Another year, another group of players, and another reason this time was different. But yet again, Michigan?s season has ? for all intents and purposes ? met its demise at Ohio Stadium in a 62-39 demolition at the hands of Ohio State.
Despite a tumultuous first half, the Wolverines went into half time flowing with momentum. The Buckeyes led 21-6 with 50 seconds remaining in the half but the game appeared to turn on its head when Michigan scored two touchdowns sandwiched around a fumble recovery in a seven second span to cut the deficit to two.
That was as close as the Wolverines would get for the remainder of the afternoon.
They got two goal line stops on Ohio State?s next three drives to hold the deficit at one possession and maintain hope going into their second offensive possession after halftime. If the final score somehow didn?t spoil it, any glimmers of hope quickly vanished.
That drive began with sophomore defensive back Ambry Thomas taking the kickoff out of bounds inside the Michigan 10 instead of letting it bounce out and ended with the Buckeyes up 14. In between the two, senior tight end Zach Gentry dropped a potential third down conversion inside Ohio State territory, setting up the Wolverines? fifth punt of the day.
Only they never got the punt off, as Chris Olave blasted into the backfield to block junior Will Hart?s attempt. Sevyn Banks snatched the ball out of midair at the 33-yard line and walked into the end zone untouched with the Horseshoe rocking and Michigan stunned into silence.
The Wolverines? offense came back out needing a score to stay alive but, one play after another Gentry drop, Patterson lofted a pass into defensive back Jordan Fuller?s arms for an interception. Two plays later, the Buckeyes led by 22.
Michigan started the game promisingly, with two drives inside the Buckeyes? 25-yard line but, just like last weekend against Indiana, couldn?t finish its drives with touchdowns. Instead, both stalled out deep in Ohio State territory, resulting in back-to-back field goals.
Other than the seven second stretch at the end of the first half, that was the last time the Wolverines looked good all day. The Buckeyes quickly rattled off two touchdowns to seemingly dash Michigan?s hopes before that stretch temporarily revived them. After Ohio State?s second half onslaught, there would be no repeat of that mirage.
Instead, the Buckeyes piled on until the clock wouldn?t let them, scoring touchdowns on their last five drives, as the Wolverines looked on hopelessly.
And just like in 2016 ? and countless times before that ? a year that carried so much promise through 11 games has been discarded to the pile of seasons that came undone in Columbus.