Michigan has defeated Ohio State for the third straight season. The No. 3 Wolverines on Saturday afternoon took down the No. 2 Buckeyes 30-24 in Michigan Stadium to clinch the Big Ten East, advance to the 2023 Big Ten Championship Game and keep themselves alive in the College Football Playoff conversation.
It was another classic meeting between the two long-time rivals that brought The Game down to a couple critical moments late in the contest. Ultimately, Michigan prevailed in what might be the most consequential edition of the rivalry showdown we will see for quite some time given the Big Ten will no longer operate in a divisional format beginning in 2024.
After Michigan kicked a field goal to extend its lead to 30-24 with 1:05 remaining, Ohio State began a drive with no timeouts left needing a touchdown to win. Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord completed two deep passes to wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming to get within striking distance only for the Wolverines defense to step up.
Michigan pressured McCord into a bad throw over the middle that was picked off by Rod Moore. It was a fitting end to the game since it was a McCord interception in the first quarter that broke the scoreless deadlock. That first interception, nabbed by Will Johnson, gave the Wolverines a first-and-goal that ultimately resulted in a 7-0 lead. Michigan never trailed after that, though the Buckeyes did tie the game 17-17 in the third quarter.
Michigan will face No. 17 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game next week.
- McCord's two back-breaking picks -- in the biggest game of his career -- were ultimately the difference. He finished 18 of 30 with 71 yards and two touchdowns otherwise.
- The Wolverines offense did plenty on its own to win the game. Running back Blake Corum finished with 88 yards rushing and two touchdowns to become Michigan's single-season record holder with 22 TDs on the ground on the season. He stands two short of tying Anthony Thomas' career mark of 55 rushing TDs for the Wolverines, but with two games to play, there's a good chance he can set the record.
- Harrison caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown to lead the Buckeyes offense. it was his eighth game with 100+ yards this season and 10th with at least one score. His 15 games with 100+ yards receiving is an Ohio State career record.
- Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy finished with 148 yards passing and a 22-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson in the second quarter, McCarthy's first since Oct. 21. He had not thrown a touchdown in the Wolverines' last three games.
- There were only two sacks and three tackles for loss in this game. That's a bit of a surprise considering how great both defenses have been this season.
- Fourth downs were crucial. Michigan was 3 of 3, while Ohio State never attempted a conversion despite facing a couple chances where it would have made sense to try.
- The last time Michigan won three straight games against Ohio State was from 1995-97. The Wolverines went on to win the national championship after that 1997 season. Will history repeat itself?
- Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh served out the end of his three-game Big Ten suspension Saturday. Acting head coach Sherrone Moore improved to 4-0 in the big chair this season leading UM to its two biggest wins over Penn State and Ohio State. Ohio State coach Ryan Day fell to 1-3 against Michigan, 1-2 to Harbaugh and 0-1 to Moore.
Keep on reading for a full set of takeaways from The Game.