his left and zipped a pass into the back of the end zone for Garrett Wilson, who caught the 30-yard pass for a touchdown to make it 42-16.
Head coach Ryan Day called it a “magical moment, a Heisman moment.”
Fields finished with 302 yards passing, completing 14-of-25 passes with four touchdowns.
The game wasn’t always so lopsided, however.
Michigan won the toss and rather than defer, they wanted the ball and they had bad intentions in mind. UM head coach Jim Harbaugh must have known what he was doing, because the Wolverines went 75 yards in seven plays, scoring a touchdown on a jet sweep from freshman receiver Giles Jackson. Michigan missed the ensuing extra point, however.
The Wolverines’ 6-0 lead was short-lived, as the Buckeyes hit the ground running with JK Dobbins. On his first carry of the game, the Buckeyes’ workhorse went 34 yards. A handful of plays later and Fields found Dobbins through the air for a 28-yard gain down to the 5-yard line. Dobbins finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
On the day, Dobbins rushed for a career-high 211 yards on 31 attempts for a career-high four touchdowns.
The Buckeyes struck two possessions later as Fields hit Chris Olave with a 57-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline on a coverage break, giving OSU a 14-6 lead. Michigan answered via three Shea Patterson passes on their next drive, with the final two covering 41 and 25 yards. The 25-yarder went to Donovan Peoples-Jones for a touchdown to make it 14-13 a the end of the first quarter.
Ohio State responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive, with most of the damage coming via a 41-yard strike to Wilson. Dobbins finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, making it 21-13.
Wilson caught three passes for 118 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon.
Michigan drove down to the OSU 16-yard line on their next possession, but Patterson fumbled the snap and it was recovered by Ohio State nose tackle Robert Landers.
Much like OSU’s previous drive, this one featured a 47-yard Wilson catch and a 5-yard Dobbins touchdown, giving the Buckeyes a 28-13 lead.
Faced with a fourth-and-goal from the Ohio State 5-yard line on the next drive, Harbaugh elected to kick the field goal rather than go for the touchdown. Quinn Nordin made the 22-yard kick, cutting OSU’s lead to 28-16 at the end of the half.
Dobbins then opened the second half almost the same way he did the first half, this time with a 41-yard run. KJ Hill finished that drive with a 6-yard touchdown reception from Fields.
Ohio State’s next possession is the one where Fields was knocked out of the game for a couple of plays. His 30-yard touchdown strike to Wilson gave the Buckeyes a 42-16 lead.
Michigan went three-and-out on their next possession, but Wilson muffed the punt for the Buckeyes. The Wolverines’ ensuing drive went for a loss of one and ended with a 45-yard field goal to make it 42-19 with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter.
Michigan running back Hassan Haskins ripped off a 33-yard run to end the third quarter. Haskins eventually finished the drive in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, making it 42-27 after UM successfully converted a two-point conversation for some reason.
Michigan’s scoring ended for the day following that touchdown, but Ohio State’s didn’t. Receiver Austin Mack scored from 16 yards out and Dobbins added a 33-yard score to give the Buckeyes their final victory margin of 56-27.
Ohio State’s defense held Michigan to just 91 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Shea Patterson completed 14-of-19 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown in the first half, but completed just 4-of-24 passes in the second half for 55 yards.