There’s a door just off the eating area in Ohio State’s press box, the frame of which is plastered with small pieces of red “evidence” tape on its left side. I did not understand this at halftime. I get it now: Ohio Stadium is a crime scene.
An inauspicious three-play, one-yard drive to open the contest was the harbinger of things to come in a game so nightmarish the only thing recognizable as belonging to this 2018 Michigan team were white uniforms and winged helmets. And that was with the fourth quarter left to play.
The nation’s best defense was shredded time and again by crossing routes and could generate no pressure; the passing game saw Michigan’s surehanded tight ends suddenly dropping passes while predictable passing situations allowed Ohio State to get pressure on Shea Patterson much of the afternoon; and even special teams played a part with a blocked punt that seemed to hang in the air for eternity before dropping into the waiting arms of Sevyn Banks, who jogged 33 yards into the end zone. You play the game to keep your goals in front of you and Michigan did that for 11 games. Then, in The Game with the most optimistic forecast in almost two decades, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion.
[After THE JUMP: words]