Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

Submitted by Ace on November 25th, 2017 at 4:25 PM


[Patrick Barron]

Michigan did not lack opportunity, or talent, or coaching. They just lacked a quarterback.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 14-0 lead, held Ohio State to negative-six yards in the first quarter, got 5.5 yards per carry out of their running backs, and had receivers running wide open through the Buckeye secondary all afternoon. The defense forced JT Barrett to be a one-dimensional runner, kept OSU's star quarterback under constant pressure, and eventually knocked him out of the game with an apparent knee injury.

With Brandon Peters and Wilton Speight watching in street clothes, however, John O'Korn missed far too may of those open receivers. When including sacks, O'Korn averaged only 4.1 yards per dropback. His only turnover came at the worst possible time. With 2:47 on the clock and Michigan down four points after a missed Buckeye field goal, Kekoa Crawford settled down underneath OSU's safeties for what could've been a significant first down. O'Korn read the play differently and chucked a deep ball directly to OSU's Jordan Fuller.

"It was an option route," said O'Korn. "[Crawford] did the right thing. It's all on me."


[Eric Upchurch]

There were plenty more reasons the Wolverines lost. The second quarter featured a momentous change in fortune when Josh Metellus let an easy inteception fall through his hands; two plays later, JT Barrett—with, perhaps, an assist from whatever official was in charge of watching Mo Hurst—scrambled 21 yards to make it 14-7.

Michigan's ensuing drive ended with a 23-yard change in field position after an illegal formation penalty negated their first attempt at a punt. KJ Hill returned the next one to midfield—again, with a potential penalty overlooked—and Barrett needed only three plays to tie the game on a 25-yard pass to Marcus Baugh.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, though Ohio State took a one-point edge thanks to a blocked extra point. That loomed large when Sean Nuernberger hit a 44-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. It loomed less large when O'Korn threw the interception.

With an average quarterback performance, Michigan wins this game. The gameplan couldn't have reasonably been better; any criticism of Harbaugh or the coaching staff about this game can be mocked with impunity. When it came down to it, Harbaugh couldn't throw the ball for his quarterback, and that proved to be the difference.

"The hardest part for me is you come here to win this game for the senior class and we couldn't do it," O'Korn said with tears in his eyes, before again putting the blame on himself. "It's the worst feeling in the world."

Better days are ahead. This one's still going to sting for a while.

Comments

LoyVaughtfrom16

November 25th, 2017 at 6:25 PM ^

Assuming better days await us against our rivals, our fanbase might not be there to see it.  There should never be that much red in the stands at Michigan Stadium- that was an embarrassment.   

I'm watching Auburn's home crowd right doing their best to suffocate Alabama's young quarterback with noise... Haskins should have been up against the same. 

Bill22

November 26th, 2017 at 7:48 PM ^

After giving it 24 hours to cool down, I have to say I feel great about this program. Everywhere I looked on the field yesterday there was extreme talent and youth playing for Michigan. True Freshmen, Redshirt Freshmen and True Sophomores. Rashan Gary, Ambry Thomas, Lavert Hill, Chris Evans, DPJ, Hudson, Metellus, Bush, Ruiz, you name it. They all looked great! I have no doubt that we are still moving in the right direction. The worst thing we can do as fans is turn on each other and start sounding like our enemies. There is nothing Sparty and Buckeye fans love more than to see Michigan fans start making the same BS arguments they use against us. Don’t take the bait! How happy would they be if Jim Harbaugh moved on? We have the best coach in the country and they know it. They know it’s just a matter of time before we start rolling. It’s coming. Not fast enough, but it’s coming. And when it gets here it’s gonna be sweet.

AaronStark19

November 25th, 2017 at 4:30 PM ^

Lost something I’ll never get back, I no longer care. Sure, I still watch every game and check out the blog once in awhile but it’s not the same. After these years of mediocrity followed by the return of our “savior” who seems to be slightly less than advertised I find myself almost agnostic to Michigan football. It used to make or break my weekends and now it’s simply a minor annoyance or a pleasant surprise. Last year I was infuriated for months, this year I’m already over it.

Goggles Paisano

November 25th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

I'm not numb nor do I go into it thinking we are goint to lose.  I'm sure there are lots of other fans that think the same way.   I'm proud of the way they fought.  We are playing with our 3rd string QB and game them everything they could handle.  Chin up - this series will even out as soon as we start to get good to great QB play - and it is coming.  

wolverine1987

November 25th, 2017 at 7:04 PM ^

Just based on the choice of words--two ten win seasons follwed by an 8 win season with a 3rd string QB is objectively not mediocre--it's good. That isn't open to debate. Now is it elite, no, nor is it as high as we want to go. But we went from mediocre under Hoke and RR and instantly became good. That is a fact. 

wolverine1987

November 25th, 2017 at 7:07 PM ^

Honestly, this crosses the line and you are a terrible person. Yes, probably JOK cost us the game and with even average QB play we win. But he is a college kid, not a pro, and doesn't deserve the scorn you throw around. You however, deserve all the scorn we can bring.

Bambi

November 25th, 2017 at 4:30 PM ^

Maybe I'm just way too numb to it all but I'm not that upset despite sitting through that in the cold.

Expectations were very low and we exceeded them. Basically it comes down to we were a functional QB away from winning that. Almost did with the worst Michigan QB since ...?

I'm 23, been a Michigan fan my entire life. Don't really have any full fledged football memories prior to me being 10 (aka 2003 or earlier). I can only remember Michigan beating OSU once ever. I've never seen us beat an even decent OSU team. We went 0-4 during my undergrad. It's just sad man.

go50blue

November 25th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

So you're only 23, I'm 63 and I remember all the ups and downs of Michigan football since I grew up in Ann Arbor and went to elementary school here while my dad went to dental school in the 60s, Michigan is one of the best football schools in the country, so stick by it for a lifetime or pick another team, go blue!

Occam's Razor

November 25th, 2017 at 5:09 PM ^

You should be thanking us millennials that we even give a fuck about Michigan football given how shitty M football has been in our lifetime. 

1-19 as underdogs since 2012. 

2 for 17 against OSU

2 fof 10 against MSU. 

But sure, we're bad fans. 

Maybe the team should actually make a play in a big game so the fans can actually cheer instead of being let down yet again. 

mgoblue98

November 25th, 2017 at 5:32 PM ^

I am not going anywhere.  You may want to read what your generation posts(fire all of the coaches, the players suck, etc.) and you may want to have at least a reasonable football IQ before you start shooting your mouth off.

I mock you with impunity.

Occam's Razor

November 25th, 2017 at 5:49 PM ^

See the thing is, we expect to lose to rivals. You older folks expect Ws hence the "unacceptables" 

Don't get me wrong we do the same thing too, but most of us know Michigan will let us down no matter what so it's not as traumatizing. 

San Diego Mick

November 25th, 2017 at 5:58 PM ^

I realize you've had tough luck in your fandom but we haven't, we experienced beating those cheaters year after year, it'll happen again, our friggin' shitty QB lost that game for the most part.

Things will be better and different and you young guns do come off really fucking whiny way too often, toughen up a little bit, I know you can do it, you're a Michigan Man, right?

Jason80

November 25th, 2017 at 7:04 PM ^

When our program proclaims itself the leaders and best it is creating entitlement. When legacy of being a college football superpower was created before WWII we have all as fans felt entitled to football supremacy. I can totally appreciate the young pups frustration at looking at the glory days of Coach Carr and Bo the same way they see Fritz and Yost, irrelevant to their experience as fans...they haven't lived it.

go50blue

November 25th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

So you're only 23, I'm 63 and I remember all the ups and downs of Michigan football since I grew up in Ann Arbor and went to elementary school here while my dad went to dental school in the 60s, Michigan is one of the best football schools in the country, so stick by it for a lifetime or pick another team, go blue!

go50blue

November 25th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

So you're only 23, I'm 63 and I remember all the ups and downs of Michigan football since I grew up in Ann Arbor and went to elementary school here while my dad went to dental school in the 60s, Michigan is one of the best football schools in the country, so stick by it for a lifetime or pick another team, go blue!

go50blue

November 25th, 2017 at 4:44 PM ^

So you're only 23, I'm 63 and I remember all the ups and downs of Michigan football since I grew up in Ann Arbor and went to elementary school here while my dad went to dental school in the 60s, Michigan is one of the best football schools in the country, so stick by it for a lifetime or pick another team, go blue!