NCAA Game Summary - Ohio State at Michigan|
(Saturday, November 21st)
Final Score: (9) Ohio State 21, Michigan 10
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Daniel Herron ran for 96 yards and caught a
touchdown pass, while Brandon Saine added 84 yards rushing with a score, as
ninth-ranked Ohio State captured the outright Big Ten title with a 21-10
victory over arch-rival Michigan.
Terrelle Pryor threw a touchdown pass and contributed 74 yards rushing, as the
Buckeyes racked up 251 yards on the ground in their sixth straight win over
Ohio State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) won its final five games of the season to claim
the outright conference title for the third time in the past four years. The
Buckeyes, who have at least shared the last five Big Ten crowns, will head to
the Rose Bowl on January 1.
"It was a hard-fought game like all these great rivalry games are," said Ohio
State head coach Jim Tressel, who improved to 8-1 against Michigan. "Our kids
stepped up and I thought they did a great job preparing. They did a nice job
doing what they were called upon to do. It was a heck of a team effort."
Michigan (5-7, 1-7), meanwhile, ended its season with five straight losses and
will sit home during bowl season for a second consecutive year after its
second losing record in as many seasons under Rich Rodriguez. Following last
year's 3-9 debacle, the Wolverines have lost at least seven games in
consecutive seasons for the first time in the storied program's history.
Tate Forcier completed 23-of-38 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown, but was
also picked off four times in defeat, and his fumble on the Wolverines'
opening drive was recovered in the end zone by Ohio State for a touchdown.
Michigan last had two consecutive losing seasons in 1962 and '63, and has
never suffered through three straight. Rodriguez, whose second year in Ann
Arbor began with controversy surrounding player time limits for off-season
workouts and in-season demands, may not be around for 2010, as his job
security has been a topic of speculation.
"The guys coming back have got to get better," stated Rodriguez, unfazed by
talk of his job. "We've got to have a great recruiting class. We're probably
going to have some young guys play again next year and the year after that.
Eventually, we will have more seniors and juniors than we do freshmen and
The Wolverines opened the 2009 season with four straight wins, but a 26-20
overtime loss to Michigan State on October 3 sent the team spiraling. Their
lone win after that contest was a 63-6 rout of FCS foe Delaware State.
Things did not start well for Michigan on Saturday. Pinned inside their own
five-yard line following an Ohio State punt, the Wolverines' first possession
ended in disaster. Forcier fumbled on the third snap and Cameron Heyward
recovered in the end zone for an Ohio State touchdown.
Michigan put together a sustained drive midway through the first quarter, as a
21-yard pass from Forcier to Roy Roundtree on 3rd-and-5 helped set up a field
goal try. However, Jason Olesnavage missed from 24 yards.
After a series of punts, Olesnavage drilled a 46-yard field goal midway
through the second quarter to put the Wolverines on the board, but Ohio State
answered with an 80-yard drive for a touchdown.
All six plays came on the ground. After Saine gave Ohio State its first third-
down conversion with a three-yard run, Pryor found a seam in the left side of
the Michigan defense and rumbled for 25 to set up Saine's 29-yard touchdown
jaunt for a 14-3 advantage with 5:22 left in the half.
Forcier was intercepted on a deep pass on the next offensive play, but the
Buckeyes were unable to convert the turnover. Michigan's final series of the
first half began at its own 46, but went nowhere and the teams went to the
locker room with the 11-point difference.
Michigan got the first break of the second half when Jonas Mouton picked off a
Pryor pass. The Wolverines took full advantage and marched 49 yards on eight
plays for a touchdown. Forcier scrambled on 3rd-and-5 from the 18 and found
Vincent Smith for a touchdown.
The Buckeyes, however, responded with an 11-play, 89-yard drive for a score.
Pryor keyed the set with runs of 13 and 12 yards, then drew the defense on
3rd-and-goal from the Michigan 12 and lofted a pass into the waiting arms of
Herron for a touchdown to restore an 11-point lead.
Forcier was picked off three times in the fourth quarter -- twice to deny
Michigan scoring chances. Early in the period, Kurt Coleman made a leaping
interception of a deep pass at the five. Then, with a first down at the Ohio
State six midway through the quarter, Forcier was picked off by Devon Torrence
at the goal line. The next series also ended with an interception, as Thaddeus
Gibson stepped in front of a Forcier pass near midfield with 3:34 left.
"We made a lot of plays today that had Michigan beating Michigan," Rodriguez
noted. "You got to give them credit. They made the plays, but it's unfortunate
because our guys gave great effort. We had a lot of opportunities; we just
didn't get it done."
Pryor completed 9-of-17 passes for 67 yards with an interception...Roundtree
finished with nine catches for 116 yards in defeat...Ohio State wore throwback
uniforms, dating back to 1954...Michigan still leads the all-time series,
57-43-6...The last time Michigan went two straight years without a bowl
appearance was a three-year run from 1972-74 -- all 10-win seasons...The
Wolverines did have four straight non-winning seasons from 1934-37, posting a
pair of 4-4 records with 1-7 marks.
11/21 16:31:56 ET