Good is the enemy of great.
Michigan is good.
Ohio State is great.
And once again the Buckeyes asserted their dominance over a Michigan team that had such high expectations and failed to meet almost every last one of them.
Ohio State won The Game 56-27 on Saturday, the eighth time in a row they have made the Wolverines rethink their respective life choices.
This time around, however, things got a little sadistic as Ryan Day and the Buckeyes made Michigan think they had a chance in this one before bringing down the blunt hammer of reality.
Over and over and over again the hammer swung, connecting each time. Shooting shards and marrow from openings newly created by the minute.
Outings like this generally require a smock or apron so as not to get any on ya, but nobody in this coliseum of carnage got out without a little mess on them.
The taste of metal in the air was a hint that this was a job well done. The gurgling cries from the home crowd surpassed the hints, leaving no doubt that all hope was lost. The only mystery now would be how long until the buzzards started picking at the bones.
The day was proof that any house can turn into a slaughterhouse if you invite the wrong people, and the Buckeyes were definitely the wrong people.
This was the result of an appetite that needed sated. It was about an annual starvation that can only be resolved in late November. Under the gray skies of the Wolverine solstice.
Buckeye fans reveled in it, of course, dipping their fingers in the viscera and painting their faces just to feel the thick, steaming blood go from hot to cold to know that their foe was truly and deeply vanquished.
Children looked up at their parents in awe and desire and said, “Please Mommy, please Daddy, can you paint my face with the blood of our fallen enemies as well?”
Prouder parents there have never been, as they dipped their fingers once more in the sinew and entrails, and through tears of pride they adorned their children with the crimson mask of victory.
Bloodlust has never been so wholesome or so warranted.
Norman Rockwell never painted such a scene, but damn if he shouldn’t have.
9:42 A year ago, I saw smiling Michigan fans walking around Ohio Stadium. I didn’t take a full circle around the stadium today, but I sure didn’t see a lot of Michigan fans shouting their oats at people. The traffic cops who jerk people around weren’t even out yet. Of course, we got here at about dawn, so…
11:49 We are so close…to our first FOX timeout that slows this game to a crawl.
12:03 Michigan wins the toss. They will defer. Ohio State will get the ball. Oh wait, Michigan has elected to receive. So Ohio State actually gets what they wanted. Ryan Day thanks you, but it’s pretty clear that Michigan has something they like in their script.
12:06 Michigan will be going against the wind. Jonathon Cooper gets the start. Looks like we know which game Cooper will be playing in this season. Hassan Haskins picks up eight yards on a first-down carry.
12:07 Shaun Wade appears to be out as Damon Arnette is in the slot and Sevyn Banks is outside for Arnette. Wade warmed up with the ones before the game. This is going to create all kinds of issues for the Buckeyes’ defense if they don’t get to Shea Patterson.
12:08 Third and five. Patterson gets pressured, escapes and finds Ronnie Bell for the first down, and they’ll add 15 more because Jeff Okudah hit him late out of bounds. Jeff, I understand wanting to hit somebody, but you never go full Crable.
12:10 Pete Werner is all alone with tight end Nick Eubanks at the top and they go right after him for nine yards. Eubanks is an athletic tight end who can stretch the field. It’s pretty clear that Michigan watched the Penn State game.
12:10 Touchdown on the end around to Giles Jackson from 22 yards out. The dude has been more and more impressive as the season’s gone on. That’s a legitimate touchdown drive right there, which is about the second all season that this first-team defense has given up. Though it did happen without Shaun Wade on the field, so how legitimate was it actually? They’re lining up for two. Now they’re kicking. He missed it because Michigan got cute. Well that’s a downer for the Wolverines, as they now lead it 6-0. Jim Harbaugh better hope Ohio State doesn’t win this by a point. Actually, he better just hope Ohio State doesn’t win period.
12:13 Now we know why Michigan wanted the ball first. No Shaun Wade. Buckeyes trying extra linebackers rather than extra cornerbacks for now.
12:15 Big news. Justin Fields is playing! But his first pass is ugly and incomplete. Is this game too big for him?
12:16 Michigan’s defense is running around trying to get set. Now the play comes in. JK Dobbins gets the hand-off, dribbles it off the turf and then picks up 35 yards, barely getting tripped up by freshman safety Daxton Hill. Well, that’s a good sign and a bad sign. Nice run, bad fumble, but the first bounce of the game goes Ohio State’s way.
12:18 First and 10. Fields drops back and gets sacked at the 33-yard line for a 4-yard loss. So far the passing game hasn’t worked all that well.
12:19 Third and 14. Trips left. Fields finds Dobbins on the angle route, sweet juke, and that’s a 28-yard pick up down to the 5-yard line. I believe that is the second time this year OSU has hit the angle route. Not a bad time for the second time around.
12:20 Touchdown JK Dobbins from five yards out. Can Blake Haubeil give Ohio State the lead? Yep. He drills it. Buckeyes lead it 7-6. Could those be the final points of the game? Probably not.
12:21 The two teams have combined to be a perfect 3-of-3 on third downs.
12:24 JK Dobbins has 79 of Ohio State’s 75 yards of total offense.
12:25 Hassan Haskins is tackled for a loss of one by DaVon Hamilton. Next play, Zach Charbonnet ignores a big hole and gets no gain. Next play, Shea Patterson throws it out of bounds to Nico Collins, who was covered by Jeff Okudah. Michigan will punt. Is that the end of their successful script?
12:27 Garrett Wilson returns the punt 10 yards to the OSU 45-yard line, but Sevyn Banks gets flagged for blocking out of bounds and they move it back 15-yards from the spot of the foul. They lose 25 yards for a block out of bounds. That’s huge. Ohio State went from an almost guaranteed scoring drive to now having the ball at their own 20-yard line.
12:32 Five wide on third down. Don Brown sends the blitz and Fields can’t get it to KJ Hill. Don Brown was ready, Fields wasn’t accurate. Buckeyes punt. Nice return for Donovan Peoples-Jones, but it will come back because of a block in the back. Time for a commercial!
12:37 Patterson drills it to DPJ on a slant for 20 yards. This is the best group of receivers the Buckeyes have seen and their missing one of their best coverage guys. It’s not ideal
12:38 Third and 11. Jeff Okudah breaks up his second pass in a row, and second in a row where he got there a little early. Fans want the PI call. They are booing. Or maybe they were booing the fact that Chase Young was held and they want to see a sporting match, not one tainted by an inability to handle the best player in the country.
12:41 Screen to Chris Olave picks up 13 yards, but he nearly broke it. The Ohio State offensive brain trust is so good at finding voids in a defense. They’re also good at creating space, which that play did nicely.
12:44 Buckeyes open in trips left. Chris Olave goes in motion. Nobody moves with him. Fields is loading up and going deep to Olave who is currently running by safety Josh Metellus for a 57-yard touchdown. Michigan should have called a timeout just in the off chance that Ohio State was going to run a deep route against Metellus because that’s not something he’s ever been able to handle. And now you’re asking him to stay with the Bruce Lee of wide receivers? No. Buckeyes lead it 14-6.
12:47 Big hit on a play-action to tight end Sean McKeon. Pete Werner got caught on the fake and he let the tight end go. That’s about 41 yards on the gain. Ohio State needed to worry about the big plays from the receivers, but the tight ends have been more dangerous.
12:48 And there is an easy touchdown pass to DPJ from 25 yards out. There was confusion on that play, born from the lack of Shaun Wade being on the field. The secondary was confused most of that drive. And when I say secondary, I also mean the Sam linebacker. Buckeyes lead it 14-13 nearing the end of an entertaining first quarter.
12:53 The impact of missing Shaun Wade can’t be overstated. He is the linchpin and if he’s not going to go, what they’re doing now isn’t working. Shea Patterson is 8-11 for 127 yards and one touchdown.
12:56 Chase Young has been subdued so far. How long can that last, though?
12:57 Dobbins picks up four yards. Now there’s a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct? TV replay shows Carlo Kemp and Aidan Hutchinson taking off Dobbins’ shoe? Players get shoes for free, which means they shouldn’t have to resort to stealing them. And what’s a guy even going to do with just one shoe? You have to steal both. That’s Shoe Stealing 101.
12:58 So I guess while Ohio State was devising offenses and defenses for this game, Michigan decided the only defense they had for JK Dobbins was to remove his shoes. They didn’t get to the second part of the plan, which was to dump four million LEGOs on the turf.
12:59 Thayer Munford gets called for a hold. So the refs DO know what holding is. Good to know. That’s a drive killer.
1:01 Or maybe not. The play clock was on zero for more than a second, but Fields took the snap and threw an underneath route to Garrett Wilson who went 41 yards after the catch. That play should have never happened. How is Michigan expected to beat the refs as well? I bet Michigan fans will have the home addresses of these refs spreading on Twitter by the time the Wolverine offense gets the ball back.
1:06 Third and four from the 6-yard line. Getting the play after seeing the defense. Jeremy Ruckert motions over. Dobbins picks and weaves for the easy touchdown. Great vision by the junior. Buckeyes lead it 21-13 and get a smidge of breathing room. That drive went 5:07, which may have been the longest drive of the year.
1:10 Play-action to Nick Eubanks on the linebackers again. This time for 34 yards. Wide open. He dragged across the field like an invisible man. Something has to change here.
1:12 Hitch to Ronnie Bell and a missed tackle by Amir Riep picks up 16 yards. They miss Shaun Wade right now.
1:14 Second and six from the Ohio State 9-yard line. Patterson keeps it for some reason and gets dropped for a loss of three yards by Pete Werner. Odd play call at that time. Patterson isn’t going to beat anybody on this defense to the edge.
1:14 Fumbled snap! Ohio State recovers. Shea Patterson fumbles the ball a lot, so I knew the Buckeyes would get at least one, but I was expecting an Ohio State player to have to actually force the fumble.
1:21 Third and 10. Fields drops back and then scrambles for a 6-yard gain. Ohio State will punt with 3:30 or so on the clock. The punt is fair caught but there’s a flag. Oh man. Khaleke Hudson was offside. He jumped. Ohio State will get the ball back. That’s a turnover for Michigan.
1:23 And the Buckeyes do what so many other teams do after a turnover — they go deep and Fields finds Garrett Wilson down inside the 10-yard line. That was a back-breaker for Michigan.
1:24 Ohio State hurries up and Dobbins gets the carry and skates into the end zone for the touchdown with 3:15 remaining. Buckeyes lead it 28-13. Ohio State has 319 yards of total offense.
1:27 Kickoff with 3:15 to play. I fully expect Michigan to score on this drive.
1:29 Patterson drops back and finds DPJ down the field for a 25-yard gain as a Buckeye defensive end was getting held. Next play, Ronnie Bell picks up 17 but gets hit hard by Tuf Borland.
1:32 Four wide. Patterson finds an open Nico Collins on the sideline. He takes it to the 5-yard line with 1:15 to play.
1:35 Third and goal from the 5-yard line. Patterson fires it in to DPJ for the touchdown. No — he dropped it! How do you drop that? Now Jim Harbaugh is sending out his field goal unit. Why? You have the momentum right now. You should have scored right there. When was the last time anybody beat Ohio State with field goals? And when was the last time this game was won by field goals? They kick it. Ohio State now leads it 28-16 for some reason.
1:45 Shea Patterson is 14-of-19 passing for 250 yards and a touchdown at the half. No sacks. More importantly, Ohio State is outrushing Michigan 118-35. I don’t see the Wolverines catching the Buckeyes in the running game, which is how this game is always decided. But if Patterson throws for another 250 yards, 500 yards passing is something that might be able to trump the running game.
2:03 Game on. JK Dobbins takes the hand-off and splits a Chris Olave block and picks up 41 yards down to the Michigan 34-yard line. I’ll say it again, running is how this game is won and it appears only one team knows it — or only one team knows that they can run it.
2:04 Play-action throw back to Dobbins for 21 yards. The head of the Michigan defense is on a swivel, but soon it might be on a spike.
2:05 Master Teague comes in for JK Dobbins. Fields rolls right and gets hit a couple of yards out of bounds by Cam McGrone. That’s going to move Ohio State inside the 10-yard line. There’s also a holding call on cornerback LaVert Hill. Combine the holding with the hit by Cam McCrable and now the Buckeyes have first down at the 2-yard line.
2:09 We are still waiting for KJ Hill’s first catch. And there it is on third down. Hill stops in an empty zone and Fields hits him for the 6-yard touchdown. Buckeyes lead it 35-16 with 11:18 left in the third quarter.
2:10 How is that field goal treating you now, Jim?
2:20 Jonathon Cooper gets the sack on Shea Patterson, making his decision to play in this game a fruitful one.
2:21 Michigan punts and this is the one punt that Will Hart puts perfectly inside the five, and his guys knock it in like Keystone Kops.
2:25 Fields makes a great throw to Mack. Now Fields is down and hurt. Left knee. And it looks bad. Tight end Luke Farrell got pushed into him. They are midway through the third quarter. Up by 19 points. Chugs is warming up. Fields gets up and walks off. He went straight to the medical tent. And now we all stare at the tent waiting for something. Anything.
2:30 Fields is back out and jogging around. He looks like he might be okay.
2:32 And now Fields is coming back in. He’s trying to vulture a touchdown drive from Chugs and that’s bullcrap! Fields takes the snap, rolls right and holy crap fires a rocket into the back of the end zone to Garrett Wilson for a touchdown. Justin Fields isn’t winning the Heisman, but maybe that can already be his Heisman moment for next year when he wins it. What a throw. Buckeyes lead it 42-16.
2:37 Garrett Wilson muffs the punt! Michigan recovers. This is the second year in a row a freshman Buckeye receiver has a big day catching the ball against Michigan and also makes a huge special teams play. Of course, blocking a punt is considerably better than dropping one.
2:40 Third and 11. Another drop by the Michigan receivers. That’s three on the last two drives. They’ve quit. They don’t like the violence. Michigan kicks a field goal to make it a 23-point game. I’m not sure how many quarters Jim Harbaugh thinks we’re playing here today, but it’s not nine or 10. It’s not enough for him to kick as many field goals as they’re going to need. And beside, they’d actually have to stop Ohio State’s defense for quarters at a time, which is something they haven’t done since…2002?
2:54 Hassan Haskins scores on a run. They’re going for two. Why? If you don’t get it, you eliminate the opportunity to make this a two-touchdown game. I’m not sure Jim Harbaugh understands numbers so well. Holding on Cam Brown. OSU has given UM a second chance to make the right call and they’re still going for it. Thankfully for Michigan, they get the two-pointer to make it 42-27. Okay, this is a bit more interesting.
3:10 Hassan Haskins gets it on 4th and 1 and the Buckeyes stuff it and take over. That’s ball game maybe but I probably shouldn’t tweet that out.
3:13 Oh my what a slant to Austin Mack for the touchdown. He bowled his way in on a beautiful play design that confused and vacated a defense. He wasn’t going to be stopped on that one and I don’t think Michigan’s defenders even wanted to try. They just want to be home right now.
3:19 Jordan Fuller is flagged for targeting, which would not be great for the Buckeyes next week. It is being reviewed. The ruling is changed. Ohio State dodges a bullet.
3:23 Amir Riep breaks up the pass and waves good bye to the fans on fourth and three with 8:48 to play.
3:28 JK Dobbins goes untouched for 33 yards. That’s a career high 211 yards and four touchdowns to make it 56-27. The Buckeyes still have a chance for another Sixty Burger, provided they have room. But there’s always room for Sixty.
3:32 Dobbins has three rushes for 30+ yards today. Michigan had given up four such runs all season before today’s game. That’s a pretty impressive note to end on today. Congratulations to Ohio State for doing what the last seven Buckeye teams have also done. I know I’m supposed to be impartial, but at this point I almost have to feel bad for Jim Harbaugh.