Well, it finally happened.
Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines finally beat the Ohio St. Buckeyes for the first time in a decade, 42-27.
To be honest, I didn't see this coming. I thought Michigan's offense had been good, but not explosive enough to keep up with Ryan Day's offense that put up 49 on Michigan St. in the first half last Saturday in Columbus.
It would take a flawless performance from everyone involved, and it happened.
The Big House Showed Up
Michigan Stadium is always "The Big House", but it's never a loud one. All of that seemed to change today. Usually when I walk through campus on my way to the stadium, it's pretty tame. I mean, even past Ohio St. games there hasn't been too much going on aside from the usual frat parties.
That wasn't the case today.
Today, there was an energy in the air that I hadn't seen since Columbus in 2018. There was animosity between both fan bases before the game! I'm not talking just college kids, I mean grown men and women screaming obscenities at each other.
Finally, both sides were ready for a fight.
Bend and Don't Break
The blueprint to Michigan's success was known by everyone all week. The defense was never going to shut them down, but they could slow them down. Their tandem of elite edge rushers, David Ojabo and Aiden Hutchinson could get home and rattle CJ Stroud. They just needed their secondary to keep the Buckeyes in front of them. If a touchdown was given up, they were going to have to make them take their time and chew up clock.
The Buckeyes are most dangerous when they hit you quickly for 3 scores and all of a sudden you look at the scoreboard and lose hope in getting back in the game.
You see, every previous Buckeyes team did that as well in this game. They were so dominant under Urban Meyer, that the home crowd was taken out of it by the 3rd quarter.
The defense was as advertised, but I did not expect to see Hassan Haskins run for 5 touchdowns.
Yea, they've had a great run game all season, but not this! Certainly didn't happen against Michigan St. But as it goes with Football, it's all about how your team matches up against your opponent.
Michigan ended the day with 297 rushing yards. The Buckeyes front was dominated by Michigan's offensive line all day. They just could not contain Haskins, Corum or Edwards.
Finally, I have to give credit to Cade McNamara for a near perfect game. He's gotten deserved criticism for the inability to push the ball down field, but he connected to Cornelius Johnson in the first half for a big gain that set up a touchdown and it hushed the critics, including me. He stepped up and delivered in the biggest moment of his career. Much respect to him.
Michigan will play in the Big Ten Championship for the first time during Harbaugh's tenure as head coach. It also proves to young recruits that you can play and win big games at Michigan.
Most importantly, the greatest rivalry in all of sports, is finally back.