GAME 12 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 42-27, Michigan by 15 over Ohio State
SP+ Projection: OSU by 5.8 (+20.8)
CD Projection: OSU by 3 (+18)
GAME 12 RECAP vs. Ohio State
What a day! It was a fitting cap to an outstanding regular season for these Michigan Wolverines. Michigan dominated on both sides of the ball on the way to a 42-27 statement victory over their greatest rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is Jim Harbaugh’s first victory over the Buckeyes, and Ryan Day’s first loss to any team in the Big Ten.
Offensively, the best way to describe today is COMPLETE. As usual, the Wolverines were led by their senior running back Hassan Haskins. Haskins carried 28 times for 169 yards and a Michigan-record-tying 5 touchdowns. Blake Corum returned to action and also chipped in 87 yards and 14.5 yards per carry.
When the Wolverines wanted to throw the ball, they were also successful. Cade McNamara was 13-of-19 for 159 yards after shaking off an early interception. JJ McCarthy flashed all-world talent once again on a beautiful 31-yard connection with Roman Wilson along the right sideline. Josh Gattis brought the best game plan he’s ever put together, and the Wolverines executed to the tune of 42 points and a 72% Success Rate.
Most of the concern heading into the game was whether the Michigan defense could stand up to a historically great Ohio State offense. The feeling of what may be possible started to spread through the Big House at half time when the Buckeyes only had 13 points to show. CJ Stroud amassed 394 passing yards, and Jackson Smith-Njigba was a human highlight reel, but the Bucks could never catch the Wolverines on the score board in the 2nd half.
Aidan Hutchinson looked nearly unblockable again. His 3rd quarter sack gave him sole possession of the Michigan single season sack record, with at least two games yet to play this year. Josh Ross also stepped forward and made 2 or 3 huge stops on key short yardage situations. It was a fitting narrative that these leaders would stamp The Game with such heroic performances.
The return game was solid again, another common theme for this 2021 team. Michigan won the field position battle, if only slightly. Perhaps the biggest key was avoiding FG attempts in the red zone. Michigan had seven opportunities in scoring position, and scored 6 touchdowns without having to attempt a field goal.
Jim Harbaugh echoed Wolverine lore in his press conference, stating that the Michigan faithful will be celebrating deep into the night. He is 100% right. I pray the players and coaches can enjoy this as well. There is still work to be done, as Michigan looks for their first Big Ten Championship in 17 years next weekend. Onward!
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