It took J.T. Barrett going down, a solid performance from the backup quarterback and a late-fourth-quarter touchdown score by the running back to put a nail in the coffin against Michigan. Wait, is this 2014?
The Buckeyes beat the Wolverines by a score of 31-20 on Saturday in Ann Arbor, the sixth straight victory for OSU over their rivals, dating back to 2011 when Denard Robinson was a thing.
Ohio State improved one spot in the AP Polls to No. 8, and will have to await their next positioning when the new playoff rankings are released on Tuesday.
Well, there wasn’t really a savior (It wasn’t Haskins, stop being an uninformed seventh grader), so I’m going to say K.J. Hill. When the run game was struggling and the defense hadn’t played great to start, he came up with two massive catches to keep the Buckeyes in the game and stave off an upset.
Yes, this is a weird choice, because he finished the game with two catches for 53 yards. But if you watched the game and weren’t just focused on tweeting your excuses of why we were down 0-14, you’d have seen that he was a big help of the receiving core getting going. I’m sticking by this.
The Surprise Performance:
Gotta be our boy Dwayne Haskins Jr., the modern day Cardale Jones.
Not only did he throw for 94 yards on 6/7 passing and ran for 24 yards, but he did it in an away game in the biggest rivalry in all of sports, but he did it all with a cool head and the confidence of a fifth-year senior.
The Turning Point:
There were a lot, so we’ll name a couple. The blocked PAT after Michigan’s third touchdown. Yes, it was only one point, but it turned the perspective of the game to the Bucks being down by one score and a successful PAT instead of a touchdown and a field goal at the very least.
Another was a catch late in the third quarter by Austin Mack, who somehow squeezed between two Wolverine defenders, took a massive blow and still hung onto the ball for a key conversion. It was on a 3rd down and 13 after two false start penalties, and set up the Buckeyes to take the lead for good on a J.K. Dobbins touchdown run.
The Next Victim (Knock-on-Wood)
So, do we control our own destiny? It’s not quite clear yet, but it’ll take something like a 59-0 victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game to have us jump Alabama.
Wait a second…early season loss, backup QB beats Michigan, playing Wisconsin for a big in the playoff? Dang, we really have gone back three years.
Wisconsin. Dec. 2. 8 PM. FOX. You know what that means: Gus Johnson has the call.