Josh Winslow/BSB

What We Learned In Ohio State's 'Instant Classic' Double OT Win Over Michigan

In a game that head coach Urban Meyer dubbed an "instant classic," No. 2 Ohio State topped No. 3 Michigan, 30-27, in double overtime.

Curtis Samuel is as good as they come

Ohio State junior H-back Curtis Samuel made the two biggest offensive plays of the game, and its not close. First, he reversed field to somehow manage 9 yards on a third-down catch and run in the second overtime, setting up J.T. Barrett's first down run on fourth. Then, a play later, he went around the left end for a 15-yard touchdown that won the game. If any other player on the team – maybe any other player in the nation – had had the ball, there's a good chance the Buckeyes lose. Or, perhaps, force a third overtime with a field goal. Instead, it was Samuel who got the call and he delivered as well as anyone could possibly expect.

The defense can get it done...

...Even when the offense can't for Ohio State. For much of the game, the Buckeyes flat out couldn't get going on offense. Barrett even finished the game with just 15 completions for 124 yards on 32 passing attempts. On a normal day, that's not good enough, but when the defense comes up with key stops – not to mention scores a touchdown on its own – a win like the one the Buckeyes' managed can happen. Without Malik Hooker's pick-six or Jerome Baker's near pick-six, Ohio State would be sitting at 10-2 wondering what non-playoff bowl it might end up in.

Barrett will never be a star passer, probably

Against Michigan, Barrett was flat out inaccurate. He missed open receivers on numerous occasions, and seemed tentative in the pocket at times. It didn't help that his offensive line broke down some in pass protection, but Barrett's just not at his best when throwing the ball. Luckily for Ohio State, he's as a tough a runner as there is among quarterbacks, and that played a big part in the win. Barrett finished the game with 30 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. That's a winning effort on the ground.

Wilton Speight is really good

But he also kept Ohio State in the game. It was unclear if the Michigan quarterback would play up until he stepped on the field on the opening drive. He delivered for his team, for the most part, throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The thing is, when Ohio State needed it most, the Buckeye defense got the best of Speight on his two interceptions. It was an up and down performance, but he certainly didn't lose the game for the Wolverines.

Raekwon McMillan can put up numbers

He doesn't always have the eye popping stats, but Ohio State's middle linebacker was all over the field against Michigan. If not for the late heroics from Samuel, he would easily be the player of the game. He finished with 16 total tackles and was key in holding Michigan to just 2.1 yards per carry. McMillan also provided the pressure on Speight's interception that Hooker returned for a score.


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