Observations on the win over Ohio State, 40-34
Michigan converts four red zones for 24 points; the Buckeyes converted 3 red zones for 17 points. The Wolverines overcome mistakes when Ohio scores 10 points off two Michigan turnovers by Hagerup and Robinson. Lead changes included 0-7, 9-7, 16-17, 23-17, 23-24 and 30-24.
Offense gained 444 yards, 277 on the ground, 23 first downs, and was 6 of 13 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Denard Robinson was 14 of 17 for 167 yards and 3 TDs, and ran for 170 yards on 26 carries for another 2 TDs. It was his best game as a Wolverine! Fitzgerald Touissaint had 120 yards on 20 carries. Robinson and Touissaint became our first pair of 1,000 rushers since 1975: Rob Lytle and Gordon Bell. Captain Kevin Koger led the receivers with 4 catches for 40 yards and a TD. J.R. Hemingway had 2 catches for 45 yards including a 26 yarder for a TD. Martavious Odoms had 2 catches for 25 yards and a TD. Drew Dileo caught 2 for 35 yards. Our offense had a 10 minute time of possession advantage on Ohio which gave us a 10 offensive play advantage, and that was what ended the 8 years of futility and gained us our first win since 2003 against our rival. Our offensive line completely dominated the game up front. C.J. Barnett led the Buckeye defense with 12 tackles
Defense was bad, but finally got the stop they needed when Courtney Avery intercepted a tipped pass with 39 seconds left. Desmond Morgan led the defense with 10 tackles including his first sack as a Wolverine, Kenny Demens had 8 tackles, Ryan VanBergen had 7, Mike Martin and J.T. Floyd had 6 each. Floyd had a TD saving tackle on Braxton Miller that led to a big red zone stop holding the Buckeyes to a field goal instead of a TD. Ohio State ended up with 372 yards in total offense, 18 first downs, 6 of 14 on 3rd and 4th down conversions and no turnovers. We could only force them into 3 punts, but we did gain 4 sacks including a safety. Braxton Miller completed 14 of 25 for 235 yards and 2 TDS, and ran for 100 yards on 16 carries for another TD. We did a nice job on Dan Herron who had 15 carries for 37 yards and a TD. Neither Craig Roh nor Blake Countess had any tackles for the D, but Roh did force the safety with Mike Adams held him.
Brendon Gibbons hit a 43 yard field goal after the final red zone TD was negated by a review, and costly penalties by Steve Watson and Patrick Omameh. Matt Wile had 7 kickoffs, 4 for touchback, and kickoff coverage by Courtney Avery forced a fumble. Will Hagerup had 2 punts for a 47.5 yard average, but almost cost us the game with his muff late in the 3rd quarter; fortunately, our defense held them to a field goal in the red zone.
We climbed a mountain improving as a football team and program under Coach Hoke and staff, and now have finished the season 10-2 with a probably Sugar Bowl invitation to face undefeated Houston. What great improvement by our players, and what great coaching to overcome the problems created over the last three seasons since Coach Carr retired in 2007. We are back as a power, and will always be a team to be reckoned with since Hoke and staff are doing a great job on the recruiting trail as well. Go Blue!!!