ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan outplayed Ohio State in almost every aspect of The Game on Saturday, a 42-27 Wolverines victory that snapped Ohio State’s eight-game winning streak in the series.
It also stopped the Buckeyes’ string of four consecutive Big Ten championships. The fifth-ranked Wolverines (11-1, 8-1) will play for their first conference title since 2004 next week while No. 2 Ohio State (10-2, 8-1) awaits word of a bowl invitation.
Michigan outgained Ohio State 487-458 and outrushed the Buckeyes 297-64 when taking into account sack yardage.
The pass rush was also tilted heavily in the favor of the Wolverines, who had four sacks and pressured C.J. Stroud on many other plays.
“I put my heart and soul into this game — we all do — and to come up short is not a good feeling,” said Stroud, who completed 34 of 49 passes for 394 yards and two touchdowns.
“Their defensive ends did a good job of rushing up field and getting pressure. I tried to step up in the pocket and help my tackles out and get the ball out on time, but some things just don’t work out. I’m still proud of my O line for battling.”
It all added up to a dominant Michigan win.
“When you work this game 365 days out of the year and you come up short, it’s a failure,” said Ryan Day, who lost to a Big Ten opponent for the first time as head coach of the Buckeyes. “It hurts. It hurts a lot. We didn’t run the ball very well on offense and it hurts with penalties and we didn’t stop the run on the other side of the ball.”
Hassan Haskins ran for 169 yards and scored five touchdowns, more than any player previously in the Michigan-Ohio State game, while Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara threw only 19 passes but completed 13 for 159 yards.
Michigan took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards for a touchdown. On the 10th play, A.J. Henning took the handoff on a statue of liberty play and outran the Ohio State defense to the goal line from 14 yards out to cap it.
The Wolverines got four first downs, converted three third downs and averaged eight yards per play on their opening drive, all harbingers of things to come.
“You feel like they controlled the game, but that’s what happens,” Day said. “They just stayed on schedule the whole time. I’m sure that was the recipe they had to win the game. We weren’t able to stop that, and that’s really disappointing, especially when you know they were going to do it. So we’ll have to take a hard look and figure out why that was.”
After falling behind 10-7, the Buckeyes went on top early in the second quarter when Stroud tossed a fade to Garrett Wilson, who went up and made an incredible catch falling backwards into the corner of the end zone despite tight coverage.
The 25-yard touchdown gave Ohio State a 10-7 advantage with 9:12 left before halftime.
Michigan responded with an 82-yard touchdown drive keyed by a fourth-and-1 conversion by Haskins and a 37-yard pass from McNamara to Cornelius Johnson, who got behind Ohio State’s Denzel Burke inside the 5.
The Buckeyes made a push to regain the lead on their last possession of the first half, but they had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Ruggles after failing to convert a third down inside the 20.
That made it 14-13 Michigan as the teams headed into the locker room.
The second half got off to an inauspicious start for Ohio State as the Buckeyes went three-and-out on their first drive then gave up a three-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. Haskins scored from 13 yards out after a 55-yard run by Blake Corum.
The Buckeyes got two first downs on their next possession before having to punt, then Michigan went to the air.
The Wolverines used passes for 31 and 34 yards to get to the red zone, then Haskins went around end for another touchdown to push its lead to 28-13.
The Buckeyes responded with a 17-play, 82-yard touchdown drive Henderson capped with a 1-yard run with 14:05 left, but they couldn’t get closer than eight.
The teams traded touchdowns twice in the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes turned the ball over on downs with 58 seconds left, and Michigan ran out the clock.
Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson had three sacks and finished the game with a Michigan single-season record 13 this year.
“These guys have been disrespecting us, stepping on our jerseys, talking about hanging 100 on us, doing all the rah-rah, doing all the talk,” he said after improving to 1-3 against the Buckeyes in his career. “We were about it today.”
Michigan improved to 59-52-6 in the series but won The Game for just the third time since 2001.