Buckeyes go big
With rout, OSU ends Michigan’s playoff hopes
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dwayne Haskins threw five touchdown passes, freshman Chris Olave scored twice and blocked a punt that was returned for a TD and No. 10 Ohio State continued its mastery over No. 4 Michigan with a record-setting 62-39 victory Saturday that sends the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship game.
The Wolverines were two victories away from their first conference championship since 2004 and a trip to the College Football Playoff, facing an Ohio State team that has looked discombobulated on defense and one-dimensional on offense much of the season.
Looking to snap a sixgame skid against the Buckeyes (11-1, 8-1) and get coach Jim Harbaugh his first victory in four tries in the rivalry game, the Wolverines (10-2, 8-1) wilted.
In the 115th meeting between two of college football’s most storied rivals, Ohio State scored more points than it ever had against Michigan — more points than any team has ever scored in regulation against Michigan. The previous high was 58 by Cornell in 1891.
And now, despite all the dysfunction at Ohio State this season — both on and off the field — the Buckeyes will face No. 19 Northwestern next week in Indianapolis with a chance to repeat as Big Ten champs and maybe even squeeze into the playoff.
“I think we definitely showed the country the Ohio State Buckeyes are still here,” offensive tackle Isaiah Prince said.
Olave, who came into the game with five catches and no touchdowns, caught two TD passes and broke it open on special teams in the third quarter. He looped through a seam in the line and got a chunk of Will Hart’s punt. The ball sailed off high and to the side and landed in the arms of Sevyn Banks, who cruised 33 yards for a TD that made it 34-19.
Harbaugh took ownership of a complete collapse by Michigan, but his players were not letting the coach take all the blame.
“I don’t know why he would take any heat after this loss. ... We have a chance for an (11-win season),” Patterson said. “I know that’s not our ultimate expectation, but we have a chance to win 11 games and I think that’s a successful season.”
Receiver Chris Olave celebrates after scoring a TD during Ohio State’s victory Saturday.