Nov. 26, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #17 Michigan 40, Ohio State 34
Records: U-M (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten), Ohio State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Sunday, Dec. 4 -- Bowl Selection Show (TV: ESPN)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more, lifting the University of Michigan football team (No. 17 AP/No. 16 USA Today) to a 40-34 victory over Ohio State on Saturday (Nov. 26) at Michigan Stadium. The win snaps a seven-game losing streak to Ohio State -- the longest such drought in the rivalry -- and gives Michigan its first 10-win season since 2006 and its first-ever 8-0 home record.
Robinson totaled 337 yards and five touchdowns, carrying the ball 26 times for 170 yards -- pushing him past 1,000 rushing yards for the season -- and two touchdowns. He also completed 14-of-17 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Another standout on offense was junior/sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty), who had 20 carries for 120 yards -- the second time this season that Michigan has had two 100-yard rushers in a game. Toussaint joined Robinson by surpassing 1,000 rushing yards for the season in this game, marking the first time since 1975 that the Wolverines have had two 1,000-yard rushers in a season.
Three seniors caught touchdown passes in their final home game at Michigan Stadium: tight end Kevin Koger (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (Conway, S.C./Conway) and wideout Martavious Odoms (Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee). Koger finished with a team-high four receptions for 40 yards, Hemingway grabbed two passes for a team-high 45 yards, and Odoms posted two catches for 25 yards.
Defensively, Michigan allowed 372 total yards but continued to apply pressure, recording seven tackles-for-loss and four sacks. Freshman linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) led the Wolverines with a career-high 10 tackles, 1.5 TFLs and sack, while senior/junior middle linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day) added eight tackles and an assisted sack. Fifth-year senior defensive end Ryan Van Bergen (Whitehall, Mich./Whitehall) tied a career high with seven tackles to go along with two tackles-for-loss, an assisted sack and a pass breakup, giving him nine TFLs in the last five games.
Ohio State jumped out to a quick lead, scoring on a 54-yard touchdown pass. The Wolverines responded two possessions later after a sack by senior/junior safety Jordan Kovacs (Curtice/Ohio/Clay) forced the Buckeyes to punt deep in their own territory. Two plays into the drive, Robinson pulled on a read option and beat the Ohio State defense to the corner, sprinting 41 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with 9:15 left in the first quarter.
Junior defensive end Craig Roh (Scottsdale, Ohio/Chaparral) gave Michigan its first lead against Ohio State since 2007 on the ensuing possession. After starting on its own 20-yard line, the Buckeyes moved all the way back to their three-yard line after two penalties and Van Bergen's tackle-for-loss. Roh rushed the right edge on third down, drawing an offensive holding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 9-7 U-M lead.
The Michigan then tacked on seven more points. Starting near midfield after junior/sophomore wideout Jeremy Gallon's (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) 20-yard return on the short OSU kickoff, the Wolverines converted a fourth-and-one on a three-yard dive by sophomore fullback Stephen Hopkins (Double Oak, Texas/Marcus). Four plays later, Robinson threaded a 26-yard pass to Hemingway in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown and a 16-7 Michigan advantage.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines exchanged leads in the second quarter three times. Ohio State took a one-point lead with 7:51 left in the half after drilling a 45-yard field goal and 19-yard rushing score by Miller.
Robinson led the Wolverines 80 yards on nine plays on the ensuing drive, highlighted by a 46-yard counter rush by Toussaint and a five-yard reception by Odoms to give Michigan a first down at the OSU six-yard line. Robinson capped the drive two plays later with his second rushing touchdown of the game from six yards out. However, on the next drive, Miller connected on a 43-yard post route to give the Buckeyes a 24-23 lead heading into halftime.
The Maize and Blue received the ball to start the second half and marched 80 yards in 11 plays. The drive featured two big pass plays by Robinson. The first a 26-yard touch pass to Koger behind the OSU linebackers' outstretched hands to set up Michigan inside the red zone. The second came three plays later on third-and-11 when the offensive line gave Robinson time to connect with Odoms for a 20-yard touchdown to give U-M a 30-24 lead.
After a dropped snap on the punt, resulting in a loss of 17 yards, Ohio State moved down to the U-M five-yard line. The Michigan defense made three stops, capped by a sack by Demens and sophomore defensive end Jibreel Black (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming), forcing OSU to kick a 21-yard field goal to cut Michigan's lead to three points.
The home offense rewarded the defense's stop, extending the lead to two scores with a methodical 75-yard touchdown drive. The Wolverines utilized a 19-yard reception by Hemingway and a personal foul penalty on the Buckeyes to work their way down to the four-yard line. Facing third-and-short, Robinson faked the Ohio State defense with a play-action pass and found a wide-open Koger in the back of the end zone to give Michigan a 37-27 lead.
Ohio State marched 80 yards in one minute and 23 seconds, scoring on a four-yard touchdown run to shrink Michigan's lead back to three points.
The Wolverines appeared to have added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but offensive holding and personal foul penalties forced Michigan from the goal line back to the OSU 26-yard line. Junior/sophomore placekicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) converted a career-best 43-yard field goal to give Michigan a 40-34 lead with 1:59 left in the fourth quarter.
The Buckeyes had one last chance to win the game, needing to drive 80 yards for a touchdown with only one timeout. Miller scrambled for a first down on fourth-and-six to keep the drive alive, but sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery (Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington) -- who also notched a forced fumble -- tipped and then intercepted Miller's pass with 39 seconds left near midfield to seal the Michigan win.
Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423