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Michigan vs. Ohio State: Where Has This Michigan Team Been All Year?

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Devin Gardner #98 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Phil CallihanContributor INovember 30, 2013

The 110th meeting between Michigan and Ohio State was a classic game worthy of the greatest rivalry in sports. Michigan, who entered the game a double-digit underdog, threatened to spoil Ohio State’s perfect season, coming back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit before a failed two-point conversion ended its chances in the final minute.

Michigan lost 42-41 but put together its best game of the season against undefeated and No. 3-ranked Ohio State, leaving fans to wonder what could have been.

When November began, Michigan was competing for the Big Ten legends title, but it ends the season near the bottom of the division after losing three of four games, including losses to rivals Michigan State and Ohio State.

Nov 30, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess (87) celebrates after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s offense showed a resiliency that had been missing for most of the season. The offensive line, which had struggled all season, controlled Ohio State, rolling up 603 yards of total offense and 20 fourth-quarter points.

“We pushed Ohio State around,” said Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan. “We were more physical than them today.”

Despite the effort in this game, Michigan coach Brady Hoke conceded that his team has fallen short of its goals.

“The season was a failure,” said Hoke. “Our goal at Michigan is to win the Big Ten championship every year. We’ve won more than any other school and we can’t wait to win our next one.”

November has been both disappointing and baffling for the Wolverines. Michigan’s offense has been too inconsistent to compete against the top teams on the Big Ten.

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 30:  Head coach Brady Hoke of the Michigan Wolverines looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes during a game at Michigan Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Coach Brady Hoke will need to evaluate how his team could look so good against Ohio State but fail so completely versus Michigan State.

How can Michigan roll up 41 points versus Ohio State while sputtering against Iowa and Northwestern?

Michigan put together a great performance against Ohio State, but the game raises more questions than it answers.

Hoke needs to get evaluate the reasons for his team’s inconsistency or Michigan’s next Big Ten title will continue to elude him.

Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations in this article were obtained via Press Conference Source.

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