Wolverines batter Buckeyes, clinch Big Ten East

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan defeated Ohio State for the first time under Jim Harbaugh with a 42-27 win Saturday.

The Wolverines had lost 15 of the past 16 meetings, but they battered the Buckeyes for the first time since 2011 in an emphatic victory. Michigan took the lead to start the game and, despite briefly losing the lead in the second quarter, came out on top with 28 second-half points and a strong finish in the November snow.

The Michigan defense gave up 458 total yards to Ohio State’s potent offense, and quarterback C.J. Stroud had 394 yards and two touchdowns. The Ohio State offense had some self-inflicted mistakes, though, that didn’t help their cause as the offense had a season-high seven offensive penalties.

Michigan’s pass-rushers have been applying pressure to opponents all season, and David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson were able to wreak havoc in this game as well. Hutchinson had three sacks and set a Michigan single-season sack record with 13.

The Buckeyes were coming off of a game against Michigan State in which the offense scored 56 points with 655 total yards of offense. It was a completely different outcome Saturday, and despite racking up some big yardage, Ohio State never gained enough momentum.

The Michigan players had spoken throughout the season about how this team is different and said the players aren’t flinching in big games and big situations as they have in the past. That was evident during the third quarter when the entire Michigan sideline was jumping and dancing to the music in the stadium, a sight that hasn’t been seen — Michigan with some confidence — in this rivalry for quite some time.

“This is everything I’ve dreamed of,” Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara said in the postgame TV interview. “This is everything that any guy who’s committed to Michigan over the last five years — this is why they come.”

The Michigan offense was able to capitalize on its opportunities to help put the game away for the Wolverines. Running back Hassan Haskins had 169 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the game. He became the first Michigan running back to rush for at least three touchdowns against Ohio State since Mike Hart did it in 2006.

The Wolverines had 299 yards rushing as a team, which was the most rushing yards a Ryan Day-led Ohio State team has ever allowed, and it was the first time Michigan has gone over 200 yards rushing against the Buckeyes since 2011, in Michigan’s last victory over the Buckeyes. It was the run game that kept pounding and kept pushing the offense ahead in this match.

The game was never in question for Michigan, and it was a stark contrast to the past two meetings between the two teams, in which Ohio State outscored Michigan 118-66. After a loss to Michigan State, questions arose about whether Harbaugh could get his first win in six tries against the Buckeyes.

This is a turnaround season for the Wolverines after winning only two games last season, and this win puts Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, representing the Big Ten East, and gives it a shot at a spot in the College Football Playoff.

“We’ve been saying all year that this team is different,” McNamara said. “And I think today we proved that.”

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