Ohio State vs. Michigan: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Buckeyes

David Fitzgerald IICorrespondent INovember 30, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26:  Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets in for a second quarter touchdown in front of Desmond Morgan #44 of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Final Score: Ohio State 42, Michigan 41

Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) won a classic rivalry game against Michigan (7-5, 3-5) 42-41 on Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes maintain a chance at a national championship by spoiling an attempted two-point conversion from Michigan with 30 seconds to go.

What a game!

Check out our grades of the Buckeyes' performance below. 

For the full box score, check out NCAA.com.


Ohio State Buckeyes Game Grades vs. Michigan
Positional Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseD+D
Run OffenseAA
Pass DefenseFF
Run DefenseB-C
Special TeamsCC
November 30, 2013

Game Analysis for the Ohio State Buckeyes

Pass Offense: Although Braxton Miller made a couple of big plays in the first half, the Buckeyes went away from the pass in the second half and only netted 133 yards. The conservative plan worked, but the pass offense will need to show up next week.

Run Offense: Ohio State won this game on the backs of Carlos Hyde and Miller. Except for one lost fumble, the running game ran wild and dominated the pace with 393 yards to keep the defense off the field.

Pass Defense: Devin Gardner had a career day passing against the Buckeyes defense, which looked like a leaky ship once again. Some pass rush worked at times, which kept the game from getting out of control in Michigan’s favor.

Run Defense: Ohio State gave up some easy rushes to Gardner and the dynamic duo of De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green, especially late. The line did not make Michigan one-dimensional like most weeks.

Special Teams: Ohio State did not generate any big plays on special teams, but no big plays were surrendered either. A middling passing grade, even with a good effort from punter Cameron Johnston.

Coaching: Ohio State’s defensive coaches made some adjustments at halftime but were outflanked on the fly by Michigan’s coaches. Simply not good enough, plus the fight shows lack of discipline.

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 30: Tight end Jeff Heuerman #86 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the Michigan Wolverines during a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Sham
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


1st-Half Analysis for the Ohio State Buckeyes

Pass Offense: Other than one beautiful touchdown pass to Devin Smith for 53 yards, Braxton Miller could not find open receivers or deliver clean balls to them. Miller is going to have to hit his open receivers more to bring OSU back in this game.

Run Offense: The one thing that Ohio State did very well in the first half was run, as Carlos Hyde and Miller both found a ton of running room. Another 200-plus yards in the second half could wear down Michigan enough.

Pass Defense: Insert dumpster fire here, as Michigan feasted on Ohio State’s inability to generate pressure on Devin Gardner until late in the half. Gardner is picking apart Ohio State, especially on screen plays and boundary throws.

Run Defense: The Wolverines found some big holes and some running room against a Buckeye defense caught off guard by an effective passing attack. Still, sure tackles by the linebackers held Michigan to 65 yards rushing.

Special Teams: The Buckeyes were bailed out on a long Michigan punt return by a holding penalty. However, Cameron Johnston was great in the punt game, which helped field position.

Coaching: Just like the Northwestern game, this game will test halftime adjustments for Urban Meyer’s coaches. The Buckeyes losing their cool in a fight is a bad sign for mental preparedness.