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Michigan Breaks Through, Beats Ohio State For First Time Under Jim Harbaugh

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Ohio State was the glass ceiling that Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh could not break through.

At times, it’s felt like a concrete ceiling. Good thing the Wolverines brought the hammer with them on Saturday. No. 5 Michigan (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) defeated No. 2 Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) 42-27 at the Big House in front of over 100,000 in a steady snowstorm. With that, Harbaugh has his first win over Ohio State and the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff hopes are in serious trouble.

“It feels like the best one,” Harbaugh said after the game.

Leading up to the game, Harbaugh was confident. Maybe more so than usual.

“I see it in their eyes. I hear it in their voices,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “We’re all feeding off of each other like that. I look at them. It feels like I’m looking in the mirror. I’m seeing the same confidence in them that I feel inside of me.”

Michigan indeed had that look in their eyes from kickoff. With the snow coming down, Michigan was set up to do what they do best: pound the rock. Insert senior running back Hassan Haskins and sophomore running back Blake Corum.

Haskins and Corum combined for 256 yards on 34 carries with Haskins running for five touchdowns. Corum, back after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, had the play of the day with Michigan up 14-13 with 12:26 left in the third quarter. One cutback and Corum was into the open field. Not quite to the end zone, but good enough for 55 yards.

On the very next play, Haskins barreled his way in for six. It was Haskins’ second touchdown of the day, but not his last. Haskins had time for an encore, putting the final touches on a career day. After Ohio State redshirt running back TreVeyon Henderson hauled in a 10-yard touchdown to make it 35-27, Haskins answered.

Haskins ran for 63 yards on five carries on Michigan’s next drive, finishing it off with a four-yard score. His fifth of the day, bringing the crowd to a fever pitch.

“It’s an amazing feeling, I want to thank each and every one of my linemen,” Haskins said.

Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback CJ Stroud entered Saturday’s matchup as the Heisman Trophy favorite, coming off a six-touchdown performance against No. 12 Michigan State. Stroud finished 34-of-49 for 394 yards and two touchdowns. His best moment came with Ohio State trailing 7-3 with 9:12 remaining in the second quarter.

Just when it looked like the Buckeyes’ wide receiver trio was MIA, Stroud found junior receiver Garrett Wilson. Wilson was able to get big and reel in Stroud’s pass for a 25-yard score. Wilson went for 119 yards on 10 receptions, while sophomore receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba had 11 catches for 127 yards. The score gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the game. They would not lead again as Stroud had his hands full with the best pass rushing duo in the country.

Senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and junior linebacker David Ojabo entered the game with 10 sacks apiece. Hutchinson had perhaps his Heisman moment, recording three sacks. Now up to 13 on the season, Hutchinson set the Michigan single-season record for sacks. Per 247Sports, Hutchinson’s three sacks are the most for a Michigan player against Ohio State since 1978.

“Definitely should be in strong consideration for the Heisman Trophy,” Harbaugh said.

Michigan caps off the regular season in prime position to make the College Football Playoff for the first time. They will represent the Big Ten East in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 4. They’ll face the winner of the Big Ten West.

Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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  1. Michigan showed up ready to play. I kept waiting for the the other shoe to drop based on Harbaugh’s record in big games, but they hung in and ran the ball effectively. I’m not a fan of either team, but it’s good for college football when OSU and Michigan are among the top teams.

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