Nico Collins

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Ohio State has late first-half breakdown but leads Michigan at halftime, 24-19

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Ohio State had a 21-6 lead in the final minute of the first half. Then, just a couple of plays later, it was a two-point game. But before the end of the half was over, Ohio State padded their lead in a wild final minute of the first half and the Buckeyes have a 24-19 lead on the Wolverines at the break.

Dwayne Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the half, including two to freshman Chris Olave and things were looking quite rosy for the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon. But a late touchdown drive by Michigan on a pass from Shea Patterson to Nico Collins was quickly followed by a special teams disaster on a fair catch that gave Michigan another quick possession. A quick touchdown and a failed two-point attempt cut the Ohio State lead to 21-19, but Haskins and company quickly moved down the field to get into position for a field goal after being held out of the end zone.

After the Ohio State defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, the Buckeyes offense got the first points of the game on their first offensive series. Dwayne Haskins got the drive started with a nine-yard run, picked up a first down two plays later with a 16-yard pass to Parris Campbell and ended the drive a few plays later with a 24-yard pass to Chris Olave, who had a clear path to the end zone on the left side of the field. Ohio State became the third team this season to score any points on their first offensive series against the Wolverines, joining Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Michigan managed to cut into the lead but failed to get into the end zone. A dropped pass for what would have been a touchdown by Zach Gentry left Michigan to settle for a field goal from the Ohio State 13-yard line, and a chance to convert a short fourth down at the Ohio State 42-yard line was thwarted by having to burn a timeout for too many men on the field and followed up by a false start penalty to force Michigan to punt. Ohio State capitalized on that opportunity by going 80 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-6. Once again, Olave was the receiver catching the football for the score.

Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the game so far, with his third going to a wide open Johnnie Dixon on a 31-yard pass later in the second quarter. Late in the firts half, Michigan needed to get something to be optimistic about and they certainly did with a fantastic effort by Collins for a much-needed touchdown, which was followe dby a special teams mistake by Ohio State on the ensuing kickoff.

Patterson quickly completed a touchdown pass to Chris Evans but Patterson was taken down for a loss on the two-point conversion attempt.

Ohio State gets the ball to start the second half. The winner of this game wins the Big Ten East Division and advances to the Big Ten championship game to face Northwestern next week in Indianapolis. A spot in the College Football Playoff also is potentially on the line as well, perhaps more so for Michigan than Ohio State.

Michigan defense allows just 50 yards to Michigan State in first half

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You wanted defense? You sure have it this afternoon in East Lansing. Michigan leads Michigan State by a score of 7-0 at halftime. The Spartans have put together just 50 yards of total offense in the half against the Wolverines and have failed to convert a third down attempt on their home field.

Shea Patterson‘s touchdown pass to Nico Collins on the first play of the second quarter gave the Wolverines a 7-0 lead. It was the first passing touchdown by a Michigan player against the Spartans since Denard Robinson in 2011, and the first touchdown pass to give Michigan a lead on their in-state rivals since 2010.

The game was paused after about 10 minutes had been played during the first quarter due to lightning in the area. The weather delay lasted about 75 minutes as Michigan continued their drive to score the only touchdown of the half. Michigan had chances to add on to the lead multiple times, but the Wolverines were unable to put points on the board on three straight possessions that started in Michigan State territory. Quinn Nordin missed a 36-yard field goal and the other two possessions ended with punts to pin the Spartans in their end if not for a touchback.

Michigan State has simply not been able to figure anything out against the Michigan defense. The Spartans are 0-for-6 on third down.

Michigan State wide receiver Felton Davis III, who caught the game-winning catch last week at Penn State, was taken off the field sitting on a cart late in the first half.

No. 12 Michigan announces itself as B1G, CFP contender in pummeling No. 15 Wisconsin

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Though they led 13-7 at the half, there was a concern all the points No. 12 Michigan left on the field would come back to haunt them in the second half. There was the missed field goal on the first drive of the game. There was the interception return deep into Badger territory that netted only three points. And then there was the Shea Patterson fumble that saw another promising drive come up empty.

Turns out those concerns were unfounded. Michigan’s defense scored enough on its own to lead the Wolverines to victory as Jim Harbaugh‘s crew cruised to a cathartic 38-13 win over No. 15 Wisconsin at the Big House.

Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) accepted the ball to open the second half and marched 75 yards in 10 plays, moving into scoring position on a 25-yard Karan Higdon rush and then finding paydirt on a 7-yard Patterson keeper. Patterson found Nico Collins for a 2-point conversion, putting the maize and blue up 21-7 at the 10:21 mark of the third quarter.

That score would prove to be enough to secure the win, but Michigan wasn’t done there. A 35-yard Quinn Nordin field goal stretched the lead to 24-7 with 11:36 remaining, and then Lavert Hill slammed the door when he intercepted Alex Hornibrook and returned the ball 21 yards for a touchdown. At that point in the game, Hornibrook had completed three passes to Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) receivers and two to Michigan defenders.

The quarterback run game, which earlier sprung Patterson for an 81-yard rush to set up Michigan’s first score, flashed again when backup Dylan McCaffrey broke free for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:16 left in the game.

Though he wasn’t perfect, Patterson was more than enough to win, hitting 14-of-20 passes for 124 yards while rushing nine times for 90 yards and a touchdown. Higdon out-rushed Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, carrying 19 times for 105 yards and a touchdown to Taylor’s 17 carries for 101 yards.

Effective as Taylor was, he couldn’t carry Wisconsin’s offense by himself. Hornibrook completed just 7-of-20 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions; the touchdown and the bulk of those yards came with the Badgers already trailing by 31 points.

Though the Badgers are still the Big Ten West favorites until they’re not, Saturday’s loss eliminates them from College Football Playoff contention and exposed enough cracks to show the Badgers aren’t a real threat to beat whoever comes out of the Big Ten East.

Michigan, meanwhile, now completes Phase 1 of a crucial 3-game stretch over the second half of their season. The Wolverines visit Michigan State on Saturday and then, after an off week, host No. 8 Penn State. Both teams beat Michigan a year ago — just as Wisconsin did.

Michigan throws TD pass to a WR for first time in nearly one full year

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Outback Bowl - Michigan v South Carolina
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To say it’s been a while would be a rather significant understatement.

Late in the third quarter of Michigan’s Sept. 9 win over Cincinnati last season, wide receiver Grant Perry caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from now-UCLA quarterback Wilton Speight. Over the next 11 games of the 2017 season, the Wolverines tossed an anemic six touchdown passes — none of them to a wide receiver.

It was lather, rinse and repeat in the season opener as U-M, once again, failed to throw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver — or anyone else, for that matter — in the 24-17 loss to Notre Dame. Saturday afternoon against Western Michigan, that inexplicable drought ended as Nico Collins (pictured) caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson in the second quarter of the non-conference tilt.

The touchdown reception from a wide receiver was just one day shy from coming exactly one year after the last one.

At the time of this posting, Michigan is blasting its Michigan directional foe 35-0 late in the second quarter.

Michigan WR Tarik Black out indefinitely after another foot injury

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There’s a lot of optimism around Michigan going into the season in part because of the addition of transfer quarterback Shea Patterson but Jim Harbaugh has not been shy on heaping praise on the progress made at the wide receiver position in recent months as being a key to a much more productive offense in 2018. Sadly though, it might be missing a key piece thanks to some tough injury news out of Ann Arbor this weekend.

In an email, the school confirmed reports that wide receiver Tarik Black had suffered a foot injury in practice and is being listed as out indefinitely as he undergoes further evaluation.

It’s a super tough blow for Black considering he missed most of last season while dealing with a foot injury and, when healthy, is viewed as top pass-catcher for the team after flashing early in 2017. While he broke his left foot last season, it appears this current injury is to his right foot but the school did not give any further specifics on the severity of the issue this time around.

The absence of Black in the lineup for the huge showdown against Notre Dame on Saturday night on NBC (and likely well past that game) puts even more pressure on the rest of the young receiving corps to step up in his place. Chief among the top options on the outside for Patterson this week will likely be former top recruit Donovan Peoples-Jones. Grant PerryNico Collins and Oliver Martin all will likely see the field in various combinations as well.

Still, it’s a bummer to hear of Black’s injury so close to the season getting underway for the Wolverines and because of what he went through all of last year to get ready to play for the maize and blue again.