Michigan Debriefing: Ohio State Absolutely Destroys the Wolverines, and It Was Fun

By David Wertheim on November 25, 2018 at 8:25 am
Mike Weber celebrates with Thayer Munford


The Short Story

Ohio State started off by marching down the field for a touchdown, then forcing a three-and-out. The rest of the game would mirror that sequence.

The Buckeyes began the contest with two passing touchdowns from Dwayne Haskins to Chris Olave, sandwiched around a couple of Michigan field goals. After another Buckeye score, Michigan recorded two touchdowns in the last minute of the first half, aided by a muffed kickoff return by Demario McCall.

The second half was all Ohio State, however. In the third quarter, it was the Buckeyes turn to score two touchdowns in (about) a minute when Olave blocked a punt that was returned by Sevyn Banks for a score, then, after a Shea Patterson interception, Mike Weber punched it in from two yards out to give Ohio State a 41-19 lead.

The teams then alternated scores throughout the fourth quarter, with Ohio State delivering the official knockout blow when K.J. Hill scored on a one-yard pass from Haskins.

Ohio State won, 62-39.

Quick Breakdowns


Ohio State put up 62 points on the top-ranked defense in the country. Don Brown = Don "Flush it Down" (sorry I'm not very good at puns). 

Anyway, the Buckeyes were paced by yet another stellar game from Dwayne Haskins, who threw for 396 yards and six touchdowns (with no interceptions), including this strike to Johnnie Dixon in the second quarter.

 Haskins led the way through the air, but the Buckeyes were aided by a consistently good running game, paced by Michigan native Mike Weber.

Weber, wearing No. 5 in honor of his childhood years, rushed for 96 yards on 13 carries (7.4 ypc), and a touchdown.

In the receiving game, Parris Campbell was an absolute star all game (we'll get to that in a minute). Olave made the most of both of his catches, as both went for scores. K.J. Hill recorded four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown, while Johnnie Dixon added the other score on his only catch.


Ohio State's defense played an excellent game. If it were not for some ticky-tack penalties and the muffed kickoff, the numbers would have even been more in Ohio State's favor.

Nonetheless, the final tally did show Ohio State's defense allowing 39 points, so it wasn't the best performance in the world, I suppose.

Two takeaways were recorded, both interceptions. Brendon White had one in garbage time, while Jordan Fuller's interception and subsequent score foreshadowed the doom of the Wolverines.

Tuf Borland led the way for the Buckeyes with 10 tackles, while Malik Harrison had seven and Pete Werner had six. It was a good day for the linebacking unit. 

Ohio State was victimized by several penalties, something the Buckeyes must clean up in order to reach their ultimate goals.

Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?

Offense: Parris Campbell

We have known for a long time about the legendary speed that Campbell possesses, and it was on display yesterday. Campbell recorded six catches for 192 yards and a touchdown, and flashed his signature wheels on his  78-yard jet sweep that was taken to the house.

Campbell was excellent, and it seems that every game there is one wide receiver that steps up for a mammoth day.

Honorable Mention: Chris Olave, Dwayne Haskins

Defense: The Front Seven

Ohio State's front seven was excellent all day long, winning the battle in the trenches and missing very few tackles. The Buckeyes seem to do better defensively against pro-style teams, which Michigan of course is, and Ohio State played a pretty good defensive game in this one.

Biggest Surprise

Honestly, the whole game was a huge surprise, but I'll go with Chris Olave in this spot. Had you told me that the true freshman receiver would have two catches go for touchdowns and block a punt that would go for another, I would have called you crazy. 

But that's what happened. Here's all of Olave's impact plays.

The first touchdown: a crossing route

The second touchdown: a beautiful route/comeback

The blocked punt:

It was a huge game from the true freshman, and if this is a sign of his ability, the sky is the limit. 

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment

It's Jim's favorite day of the year. It doesn't matter that he is the president at Youngstown State. Jim is ready. He woke up at 6:00 on the nose, eating a hard-nosed breakfast of a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and a glass (the one with the Block O on it) of apple juice, before settling in to watch the Buckeyes. 

It's hard, because Jim loves that Urban Meyer has won all seven of his games against Michigan, but there was one moment during the game that Jimmy didn't like.

After a Michigan touchdown with 47 seconds left in the first half pulled the Wolverines within eight, Ohio State went back to receive the kick. Jim assumed that, after the kickoff, Urban Meyer would take a knee and be content with an eight-point cushion.

Disaster then struck. After signaling for a fair catch, Demario McCall muffed the kick, where it rushed into the arms of a Michigan player. The Wolverines scored on the next play. Thank goodness halftime gave Jim some time to calm down. 

Underrated Things

The Offensive Line

The slobs put on a clinic yesterday. Dwayne Haskins was not sacked by the elite group featuring Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary, and Ohio State was able to run to the tune of 6.7 ypc. It was a dominant performance, and one they will need to replicate next week in Indianapolis.

The Coaching

It has been a long time since I can legitimately look at a game and say "yes, Ohio State's coaches out-did the other team's coaches." Well, Ryan Day and Ohio State took 'defensive genius' Don Brown and his unit and obliterated them back to Ann Arbor. Greg Schiano's defense was solid all day long. 

Biggest Question Going Forward

After an emotional win like this, it is always possible for a letdown the next week. We saw it against Iowa last season. Now, Ohio State will head to Indianapolis to face Northwestern, who will certainly be ready. 

Will Ohio State be motivated to go out and play at a high level with everything on the line? They better be. 

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