Michigan offense sputters late as Ohio State stops the Wolverines in Columbus again, 26-21
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Twelve years later, and Michigan is still looking for a victory in The Horseshoe.
The Michigan offense mustered just 60 yards after halftime, and Ohio State's offense had just enough as the Buckeyes dug out a 26-21 win over Michigan at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
The Wolverines (8-4, 6-2) haven't won a game in Columbus, Ohio since 2000. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, finish coach Urban Meyer's first season a perfect 12-0. OSU will not play in a bowl game or the Big Ten title game, however, due to NCAA sanctions.
After putting up 21 points in the first half and holding a one-point lead, Michigan's two-quarterback offense featuring Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson seemed to fall apart after halftime, as Robinson rushed for a loss of two yards in the second half, while Gardner coughed up a fumble and threw an interception.
Michigan had one last gasp down five midway through the fourth quarter, but Gardner sailed an interception to OSU defensive back C.J. Barnett with less than five minutes to play.
The Buckeyes then ran out the clock to seal the win.
Ohio State outgained Michigan 396-279. Running back Carlos Hyde rushed 26 times for 146 yards to pace the Buckeyes.
-- The Michigan offensive line had no answer for anything Ohio State's front seven had. Michigan allowed five sacks, and everyone not named Denard Robinson rushed a total of 17 times for -14 times. In fact, Al Borges' Denard Robinson-based packages became rather predictable after halftime, as it became clear he couldn't -- or wouldn't -- throw the ball.
-- Michigan's Big Ten-best pass defense wasn't very good Saturday, as Braxton Miller went 11 of 13 for 156 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone. Cornerback J.T. Floyd was beaten on a deep pass to set up Ohio State's first score, and Miller had open passes to the edge for most of the afternoon.
-- The Michigan run defense allowed running back Carlos Hyde to find the edge and bull up the middle for most of the day. The Wolverines also did a decent job on Miller, but the OSU quarterback ripped off a 42-yard scamper late in the third quarter
-- Thomas Rawls did next to nothing in the Michigan backfield in place of Fitz Toussaint. Rawls finished the game with 2 yards on 5 carries.
-- Robinson had little trouble blowing through the Ohio State run defense in the first half, capping off the second quarter with a stunning 67-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper -- the run also made him Michigan's all-time touchdowns leader, passing Chad Henne. His second half, though, was a different story.
-- The Michigan defense bent, but didn't break, for most of the day. The Wolverines forced two fumbles and sacked Braxton Miller four times. It made plays when it had to, and kept Ohio State out of the end zone twice in the third quarter despite poor field position.
ISSUE OF THE WEEK: FINAL VERDICT
It didn't really matter who Michigan lined up in the backfield, the offensive line did very little blocking and Ohio State ate the Wolverines alive up front. And, they did it without inured star defensive end John Simon.
After building momentum into the season's final game, how deflated are you by the Wolverine offense in the second half Saturday?