Perfection: Ohio State 26, Michigan 21

By Kyle Rowland on November 24, 2012 at 5:50p
71 Comments
Urban Meyer gets a Gatorade shower after finishing 12-0Gatorade is for winners
10 10 3 3 26
7 14 0 0 21

Undefeated seasons don’t come often in college towns that drape the landscape in America. And rarely do they seem as improbable as the 12-0 record that Ohio State completed on Saturday with a 26-21 win over Michigan.

With the cloud of a postseason ban hanging over the football program since last December, Ohio State turned the other way and went about the season with the same intensity as any other year.

Winning games and sending out the seniors on a high note were the stated goals. On Saturday, the Buckeyes slammed the door with an exclamation point. Ohio State completed just its sixth perfect season in school history.

“At this point in time, Ohio State can go and play with anybody in America,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I wouldn’t say that five weeks ago, but you’ve seen the growth, what we did today and the growth of our defense.”

Running back Carlos Hyde supplied the Ohio State offense with production every time he touched the ball, finishing with 146 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

“I was being patient and trusting my read,” Hyde said. “When I found that read I had to make sure to explode through the opening.

“That’s exactly why I came here – to play in big games like this against our rival in the ‘Shoe. Having a shot at being undefeated made it even more special.”

Michigan’s defense stifled Braxton Miller on the ground, limiting the dynamic quarterback to 57 yards on 20 carries, though two big negative yardage plays contributed to that total. Miller slipped once and fumbled another time eluding the pass rush.

But Miller did have success throwing the ball all day on the nation’s No.1-ranked pass defense. He finished 14 of 18 for 189 yards with a touchdown. Junior Corey Brown was the recipient of a bulk of those throws, hauling in eight receptions and one touchdown for a career-high 95 yards. Sophomore Devin Smith added 63 yards receiving, including a 52-yarder on the fourth play of the game that helped lead to Ohio State’s first touchdown.

Ohio State had 396 total yards.

In Michigan’s win last season that snapped a seven-year Ohio State stranglehold on the series, quarterback Denard Robinson totaled 337 yards and five touchdowns. In the first half Saturday, Robinson looked like he was producing the sequel. He had 124 yards on six carries, including a 67-yarder when he bounced off two would-be tacklers in the final minutes of the first half.

But Robinson had just four carries for minus-two yards after the half. Michigan instead chose to use running backs Vincent Smith and Thomas Rawls more, which only combined for 14 yards on 10 carries.

Robinson, who has been limited the past three weeks after a nerve injury to his elbow, started the game at quarterback but never attempted a pass. That job belonged to former quarterback-turned-wide receiver-turned-quarterback Devin Gardner. He completed 11 of 20 passes for 171 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

During Michigan’s final two possessions, Gardner was 1 of 4 for 10 yards with an interception. Junior CJ Barnett snagged the interception, and two first downs later the game was over.

Ohio State fans – mostly students – rushed the field. The rest of the 105,899 in attendance stayed for well over 30 minutes soaking in the win and the improbable season.

In a cruel twist of fate, senior defensive end John Simon, someone who poured his heart out for the Ohio State football program for four seasons, was not able to play Saturday due to a knee injury.

During, perhaps, the finest performance of his career last week at Wisconsin, Simon suffered a right knee injury. It didn’t slow him down much, as he tied the school record with four sacks. But the injury got worse throughout the week.

“It hurt to lose him,” senior linebacker Etienne Sabino said. “He’s the heart and soul of the team. He puts it all on the line for himself and his teammates every day, so it was tough when we found out he couldn’t play. We got through it, though. I’m proud of our guys.”

Ten years ago, the Buckeyes won a national title by winning close games and buckling down on defense. Saturday’s win and the 2012 season was a microcosm. Ohio State turned the ball over twice, but the Silver Bullets created four Michigan turnovers. They also limited Michigan to 60 second-half yards.

Passing

  Cmp/Att Pct Yds TD Int Rat
Braxton Miller 14/18 77.8 189 1 0 184.3

Rushing

  Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum
Carlos Hyde 26 146 5.6 17 1 0
Braxton Miller 20 57 2.9 42 0 1
Corey Brown 1 21 21.0 21 0 1
Rod Smith 1 4 4.0 4 0 0

Receiving

  Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum
Corey Brown 8 95 11.9 19 0 1
Devin Smith 2 63 31.5 52 0 0
Evan Spencer 1 9 9.0 9 0 0
Jake Stoneburner 1 9 9.0 9 0 0
Carlos Hyde 1 8 8.0 8 0 0
Michael Thomas 1 5 5.0 5 0 0

“We had too many turnovers,” Robinson said. “That’s why we lost.”

Ohio State received the opening kick and went 75 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. The drive was highlighted by Miller’s 52-yard pass to Smith. Hyde scored from three yards out.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Robinson showed his running prowess with a 30-yard sprint into Ohio State territory. But a few plays later, freshman defensive end Adolphus Washington, helping in place of the injured Simon, hit Gardner’s arm as he was throwing the football, causing him to fumble. Zach Boren recovered.

But Ohio State couldn’t convert the turnover into any points. Instead, Michigan got the ball back and scored quickly, with a Roy Roundtree 75-yard touchdown catch capping the drive. He caught the ball near midfield and outran Barnett and Christian Bryant to the end zone to tie the game.

Drew Basil connected from 41 yards out to end the first quarter scoring, with Ohio State holding a 10-7 advantage.

The Buckeyes would have gotten the ball back quickly, but they roughed Michigan punter Will Hagerup and Brown fumbled the punt, giving the Wolverines a first down. Ohio State had Michigan stopped again, but this time freshman defensive end Noah Spence, also a Simon replacement, hit Gardner too late after a throw. Unlike Ohio State’s previous possession, Michigan made the Buckeyes pay for their mistakes. Gardner finished off the penalty-plagued drive with a two-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Michigan led 14-10 with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.

Ohio State answered with another six-play scoring drive, this time for 59 yards. Hyde ran four times, gaining 40 yards on the series. But Brown scored the touchdown on a 14-yard pass and catch from Miller.

The frantic pace continued, though, as Robinson scored on a 67-yard run on the third play of the next series. Michigan then led 21-17 with 40 seconds left in the half. Not to be outdone, Ohio State quickly marched into field goal range. Basil made a low line drive, 52-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to cut the lead to 21-20.

“I just wanted to go out there and hit a solid ball,” Basil said. “It wasn’t my best shot, but it went through. I secretly had my Xbox controller out there maneuvering it.”

The second half revolved around defense and conservative play-calling. The only second-half scores were field goals by Basil, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter.

“We made adjustments in the locker room,” Ohio State junior safety Christian Bryant said. “The defensive coaches told us that we needed to stop No. 16 (Robinson) because we knew he wasn’t going to throw the ball because of his wrist.”

Ohio State took the early momentum away from Michigan in the half. On their first possession, the Wolverines chose to go for it on 4th and 3 from their own 48. The play-call was just as baffling as the decision to go for it. Offensive coordinator Al Borges chose to run Robinson right into the meat of the Ohio State defense. He was tackled for a two-yard loss.

“I felt good about our offense because they had just gotten two first downs in a row,” Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said. “I had confidence in our defense as well, so we went for it.”

Any momentum Michigan had was completely wiped away midway through the third quarter, when Robinson fumbled and the Buckeyes recovered. The Wolverines third turnover of the half came late in the fourth quarter on a fumble by Gardner.

Boren had a team-high nine tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. Sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby contributed eight tackles. The Buckeyes had four sacks for 29 yards.

“Our offensive line played good at times and they played bad at times,” Hoke said. “But win or lose, all games are decided in the trenches.”

71 Comments

Comments

LouGroza's picture

Oh, what could have been without the penalties. The score would have been very different. No facemask call?

rdubs's picture

Even with penalties had we punched it in when we got on their side of the field, it wouldn't have been close, we kicked a bunch of FGs, just 2 of those for TDs and we would have had a lot less stress that 4th quarter.

bucknut3011's picture

True.  This could've just as easily been a blow-out.  The drop off in discipline (and little league-esque tackling) made for a much closer than necessary game.
Nonetheless, we win, life is bliss, and the family gets to go out for dinner (rather than eating leftover turkey in the dark).
God, I'm glad to be a Buckeye!!!
O - H !!!

sloopy88's picture

I-O!!
Amen to all that. 

buckeyedude's picture

No review on that or Braxton's fumble. I don't get it.

 

 

avail31678's picture

Can't review facemasks, I bleieve..

Abe Froman's picture

Stunned at that point no calls were going our way.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

dtanmango's picture

It was a pretty fairly officiated game -- except for that obvious horsecollar tackle on our punt return -- however we had one that was not called on us in a later (not so obvious) drive.
Great win, loved the win.

-dtan

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I said this a few times on the live blog. I really think the way Brax plays has changed since taking that big hit. I remember him saying he had never really been hurt before. He doesnt run with the same reckless abandon (which may be a good thing injury-wise) and he is very hesitant many times. Hope this is something he can overcome this off-season.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Nick's picture

I think that has something to do with it but a lot of the called runs have been up the middle which haven't really worked all season (against decent teams) the runs to the right or to the left where he can outrun the defense is where he gets a lot of the yards

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I just dont remember him dancing so much earlier in the season. You could tell some of his cuts were split second decisions and he would just go for it. I dont see that so much anymore. That hit did something to him mentally. I am sure it can be overcome, but there is a definate difference, imo.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

VHX7's picture

I agree with you for the most part. He looked great in the Penn State game somehow, but against Wisconsin and Michigan, it looked like he was moving in slow motion compared to how quick he was earlier in the season. But, I also think Michigan and Wisconsin are the two best defenses he's played against this year, and they did a good job of containing him.

bucknut3011's picture

Yes, even my 11 year old noticed.  I'm wondering if there's an injury he's hiding...

buckeyedude's picture

His "dancing" was  result of the missed blocks. When you have three defenders in front of you and no blockers, not even Usain Bolt could outrun that.
Just like on the blind-side sacks that Braxton took. He didn't even see them coming. And they came UNTOUCHED. I'm just surprised he didn't fumble or get hurt. Braxton will be just fine. Don't you worry.

 

 

D-Day0043's picture

They weren't from his blind side. They came from his strong side to his right. He turned towards his weak side to throw. His blind side is to his left because he is right handed.
Not picking on you, I have just heard a lot of people say he got hit from his blind side but he didn't. They were very bad plays on his and the O lines part. I don't know why they didn't bring an extra blocker in the backfield with him.

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cbusbuckeye's picture

They came from the left....from his blind side

D-Day0043's picture

The left side of the defensive line is lined up against the offense's right (strong) side. The defense ran a strong blitz.

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buckeyedude's picture

No problem. Technically you are correct, D-Day. My point was that he got hit with his back turned. He didn't see it coming. On one of them, there were two UM defenders coming at him untouched.
Miller was doing so much better when he was rolling out to pass. Damn near every time he dropped back to pass, it seemed like we couldn't block the UM defense.

 

 

D-Day0043's picture

Usually the center calls slide protection. I don't know if Ohio State does it that way or not. If so, Linsley missed the line call.
My question for the offense is why didn't they have both Hyde and Smith in the backfield? It would have given a triple option look, plus give Miller an extra blocker in the backfield. They had that set called in the redzone once, but they called time out, and then took Smith out. A couple plays later Miller got buried for the second time when he had his back turned.
Oh well, 12-0 and Michigan still sucks.
How about Hoke running off the feild like a scared little girl?
 

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GoBuckeyes1985's picture

Ive noticed it too. Seems like he is second guessing himself when he's running the ball. Too many moves in the back field looking for a hole. He just needs to make his cut and turn it upfield. But honestly Id rather him spend the off season learning to throw the ball better than to have him trying to be a more effective runner. 

Go Bucks! and Go Bucs!

MediBuck's picture

The way Carlos Hyde has been running like a one-man wrecking crew, I can't blame the coaching staff for wanting to limit Braxton's risks for getting hurt.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

KE's picture

He also slipped badly about three times. Might have had the wrong cleats today.

Nick's picture

I know the Nike pro combat cleats had problems a few years ago wonder if they were a problem this year especially since they came out so late

Sean N's picture

And what was with all the slipping? I counted at least three times. Were those some fancy new shoes to go with the new uniforms? If so, Nike better go back to the drawing board.
Oh we'll.  12-0. Suck it, Michigan.

jestertcf's picture

feel free to insert Michigan here.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

BUCKfutter's picture

BUCKFUTTER!

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

Poison nuts's picture

I'll take the rapist for 1000 Alex...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

You mean since taking that hit against Purdue?  I don't know.  I thought he ran with the same reckless abandon against Penn State and Illinois.  It was these last two weeks that I've noticed that he's been somewhat tentative running.  Then again, the last two defenses that he's had to face have schematically done a better job of containing his running game.  Who knows.

Class of 2010.

brylee's picture

_ichigan still sucks!

brylee's picture

"Urban Meyer's perfect first season at Ohio State should worry rest of Big Ten." Dan Wetzel

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Thish ish SUchs a Gret niggth th wine was ebpic it was culd but loud and our defence stepedd up ESP. cRlos HyDe. Davebasil too. Drknkxs on Mephistopheles

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

MediBuck's picture

I understand your sentiment. It's only 3PM in Cali, so I can't get wasted yet, but you can bet that as soon as the ND game is over, Palo Alto will be in flames. O-H-!!!!!

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

741's picture

Accidental downvote. My bad!

cplunk's picture

I really wish I was as drunk as you are.
Celebrate on, Buckeye, celebrate on

thatlillefty's picture

i'll have what he's having!

UrbanCulture's picture

almost seems fake haha
 

DaveCHS's picture

Oh what could have been if our offense could have actually scored when inside the 10. Oh well.

Now instead of celebrating a bowl game, I'll just spend the next 6 weeks celebrating the seniors.

Thanks for a ridiculous season.

Thanks for setting us up for next season. You found the ball deep in the woods and you hit it five feet from the pin.

Lost Nut's picture

Great game, however for the love of Pete, can someone tell the center how to snap the ball.
 

Alice in Aggieland's picture

High snaps were a problem last week at Wisconsin and a bigger problem today. At least the snaps got better after the one that sailed over Braxton's head. I imagine Urbs had some choice words for his center after that one.

jestertcf's picture

I wonder how wet the and or cold and slippery the ball was later in the game. We saw Braxton lose his footing a few times in the slippery field conditions.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

KE's picture

Think about this, though. Most tennis players when they're receiving a serve will take a little hop to help overcome their inertia to get into the serve. A good quarterback in the gun needs to do the same thing. Somewhat high snaps helps with that. Brax takes a little hop when receiving the ball even when the snap is not high. I think the high snaps are intentional, though obviously not those over his head.

Alice in Aggieland's picture

Those high (or high-ish) snaps also cost the QB time. By the time Miller's in throwing position after hauling down the football, he's already lost a second or two. As we've seen all season (especially with our rugby-style punt formation), those couple seconds are huge difference-makers.

AndyVance's picture

Three offensive storylines of the day:

  1. Penalties and mistakes kept That Team Up North in the game far longer than should have been the case.
  2. Carlos Hyde is the man. Let El Guapo eat.
  3. Braxton Miller had an excellent passing game, recording his 2nd best performance of the season in the air. Completing 78% of his passes on 18 attempts, he threw for 189 yards against the best pass defense in the country and notched a passer rating of 184.3, second only to the 187.9 he recorded against a limp Illini squad.
B1G 10 Buckeye Stuck in SEC Country's picture

I can't get enough postgame coverage/info...I keep refreshing hoping to get something new to read...

" Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne 

Sean N's picture

Congrats to CJ Barnett. I was giving him a really hard time in the first half. He was having a pretty poor game: missing tackles, blowing coverage on that long TD catch & run, etc.  I was glad he got to be the one to put the squeeze on that last int and get a little redemption.

SC Buckeye's picture

After he caught that ball, he looked like that he was trying to give the ball to the ref (not a bad thing)  I thought to myself, "son, you might want to hold on to that ball.  Hide it under the bench or something.  You're gonna want to hold on to that for the rest of your life."

Baroclinicity's picture

In retrospect, how genius was the move to put Boren at LB a few games back?  Seemed to really solidify the group which had struggled to that point.  It would also be hard to argue that putting Boren at LB benefitted Shazier especially over these last few games. 
Officially ready for 2013.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

cal3713's picture

Definitely.  Shazier needs a solid middle lb to really free him up to use his speed.  

jscheuner's picture

Just wanted to say, I rushed the field after the game, coming from Block O in the south stands. As I was running and jumping towards midfield, near the South Endzone, I was yelling Go Bucks! That was also the time the Michigan players were making their way off the field, our field. As I was jumping, William Campbell, #73 for the Blue, shoved me in the face and knocked me down. Also, I was not provoking them at all. I was not taunting, merely shouting Go Bucks! and staying out of their way.
 
 
Classless behavior.

D-Day0043's picture

You should have hit him in the throat... 

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southbymidwest's picture

I understand TTUN players being angry and fruastrated after a game that TTUN could have won, but that is uncool and classless on ANY player's part to do that to someone who does not have pads on. Doesn't totally surprise me as Hoke wouldn't shake Meyer's hand after the game. LEadership and sportsmanship start at the top. And, no, TTUN fans, saying that Meyer was talking to the TV people does not excuse that behavior. You lost, you make your way over to the victorious team/coach. We all learned that early in on in peewee football/little league/lacrosse/soccer.

bucknut3011's picture

I hope someone in press asks him why he didn't shake Meyer's hand. 

D-Day0043's picture

Guys like that are usually pussies that don't know how to fight. All they can do is intimidate, and if they run across someone who isn't intimidated they usually get their ass kicked. I have fought plenty of big guys and they usually don't have much stamina. I would rather fight a big guy then a small guy.

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buckeyedude's picture

you should have kicked him in the nuts, and then ran as fast as you can behind Jack Mewhort and Reid Fragel....at least that's what I would've done.

 

 

bucknut3011's picture

The nuts gotta be there to kick...

Poison nuts's picture

Zing.
 

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Zallton's picture

I agree with everyone else, should have pushed his punk ass back. There's 30,000 right behind you who have your back.
 
Of course I say this comfortably behind my computer screen..

jscheuner's picture

hard to push him back when I am looking up at the sky haha. Guy is 300 pounds. I am like 175. I tried to go after him after I got up, but dude held me back.

Dougger's picture

I'd also like to say we turtled our way from the north endzone and my brother suggested we run in front of their band, which we did while yelling were the best and you suck, which they do. our band blew them out of the water. When we got on the field it really hit me that we're undefeated. Later that night at the bar, I started to cry when thinking about what Urban Meyer said when he was introduced... "Our goal is simple, to make the state of Ohio proud."
Mission accomplished.
Let's go get it in 2013

I like football

D-Day0043's picture

I can't wait to find out what the recruits thought of their visit.

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osubuckeye4life's picture

Really no other song sums up this team:
 

 
 
Congrats 2012 Buckeyes 12-OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUCKfutter's picture

26-21 was as close as that possibly could have been. love that we got the W but also love that there is tons of learning that can be done from the Game to springboard into 2013.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

bodast67's picture

This is as close as this game will ever be until Urban retires...just sayin

 

 

 

     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

The offense was grossly bad at times but managed to score enough points to win the game but that was because the defense came out in the 2nd half and battered the wolverines!  As the offense appeared to be trying to give the game away - the defense refused to yield and in the end - we came out with a great victory!!!  The stadium was nuts all day and I cannot believe we did not get a bunch of recruits that want to commit to OSU after being a part of this game!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

johio732's picture

Most satisfying part of the game for me was Hokie not shaking hands after the game, exposing him for the classless turd he is.

Joe the Buck Man

BuckeyeChief's picture

A couple of thoughts:
First, I was really glad to have a chance to watch the game (IDK if you guys remember my post last year). I am in port, not home, and got to watch it with a bunch of Buckeye fans from the ship, really great day! (I started off taking my PT test, in my NAVY pt uni with unauthorized Ohio State socks, AWESOME!).
Second, the broadcast started showing the UGA/ GTech game and I missed the intros and "Tunnel of Pride" as well as the 2002 team and the Vest...I really wanted to see that. Can anyone PLEASE send me pics...Jason and the mods have my e-mail address, and internet is spotty here...it literally took me all day to post what I have tonight.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

allbucksallthetime's picture

Buckeychief...thanks for your service.  Stay safe.  Go Bucks!

buckeyedude's picture

Chief is one good dude. Let me tell ya.

 

 

nickma71's picture

I am ready to talk about ND and Alabama.  I am going through the season for ND. I am just not seeing it. Just like as we watched it unfold. They beat a bunch of 5 loss teams (figuratively-many are 6-6), in nonconvincing fashion. Here is the other thing. If the Big Ten is down, why do those wins count as quality? You can't have it both ways. Unless your Rachel Madow, and you just say what you want. ND has two quality wins, Stanford and Oklahoma, neither of which would give the top 4 teams in the SEC a challenge.
 
 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I just want to say that I'm so happy that these guys beat that skunkweasel ass and are 12-0.  I don't even care at this point how this team compares to other teams this year or other OSU teams.  I've heard a couple of their fans say that they should have won.  TSUN did not score in the 2nd half.  At all.  No, you should not have won.  If anything, OSU should have won by more than they did.  But you know what?  Doesn't matter; OSU won.  Fuck TSUN and their fans.

Class of 2010.