Back-to-back … and back to the College Football Playoff? No. 3 Michigan upset No. 2 Ohio State 45-23 on Saturday afternoon at Ohio State, demolishing the rival Buckeyes for the second straight season. In doing so, the Wolverines won consecutive games over their biggest rival since 1999-2000, clinched the Big Ten East and earned a spot in next week’s 2022 Big Ten Championship Game.
This year’s victory came in unexpected fashion, and not just because Michigan was more than a touchdown underdog entering the regular-season finale. There were questions about star running back Blake Corum, who hurt his knee against Illinois last week. Corum began the game with his left knee in a brace; after rushing twice on the Wolverines’ first three plays, he never returned. The onus was then placed squarely on the shoulders of quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who responded with a performance unlike any seen from him in a Michigan uniform.
McCarthy threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 27 yards and another score as he kept Ohio State guessing all game. In the second quarter, McCarthy hit Cornelius Johnson on a short throw to the sideline; Johnson broke a tackle and took the ball 69 yards to the house. On Michigan’s next possession, McCarthy again looked to Johnson, throwing deep over the middle and hitting him in stride behind the secondary for a 75-yard score. Coming out of the half, he found Colston Loveland down the sideline for a 45-yard touchdown. A quarterback who had struggled to push the ball vertically all season was suddenly dropping bombs as the Buckeyes secondary not only gave up major gains but committed numerous pass interference penalties.
Meanwhile, Ohio State’s offense led by QB C.J. Stroud was stopped cold in the second half. The Buckeyes scored 20 points and Stroud threw two touchdowns before halftime, but they were held to a field goal in the second half with Stroud throwing a pair of interceptions.
Ohio State outgained Michigan 315-214 in the first half with a 124-10 rushing edge, but the Wolverines flipped the script completely over the latter 30 minutes, outgaining the Buckeyes 316-177 with a 242-19 edge on the ground.
CBS Sports will be back with takeaways from The Game.
Read More: Ohio State vs. Michigan score, takeaways: Wolverines destroy Buckeyes for second 2022-11-26 21:01:00