Ohio State already has a spot in next week’s Big Ten championship game locked up, but there is still nothing the Buckeyes would love more than to continue their dominance over their rivals from Michigan (and keep their College Football path as clear as possible). After one half of play, Ohio State is 30 minutes away from extending their winning streak over the Wolverines to eight in a row. Ohio State leads Michigan 28-16 at halftime.
Michigan opened the game with a touchdown drive, pinning Ohio State in its largest deficit of the season (6-0), but a missed extra point by Quinn Nordin allowed Ohio State to take the lead on the ensuing possession. Ohio State has since held the upper hand in the game.
J.K. Dobbins moved up the Ohio State all-time rushing list in the first quarter by slipping past Ezekiel Elliott (3,961 yards) for second all-time in Buckeyes history. Dobbins reached halftime with 4,005 career yards. Only two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin has more all-time rushing yards in Ohio State history than Dobbins, and it will remain that way with Dobbins still 1,500 yards behind Griffin’s 5,589 career yards.
Since Michigan had trouble slowing Dobbins down, perhaps that is why they felt the need to try untying and removing his show at the end of a play (which was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct by the Big Ten officials)…
Dobbins would end up finishing that drive with a short touchdown run to give Ohio State a 21-13 lead on the Wolverines. Ohio State capitalized on a pair of Michigan miscues later in the second quarter. After recovering a Shea Patterson fumble in the red zone, the Buckeyes were forced to punt the ball back to the Wolverines. But an offside penalty on the special teams by Michigan gave the Buckeyes a free first down. Justin Fields immediately went deep t Garrett Wilson for a gain of 47 yards to the Michigan five-yard line, and Dobbins picked up his second touchdown of the game on the next play for a 28-13 lead.
Michigan has certainly found ways to move the football on Ohio State and they have done a terrific job of taking Chase Young out of the game (zero tackles) on the Ohio State defensive line, but mistakes (missed PAT, fumble in red zone, bad penalties, dropped touchdown in the end zone late in the first half by Donovan Peoples-Jones) are just continuing to haunt them. We’ll see if it really comes back to bite them in the second half.