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Video: Highlights | Head Coach Jim Tressel | Ohio State Players
Audio: Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 8 Ohio State defeated Michigan, 37-7, Saturday before 105,491 fans in the 107th edition of “The Game” to win a share of its sixth consecutive Big Ten Conference championship and in the process extend its winning streak over its rival to seven straight wins. The attendance was the seventh-largest in Ohio Stadium history and the fourth largest to witness an Ohio State/Michigan game.
“This was an important day for us,” head coach Jim Tressel, who improves to 9-1 vs. Michigan, said. “Representing the 1942 team was a lot of responsibility because not only were they champions, they were heroes. We also had to represent our seniors because they are first class and do things the way you are suppose to do them. They are unselfish and don’t care if they have the spotlight. They just want to help Ohio State. I’m so proud of these guys. Our guys fought all day long. I thought that kickoff return was a key factor after they scored the touchdown. Our kids prepared and played hard and they deserved everything they had coming to them.”
Jordan Hall’s 85-yard kickoff return and a 24-point second quarter sent the Buckeyes on their way after the two teams were scoreless through the first quarter. The win improved Ohio State’s record to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten while Michigan drops to 7-5 and 3-5.
Terrelle Pryor led the Ohio State offense by passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 18 of 27 passes, with wideouts DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher combining for eight receptions for 153 yards with each catching a touchdown pass.
Dan “Boom” Herron rushed for 175 yards, including an 89-yarder, and scored on a 32-yard touchdown run – the 11th consecutive game he has scored a touchdown – to give Ohio State a 31-7 lead early in the third quarter. Herron’s total sent the junior over the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. He has 1,068 yards on the season.
Hall’s return, the first by a Buckeye this year, came midway through the second quarter after Robinson had engineered an 80-yard scoring drive to cut into a 10-0 Ohio State lead. Big blocks on the return were delivered by Zach Boren and Nate Ebner. Hall made two dandy cuts to his right to avoid tackles.
The offense was slow to come for both teams, but leading 3-0 on a 33-yard Devin Barclay field goal, Ohio State took off after an 18-yard punt by Michigan set the Buckeyes up at the UM 35 early in the second quarter. The Buckeyes marched into the end zone in five plays with Pryor hitting Sanzenbacher with a seven-yard pass over the middle. Pryor scrambled out of trouble on third down, and just before going out of bounds, hit Taurian Washington for a 13-yard gain to extend the drive.
After Hall’s return and leading 17-7, Ohio State went 62 yards in six plays with Pryor finding Posey over the middle for a 33-yard catch, run and dive touchdown play. Barclay’s extra point made it 24-7.
One series after Herron’s third-quarter touchdown, Ohio State went up 34-7 on another Barclay field goal, this one from 36 yards. The score was set up after Herron burst 98 yards for a touchdown, but he was credited with an 89-yard rush after holding was called at the end of the run. The play tied Gene Fekete’s 89-yard run in the 1942 game vs. Pitt as the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history.
Another Barclay field goal from 23 yards increased the lead to 37-7 entering the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines had an opportunity to score their second touchdown of the game but was denied on fourth down when senior defensive back Jermale Hines broke up a Tate Forcier pass inside the Buckeyes’ 10-yard line with 8:15 left in the fourth.
Robinson rushed for 105 yards – 87 passing – which totaled 351 yards of offense on the day. Ohio State totaled 478 yards.