Ohio State seemed easy. This was not supposed to do it, but it was the case.
The Buckeyes traveled all of Michigan on their way to a 62-39 victory. They nearly lost 69 points on the Wolverines, but Urban Meyer may regret keeping the pedal down since Demetrius Knox was injured at the end of the season. Even in the absence of a final touchdown, the Ohio State's dazzling victory was the biggest number of points in the rivalry.
Of course, this week's stock report is heavy for the state of Ohio. Let's go in.
state of Ohio
The Buckeyes hosted their first full game of the season when he desperately needed it.
The Ohio State offensive has largely dominated Michigan's top-ranked defense at the line of scrimmage and at the back of the field. Dwayne Haskins controlled the game and moved the ball upwards at will. Michigan's defense had no answer. The Ohio State defense awarded 39 points, but got key saves to give the ball to the offensive, forcing the Wolverines to pay.
Some time, the Buckeyes will not dominate the rivalry. At some point, Michigan will put together a team that will compete with its main rival. But that moment has not arrived.
Here is an interesting statistic. Kansas have won three of their last 18 games against Texas. Michigan has won two of its last 18 games against Ohio State.
Many casual fans of the Ohio State had no idea that Chris Olave existed before Saturday. They do it now.
The young rookie has only seven caught in the regular season, but every time he touches the ball against Michigan, the Buckeyes score. He was the first player to reach the end zone with a 24-yard touchdown reception just four minutes into the match. Then, after the Wolverines scored two goals, he scored the second touchdown of the match with his second 24-yard catch that brought the lead to 14-6. Later, he got his hands on a punt, blocking the balloon in the air. Sevyn Banks caught him and ran to the end zone for the only touchdown of the match's special teams.
The evening of Olave 's release would probably not have happened on a bigger stage. He will not be among the most prominent players in the Big Ten championship and bowling competition, but he is prepared to make a major impact as a sophomore. Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon will graduate, and K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack are eligible to compete in the repechage. Olave is ready to enter the starting lineup next season, or at least to become an important part of the rotation.
All season, Malik Harrison was arguably the best linebacker of the Ohio State. Saturday, there was not much debate.
Harrison had seven tackles, two defeat tackles and a sack in Michigan's first game of training and allowed the Wolverines to win their first game of three. The hometown star who attended Walnut Ridge High School went from a sports maniac to a talented linebacker who discovered how to combine his physical tools with his constant development skills. When the state of Ohio needed Harrison's plays on Saturday, he made the floor.
The Ohio State-Oklahoma Debate
This one will be fierce. Ohio State and Oklahoma both have an angry fan base, and if both teams win their respective conference league matches this weekend, expect a heated debate and a group of fans not very happy when the selection committee will decide.
It will be less a conversation of people shouting: "My team deserves it more" and more people saying, "Your team does not deserve to participate." Oklahoma fans do not think that a team having a loss of 29 points against a team of six wins and several wins over a low margin compared to less talented teams deserves to be a part. The Ohio State fans do not think that a team with such a porous defense, no top-10 wins and a pair of 25 unconvincing victories should come in.
Meanwhile, Buckeye fans have become huge supporters of Texas, and Sooner fans are suddenly supporters of the Northwest.
Most people chose Michigan to win, many people went with Ohio State, few people chose the Buckeyes to kick out the Wolverines and no one predicted the Wolverines would allocate more points than ever before. But that's exactly what happened. And because of that, morale in Ann Arbor is as low as any previous point in Jim Harbaugh's Michigan term.
It was supposed to be the year. Harbaugh finally got his quarterback. Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary, Devin Bush and the rest of Michigan's defense have placed the unit at the forefront in the country. But the Wolverines were not up to the Buckeyes. Maybe (but history probably does not say) next year.
Michigan coaching staff
Bad look for Jim Harbaugh, Don Brown and Pep Hamilton. Bad look, indeed.
Harbaugh and Hamilton were unable to capitalize on a defense that allowed them to score 51 points in Maryland, to make the mediocre quarters look like Heisman's nominees and to seem lost for a good part of the season. They had no creativity in game calls and did not follow what their previous opponents had done so well. Instead, they ran the same typical Harbaugh offense, which the Buckeyes were ready to stop. On the other side of the balloon, as Eleven warriors Kyle Jones, Ryan Day, Kevin Wilson and Urban Meyer did what they wanted in defense of Don Brown.
State of Washington
Mike Leach goes down. Go down the pirate.
Washington was hoping to qualify for the playoffs if it got the help of two teams, but Chris Peterson's team in Washington made sure to stop that possibility. Then Jimmy Lake, the Huskies' defensive coordinator, let everyone know how easy it was to end Leach's offensive. Now, I am very much looking forward to attending the Leach-Lake match next year.