Unconventional Schedule, Improbable Upset

We thought the biggest story to come out of the Michigan @ Ohio State game this opening college football weekend would be how the Taylor Swift concert tour, scheduled to arrive in Columbus in late November (bring a coat!), would forever change the landscape of college football…at least for this season.

For the first time in their storied history, and instead of their annual rivalry weekend matchup over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes kicked off the football season for 2016.

And the game did not disappoint.

Ohio State, coming into the game as a 14-point favorite and ranked 10th in the nation, found itself leading 10-3 with under a minute to go in the first half. Michigan, unranked, was marching the ball to try and get a score before halftime and lined up for a short field goal looking to narrow OSU’s 10-3 lead. Instead, OSU blocked the field goal attempt and Jeffrey Watson returned the ball 98 yards for a score.

OSU headed into halftime up 17-3, and folks taking ‘the over’ were licking their chops.

Ohio State eventually went up 20-3 on a third quarter field goal by kicker Joseph Patterson.

But then the fourth quarter happened.

Michigan quarterback Randolph Murphy hit wide receiver Jorge Haskins for a 59-yard score to bring the Wolverines backĀ  to a 10-point deficit, 20-10.

On the ensuing drive, OSU quarterback Jacob Hardy threw an interception which was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by Michigan CB Robert Smith (not The Cure singer) to bring the Wolverines to within three, 20-17.

After an OSU field goal, the Wolverines struck again for their third touchdown of the fourth quarter, as Murphy hit on another 50+ yard touchdown pass, this time to wide receiver Michael Thomas.

OSU had a couple of last-ditch-effort drives to try and recapture the lead, but two turnover-on-downs later, the Wolverines found themselves leaving Columbus with their first win there since 2000.

Next week, the Wolverines continue their trend of facing Ohio schools, this time hosting the Ohio Bobcats from the Mid-American Conference. The Wolverines are 12-point favorites.

Ohio State, now ranked 15th, travels to Toledo where they too are a 12-point favorite.

Mike Lowe


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