WEEK 14 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 56-27, Ohio State by 29 over Michigan
SP+ Projection: Ohio State by 11.0 (-18.0)
CD Projection: Michigan by 3 (-32)
WEEK 14 RECAP vs. Ohio State
This became another version of The Game that looked a lot like Michigan-Ohio State games of this generation. The Wolverines came out strong and scored on their first drive. They stood toe-to-toe through the first quarter at 14-13. But, as the 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter wore on, Ohio State continued to execute and make big plays. Michigan ran out of steam and looked hapless as the Buckeyes pulled away.
The offensive game plan provided a solid foundation for Michigan on the day. However, the Buckeyes’ #1 defense gave the Wolverines a dose of their own medicine by choking them out after halftime. The Wolverines could only muster 111 total yards against the smothering OSU defense in the 3rd and 4th quarters combined. Plays were available to be made, especially in the 3rd quarter, but too many of Shea Patterson’s passes hit the wide receivers and then hit the turf. As the clock turned to the 4th quarter, Michigan had completed just one pass in the 3rd frame. While Michigan’s 39% success rate is only slightly below average, looking at it by quarter is more telling: 53% (1st) 47% (2nd) 29% (3rd) 30% (4th).
While Michigan sputtered in the second half, Ohio State kept rolling. The Buckeyes scored 14 points in each quarter by staying true to their identity. JK Dobbins was explosive running the ball, and Justin Fields repeatedly hit deep shots through the air. OSU matched Michigan’s hot start with a 57% success rate and 8.4 yards per play in the 1st quarter. Unlike the Wolverines offense, Ryan Day and his staff had the next round of answers for their opponents’ in game adjustments. The Buckeyes’ 7.5 yards per play will likely send Jim Harbaugh’s staff back to the drawing board. That is the most Michigan allowed per play all season, including the early season blow out in Madison (6.9 YPP).
This puts the final stamp onto a frustrating season for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines football program. With the experience and talent returning from 2018, this team had their eyes set on much loftier goals. The goals are the correct ones. To achieve those championship goals, this program needs to execute in big games. There is nothing to do at this point but get back to work.