Playing in front of a raucous crowd, this team got the job done (even without defensive leader John Simon). The win should help Hoke get this whole "Ohio" thing straightened out. Here it goes: Ohio is the team that beat Michigan basketball in March; Ohio STATE is the team that beat Michigan football in November. Got it? Good.
Hold on tight, this is your Michigan Debriefing.
Water Cooler Prep (Everything You Need to Know…in More Than One Paragraph)
On the first drive of the game the Buckeyes needed only 6 plays to take the pill 75 yards for a score. The drive was punctuated by a 51-yard pass to Devin Smith and a Carlos Hyde rumble stumble for a 4-yard TD.
The Wolverines looked like they were on their way to answering on the ensuing drive, but freshman Adolphus Washington stripped Devin Gardner at the Buckeye 22 and it was recovered by Zach Boren.
Unfortunately the Buckeyes couldn’t capitalize and gave it back in 4 snaps. A 75-yard pass from Gardner to Roy Roundtree later, and the game was knotted at 7.
The next drive seemingly racked up 317 penalties (false starts, holds, false starts, etc.). The miscues were a drive killer and the Scarlet and Gray had to settle for a 41-yard Drew Basil FG.
To start the second, the Bucks had the enemy stopped, but then ran into the kicker and muffed the punt, giving the ball back to Michigan at their own 25.
Again, penalties hurt the Scarlet and Gray and on third down a roughing the passer call put the ball on the Buckeye 15. With a multitude of flags offering loads of help, all Devin Gardner needed to do was sneak it in for 6, making it 14-10, Michigan.
After ANOTHER false start killed a drive, the Buckeyes had to punt it away, but the defense finally woke up and a pair of sacks by Zach Boren and Ryan Shazier gave the ball back to OSU.
Then the Carlos Hyde train left the station rushing 4 times for 40 yards and setting up a 14-yard pass to Philly Brown for a TD. 17-14, Buckeyes.
Two plays later Travis Howard and Christian Bryant hit Denard Robinson simultaneously, keeping him upright for a 67-yard TD run. The score came with roughly a minute left on the ticker to put the
Maize Sun and Blue up, 21-17.
With some nifty clock management, OSU was able to move the ball within field goal range and Drew Basil hit a line-drive 52-yarder for three. Heading into halftime it was 21-20, Michigan.
To start the third, the busy Basil opened up the scoring with a 28-yard field goal to put the Buckeyes ahead, 23-21.
On Michigan’s next possession, Christian Bryant was able to knock the ball out of Robinson’s hands and it was recovered by Nathan Williams at the Michigan 37. Unfortunately Urban’s boys weren’t able to capitalize and gave the ball back after a Basil missed FG.
Something was said to the defense at halftime, because they came out looking like a different unit, giving up absolutely nothing to end the third quarter.
Complete Game Coverage
Heading into the fourth, the two teams traded possessions before the D forced another fumble. This time the target was Devin Gardner, who was sacked by Michael Bennett and lost the handle on the Michigan 19.
Unable to punch it into the end zone, the Bucks once again had to settle for three, pushing the lead to five at 26-21.
Playing for the fallen John Simon, the defense decided they had seen enough, picking off Gardner on the next drive and giving the offense the opportunity to kneel on it for the win
That's all she wrote. 12-0. 12-0. 12-0.
Heard at the Tailgate (The talk Before the Game)
“Hard to prepare for Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson on the field together.”
“John Simon is out? Excuse me!?”
“If the Bucks win, is an AP National Title in the cards?”
“Time for Braxton to even out his W-L record against Michigan.”
“Brady Hoke doesn’t wear a headset. It’s cool, I wouldn’t want to coach that team either.”
“This could be the beginning of a Michigan game legacy for Meyer.”
Heard at the Afterparty (The Deets at the End of the Game)
“This team…I can’t even...”
“12-0! 12-0! 12-0! 12-0!”
“Is an AP national title possible?”
“I’m ready for 2013...like now.”
“Braxton and Carlos could both legitimately be Heisman candidates next year. Hyde is developing into one of the best backs in the country.”
“Hard to believe this is the floor for Urban’s teams moving forward. He doesn’t even have his own guys in the system yet.”
“This team, and those seniors, will be remembered for as long as football is played in Columbus.”
Give That Man a Buckeye Leaf (Player of the Game)
Carlos Hyde certainly took his lumps this season. Projected as the No. 2 back behind Jordan Hall, many overlooked him in favor of the flashy big-play potential of Jeannette, PA’s favorite son (see what I did there?). Fortunately someone forgot to tell Hyde about all of that because 2012 was Carlos’ coming-out party. Despite missing two and a half games, the 6’1’’ 235 pounder rushed for 970 yards and 16 TDs (two fewer than Montee Ball).
In his final game of the season he ran like a man possessed, gashing the Michigan D for 146 yards, 1 TD and a 5.6 per carry average. In the last two contests Hyde’s performance was able to negate defensive schemes focused on shutting down Miller. Simply put, with Hyde performing like this the backfield duo looks unstoppable.
Weekly Snot Knocker
With roughly seven minutes left in the first half, Zach Boren knocked the stuffing out of Devin Gardner for a sack and loss of nine. The senior FB turned middle linebacker then decided to give Gardner a better look at the plate number on the semi that just blew through.
Did You See That?! (Play of the Game)
I have a feeling this isn’t the last time you’ll hear, “Braxton Miller to Philly Brown for the score.”
When You Sank Into Your Chair (The Moment Buckeye Football Disgraced Your Family)
This looked a little Three Stoogeish.
Least Favorite Moment of the Game
Jim Tressel and the 2002 National Championship team were honored between the first and second quarter yesterday, as 2012 marks the 10-year anniversary of that storybook season.
A better script couldn’t have been written as the presence of OSU’s last undefeated team served as additional motivation for this year’s potential unbeaten squad.
When this whole idea was floated, many wondered if Tressel would be in attendance. After all, he is the one largely responsible for this team’s couch surfing come January.
With that said, JT was invited…and it was the right decision.
As players like Dustin Fox, Cie Grant, Simon Fraser and Matt Wilhelm basked in the glow of highlight film that still induces chills, they lifted their former coach onto their shoulders and carried him off the field a hero. The moment was Jim Tressel’s swan song, and it may be the last time you see the senator in Ohio Stadium.
What You Texted Your Friend at the End of Each Quarter
First Quarter: The opportunities are there on offense. WAY too many missed tackles though.
Second Quarter: If I see that eating motion from Denard one more time I’m going to vom.
Third Quarter: The defense got a talking to in the locker room…and it shows.
Fourth Quarter: 12-0!!!! URBAN MEYER, WORDS CAN’T EXPLAIN!!!
It Was Over When
Devin Gardner’s world was collapsing around him and he was forced to float a pretty terrible ball right into C.J. Barnett’s arms. C.J. celebrated with this little number and champagne bottles started poppin’ in Columbus.
I hope you enjoyed this ride. Undefeated seasons are special. The fact it has only happened five other times in Buckeye history says it all. Welcome to Columbus lore, Urban. 2013 is looking bright.