Forget the sign stealing. Never mind the anger. Forget how the NCAA came into Ann Arbor and questioned every member of the football team during the preparation for Maryland, an unheard of situation for the “governing body.” Michigan won not because they were motivated by the NCAA/Big Ten accusations.
Michigan beat Ohio State, 30-24 Saturday afternoon for five reasons. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Donovan Edwards again!
2022 was Donovan Edwards personal joyride over the Buckeyes in the Shoe. He gashed OSU for 216 yards on 22 carries. The 75 and 85 yard dances into the endzone were backbreakers.
— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) November 25, 2023
But his 34 yard jump pass to Colston Loveland surprised the Buckeye defense and contributed to the field goal putting U of M up 27-14 beginning the fourth. This was his third passing attempt as a halfback in his career and all three went for big plays.
2. JJ McCarthy 15 yard run
JJ McCarthy perfectly executes how QBs in open field should finish runs. Been saying it 4ever. Instead of early slide w/refs routinely spot balls 3-5 yds behind where @michiganfball Q finishes run w/forward thrust. Not complicated. Love this QB. A gamer w sprinter speed. pic.twitter.com/F8W0ngnpY7
— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) November 25, 2023
Michigan and Ohio State were tied 17 all. Michigan runs three plays for 19 yards. Two runs and a pass for 10. It’s 2nd and six and Michigan’s interim coach, Sherrone Moore, calls for a pass. JJ gets flushed from the pocket and decides to run it. Getting the defenders to follow him, he saw an opening to his left and sprinted for an additional 8 yards before sliding. All told he rambled for 15 yards and that led to the touchdown to put Big Blue up 24-17.
Revenge for the kid who grew up a huge Buckeye fan but was passed over. See later in the article!
3. Blake Corum
Blake did not factor in the win at Ohio State in 2022. He was nursing an injury and tried to add a dimension to Michigan last year but two plays into the second half he asked out. Yesterday was redemption day.
Corum’s numbers were not gaudy like Edwards was. He ran for 88 yards on 22 attempts. But his two touchdown runs were money! One on fourth down! But when the team needed an emotional life after Zak Zinter, the undisputed leader on the OL for Michigan, went down with a terribly broken leg, Blake delivered a run immediately after the long delay.
Blake Corum has underrated burst to really punish defenders that take questionable angles coming downhill in run support. He's a touchdown machine and an emotional leader for the Wolverines. #NFLDraft #NFLDraft2024pic.twitter.com/ZhCEQNV9ej
— Sam Teets (@Sam_Teets33) November 25, 2023
4. Sherrone Moore and his gambler mentality outdueled Ryan Day
Such a big play call by Sherrone Moore. 4th and 1, Ohio State was expecting a run and JJ McCarthy delivers. That takes guts! pic.twitter.com/iq3Alubhfu
— DNP Sports & Comedy (@DNPSportsShow) November 26, 2023
Fourth down calls are always tough in any game, let alone THE GAME! But Moore had three of them. And converted each one! Ohio State had attempted zero!
Here’s the first.
Blake Corum LEADS THE WOLVERINES vs Ohio State I CFB Week 13 Winners of the Week
— MRCROCKPOT (@mrcrockpot) November 25, 2023
Many Buckeye fans would argue that instead of the late second quarter field goal attempt Ryan Day was better off to attempt the fourth and two. He already passed on the fourth and one in the first quarter.
Why didn’t we try to go for the endzone! Cmon on Ryan Day don’t do this conservative play calling again. This is why we’ve lost the last two years. They’ve went for fourth down THREE times. We get Marvin rolling and you stop it to kick a 52 yard FG? Like cmon man #OSUvsMICH
— Cayce (@Cayce2Turnt) November 25, 2023
Moore wasn’t perfect in his offensive play calling by any stretch. But he showed confidence in his team on those three and all were converted. Heck, there were two in one touchdown drive alone! That put Michigan up 14-3.
It wasn’t the end of the game. But it seemed to trigger a bad omen for loyal Buckeye fans!
5. Two Michigan INT’s on McCord passes
Kyle McCord and JJ McCarthy were both recruited by Ryan Day. Day chose McCord over McCarthy. Here’s a great read from The Michigan Daily:
On April 30, 2019, a young J.J. McCarthy received unexpected news.
After growing up a fan of Ohio State, working his way to the highest heights of the high school football world and taking a visit to Columbus — coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes were going in another direction. Less than a month after Day promised McCarthy in Columbus that he wouldn’t commit to a final quarterback recruit until the end of the summer, Day tapped his quarterback of the future in the spring.
His name was Kyle McCord.
And now, with McCarthy sitting victoriously atop back-to-back wins over No. 2 Ohio State as a starter, it’s safe to say he didn’t forget.
“Obviously I have a personal story with that,” McCarthy said in regards to his recruiting relationship with the Buckeyes postgame. “But, it’s just a blessing in disguise because this university is the best university in the world. And I’m so happy to be a part of it. So happy to be a part of this team.”
Three years and three victories. Yep, JJ would agree that revenge is a dish best served cold!
The two turnovers each fared highly in The Game. The first gave Michigan their first points on the cold, sunny afternoon.
Kyle McCord gets picked off by Michigan! 😳
— theScore (@theScore) November 25, 2023
Will Johnson jumped in front of Marvin Harrison Jr. and almost stumbled into the endzone.
The second led to the final nail in the coffin for OSU.
KYLE MCCORD PICKED OFF
MICHIGAN SEALS THE GAME 🔒
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 25, 2023
Rod Moore, Michigan’s safety, was not recruited seriously by Ohio State, even though he lived and played football roughly an hour away in Clayton, Ohio, just north of Dayton on Interstate 70. Here’s his take last year when 247Sports.com interviewed him.
“It put a chip on my shoulder for sure … A lot of people at my school were Ohio State fans — and every time I would say I’m going to Michigan, they’d say, ‘you’re going to Michigan?’ And I’d say ‘yeah, but when I get to Michigan, I promise you that if I’m there three or four years, we will not lose to Ohio State.’ And I was so serious when I said that, I wasn’t just saying it, I was saying it with the straightest face ever. It just came to the point that when I got here there was already a chip on my shoulder.”
Rod Moore’s INT not only sealed the win for the Wolverines, it made him a psychic. “We will not lose to Ohio State.” Guess what? He was dead on, and Michigan gets a chance to grab the Big Ten Championship and an automatic berth for the national championship.
Three straight years of winning over the Buckeyes. And all it took was roughly a handful of plays to defeat OSU again.
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