Ohio State breaks out, crushes No. 4 Michi­gan

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - SPORTS SUNDAY - By Ralph D. Russo

COLUM­BUS, Ohio — This sea­son for Ohio State has been any­thing but nor­mal, be­gin­ning with its cel­e­brated coach sus­pended for three games.

There have been spotty per­for­mances and trou­bling trends on both sides of the ball. There has been con­stant spec­u­la­tion and ques­tions about Ur­ban Meyer's health and fu­ture.

Af­ter all that, it was busi­ness as usual against Michi­gan, and now the Buck­eyes are right where they al­ways ex­pect to be.

Dwayne Hask­ins threw five touch­down passes, fresh­man Chris Olave had a break­out per­for­mance and No. 10 Ohio State con­tin­ued its mas­tery over No. 4 Michi­gan with a record­set­ting 62-39 vic­tory Satur­day that sends the Buck­eyes to the Big Ten cham­pi­onship game.

“I think we def­i­nitely showed the coun­try the Ohio State Buck­eyes are still here,” of­fen­sive tackle Isa­iah Prince said.

The Wolver­ines were two vic­to­ries away from their first con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship since 2004 and a trip to the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off, fac­ing an un­der­dog Ohio State team that has looked dis­com­bob­u­lated on de­fense and one-di­men­sional on of­fense for much of the sea­son. Look­ing to snap a sixgame los­ing streak against the Buck­eyes (11-1, 8-1) and get coach Jim Har­baugh his first vic­tory in the ri­valry known sim­ply as The Game, the Wolver­ines (10-2, 8-1) wilted.

“Mo­ti­vated to come back and make darn sure it doesn't hap­pen again,” Har­baugh said. “Win our next game, that's our mo­ti­va­tion now.”

In the 115th meet­ing be­tween two of col­lege foot­ball's most sto­ried pro­grams, Ohio State scored more points than it ever had against Michi­gan — more points than any team has ever scored in reg­u­la­tion against Michi­gan.

And now, de­spite all the dys­func­tion at Ohio State this sea­son — both on and off the field — the Buck­eyes will face No. 20 North­west­ern next week in In­di­anapo­lis with a chance to re­peat as Big Ten champs and maybe even make the play­off.

Maybe most sat­is­fy­ing of all, Ohio State has won 14 of the last 15 meet­ings against the team it loves to beat the most.

“This is not an or­di­nary game,” Buck­eyes de­fen­sive tackle Dre'Mont Jones

North­west­ern rolls: Clay­ton Thor­son ac­counted for three touch­downs, Isa­iah Browser rushed for 166 yards on 18 car­ries and No. 19 North­west­ern beat Illi­nois 24-16 on Satur­day for its sev­enth straight Big Ten win.

Thor­son com­pleted 12 of 18 passes for 110 yards and two TDs. He also ran for a score, and Bowser posted his fourth 100-yard game of the sea­son.

The Wild­cats (8-4, 8-1) will face No. 10 Ohio State in the Big Ten cham­pi­onship game next week­end in In­di­anapo­lis.

Illi­nois (4-8, 2-7) lost for the sixth time in seven games. AJ Bush Jr. com­pleted 23 of 39 passes for 281 yards and a touch­down, and Ricky Smalling fin­ished with seven re­cep­tions for 72 yards and a TD.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.