COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michigan’s JJ McCarthy wasn’t probably the most embellished quarterback on the sector coming into the conflict Saturday with Ohio State, and never even the most important star on his personal workforce.
He left Ohio Stadium as a Michigan legend, together with operating again Donovan Edwards. McCarthy threw three lengthy landing passes and added a scoring run early within the fourth quarter and Edwards broke off two lengthy landing runs as No. 3 Michigan beats No. 2 Ohio State 45-23, its second straight upset within the rivalry. Playing nearly all the sport with out star operating again Blake Corum, Michigan had 5 touchdowns of 45 yards or longer and 4 of 69 yards or longer to stun the Buckeyes.
“First-year starter, I do not suppose there’s any first-year starter within the historical past of Michigan that has gained 12 video games, 12-0,” coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned. “And of their first sport, beginning towards Ohio State at Ohio State to play that nice. Everybody on our workforce is aware of it.”
Michigan superior to the Big Ten championship subsequent week in Indianapolis, the place it’s going to face Purdue, Illinois or Iowa. The Wolverines (12-0) can win consecutive outright Big Ten titles for the primary time since 1992.
They gained at Ohio Stadium for the primary time since 2000, which additionally represented their final profitable streak within the rivalry (two video games). Ohio State had gained 29 consecutive Big Ten house video games earlier than Saturday, stretching again to the 2015 season.
Corum, Edwards and the bottom sport had carried the offense a lot of the season and questions have been posed in regards to the effectivity and functionality of Michigan’s move sport. Entering this sport, McCarthy ranked No. 88 amongst all FBS quarterbacks in whole passing yards, whereas Corum had surged into the Heisman Trophy dialog.
Despite the questions and doubts from the skin, McCarthy mentioned he all the time trusted his teammates and himself.
“I by no means let it creep in. I used to be all the time going to maintain firing,” McCarthy mentioned. “I all the time had 100% belief in each single one in all my guys and in myself, and simply to have the ability to do it at present, it was so particular. It was actually so particular and there is nonetheless so many issues that we have to do to work on and get higher but it surely was simply nice to lastly see it come to fruition.”
The matchup marked simply the fourth time since 1935 that each Michigan and Ohio State entered their sport with none losses or ties. Ohio State (11-1) got here in 6-0 at house towards Michigan when each groups held AP top-5 rankings.
Harbaugh, who misplaced his first 5 video games to Ohio State, has now gained consecutive contests. Ohio State coach Ryan Day fell to 1-2 towards the Wolverines. The Buckeyes should wait till subsequent week to be taught whether or not they qualify for the College Football Playoff as an at-large choice, which they final did in 2016.
“That’s life at Ohio State,” Day mentioned. “I definitely know what this sport means to all people, so once you lose, all of it comes again to me, I’m the pinnacle coach. That’s what most likely hurts probably the most.”
Both Day and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles felt snug with Ohio State’s first-half efficiency, noting that the majority of Michigan’s offense got here on two lengthy McCarthy landing passes.
“Nothing to get panicked about,” Knowles mentioned. “Then, the second half, they hit a pair huge runs. That’s simply disheartening. I’ve to take the blame for that. I’ve simply acquired to do a greater job. It’s a narrative of explosive performs.”
After the Buckeyes reduce their deficit to eight factors halfway by means of the fourth quarter, Michigan struck proper again with a 75-yard Edwards landing run. Edwards tacked on an 85-yard landing run as Ohio State followers headed for the exits.
“It was a missed sort out on the primary play, then acquired beat on a double-move on the second play, after which there have been clearly some misfits within the run sport,” Day mentioned. “Obviously, the very first thing we have to do to win video games like that is play nice protection. Other than a number of performs within the first half, I felt like we did, however not within the second half.”
Michigan knew it wanted to beat Ohio State to return to the convention championship sport. McCarthy acknowledged the win’s significance, but in addition careworn that the season is not over.
During Michigan’s postgame information convention, he took his hat, adorned with Big Ten East champions on the entrance, and threw it down on the desk. He was excited in regards to the win, however mentioned the workforce is not performed but and that their season targets are nonetheless forward of them.
“It was nice, clearly to get a win, each win’s nice and particularly this one, however on the finish of the day, this one would not even matter,” McCarthy mentioned. “This would not matter. The job’s not completed, we’ve got a lot extra to do and so many locations to go, so, the job’s not completed and we’re able to get after it.”
Purdue can clinch the Big Ten’s West Division with a win over rival Indiana later Saturday. If Purdue loses, Illinois can clinch the division by beating Northwestern. If each Purdue and Illinois lose, Iowa will advance for the second straight season.
Michigan’s protection held Ohio State to a few factors within the second half and simply 47 yards on eight performs within the third quarter. Ohio State punted on its first three second-half possessions, together with twice from close to midfield.
After changing its first 4 third-down alternatives, Ohio State completed 5-of-16.
“You need to play the field-position sport,” Day mentioned. “Fourth-and-5 round midfield, if it was fourth-and-3, fourth-and-2, perhaps you are taking a shot there. I did not really feel like we have been determined at that time, so I felt like that was the precise factor to do.
“But you are not in these conditions in case you’re changing on third downs, and we did not do this at present.”
McCarthy accomplished three of his first 9 move makes an attempt however then began discovering gaps in an Ohio State protection that had allowed solely two passing touchdowns of 45 yards or longer all season earlier than Saturday. Midway by means of the second quarter, he discovered Cornelius Johnson, who beat cornerback Cameron Brown and raced for a 69-yard landing.
The sophomore then discovered Johnson for a 75-yard landing and helped Michigan regain the lead within the third quarter with a 45-yard scoring move to freshman tight finish Colston Loveland. McCarthy turned the primary participant with three passing touchdowns and a speeding TD towards Ohio State since Clemson’s Tajh Boyd within the 2014 Orange Bowl.
“He’s spectacular, simply manages issues nicely, throws on the run, makes performs stretch out even longer,” Knowles mentioned. “And he can run the ball when he has to.”
McCarthy had operated a principally conservative passing plan in his first season because the starter, and Michigan got here in with just one passing landing of fifty yards or longer. He got here in averaging solely 177.5 passing yards per sport, which ranked eleventh within the Big Ten and nicely behind Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (271.9 YPG), who remained a prime Heisman candidate.
Stroud handed for 349 yards and two touchdowns however struggled to assault downfield apart from a 42-yard TD to prime receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. late within the first half. He threw two interceptions within the ultimate 5 minutes of what was seemingly his ultimate sport at Ohio Stadium.
“People are going to say I by no means gained The Game, and I perceive, persons are going to say I by no means gained the Big Ten championship, I perceive,” Stroud mentioned. “When it involves that, I simply need to eat it. It’s life. Nothing’s ever been simple for me.”
Stroud emphasised that the Michigan sport would not outline him or his workforce, however famous how a lot Ohio State had targeted on it after falling to the Wolverines final season. He hasn’t determined if he would play in a bowl sport if the Buckeyes fall in need of the CFP.
“I attempted to do every thing I presumably may, but it surely’s on me, this sport is actually on me, I’ve acquired to do extra,” Stroud mentioned. “This is the one which we actually wished [after] one year of all people laughing and speaking. We began out sturdy. Just laid an egg within the second half.”
Both groups performed shorthanded at operating again. Corum, who sustained a left knee damage in final week’s win over Illinois, left the sport after two carries on Michigan’s first possession and didn’t return. Michigan had solely 10 speeding yards within the first half.
Ohio State starter TreVeyon Henderson sat out with a decrease leg damage, whereas Miyan Williams returned from damage however was not overly efficient. The Buckeyes leaned on Chip Trayanum, a linebacker who performed operating again at Arizona State however had just one carry for Ohio State earlier than Saturday. Trayanum completed with 83 yards on 14 carries.
The Wolverines have been held to simply 10 yards speeding within the first half, however Edwards exploded within the second half with 170 yards and two touchdowns within the fourth quarter, which was probably the most by a Power 5 participant since Jamaal Charles did it for Texas in 2007 towards Nebraska.
Edwards additionally turned the primary participant in Michigan historical past to document a number of 75-yard landing runs in a single sport and his ultimate tally of 216 speeding yards is the second-most by a Michigan participant towards the Buckeyes all time, behind Tim Biakabutuka’s 313 yards in 1995
“Our workforce actually paid the value they usually actually put in all of the work. And that is what they did, simply the onerous work, the sweat each different sport,” Harbaugh mentioned. “To get to this sport and get this chance, and we have been grateful to be the place we have been, proper the place we wished to be after which got here down right here, gamers have been all targeted and decided to win.”