Top 25 Football: Ohio State 42, Michigan 7
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Ohio State has never dominated Michigan the way it does right now.
In the rivalry’s most lopsided result in 40 years, the Buckeyes won their fifth straight over that hated school up north for the first time, ending a dreadful first season for Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez with a 42-7 beating Saturday.
“I’ve been here for one of them,” Rodriguez said. “That’s the only one I can really comment on. They have one in a row on us from what I see.”
Ohio State (10-2, 7-1) used five big plays to win by the biggest margin in the rivalry since Woody Hayes was prowling and growling on the sidelines in a 50-14 rout of Michigan in 1968 ó the game in which he said he went for a late 2-point conversion “because I couldn’t go for three!”
Freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor threw two TD passes, Brian Hartline caught two scoring passes and Dan Herron ran for two more touchdowns to give the Buckeyes a share of their fourth straight Big Ten title. No. 7 Penn State, which beat the Buckeyes 13-6 a month ago at Ohio Stadium, pounded No. 17 Michigan State 49-18 to clinch the Big Ten’s automatic Bowl Championship Series berth.
In Rodriguez’s first season since coming over from West Virginia to take over for the retired Lloyd Carr, the Wolverines (3-9, 2-6) lost the most games in school history, missed a bowl trip for the first time in 34 years and had the first losing season in 41 years.
Asked how the season would be remembered, Rodriguez said: “Hopefully (we will) remember it as a blip on the screen, a one-time happening.”
On Saturday, Michigan largely held its own on defense ó except for five big plays.
“If you watched their films, the teams they played did not run four yards, five yards, four yards, five yards,” said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, now 7-1 against Michigan. “They either ran minus-1 or hit big ones, whether it was run or pass. … Sometimes they have overcommitted and some people have hit some big ones.”
After the Buckeyes’ first three possessions ended in an interception and two three-and-outs, Wells burst through a hole on the first play and went untouched 59 yards for the score.