Posted on November 30, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The odds were against Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines heading into Saturday’s game against their big rival, Ohio State. But with the firepower the Buckeyes have on both sides of the ball, it was going to be tough for Michigan to pull off an upset.
Harbaugh’s Wolverines were going to have to play as close to perfect as possible to stand a chance—but they didn’t.
It looked like Michigan was going to put up a fight at first. The Wolverines took the opening kickoff right down the field (seven plays, 75-yards) for a touchdown. But they missed the extra point. Ohio State followed with a touchdown drive of their own to take the lead, 7-6.
At the end of the first, with Ohio State leading 14-13, it appeared like this was going to be an exciting, high-scoring game. As it turns out, it was just that. But the scoring slowed down dramatically following the first quarter for Michigan while Ohio State’s offense continued to roll.
A 14-3 second quarter put Ohio State up 28-16 at the half. While the Buckeyes held a commanding lead, it wouldn’t take much for Michigan to get back in the game. But with a fast start to the second half, Ohio State left no doubt as to how the game would go.
With touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half, the Buckeyes were able to extend their lead to 26-points, 42-16. When the game mercifully came to an end, Ohio State extended its winning streak against the Wolverines to eight with a 56-27 win.
“It feels great just to continue the legacy of this great Ohio State tradition,” Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young said after the game, via ESPN. “We’re just going to try to keep it moving and keep it rolling next week.”
For Harbaugh, it was his fifth loss to the Buckeyes. As a Michigan man, he knows how important wins against Ohio State are. He also knows how bad it looks to have not figured out to beat them, yet.
His angst and frustration were apparent during the post-game press conference. When he was asked about the gap between the two teams and whether it was talent, preparation, or coaching, Harbaugh had this to say:
Michigan is a program that places great importance in beating its rivals, especially Ohio State. There has already been hot seat talk for Harbaugh after the team’s slow start. Another loss to Ohio State along with all the mistakes the Wolverines made during the game has some questioning whether Harbaugh should keep his job.
The Wolverines will likely still get an invite to one of the better bowl games. But as for Ohio State, their spot in the College Football Playoffs is locked up. If they happen to lose to Wisconsin (they will be heavy favorites) in the Big Ten title game, the lowest they will fall (or should fall) is No. 4.