OSU Takes Over Late, Rolls Michigan 42-28

Ohio State won its third straight game against rival U-M 42-28, behind Ezekiel Elliot's two TD runs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio. -- With Brady Hoke’s future as Michigan’s head coach in doubt, the Wolverines played three quarters of competitive football with their rival Ohio State. Then the fourth quarter happened -- and OSU took over -- rolling U-M 42-28 despite losing star quarterback J.T. Barrett to an apparent leg injury.

With OSU up 28-21 with 5:07 in the game, Ezekiel Elliot broke a 44-yard touchdown run on a fourth and 1 to give the Buckeyes the 35-21 lead and cement Ohio State’s third straight win in the rivalries 111th matchup.

“It worked so I’ll take credit for that,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said on the fourth down call.“That was mine.”

Elliot would finish with 17 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Ohio State has won 12 of its last 14 games against Michigan.

With the win, No. 7 Ohio State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) moves one step closer to a possible college playoff selection. But it came with a cost, when Ohio State’s record breaking freshman Barrett left the field with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter when two U-M defenders fell on his leg. He would be carted off the field as the crowd cheered “J.T.” for the Heisman trophy candidate .

At the time, Barrett passed for 176 yards on 13 of 21 passes and one touchdown -- plus another 89 yards and two touchdowns on the ground -- before leaving the game. All in front of a record setting 108,610 fans in attendance at Ohio stadium. He would be replaced by Cardale Jones.

Hoke’s career record now falls to 31-20, including 13 losses out of his last 19 games. He has now lost three straight to Ohio State. And with major questions regarding his future at Michigan, Hoke says it’s still his job as of now.

“What I know is I am going to be the football coach at Michigan,” Hoke said afterwards.

“Yeah, well that’s what I know right now.”

In what turned out to be his last collegiate game, Michigan (5-7, 3-5) fifth-year senior quarterback Devin Gardner finished with 223 yards on 22 of 32 passing with two touchdowns and one interception. And is just a season removed from his failed 2-point conversion pass that was difference between 42-41 loss to OSU last November.

“It’s the end right now,” Gardner said. “We lost the game just like last year. A loss is a loss, no matter if we lost by one point or by what we lost by today.”

Ohio State outgained Michigan 416 to 372.

U-M redshirt sophomore running back Drake Johnson finished with 74 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

Barrett connected with Corey Smith for 52 yard pass-catch to the U-M 2 to start the second half. Barrett would score on the next on a 2-yard run to put OSU up 21-14.

After a pass interference call on U-M safety Dymonte Thomas, Ezekiel Elliot ran up the middle for 2-yard TD to give OSU the 28-21 lead with 1:08 left in the third quarter.

An Ohio State offside’s penalty negated a Gardner fumble that would have gave OSU the ball. Behind a 16 yard half-back pass from Johnson to Gardner to the OSU 4, and Johnson would score on a outside 4-yard run the next play to tie the game at-21.

Michigan took the led 14-7 on Johnson two yard run with 7:34 left in the first half. It was Michigan’s longest drive of the year, going 15 plays for 95 yards. Gardner would rush the ball three times for 32 yards, including a 10 yard deigned run on third and nine that setup the Johnson TD run.

Gardner’s first pass from scrimmage was intercepted by OSU safety Vonn Bell at the Michigan 41 with 14:12 to play in the first quarter. OSU would score six plays later on a Barrett 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick Vannet to take the early 7-0 lead.

Sophomore Jake Butt caught a 12-yard TD pass from Gardner to tie the game at 7-all with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

With the Buckeyes trailing 14-7, Barrett had arguably OSU’s biggest drive of the game. He took OSU 83 yards in 10 plays, scoring on 25-yard scramble up the middle of the Wolverine defense with :07 seconds left in the first half to tie the game at 14-all.

At the half, Michigan outgained Ohio State 203 to 176. The Wolverines had 13 first downs compared to OSU’s nine.

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