Michigan Notebook: Seniors Finish With Perfect Record Against Michigan, Sam Hubbard's Big Day and John O'Korn Takes Blame

By James Grega on November 26, 2017 at 6:00 am
Chris Worley

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ohio State's 31-20 victory over Michigan on Saturday sent the fourth- and fifth-year Buckeyes out with a perfect record against the Wolverines. 

With the Buckeyes' last loss against Michigan coming in 2011, Ohio State's last three senior classes have gone their entire collegiate careers without losing to the Wolverines. 

Fifth-year senior Chris Worley joined his 2013 classmates J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Michael Hill, Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price and Tracy Sprinkle as players who will walk away with five pairs of Gold Pants following Saturday's win. 

"In my mind, I wasn't losing. I know these seniors, we weren't losing," Worley said after a comeback win over Michigan. "We were 4-0. Some of us were 3-0. For this group of seniors, fourth-year or fifth-year guys, we go out of here with four or five pairs. There have been some great Buckeye legends that didn't win one. So to say that our group won four or five – and most of the time those were wars and we came out on the other side of those with wins."

The group of fifth-year Buckeyes earned their first pair of Gold Pants in 2013, when Ohio State earned a 42-41 win in Ann Arbor. 

Sam Hubbard Dominates

Playing in what was likely his last Michigan game despite having one year of eligibility left, Ohio State redshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard went out with a bang. 

Hubbard, who participated in Ohio State's Senior Tackle tradition in the week leading up to the game, finished with five tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the victory over the Wolverines. 

As a team, the Buckeyes collected five sacks in the win as Tyquan Lewis (0.5), Nick Bosa (one) and Michael Hill (one) each brought down Michigan quarterback John O'Korn. 

Mike Weber Silences Home State

He didn't get the start against the Wolverines, but Detroit native Mike Weber made his presence felt against his home-state team. The redshirt sophomore running back carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards and a late 25-yard touchdown that put an exclamation point on the victory for Ohio State. 

Urban Meyer praised Weber's late score and the running back himself, who turned down an offer from Michigan to come to Columbus in the 2015 recruiting class. 

"It was great, I love Mike Weber. I have a lot of respect for Mike Weber and how he has grown up," Meyer said. "That was a leap of faith to come join the rival. He is a grown man. He came to us a non-grown man, not to be disrespectful, but has done a nice job."

O'Korn Takes Responsibility

Following a week of uncertainty as to who would start at quarterback for Michigan, John O'Korn emerged as the signal caller for the Wolverines against Ohio State on Saturday. 

Despite completing more than 50 percent of his passes, O'Korn missed a number of throws to open receivers in crucial moments, especially early on in the game. 

The graduate transfer was emotional in his postgame press conference and took responsibility for Michigan's loss, its sixth straight in the rivalry with Ohio State. 

"The hardest part for me is, you come here to win this game and our senior class wasn't able to do it," O'Korn said, fighting back tears. "I hold myself responsible for a lot of that. It sucks. I can't imagine a worse feeling right now."

O'Korn finished the game completing 17 of 32 passes for 195 yards and a score, but also threw a late interception that ultimately ended Michigan's chances of a late rally. 

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