COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - "The Game" is getting awfully one-sided.
Jordan Hall broke the game open with an 85-yard kickoff return
and No. 8 Ohio State's defense stymied high-powered Michigan 37-7
on Saturday, stretching the Buckeyes' mastery in "The Game" to
seven straight wins.
The Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1) picked up two celebration penalties
after touchdowns but had a lot to celebrate: A share of a
record-tying sixth Big Ten title and, most likely, a Bowl
Championship Series bowl berth.
Terrelle Pryor had two TD passes and Dan "Boom" Herron
finished with 175 yards on 22 carries.
It was another stumble for Michigan (7-5, 3-5) under coach Rich
Rodriguez, now 0-3 against the Buckeyes and just 15-21 overall with
Herron ran 98 yards for a score that was disallowed and
shortened to an 89-yard gain because of a holding penalty as he
neared the end zone.
Michigan's sterling quarterback, Denard Robinson, was hampered
by an injured left (non-throwing) hand. He played little more than
a half, running for 105 yards on 18 attempts and completing 8 of 18
passes for 87 yards. He came into the game second nationally in
total offense at 343 yards a game.
The crowd serenaded the Buckeyes with "We Don't Give A Damn For
the Whole State of Michigan" throughout the final quarter, long
after the outcome had been decided.
It was the second-most lopsided Ohio State victory in the series
since 1968, eclipsed only by a 42-7 win the last time the game was
played in Columbus in 2008. Over those last two Buckeyes home
games, they've outscored Michigan 79-14.
Ohio State players, dressed up in bright scarlet helmets and
shoes for the game, were twice flagged for forming an "O" with
their gloved hands while celebrating after touchdowns. The crowd of
105,491 booed lustily after each penalty.
The rest of the afternoon was mostly cheers.
Ohio State's defense - with backup cornerback Travis Howard
intercepting one pass and recovering two fumbles - controlled a
Michigan offense that came in averaging 37 points and 515 yards per
game. The Wolverines ended up with 351 yards - less than 100 in the
Pryor completed 18 of 27 passes for 220 yards with one
interception and flipped scoring strikes of 7 yards to Dane
Sanzenbacher and 33 yards to DeVier Posey. Up 24-7 at the half,
most of the drama was drained from the game as coach Jim Tressel
improved to 9-1 against the Buckeyes' archrivals.
The Buckeyes extended their record for consecutive wins in the
107-game series. By locking up a share of the Big Ten title, Ohio
State matched the record of six set by the Woody Hayes' Buckeyes
teams of 1972-77.
Herron's lengthy run - he burst through a hole at his own 2 and
raced untouched the rest of the way - was aided by a hold committed
by Sanzenbacher as Herron was approaching the end zone. Even at 89
yards, his run tied the record in 88-year-old Ohio Stadium,
matching Gene Fekete's mark in 1942 against Pittsburgh.
Michigan had drawn to 10-7 on Michael Shaw's 1-yard plunge after
Robinson had led an 80-yard march down the field. But then Hall's
return turned the momentum.
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