Ohio State 42, Michigan 41 Comment Count

Ace November 30th, 2013 at 4:24 PM

The lasting image of this game will be Devin Gardner, injured, spent, and devastated, flat on his back after his pass on the potential game-winning two-point conversion found Buckeye instead of Wolverine.

It's a shame, really, as Gardner gave one of great performances in the history of The Game today, leading a Michigan offensive explosion beyond anybody's wildest predictions. Gardner threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns, rushed for 34 yards and another score (above, Upchurch), and did all this despite clearly playing at less than 100%. The trio of running backs combined for 137 yards and another score on 24 carries; Al Borges, the offensive line, and the skill position players all had their best performances in over a month—603 total yards against the 13th-ranked defense in the country.

After Gardner lobbed a two-yard jump ball to Devin Funchess to make the score 42-41, Brady Hoke asked his seniors if they wanted to go for two and the win; Taylor Lewan said after the game that, to a man, the answer was yes. In a game that calls for cliché, they left it all on the field.

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

The Buckeyes did too, of course. The Michigan defense simply couldn't find a way to stop Braxton Miller (153 yards and three rushing TDs) and Carlos Hyde (226 yards and a score on 27 carries) on the ground; when OSU went to the air, they didn't hit often—Miller finished just 6/15 on the day—but when they did it went big, as Miller's six completions went for 133 yards and two more touchdowns. Missing safety Jarrod Wilson and weakside LB James Ross, not to mention focusing heavily on stopping the run, the defense repeatedly allowed big plays over the middle. By the time the Buckeyes got the ball with five minutes left and the game knotted at 35, the defense looked gassed and played like it, ceding a one-yard scoring plunge by Hyde to cap a six-play, 65-yard drive that featured exclusively runs.

Gardner was masterful in the two-minute drill, finding Funchess, then Drew Dileo twice, then Joe Reynolds, Justice Hayes, and Toussaint to move the Wolverines 82 yards before netting the final two and six points on the lob to Funchess. Michigan tried to free up a receiver on a rub route on the two-point conversion; the Buckeyes had it covered, though, and Gardner's hopeful throw landed in the arms of Tyvis Powell.

Michigan didn't just give Ohio State a fight—quite literally, in a couple instances (above, Fuller)—they played their part in an instant classic. Devin Gardner might've ended the game on his back; I'll remember all the times he got up before that, and what he did while he was standing, above all else.



November 30th, 2013 at 8:17 PM ^

Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side. Glad Brady went for two. Hindsight is always 20/20, but you'd think a fade to Funchess would be the call there. Anyway, great effort and great game!


November 30th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

After watching the Alabama/Auburn game, I wish we would have made that play. I am jealous and ticked off. OSU is going to the NC game. They still have some hurdles and hope this close win will come back and haunt them. I still won't root for MSU next week. I sound whiny. Can't stand OSU...


November 30th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

Suck It, enjoy you good effort victory that you are all rambling on and on about.  Face it you lost and are 7-5 and have a coach that is trash once again.  You will never beat Urban from here on out, all this did is allow him to make sure his players are ready every year.  

Loss is a Loss and you had a lot of them suck it and sugar coat it all you want you Blow

4th and 2 on the 14 3rd Quarter kick a FG next time dipsticks.  Don't forget that call, while you all blow him for his awful call with game on the line.  



November 30th, 2013 at 8:30 PM ^

A lot of pathetic, immature commenters here. Much worse than other teams' blogs. Why can't the discussion remain somewhat civil instead the overabundance of name-calling and insults.   Too many Walmart Wolverines in here over-compensating. It's embarrassing.


November 30th, 2013 at 8:36 PM ^

and hire Jim Tressel.   The guy is a proven winner and one hell of a recruiter.  Hoke will be good for 3-4 losses a year and is intent on returning UM to the Stone Age. 


November 30th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

There is no doubt in my mind that the decision to go for two was correct.  I'm sure Brian or someone else will analyze that in due course.  

The only thing that I think reasonable minds will be able to debate is the play call itself.  To come to a reasonable conclusion, I think someone will have to look at their two point conversion plays for the season and every play they ran from that trips formation in this game and see if they had run that play before (in order to see if this call was predictable).  I could be wrong, but I thought that they had run the wide receiver run from that formation, and the option a couple times.  I'm not sure if they had passed out of it.  So for that reason, it seemed like it may have made sense, assuming they haven't run that pass variation out of that formation.

However, my problem with it was that OSU called timeout and Michigan came out with the exact same formation and ran Dileo (?) in motion to the right after OSU had already seen the formation and the motion by the receiver.  Michigan should have changed the play call instead of going back to the same formation and same playcall.  That's just my two cents, but I absolutely defend the decision to go for two beyond a shadow of a doubt given the way the game was going and considering the strength of the two teams.  Going for it gave us the best chance to win.

Hoke has balls, I like his game theory calls.  It's sad to me that a lot of them haven't worked out because I hope he doesn't change when it comes to him making those hard decisions that give us a mathematically better chance to win than the "conventional wisdom"/play it safe mentality.

My opinion is that Borges still has to go and probably also Funk and Jackson.  As to Borges, you can't have a 20-25% hit rate as far as good game planning and expect to keep the job.  This game just showed that they have been underperforming for the talent level that we have on offense and that's unacceptable. 

Proud of this effort though and this game reeled me back in and reminded me why I love Michigan football and this rivalry.


November 30th, 2013 at 9:43 PM ^

Observations from Section 36...

  1. FINALLY, Hoke wears a headset......i think it helped - he seemed to be more engaged in the offense.
  2. The female Ohio fan that sat next to my daughter was obnoxious
  3. The male Michigan fan who sat behind me was equally obnoxious, so they offset.
  4. Al Borges was coaching for his job.  Did he save it?  Maybe, maybe not (see point #1 above)
  5. Michigan kickoff guys are apparently tougher than OSU kickoff guys.  After all, UM's one ejectee was equal to 2 OSU ejectees.
  6. Most of the really good plays happened on the north end today, by section 36!
  7. Ohio is more talented, UM wanted it more.  I'll take "want-to" over talent any day.
  8. It wasn't a fumble.
  9. There will be a heck of a battle at RB next year for UM
  10. I hate that O-H-I-O thing.  But I guess it's good that they live in a state that they can at least spell, although I'm pretty sure the obnoxious lady that sat next to my daughter spelled it O-I-H-O.


December 1st, 2013 at 9:41 AM ^

UM play this well all year?  It should have been a match up of undefeated teams.  Now we have to listen to ESPN talking heads say....Well I think Baylor would eerr I mean Stanford eeerrr I mean A ONE loss SEC school would destroy OHio State.  Even though the Tigers had to win on the two most unreal plays ever in back to back weeks and have a loss to a 3 loss team.   

Michigan who any Ohio State fan hates needs Michigan to be Michigan again.  GOOD GAME.  


November 30th, 2013 at 9:51 PM ^

It's like the Iran-Iraq war. You know both are evil, but try to decide which victory hurts you the least. I hate O$U and their trailer-trash fans with a burning passion, but then again, I have to work with a bunch of chest-thumping Spartoons. I'm going to have to ruminate on this one and get back to you.

Good game today. It was a symbol of just how far this program has fallen but yet just how high they can possibly rise.


December 1st, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

I'm rooting for OSU, preferably in a blowout. MSU badly needs an outright B1G championship, since with division realignment (and with Narduzzi getting more and more attention elsewhere) they likely won't sniff another chance for years. OSU would go to the BCS championship game and get a nice chunk of change for B1G teams to split. Also, I kind of want OSU fans to continue to build joyless, unrealistic Saban-like expectations for Meyer, so that every time he does lose, more and more of them have an ever-unsatisfied, red-faced, cross-eyed glare (until Meyer fakes another heart attack and gets out of that hellhole).

yo yo yo

November 30th, 2013 at 9:55 PM ^

I'll be honest... I'm a sparty. I'm sad to see all the people on this board that are happy with the events today. Why? because "little bro" handled you guys and when the only game you seem to care about including vs "little bro" came about you are happy that your coaches decided to "go with the gut" and "put it all on the line" on one play because the seniors wanted to.  Name one coach (outside of Nick Saban witth his huge ego) that would have made that decision?  

Wanna know what Dantonio would have done? Faked a kicki and shoved the two point down their throats. 

Don't be happy with this outcome. Losing is just that...... Losing.

I grew up in A2 as the son of two Sparty parents. Please don't accept this as good. This was a debacle blown by the coaching staff. 

A coaching staff that consults their players is a wise one. A coaching staff that allows such a big decinsion like this to be determined by their players is folly.  


November 30th, 2013 at 10:22 PM ^

your point is foolish.  if you don't think hoke already decided to go for two, you are indeed foolish.  he asked his seniors to get their "buy in"; an additional psychological edge.  a ploy to get extra effort.  also, a fake kick for the 2 is even more foolish.  i would much rather have gardner throwing a pass for the win than drew dileo. 


November 30th, 2013 at 9:56 PM ^

Before I speak my piece, I must say I don't hate UM. I actually pull for them every week except for 1. I mainly search this blog to see if you guys are talking smack about OSU. Never have I been compelled to write a response until now. If you guys are "happy" or feeling comfortable/optimistic about what you seen today then there's no hope for the fan base/team. Your offense had a great day. Almost everyone's offense had a good day against OSU. Defense isn't the focus anymore in Columbus. That's just how it is. If this was a Tressel team you would be looking at 24-7/14. But that's speculation. And folks I'm here to tell ya the OSU offense is only going to get better. Keep in mind these are Tressels recruits in an Urban Meyer system. Kinda like Carr's recruits in a Rich Rod system except we are actually winning. I love the rivalry and I'm not talking smack but there wasnt any moral victory today. You still allowed us to score 42. What say you?


December 1st, 2013 at 12:43 AM ^

Even though it said "buck it". You're delusional (and Miller too if he goes)if you think Miller will leave early. He's not a pro caliber QB and I think he knows it. Losing the line indeed hurts. Hyde stings but there are ton of good backs waiting. Elliot and Wilson to name a couple. And lest we not forget Urbans top 3 recruiting class last year and top 5 for this year. You probably haven't been paying attention to that detail because your team is currently at 16th. (rivals.com) Before you start talking about this "massive" offensive exodus it would do you good to see what came in last year and coming this year. There are highly ranked wide receivers in the line up. Gomer.


December 1st, 2013 at 9:34 AM ^

Looking to next year I think Ohio State will be pretty good on Offense as long as Miller comes back.  Which I don't see him leaving unless they win out.  He would be a first rounded if he could lead them against two very good defenses.  

The four seniors on the oline will be tough to replace.  Pat Efflin from Pickerington, Ohio came in and played well after the "fight" so that is one guy we can count on and I somehow think Ohio State might have a few more like him.  Its not like you need a great line to run the spread anyway.  

As far a wr goes Ohio State is loaded with young speedy wideouts. 



November 30th, 2013 at 9:57 PM ^

to quote the immortal herm edwards, you play to win the game.  we played to win The Game today.  losses happen as often as wins.  given how rough this season has been, i'm so proud how this team rocked up.  big ups.  let the upswing commence.


November 30th, 2013 at 10:09 PM ^

That was a hell of a game. I am a Buckeye fan but wanted to say that this game was deserving of the rivalry and I don't care that pundits are questioning the Buckeyes after a tough win in Ann Arbor. This is what I expected before the season started. I could always see a close score in the game but didn't see both teams setting alltime records for the game. That was amazing (and maddening).

I didn't come to troll and am not looking for any response to my post. I just wanted to say this was a great game and I like having the MGoBlog community here to see what the other side is thinking.

If Michigan is this unpredictable in the bowl game then they will roll.