Behind five touchdowns from quarterback Denard Robinson — three passing, two rushing — the Michigan Wolverines beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 40-34, to gain their 10th win of the season and first over their archrival since 2003, in what has come to be known as “The Game.” It also gave Brady Hoke a victory in his inaugural meeting with OSU as U-M’s head coach. Michigan Stadium hosted the second-largest crowd in NCAA history, trailing only the “Under the Lights” matchup with Notre Dame in September, as 114,132 took in the action on a mild, sunny afternoon in Ann Arbor.
Near the end of the contest, which had numerous lead changes, the Wolverines appeared to have a potential game-clinching TD, but an official review determined that running back Fitzgerald Toussaint was down at the Buckeyes’ one-foot line. On the following play, Robinson scampered around right end, but his apparent score was called back due to holding and unnecessary roughness penalties, which pushed U-M back to the OSU 26. After failing to convert on third and goal, Brendan Gibbons drilled a 43-yard field goal, putting Michigan up by six with just 1:59 left. Ohio State had a last opportunity for a go-ahead touchdown, but its final drive ended when Courtney Avery intercepted freshman QB Braxton Miller, icing the win for the Maize and Blue.
Despite one lost fumble, Robinson had a stellar day, in which he ran for 170 yards and two TDs — the first on a 41-yard dash down the left sideline less than six minutes after the opening kickoff — on 26 carries, and completed 14 of his 17 passes for 167 yards and three scores. Junior Hemingway, Martavious Odoms, and Kevin Koger were on the receiving end of those strikes, which came in the first, third, and fourth quarter, respectively. Both Robinson and Toussaint, the latter of whom finished with 120 yards on 20 carries, went over 1,000 yards for the season, the first time since 1975 that U-M has boasted a pair of rushers who have surpassed that figure.
Michigan closed out the regular season with a 10-2 mark overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, good for second place in the Legends Division. It was also their eighth home triumph of the 2011 campaign, a school record. Even though Michigan State, which earlier today defeated Northwestern, 31-17, won the divison, there has been speculation the Wolverines may still qualify for a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) at-large berth. Going into the matchup, Michigan was No. 17 in the AP Top 25, but was No. 15 in the BCS. The loss drops Ohio State to 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the conference’s Leaders Division.
Visit U-M’s official athletic website, MGoBlue.com, for the box score and a photo gallery, as well as even more details about the victory over the Buckeyes.