The sheer magnitude, excitement, and dread of this game as it quickly approaches. The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes and the #3 Michigan Wolverines will have just their second Top-3 matchup in the series between the two teams. This will be another epic clash between the rivals. There is a lot riding on for both teams. Both Ohio State and Michigan need a win to stay in the College Football talks. Ohio State needs a win and a Penn State loss to represent the Big Ten East for the Conference Championship game. Michigan needs a win to be the East’s representative for that same game. This game, The Game is pretty much an elimination game. The winner of this contest will hopefully keep their playoff hopes alive. The loser, will be eliminated from the equation. This will be as intense as it can be and the entire fanbase and sports world will keep their eyes on this game.
This game started with both teams eagerly waiting to see what the other would do. Ohio State sent the defense out after they deferred and they forced a punt on their first time on the field. Ohio State, on their first possession, moved the ball quickly against the Wolverines defense. They moved well into field goal range, but the pressure was too much for Durbin as he pulled it wide left. On Michigan’s third possession, they put up the first points on the scoreboard. Three punts later, the Buckeyes pinned the Wolverines at the Michigan 6-yard line and Malik Hooker snatched his 6th interception of the season for a 16-yard pick six. The Wolverines were unfazed as they took the ball into the Buckeye red zone and punched in a touchdown at the 1-yard line, retaking the lead. As the half ended, the Buckeyes trail 10-7. The Jekyll and Hyde Offense is scaring me, hopefully, the Buckeyes can gather themselves for a battle because so far, the defense looks good, it’s just the questions of the offense that overshadow their achievements. I will keep calm and keep the faith, and the Buckeye Captains will ensure that they are ready in the second half.
What a bit of karma. Buckeye fans always taunt Jabrill Peppers about not having any interceptions. Guess what? He got his first, and against the Buckeyes. Granted it was on a tipped pass, but he got it. The Wolverines took it to the Buckeye 1-yard line and the Buckeyes Defense recovered a critical turnover that could’ve put this game out of reach. Davon Hamilton saved the Buckeyes, but unfortunately, Meyer gambled on the fake punt and it backfired. The block wasn’t there and Johnston was stopped short of the line to gain. On the ensuing drive, Hill scored his second touchdown of the game extending the lead to 17-7. Another couple of punts later, the Buckeyes get their third turnover of the game, gathering their third turnover to yet again, swing the momentum. A couple Michigan penalties later, the Buckeyes are deep into enemy territory, they plug it into the endzone. Mike Weber, a Detroit native, brought the Buckeyes climb back into the game on a 1-yard Running Back dive. Michigan still leads 17-14. After forcing another Wolverine punt, the Buckeyes got the ball back on their 16-yard line. J.T. Barrett will attempt to gain some momentum after the defensive stop. Let’s hope the playcalling can move the ball. The momentum was short-lived as the Slobs have allowed 5 total sacks so far with 12:03 left to play.
The Rushmen Package along with this stout Ohio State Defense is keeping it close. Nick Bosa, the younger brother of Joey Bosa, made his first sack in this rivalry. Ohio State forces another timely punt and the ball is back in the hands of J.T. Barrett. After a dropped pass in the numbers to Parris Campbell, Barrett used his legs as he saw an opening in the middle and gained 41-yards to put the Buckeyes in scoring position to either take the lead or at least tie the game. The drive ended on another missed field goal by Tyler Durbin, who has missed his first two field goals, during this game. The defense needs to make another stand to preserve some time for J.T. Barrett to orchestrate another offensive drive. The theme of another forced punt has returned for more face time and Barrett comes out to get another drive going inside of their own 20-yard line. They’ve had many chances to take the lead, and if Durbin made those kicks, the Buckeyes would be enjoying a 3-point lead, but the pressure of the game has obviously gotten to him. Hopefully, he has the opportunity to redeem himself. With a couple of seconds left on the clock, Durbin got his chance, his last shot for redemption. With the Buckeyes trailing by a field goal, Durbin lines up for another attempt, and he kicks it through the uprights to tie the contest.
Overtime, overtime. As the overtime quarter begins, my heart is racing, my blood pressure is off the charts. I am sure the rest of Buckeye Nation is in the same boat. The Wolverines won the toss and chose to play defense to begin the extra period. To start the overtime, Samuel takes the option play inside the 1-yard line. Shortly after, J.T. Barrett scores on a QB draw. The quick strike mentality strikes again. Now, we will depend on the Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain to seal the deal against our most bitter rivals. The crowd is roaring and the place is rocking. Let’s see what happens. The Wolverines respond accordingly as they tacked on a field goal. The Wolverines were on the verge of securing a win, but J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel came up huge for the Buckeyes. Barrett took a loss during the first two plays, then Samuel pulled off some crazy run that ended a yard short. J.T. Barrett was nearly stopped on a key 4th and 1, but his momentum brought him over the marker for a key first down. The next play, Samuel took it for 15-yards on a mini option play for the game-winning touchdown to secure a 30-27 win against their most bitter rivals. Raekwon McMillan needed to play today and he ended the game with 16 tackles. The Slobs played poorly as they allowed 8 sacks in the game. Improvements will be made and now it’s just a matter of seeing what happens at Happy Valley. Enjoy the win and hopefully, the staff gets more good news in the recruiting game. Go Bucks!!! And for what it’s worth, I was fairly close as I predicted a 24-21 score. I was a little off, but a win, especially against this team is worth the stress.