Ohio State throttles Michigan in regular-season finale
Final: No. 8 Ohio State 42, No. 10 Michigan 13
Key play: Jalin Marshall scores TD on opening drive of third quarter
J.T. Barrett didn’t have to make many throws on Saturday. But perhaps his biggest was in the beginning of the second half. He threw a jump ball to Marshall, who doesn’t typically get those kind of looks, and Jeremy Clark had nearly perfect coverage. But Marshall went up and caught the ball at its highest point to give Ohio State an 11-point lead early in the second half. It was a huge play to prevent Michigan from stealing the momentum back out of the break.
Telling stat: Ezekiel Elliott eclipses Michigan State carry total 33 minutes in
You knew that the offense was going to run through No. 15 after the way last week played out. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe even joked with Urban Meyer in a pregame interview that Elliott’s career high in carries was 36. Well, Meyer fed Elliott and he delivered behind a much better looking offensive line. The Buckeye tailback recorded his 21st career 100-yard game, which passed Eddie George for second all-time. He had that mark on the Buckeyes’ first drive of the second half. By game’s end, he had 30 carries for 214 yards and two scores. This was exactly the day that Elliott wanted and needed to have. Would he have been slowed down with Ryan Glasgow on the field? Maybe. But there was no doubt that Elliott answered the call after he put a ton of pressure on himself.
-Jabrill Peppers lines up at RB, WR, QB, SS, FB, nickel, PR in FIRST QUARTER
There was speculation that we were going to see all of Peppers’ talents against the Buckeyes. Well, we did. Even though Peppers didn’t have the Desmond Howard/Charles Woodson-like game that Michigan fans were probably hoping for, it was still a performance that will help is Paul Hornung Award candidacy. Michigan fans got a glimpse of what Peppers is capable of. You might not see him attempt any more passes, but it was still incredible that Harbaugh put so much on his plate in the first quarter. He did his best to get Peppers into the flow of his first Ohio State game. Unfortunately for Michigan, he couldn’t bust loose with the explosive spark it needed early.
-Joey Bosa has his signature game
If you were waiting for that freakish game from the Buckeye defensive end, you certainly weren’t disappointed on Saturday. The future top-five pick delivered a monstrous hit on former teammate Jake Rudock that ended his day. Then when Wilton Speight came in, Bosa picked him off and nearly returned it for a touchdown. Michigan did everything in its power to double up on Bosa when it could. But the sign of a great player is one who can take over a game in an instant, which is exactly what Bosa did. There will be plenty of plays from Saturday on Bosa’s draft tape.
What it means: Michigan hasn’t narrowed the gap…yet
The spread for this game was even at certain points during the week, and there wasn’t much debate about it. But Ohio State finally played up to its talent level, which you saw was still better than Michigan’s. Jim Harbaugh got a ton out of a team that won five games last year. Against OSU, we saw that there’s still a difference between these two programs. Harbaugh doesn’t have his guys in there yet. There was a hope that this game would be the first epic battle in this new Harbaugh/Urban Meyer rivalry, but it was too early for that. It might take a year or two until this rivalry reaches the level it was at in 2006. But in 2015, it was all OSU.