No. 3 Michigan beats No. 2 Ohio State 45-23 in undefeated showdown
For the first time since 2000, Michigan leaves Columbus with a win — among other prizes. No. 3 Michigan surged past rival No. 2 Ohio State, 45-23, to win the undefeated battle, keep bragging rights and advance to the Big Ten Championship Game.
J.J. McCarthy starred for the Wolverines, going 12 for 24 for 263 yards and scoring four total touchdowns. In addition to the efficient play, McCarthy took several opportunities in the vertical passing game. Connecting on several big plays, Michigan WR Cornelius Johnson led the Wolverines with 4 receptions for a whopping 160 yards and two scores. The tandem's talents were on full display against the Buckeye secondary.
Paired with McCarthy’s big day, running back Donovan Edwards had a monster second half on the ground, rushing for a 75-yard touchdown and an 85-yard touchdown that sealed the win. With Blake Corum limited to just two carries for 5 yards due to an injury, Edwards' monster day was the production that proved to be the difference. Michigan would end the day with five touchdowns of 40+ yards.
Michigan clinched the Big Ten East with the win and picked up its largest victory in the rivalry series since a 28-0 win in 1993.
Below are the final stats from Saturday's game:
Michigan breaks a long run, leads 38-23 in 4th Q
After just 10 yards total as a team in the first half, Michigan has now amassed 110 yards in the second half alone thanks to a 75-yard touchdown run by Donovan Edwards. It marks the fourth play the Wolverines have had over 40 yards, all of which resulted in touchdowns.
Edwards now leads the game with 122 yards on 18 carries.
Ohio State keeps things close, trails 31-23 in 4th Q
After a missed field goal attempt by Michigan, Ohio State took advantage. C.J. Stroud and company marched down the field on a 7-play 52-yard drive that ended in a Noah Ruggles 27-yard field goal to cut Michigan's lead to eight.
Ruggles remains perfect on the day, going 3-for-3 with a long of 47 yards on the afternoon.
Michigan leads 24-20 after the 3rd Q
In what looked destined to be a shootout, both defenses clamped down in the third quarter. In the only score of the quarter Michigan's offense was able to connect on another big play for a 45-yard touchdown when J.J. McCarthy found Colston Loveland to give the Wolverines the lead. The touchdown pass marked the third touchdown of more than 40+ yards for Michigan.
After only running for 10 total yards in the first half, Michigan's running attack started to heat up. Collecting 70 yards on the ground as a team in the third quarter, Donovan Edwards has started to find holes and now has a team-high 13 carries for 46 yards.
Ohio State 20, Michigan 17 | Half
"The Game" has lived up to all the hype, after a back-and-forth half.
Late in the 2nd quarter, Ohio State and Michigan traded explosive plays that gave momentum swings to each side. Michigan's explosive plays came from wide receiver Cornelius Johnson who leads the game with 160 receiving yards. Michigan quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, has thrown for 204 yards which has been critical given Michigan's lack of a run game with just 10 total rushing yards coming from five different players. Ohio State currently holds a 124-10 yard edge on the ground.
Through the air, C.J. Stroud continues to shine for Ohio State after going 17-of-26 with 191 yards and 2 TDs. Stroud's favorite target has been Marvin Harrison Jr., who Stroud connected with for Ohio State's longest play: a 42-yard touchdown pass in the 2nd quarter.
Here is a look at the stats from the first half:
Ohio State 20, Michigan 17| 3:49 2Q
It didn't take long for Ohio State to jump back in front. After Michigan's 75-yard touchdown pass, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud connected with Marvin Harrison Jr. for a 42-yard touchdown pass to retake the lead.
Stroud is now 17-of-24 with 191 yards and 2 TDs.
Michigan 17, Ohio State 13 | 5:36 2Q
After Ohio State retook the lead 13-10, Michigan responded quickly with another long touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson. This time, a 75-yard pitch-and-catch to give the Wolverines the 17-13 lead.
Johnson now has 3 catches for 156 yards and 2 TDs while quarterback J.J. McCarthy is 5-of-11 for 192 yards passing.
Ohio State 10, Michigan 10 | 7:26 2Q
Cornelius Johnson takes it to the house!
On a play in which Ohio State brought a lot of pressure, J.J. McCarthy stepped back and delivered a strike to WR Cornelius Johnson who then did the rest. After two straight three-and-outs by Michigan's offense, Johnson's 69-yard touchdown ties the game at 10.
Ohio State leads 10-3 after the 1st Q
Despite the absence of starting running back TreVeyon Henderson due to injury, Ohio State has dominated the line of scrimmage on offense. With four players combining for 64 yards on 11 carries, Michigan has had few answers. Chip Trayanum is the Buckeyes' leading rusher with 4 carries for 23 yards.
Working off the good ground game, quarterback C.J. Stroud is a red-hot 8-for-10 on 64 yards. Stroud has the game's only touchdown pass, connecting with Emeka Egbuka on a 4-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game.
Ohio State 7, Michigan 3| 6:03 1Q
After allowing a long touchdown drive, Michigan's offense went to work and responded with a field goal. Jake Moody connected on a 49-yard field goal to put Michigan on the board. Moody's field goal was just three yards shy of his career-long (52 yards).
Ohio State strikes first | Ohio State 7, Michigan 0 | 10:02 1Q
Ohio State received the ball first and marched down the field on a 12-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback C.J. Stoud found Emeka Egbuka for a 4-yard touchdown pass.
The ground game for the Buckeyes is in a zone, accounting for 47 of the 81 yards.
How to watch Ohio State vs. Michigan
Here's how you can watch the two 11-0 unbeaten teams play for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.
- Time: noon ET
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 26
- TV: FOX
- Location: Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State vs. Michigan, previewed
The following is from Mike Lopresti's NCAA.com preview of this week's rivalry games:
Sad but true fact for the Wolverines: The last time they won at Ohio State, current star running back Blake Corum was a week from being born and Tom Brady had just graduated. Michigan has lost nine games in a row in Columbus since the last victory in 2000, and now would be an excellent time to end the streak since a Big Ten championship and a prime spot in the playoff bracket very likely go to the winner. It says something about the historical parity of this rivalry that even with the Buckeyes’ recent dominance at home, they barely lead the Columbus portion of the series 28-27-2.
As has been true so many times across two centuries, the game comes with lots of shiny numbers. Half of the four remaining unbeaten 11-0 records in the country will be on the field Saturday. The only two teams in the nation currently ranked in the top-10 in both scoring offense and defense will be there. This is the 12th time they have met as top-5 members. And there are as many intriguing questions as decals on the helmets.
Will Michigan’s offensive line steamroll the Ohio State defense as it did last November in Ann Arbor?
Corum shares the national lead with 19 touchdowns scored, but will he even play because of a knee injury?
The Buckeyes have been a fireworks show in the air, from quarterback C.J. Stroud and his 35 touchdown passes to receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., with 78 percent of his 65 receptions going for a first down. Any answers for that, Wolverines defense?
Ohio State’s 29-game home winning streak against Big Ten opponents goes back to 2015, so no current Buckeye has ever known the feeling of losing a conference game in Ohio Stadium. This is no time for a new experience, right?
Can Michigan get its customary fast start — the Wolverines have outscored opponents 210-67 in the first half — to take some of the scarlet out of the Ohio State crowd?
Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy has justified Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start him with a 67 percent completion rate and a 14-2 touchdown-interception ratio. But he’s never played a down in Ohio Stadium, so how’s that going to work out?
And most of all, will the loser look good enough to make a case for a second playoff spot for the Big Ten? Bo and Woody never had to worry about that one.
What the stats say for The Game
Both Ohio State and Michigan are 11-0 overall and 8-0 in the Big Ten. Here's how they match up statistically:
|11-0 (8-0)||Record (Big Ten)||11-0 (8-0)|
|No. 3||CFP rank||No. 2|
1,952 yards, 14 TDs, 2 INT
2,991 yards, 35 TDs, 4 INT
1,457 yards, 18 TDs
783 yards, 13 TDs
48 receptions, 641 yards, 2 TDs
|Receiving||Marvin Harrison Jr.
65 receptions, 1,037 yards, 11 TDs
7.5 sacks, 11 tfl
105 tackles, 12 tfl