Michigan’s 42-41 loss Saturday to Ohio State could have been much, much worse.
In fact, the No. 3-ranked Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0) waltzed into The Big House as 14-point favorites over the host Wolverines (7-5, 3-5), who’ve notched a series win just thrice since 2000.
However, "Team 134" found a way to keep Urban Meyer’s juggernauts at arm’s length. Tied 21-21 at the half, Ohio State zoomed out to a 35-21 lead in the third quarter before Michigan’s 20-point assault in the fourth quarter.
Carlos Hyde, according to ABC’s broadcast, had the best day any Buckeyes running back’s ever had against Michigan, rushing 27 times for 226 yards and a touchdown. Defending the ground game was Michigan’s weakness, evidenced by quarterback Braxton Miller’s three touchdowns and 153 yards.
Michigan’s Devin Gardner played up to the level most thought he was capable of reaching. With 238 passing yards in the first half, the redshirt junior appeared closer to the five-game phenom of 2012 than the current version of himself, which has mightily struggled for weeks.
Gutsy play calls were part of the territory for coach Brady Hoke, who suffered the second home loss of his three-year tenure as head coach in Ann Arbor.
This slideshow will examine 10 key lessons learned from the Big Ten showdown.