COLUMBUS -The No. 8-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes built a 24-7 lead over Michigan at halftime, then never looked back in coasting to a seventh straight win over its rival from up north with a 37-7 beating Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
Michigan's lone score of the game, a 1-yard Michael Shaw run in the second quarter, trimmed Ohio State's second quarter lead to 10-7, but a Denard Robinson-less U-M mustered just 93 yards of offense in the second half. Robinson left the game late in the second quarter with a pair of dislocated fingers on his non-throwing hand.
"Ohio State looked very athletic defensively today," said Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, "and there were a lot of 'bang-bang' plays as well. The bottom line is that we didn't finish drives. They made plays, but a lot of that is on us."
In the first half the Michigan defense forced a pair of three-and-outs to open the game and U-M appeared poised to take an early lead. On the Wolverines first possession the team moved inside the Ohio State 30 before a fourth down Robinson pass fell incomplete giving the ball back to Ohio State.
Minutes later, after moving the ball into Ohio State territory again, Denard Robinson fumbled inside the Buckeyes 10-yardline while diving for the first down marker to thwart another potential scoring drive.
Instead it was Ohio State that scored the first 10 points making the Wolverines pay for a pair of costly mistakes. Following the Robinson fumble the Buckeyes marched 74-yards on 10-plays to claim a 3-0 lead with a 33-yard Devin Barclay field goal.
It became a 10-0 lead when Dane Sanzenbacher took in a 7-yard touchdown toss from Terrelle Pryor. Ohio State's first touchdown drive started at the U-M 35-yardline after an 18-yard punt by Seth Broekhuizen, punting in place of suspended starter Will Hagerup. Pryor kept the drive alive with a key competition to Taurian Washington after breaking contain on Michigan's third down blitz that would have potentially knocked the Buckeyes out of field goal range.
Michigan scored its touchdown on its next possession. Michael Shaw crashed in from the goaline to cap an 11-play 80-yard drive. Denard Robinson completed a key fourth down pass to Darryl Stonum on the drive, plus accumulated 42 yards rushing.
Over the final eight minutes of the half the home team would ultimately put the game out of reach. Following the Shaw touchdown run, Ohio State's Jordan Hall returned the ensuing kick-off 85-yards for a touchdown to make it 17-7.
Michigan moved the ball inside the OSU 40 again on what would be Robinson's last meaningful series of the contest, but for the second time of the contest Michigan came up short on a fourth down pass. Six plays later Pryor tossed his second score of the game, a 33-yard strike to DeVier Posey, to give Ohio State it's 24-7 lead.
"It wouldn't have been much of a problem, but he likes to grip it with that hand and he couldn't get any feeling back. He tried to go back in the second half, but he just couldn't do it. It's unfortunate because he was playing well today."
Quarterback Tate Forcier led the Michigan offense through the second half, but the sophomore quarterback completed just 8-of-15 for 82 yards in the contest as Michigan never got on track in the final two quarters.
Travis Howard's interception of Forcier on the first play of the second half set the stage for a dominant second half by the Buckeye defense, and the third Michigan turnover resulted in points when Boom Herron scored from 32-yards out.
Over the final quarter and a half of the contest Ohio State added two final field goals.
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor finished 18-of-27 for 220 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Running back Boom Herron led Ohio State on the ground with 175 yards rushing on just 22 carries, including an apparent 98-yard touchdown run shortened to an 89-yard scamper following a down field holding call.
With the loss the Wolverines fall to 7-5 on the season. Michigan will wait for bowl selection and its bowl schedule in the coming days.
Buckeyes Steamroll Michigan 37-7
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