Ohio State struggled, but it got past Michigan – again. What does it all mean for the College Football Playoff race?
Ohio State at Michigan
Final Score: Ohio State 31, Michigan 20
Prediction: Ohio State 30, Michigan 16
Line: Ohio State -11.5, o/u: 50.5
Ohio State won, but …
It wasn’t the type of performance that’s going to make the College Football Playoff committee feel like it has to take notice.
It was fine. It was an 11-point loss on the road against the archival, and that’s what the committee will inevitably care about, but it wasn’t the type of game on either side of the ball – with too many mistakes and missed opportunities – to assume that the Buckeyes have to be in if they beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten championship.
But for now, whatever. Ohio State beat Michigan again. Urban Meyer beat Jim Harbaugh again. It was another big loss for the Wolverines, another big win for the Buckeyes, and it’s another okay-not-elite year for the blue team under Harbaugh.
Dwayne Haskins did the job done. J.T. Barrett struggled, completing just 3-of-8 passes for 30 yards and a score, but running for 67 yards and a touchdown. He got knocked out of the game with an apparent knee injury, and with the game on the line, in stepped Dwayne Hoskins.
He came up with a few big throws to keep things moving, completed 6-of-7 passes for 94 yards, ran for 24 more, and the Buckeyes put the game away.
John O’Korn wasn’t able to get the job done. He missed too many open plays, couldn’t keep the chains moving in the second half, and struggled too much late, completing 17-of-32 passes for 195 yards and a score with a pick.
The running game came up with a few big runs, but finished with just 100 yards averaging under three yards per carry, mostly because the OSU pass rush knocked down the overall total.
What Does It All Mean For The College Football Playoff Race?
Ohio State needs to rip apart Wisconsin, and then it’s going to need a whole lot of help.
It’s probably not going to happen with way to much traffic to get through – the Georgia win over Georgia Tech hurt the cause, and TCU beating Baylor didn’t help, either.
There’s probably a very, very hard ceiling for the Buckeyes to try getting through. It’s all going to have to start with a blowout in the Big Ten Championship, and then go from there.