COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a battle of Top 5 programs, No. 3 Michigan (12-0, 9-0) scored a pair of second-half touchdowns to take a 31-20 lead early in the fourth quarter and went on to defeat No. 2 Ohio State (11-1, 8-1) 45-23 Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Emeka Egbuka led the Ohio State receiving corps with nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Tommy Eichenberg led the Ohio State defense with seven tackles and five solos.
The Ohio State offense was on display first after Michigan won the pregame coin toss and deferred to the second half.
The Buckeyes, starting from their 19 and heading toward the South Stands in Ohio Stadium, did not disappoint.
Stroud completed 5-of-6 passes the last being a 4-yard scoring connection with Egbuka over the middle to give the Buckeyes the early 7-0 lead. Marvin Harrison Jr. had the big play of the drive, a 19-yard catch down the left side. Xavier Johnson added an 18-yard rush over the right edge.
Trayanum rushed four times for 23 yards on the drive that covered 81 yards on 12 plays while taking 4:50 off the first-quarter clock.
Michigan, on their first possession, converted on a pair of third downs, driving to the OSU 24 before J.J. McCarthy was called for intentional grounding. After a pair of incompletions from the OSU 34, Michigan called timeout on another third-down situation and 20 yards from the first down marker.
After a 3-yard gain, the Wolverines’ Jake Moody made a 49-yard field goal to make it 7-3 Buckeyes after a 10-play, 44-yard Wolverine drive.
Johnson put the Buckeyes on their 28 after a 22-yard return on the ensuing kickoff.
Stroud and Egbuka hooked up for a 17-yard gain and had an additional 15 yards added after a Michigan facemask penalty on Ohio State’s first play from scrimmage on their second possession of the game.
The Buckeyes then methodically moved the ball to the Michigan 14 before Noah Ruggles made a 32-yard field goal to put the Buckeyes back up by a touchdown, 10-3.
The drive covered 58-yards on 10 plays.
The quarter ended with Michigan in possession at its 27.
After an incompletion on the first play of the quarter, the Wolverines punted, a 40-yarder to the Ohio State 30.
The Buckeyes drove to the Michigan 34 but turned the ball over on downs after an incompletion on fourth-and-2.
The Wolverines took over but lost a yard before punting again. The Buckeyes regained possession at their 22 after a 45 Brad Robbins punt and a fair catch by Egbuka.
Stroud moved the Buckeyes to the OSU 38 but Ohio State punted it back to the Wolverines.
A Jesse Mirco 57-yard punt and touchback gave Michigan the ball at the UM30 after a 10-yard Ohio State holding penalty was tacked on to the touchback spot.
Michigan lost a yard on its first two plays before a 69-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Cornelius Johnson tied the game at 10-all with 7:26 to go in the half.
Stroud and the Buckeyes moved the ball 42 yards on a rush of 24 yards by Trayanum and an 18-yard Harrison Jr. reception to the Michigan 28. After a Trayanum 4-yard rush and a 5-yard OSU false start penalty followed by an incompletion, the Wolverines called timeout with the Buckeyes facing third-and-11 at the UM29.
Ohio State was unable to convert and brought on Ruggles for a 47-yard field goal attempt that split the uprights to give Ohio State a 13-10 lead with 5:36 to go.
Michigan took the lead on its first play from scrimmage after a touchback gave the Wolverines the ball at the UM25.
McCarthy dropped back and threw long down the middle and found Cornelius Johnson for a 75-yard touchdown and a 17-13 lead.
Stroud and the Buckeyes got right back on top after driving 79 yards on four plays to take a 20-17 lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to Harrison Jr. Egbuka and Julian Fleming each had receptions of 15 yards around a 7-yard Trayanum rush during the drive.
The Ohio State defense held the Wolverines without a first down on their next possession, forcing a Michigan punt.
The Buckeyes got the ball back after a 46-yards punt and Egbuka fair catch at the OSU20.
Michigan’s defense also held, giving the ball back to its offensive after a 47-yard Mirco punt and 6-yard UM return to the Wolverine 33.
The Wolverines were unable to mount a drive, hindered by a pair of false start penalties, and punted it back to Ohio State.
The Buckeyes took over at the OSU 26 and took a knee to end the half.
Michigan started the second half with the ball and regained the lead on a 45-yard touchdown from McCarthy to Coleston Loveland down the right sideline to give the Wolverines a 24-20 lead.
The drive covered 75 yards on seven plays and included a drive-extending 2-yard rush on fourth-and-1 from the UM 34. McCarthy added a 19-yard rush to set up the go-ahead touchdown pass with 11:56 showing on the third-quarter clock.
Ohio State drove to their 49 on their first possession of the second half but was forced to punt. Mirco delivered a 38-yard effort that was fair caught at the UM13.
The Wolverines moved to its 15 before returning the ball to the Buckeyes on a 33-yard punt to the UM48.
Ohio State was penalized for a holding and unsportsmanlike conduct on its first play to start its next possession to move the ball to the OSU27. After moving to the Michigan 43, the Buckeyes lined up to punt but were penalized for an illegal snap.
Mirco then delivered a 48-yard punt from the UM48 for a touchback.
The Wolverines started its next possession from their 20 and drove to the Ohio State 13 before the quarter ended after Michigan made a first down on a 3-yard rush.
After a pass interference penalty called on the Buckeyes in the endzone, Michigan scored on a 3-yard McCarthy rush over the left side to give the Wolverines a 31-20 lead with 13:10 left in the game. The drive covered 80 yards on 15 plays over 7:51.
Ohio State was forced to punt on its next possession. Mirco delivered a 40-yard effort that was fair caught by Michigan at the UM 28. The Buckeyes were called for unsportsmanlike conduct, moving the Wolverines to the UM43.
After a pass interference penalty against the Buckeyes, the ball was moved to the OSU 42. The Ohio State defense held and Michigan attempted a 57-yard field goal that missed left.
The Buckeyes took possession at their 39 with 9:21 left to play.
After a 44-yard toss from Stroud to Egbuka to the UM15, Trayanum rushed 6 yards to the UM9. After an incompletion, Ruggles made a 27-yard field goal to make it 31-23 Wolverines with 7:23 to play.
On Michigan’s next play from scrimmage, running back Donovan Edwards scored on a 75-yard rush over the right side to go up 38-23 with 7:11 left in the game.
Stroud guided the Buckeyes to the Michigan 16 before he was intercepted at the UM 8 by Taylor Upshaw with 4:19 to go.
The Wolverines then went up 45-23 when Edwards rushed over the right side for 85 yards for his second touchdown of the half.
Stroud was then intercepted on a pass over the middle on Ohio State’s next possession giving the ball to the Wolverines at the UM35 after an 8-yard return by Makari Paige with 1:48 left.
Michigan ran out the clock to end the game.