Grading Michigan Football’s historic win over Ohio State

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch /

Defense: A+

Yes, the Michigan defense allowed 458 yards of total offense but holding that Ohio State team to less than 30 points was a major achievement.

Michigan certainly had the best defense on the field, that was clear and the four sacks by the Wolverines — three from Aidan Hutchinson — were another major factor in the outcome. Ohio State didn’t get a single sack and barely any pressure.

Of course, Michigan didn’t need to throw, while the Wolverines forced C.J. Stroud to throw 49 times. He made some great throws and the Buckeye wideouts made some unreal plays.

But even without forcing a turnover, Michigan’s defense came up big. The first drive of the second half changed the game in my opinion. Josh Ross stuffed TreVeyon Henderson on a third-and-short to force a three-and-out. Then, after an offensive score, it was 21-13.

On the next Buckeye possession, Hutchinson sacked Stroud and forced a punt. Michigan scored again and pushed the lead to 15. Michigan got the ball back twice for its offense, in good field position. That, along with a pair of red-zone stops was enough for the defense to win the game.

Ohio State did score twice in the second half, but it took a number of third and fourth down conversions to make it happen. Michigan made it as hard as possible as evidenced by Ohio State’s 28 third and fourth-down attempts. Michigan had nine the entire game.

We have all said for years you aren’t going to completely stymie an elite offense. But you can do what Michigan football did on Saturday and with a championship offense of its own, it proved to be a winning formula.