Ohio State Gets Routed by Michigan, 45-23, for Second Consecutive Loss in The Game

By Dan Hope on November 26, 2022 at 3:52 pm

Ohio State suffered defeat at the hands of its rivals for the second year in a row, and this one was even uglier than last year.

For the first time since 1999 and 2000, the Buckeyes have lost back-to-back editions of The Game as they fell to Michigan, 45-23, on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

Michigan scored five touchdowns of 45 yards or longer over the course of the game while the Buckeyes scored only three points in the second half.

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4  
#2 Ohio State 10 10 0 3 23
#3 MICHIGAN 3 14 7 21 45

Ohio State started the game strong, marching right down the field on its opening drive. The Buckeyes covered 81 yards in 12 plays, highlighted by a 19-yard catch by Marvin Harrison Jr. and an 18-yard run by Xavier Johnson and capped with a 4-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Stroud to Emeka Egbuka.

The Wolverines responded by converting a pair of third downs through the air on their opening possession, including a 33-yard completion from J.J. McCarthy to Ronnie Bell after Denzel Burke fell down in coverage. After an intentional grounding penalty against McCarthy on the next set of downs, the Buckeyes held Michigan to a 49-yard field goal attempt, which Jake Moody converted to give the Wolverines three points on their opening possession.

Ohio State drove back into the red zone on its second possession, but ended up settling for a 32-yard Noah Ruggles field goal to make it 10-3 with 1:19 left to play in the first quarter.

The Buckeyes had a chance to make it a two-score game after Michigan went 3-and-out on its second possession, but Ohio State ended up turning the ball over on downs. Facing 4th-and-2 at the 34-yard line, Ohio State opted to go for it and Cade Stover was unable to haul in a play-action pass from Stroud.

After Ohio State’s defense forced another 3-and-out on Michigan’s third possession, the Buckeyes punted for the first time in the game on their fourth possession.

That enabled the Wolverines to tie the game on their fourth possession when Ohio State ran an all-out blitz on 3rd-and-9 and Cameron Brown missed a tackle on a catch by Cornelius Johnson, allowing Johnson to go all the way to the end zone for a 69-yard game-tying touchdown with 7:26 left to play in the second quarter.

Chip Trayanum ran for a 24-yard gain and Stroud completed an 18-yard pass to Harrison on the first two plays of the Buckeyes’ next drive, but the home team settled for another field goal, which Ruggles made from 47 yards out.

Michigan took its first lead of the game on its very next offensive play when Johnson got wide open for a 75-yard touchdown catch.

Ohio State responded right back with a long touchdown of its own when Stroud connected on a deep ball with Harrison for a 42-yard touchdown, putting the Buckeyes back in front 20-17 with 3:49 to play in the second quarter.

The Buckeye defense bowed up on Michigan’s next possession, stuffing Kalel Mullings for no gain on 3rd-and-1 to force its third 3-and-out of the first half. Ohio State gave the ball right back with its first 3-and-out of the game, but Michigan didn’t get anything going on its final possession of the second quarter, allowing Ohio State to take a three-point lead into halftime.

4.9 AVERAGE per RUSH 7.2
23 1st DOWNS 16
3-4 RED ZONE 1-1
5-16 third down conv 7-16
9-91 PENALTIES 5-30
31:46 POSSESSION 28:14

Michigan quickly took the lead on its opening possession of the second half, though, when McCarthy connected with tight end Colston Loveland for a 45-yard score and the Wolverines’ third big-play touchdown pass of the game.

After the two teams traded punts, Ohio State got the ball back at Michigan’s 49-yard line. The Buckeyes immediately gave up 25 yards, however, when Donovan Jackson was penalized for holding and Gee Scott Jr. picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a headbutt on the same play, which led to another punt.

Michigan bled nearly eight minutes off the clock on its subsequent drive, in which it went 80 yards in 15 plays to take an 11-point lead on a three-yard touchdown run by McCarthy.

The Buckeyes got back into the red zone on a 44-yard pass from Stroud to Egbuka, but ended up settling for a 27-yard Ruggles field goal, keeping Michigan ahead by eight points with 7:23 to play.

Donovan Edwards drove a dagger through Ohio State on the very next play from scrimmage as he ran for a 75-yard touchdown to put the Wolverines back ahead by 15 points with only 7:11 to play.

Any remaining chance for Ohio State to make a comeback was snuffed out when C.J. Stroud was picked off by Taylor Upshaw while attempting to pitch a pass to Johnson in the red zone with only 4:19 remaining.

Edwards gashed the Ohio State defense again on Michigan’s subsequent possession, running for an 85-yard touchdown to put the game completely out of reach.

Stroud was intercepted again while attempting to throw a deep ball to Stover on the Buckeyes’ next series, allowing Michigan to run out the clock.

Ohio State has now gone three full years without a win over Michigan, as the 2020 edition of The Game was canceled while the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes 42-27 in 2021. Ryan Day is now just 1-2 as a head coach against Michigan.

As a result, the Buckeyes will be forced to watch the Big Ten Championship Game from home for the second year in a row while waiting to see whether it gets enough help to back its way into the College Football Playoff with an 11-1 record.

Game Notes

  • Enokk Vimahi made his first career start at right guard in place of Matt Jones, who did not play after he was listed as a game-time decision. Josh Fryar also played at right guard, replacing Vimahi on the Buckeyes’ second possession, and the two of them rotated over the course of the game.
  • TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were among eight other unavailable players for The Game.
  • 23 Ohio State players were recognized during the pregame Senior Day ceremony: Lloyd McFarquhar, Ryan Smith, Tanner McCalister, Palaie Gaoteote, Michael O’Shaughnessy, Harry Miller, Marcus Crowley, Noah Ruggles, Jerron Cage, Josh Proctor, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Cameron Brown, Dawand Jones, Matt Jones, Taron Vincent, Xavier Johnson, Bradley Robinson, Teradja Mitchell, Ronnie Hickman, Mitch Rossi, Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday and Kamryn Babb.
  • C.J. Stroud, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg and Tyler Friday were the game captains for the opening coin toss.
  • C.J. Hicks was injured on the opening kickoff after colliding with Xavier Johnson on his return. He had to be helped off the field with an apparent knee injury and was unavailable to play for the rest of the game.
  • Cameron Brown left the game with an injury late in the first half and did not return. He was replaced at cornerback by JK Johnson.
  • Ohio State honored the undefeated 2012 team in an on-field tribute between the first and second quarters. Urban Meyer joined his former players on the field for the recognition.
  • 106,787 people were in attendance.
  • Emeka Egbuka became the second receiver this season and ninth in Ohio State history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

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