7 takeaways from Ohio State’s epic win over Michigan

Ohio State’s 30-27 overtime win over Michigan on Saturday was one for the ages no matter what was riding on it.

That it came with the Buckeyes ranked No. 2, the Wolverines No. 3 and had major implications on the Big Ten standings and the College Football Playoff made it an even more amazing scene at Ohio Stadium. Here are seven things to know about the game:

1. Curtis Samuel scored the winning TD in the second overtime.

The Ohio State junior slot receiver/running back sliced through the Michigan defense at the 15-yard line and raced to the end zone to give the Buckeyes a walk-off win.

“We motioned the tight end across, two backs in the backfield,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said, describing the play. “We expected them to be in their ‘bear’ defense and pressure us and our left tackle, Jamarco (Jones), did a nice job sealing it. (Our) tailback Mike Weber led (blocking), Curtis scored, and we won.”

2. OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett shook off a rough start.

He was 15-for-32 passing for 124 yards with an interception. Despite being sacked eight times, Barrett ran for 125 yards, including the first touchdown in overtime.

“First half we had good things called. We just weren’t executing it, whether it was myself, O-line, receivers, it was everybody played their part in that,” Barrett said.

“The second half, (our) defense was doing their job. We’ve gotta do ours. So let’s go out there and do our part. We were doing everything we prepared for. So it was just really going out and executing that. And right now, been a part of some crazy football games here. That one’s number one.”

3. Barrett’s last carry was a crucial conversion on fourth-and-1.

He appeared headed for the line to gain before running into the backside of one of his blockers and going down at the 15-yard line. The play was ruled a first down on the field and withstood a review, though Meyer admitted, “That stopped the heart for a second. When the official said they’re buzzing me for the spot. And I thought, oh, my goodness.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had a different perspective.

“It wasn’t a first down,” Harbaugh said after the game before holding his hands in front of him about a foot apart from each other. “By that much.”

4. Meyer improved to 5-0 against Michigan as head coach at Ohio State while Harbaugh fell to 0-2 against the Buckeyes.

“It’s awesome,” Meyer said. “I’ve said that many, many times. I’m very humbled to be a part of it. And you can’t ask for better efforts. They have great players; we have great players. They’re a very well-coached team and so are we. And it’s good for the country to see the Big Ten in action like that.”

5. A rough day all around for Harbaugh.

He was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter when he threw his clipboard after his team was flagged for being offside.

“I am bitterly disappointed in the officiating,” said Harbaugh, who also took issue with a pass interference penalty on Michigan safety Delano Hill that gave Ohio State a key first down on its game-tying drive in the fourth quarter and a non-call on a similar play involving one of his receivers and Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley on a third down in the second overtime.

“Multiple holding penalties let go, multiple false starts, the official on my side is supposed to be watching that,” Harbaugh said. “He was concerned about whether our coaches are in the white or not in the white. Not on the field. Their coaches were on the field, in the huddle at times. I’m bitter.”

He also felt he did not deserve the unsportsmanlike conduct.

“I asked him that and he said it is (a technical foul) in basketball. I said, ‘This isn’t basketball.’ He told me that he officiates basketball. I don’t know the relevance.”

6. Jabrill Peppers got his first college interception but his impact was otherwise fairly limited.

The Michigan multi-threat had seven tackles on defense, returned one punt for five yards and ran four times for four yards.

He also had a 44-yard kickoff return that helped kick-start a Michigan scoring drive late in the second quarter.

He was also caught on camera appearing to shove a fan who was among the thousands to rush the field after the game.

7. Ohio State beat the Wolverines for the fifth time in a row and the 14th in the last 16 seasons.

The Buckeyes evened the series in games played in Columbus at 27-27-2 and pulled within nine games in the all-time series.

Michigan still leads 58-49-6, though the Wolverines were 13-0-2 in the first 15 meetings.

Ohio State’s recent string of success has the rivalry the closest it has been since 1908 when Michigan led 9-0-1.

Being part of the turnaround has been gratifying for Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who was part of only one win over Michigan as a player in the early 1990s but has helped coach the Buckeyes to 13 victories against the Wolverines since he became an assistant coach in Columbus in 2002.

“It’s so hard for me because of some of the experiences I’ve had,” Fickell said. “I know how much it sits in my stomach, and those are the things I see every time I turn that film on. So yeah it’s really tough, it’s really hard, and that’s what makes it so gratifying when you have success like this, that your hard work pays off.”

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