ANN ARBOR - Michigan fought until the end, but a slew of fourth quarter turnovers thwarted any hope of a Michigan comeback as the Maize and Blue dropped a 21-10 decision to the No. 10-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon.
Quarterback Tate Forcier completed 23-of-38, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Smith to bring Michigan within four late in the third quarter, but turnoves from the Wolverines freshman quarterback eventually doomed the Maize and Blue.
Following the Smith touchdown reception the Buckeyes extended the lead again on the back of an 89-yard 11-play scoring drive. Eight consecutive runs overpowered the U-M defensive line, and Ohio State found themselves at the U-M 2-yardline. Then , following a second down sack by Brandon Graham, quarterback Terrelle Pryor found Boom Herron on an 11-yard screen to give Ohio State its final margin of victory.
The Wolverines moved the ball deep in Buckeye territory numerous times during the final 15 minutes, but quarterback Tate Forcier tossed three interceptions to seal the Ohio State win, its sixth straight against Michigan.
"We made a lot of plays today that had Michigan beating Michigan," Rich Rodriguez said. "You got to give them credit. They made the plays, but it's unfortunate becasue our guys gave great effort. We had a lot of opportunities, we just didn't get it done."
In the first half Ohio State surged to a 14-3 advantage.
The Buckeyes offense started slowly, netting three less yards than their counterparts from up north in the first half, but the dominant Buckeye defense set the stage with an early touchdown. On U-M's first possession Forcier fumbled the ball in the Michigan end zone, and Cameron Heyward pounced on it to put OSU up 7-0.
U-M appeared poised to tie the score late in the period, but, after marching 53 yards to the Ohio State seven, the Buckeyes defense stiffened and Jason Olesnavage sent a field goal wide of the goal post from 24-yards out to keep Michigan off the board.
The Wolverines did slice into the lead with a 46-yard Olesnavage field goal midway through the second quarter. Forcier moved the Maize and Blue from the Michigan 22 to the Ohio State 28 yardline before a screen pass on 3rd-and-8 left the Wolverines short of the sticks. On the drive Forcier completed 5-of-6 passes.
Ohio State answered with a 29-yard touchdown run by Brandon Saine on the next OSU possession. The drive went 80-yards on just six plays and ended with a misdirection run up the left sideline that put Saine into the end zone untouched.
With the loss the Wolverines conclude the season with a 5-7 record. It's the second consecutive season that the Wolverines fell short of claiming bowl eligibility.
Michigan Fights But Falls 21-10 to Ohio State
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