Columbus, OH — November 26th, 2022
Entering the 118th Michigan/Ohio State game, the series record stood at 59-51-6 in favor of Michigan. Yes, I know that only adds up to 116. The Buckeyes vacated their victory in 2010 to cause the mathematical inaccuracy.
Add one more win to the Michigan ledger. After a slow start in the first quarter, the Wolverines trailed 10-3. With only a Jake Moody 49-yard field goal to show for their efforts. Ohio State’s defense was smothering the line of scrimmage, stopping Michigan’s ground game, and quarterback J.J. McCarthy was harrassed into off-target throws. After last year’s huge win in Ann Arbor, it looked like the Harbaugh win streak would be a one-and-done.
Then came “the play.” On a third and long from their own 31-yard line, Michigan was facing another three-and-out possession. Ohio State sent everyone on an all-out blitz. But, somehow, McCarthy found Cornelius Johnson on a short sideline route. Johnson shook off the only defender near him and turned the play into a 69-yard touchdown pass. Tying the game at 10-10, the Wolverines had life.
Ohio State added a 46-yard field goal to go up by three. After the kickoff into the endzone for a touchback gave Michigan the ball on its own 25-yard line. McCarthy and Johnson hooked up for a 75-yard TD on the first play of the drive.
The Buckeyes responded quickly on their next possession. C.J. Stroud found Marvin Harrison Jr. for a 42-yard touchdown, and Ohio State led 20-17 at the half.
Second Half Blowout
After halftime adjustments, Michigan began to grind out yards with the rushing attack. Late in the third, McCarthy found Colston Loveland for a 45-yard scoring pass, and the Wolverine defense stiffened into a ball-hawking group of defenders.
Early in the fourth quarter, McCarthy capped a 15-play/81-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run that took almost eight minutes off the clock. Michigan intercepted Stroud twice, and Donovan Edwards added two scores with 75-yard and 85-yard bursts through the stunned Ohio State defense.
Final Score: Michigan 45, Ohio State 23
The Wolverines all but locked up a college football playoff berth. They will just need a win over the 8-4 unranked Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten Conference title game next Saturday in Indianapolis.
In other Big Ten action, Michigan State lost to Penn State 35-16. The Spartans finished their season at 5-7 and will miss a bowl game invitation for the second time in the last three years.