ANN ARBOR, Mich. — All week, all season, all year leading up to Michigan’s 42-27 win over Ohio State on Saturday, Michigan’s football players saw signs in their Schembechler football facility that said, “What have you done today to beat Ohio State?”
As he savored the victory, Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara said, “Today we did enough.”
Actually, the Wolverines did more than enough in a dominant performance that ended Ohio State’s eight-game winning streak over its biggest rival.
Ohio State’s loss more importantly ended the Buckeyes’ chances of winning a fifth consecutive Big Ten championship and their chances of reaching the College Football Playoff for a third year in a row.
Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) is headed for a big-time bowl. Michigan (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) advanced to the Big Ten championship game for the first time and beat Ohio State for the first time in six games with Jim Harbaugh as its coach.
OSU had beaten Michigan 15 of the last 16 times the two teams played each other and 17 of the last 19.
It came into the game with an offense that led the nation in scoring and yards per game and a defense that, at least statistically, had made significant strides since earlier in the season.
But Michigan dominated most of Saturday’s game.
Michigan outgained Ohio State 487 yards of total offense to 458 yards. The Buckeyes led only once, at 10-7, early in the second quarter.
Much of the Wolverines’ offensive production came from the running game, led by running back Hassan Haskins, who gained 169 yards on 28 carries and tied a Michigan record with five touchdowns in the game.
And both lines of scrimmage belonged to Michigan. It had four sacks and eight tackles for losses. Ohio State had no sacks and no tackles for losses.
“When you take care of the football, you give yourself a chance. When you play clean and don’t have penalties, you give yourself a chance. When you run the ball and stop the run, you give yourself a chance. Not all those things happened today,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said.
“When they’re controlling the game, controlling the ball and we’re not getting stops on defense, all those things add up. When it feels like they’re controlling the game it’s frustrating. But in the end we didn’t get it done. This one hurts,” he said.
Senior wide receiver Chris Olave said, “We could have played way better.” Safety Bryson Shaw said, “We played far from our best game.”
Even after an up and down first half, Ohio State felt good about its chances when it started the second half down only 14-13 and was getting the ball first.
But when it went three and out on its first possession and Michigan scored a touchdown on a three-play, 81-yard drive on its first possession to go ahead 21-13 on a 13-yard touchdown run by Haskins, the game took an ominous turn for OSU.
Michigan’s lead soon grew to 28-13 and Ohio State never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud completed 34 of 49 passes for 394 yards and two touchdowns. Jaxon Smith-Njigba had 11 catches for 127 yards. Garrett Wilson caught 10 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and Olave had 7 catches for 88 yards.
Stroud said he had been sick all week and had trouble speaking loudly enough to be heard on the field.
“But sometimes you have to play sick,” he said.
Day said, “We threw it 49 times and there were more attempts than that because we had a couple scrambles and some sacks. That is too much, especially with the D-line these guys have. And there were some penalties. That was really frustrating because it got us off schedule on offense.
“I felt we had to (throw a lot) because we weren’t getting too much in the run game,” he said. “You can get exposed, especially in this game, if you do not play your best game and we did not play our best game today.”
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.