Wow. From the biggest brawl in recent memory (resulting in three ejections) to the biggest gamble that I can remember, Ohio State survives a huge scare in the Big House and wins 42-41.
Ohio State had all the advantages going into this game — talent, recent success, superior coaching, and better looking fans. All that gets thrown out the window in a rivalry game (As Oregon will tell you). Ohio State and Michigan exchanged body blows and upper cuts for the better part of four quarters. Ohio State looked like it would pull away, up 14 and driving when Carlos Hyde had the ball stripped during a second effort push and gave Michigan a short field and momentum.
Ultimately, Ohio State would go up 42-35 with little time left on the clock. Michigan then drove down and scored with 30 or so seconds left on the clock. In a decision that will go down as gutsy or stupid depending on who you ask, Brady Hoke decided to go for it all and go for two instead of kick the extra point and go to overtime. Whether that shows confidence in your offense or a lack of confidence in your defense (Ohio State was gaining yards in chunkfuls), I don’t know.
I also don’t know how I would have felt if the shoe was on the other foot. Michigan had nothing to lose (besides the game). They weren’t playing for any post-season considerations. Their lot had been cast. This was a go-for-broke moment. Had Urban done it in similar situation, with the same results, I don’t know if I would have been ok with it. Would you? (I almost hate to mention it, but if this was a Cooper team, they get that two point conversion, don’t they?)
Ulitmately, Gardner tried to squeeze a pass into double coverage. Michigan came out in a stack WR formation and Ohio State had four defensive backs in the area. That would have been a hard throw to make no matter who he threw it too, but the ball was almost intercepted and the game was over.
The game was probably close enough to give Michigan confidence in their coaching decisions and give the team confidence going forward. They went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams and almost knocked out the champ.