Posted December 01, 2013

Ohio State edges Michigan 42-41 to stay perfect; more early Week 14 Snap Judgments

Duke Blue Devils, Florida State Seminoles, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Snap Judgments
Braxton Miller

Braxton Miller ran for three TDs, and threw for two more, as Ohio State beat Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Snap Judgments from the Week 14 early slate. For more, check out SI’s coverage of Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and Florida State-Florida and our midday and late Snaps.

No. 3 Ohio State 42, Michigan 41: Tempers flared, and the Buckeyes endured one of their toughest tests of 2013. Ultimately, however, Ohio State edged the Wolverines to remain undefeated and keep its BCS title hopes alive. After Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess reeled in a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Devin Gardner with 32 seconds to play, coach Brady Hoke opted to go for a two-point conversion and the win. But Gardner was intercepted by Buckeyes cornerback Tyvis Powell on the conversion attempt.

Things got heated early. In the opening moments of the second quarter, Wolverines wideout Jeremy Gallon made an athletic 17-yard touchdown grab to give Michigan a 21-14 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, the two teams scuffled, leading to the ejection of three players (Ohio State running back Dontre Wilson and guard Marcus Hall, and Wolverines linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone). After the fight, the Buckeyes woke up, scoring 21 unanswered points behind the running of Carlos Hyde (226 rushing yards, one touchdown) and quarterback Braxton Miller (153 rushing yards, three touchdowns; 133 passing yards, two touchdowns). The tandem became the first Ohio State players since 1967 to run for 100 yards in the same game.

Thanks to some creative play-calling, Michigan’s offense hung with the favored Buckeyes throughout the first half.  The unit stalled in the third quarter, when Ohio State scored twice to take a 35-21 lead, but the Wolverines came alive again in the fourth. Gardner (32-of-45, 451 passing yards, four touchdowns) hit receiver Drew Dileo for an 11-yard touchdown early in the quarter. After Hyde coughed up a costly fumble, Michigan drove 41 yards to tie the game at 35-35 on a two-yard touchdown reception by tight end Jake Butt.

Miller and Hyde led the Buckeyes back down the field for a touchdown that gave Ohio State a 42-35 lead — Hyde charged over the goal line from one yard out with 2:20 left to play — but the Wolverines responded before their two-point try fell short.

Following No. 2 Florida State’s easy 37-7 victory over Florida, the Buckeyes were still on the outside looking in at the BCS title game. There will still be one more chance for Ohio State to prove its championship mettle: in the Big Ten title game next Saturday against 11-1 Michigan State. [RECAP | BOX]

No. 24 Duke 27, North Carolina 25: It happened. It really happened. The Blue Devils have punched their ticket to the ACC championship game. Duke fans should remember where they were when it happened because this is rarer than getting four Cheez-Its stuck together (the elusive Mega Cheez-It). The Blue Devils won their 10th game of the season, a school record, and continued their remarkable turnaround under coach David Cutcliffe.

Even if Duke gets torched by Florida State in the ACC title game, this has still been a dream season for the Blue Devils. Quarterback Anthony Boone completed 23-of-35 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to wide receiver Jamison Crowder. [RECAP | BOX]

No. 2 Florida State 37, Florida 7: The Seminoles had already locked up an ACC championship game berth, and no one would have faulted them for taking it easy against a team that just lost to FCS Georgia Southern. Although Florida State started slowly against the Gators, the ‘Noles quickly took control to continue their undefeated season. Quarterback Jameis Winston connected with receiver Kelvin Benjamin nine times for 212 yards and three scores, and Florida State’s defense held Florida to just 193 total yards.

While Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley has continued to stand behind third-year coach Will Muschamp, the offseason won’t be without personnel changes, particularly on offense. These two programs are moving in different directions — and Florida is too prestigious for Foley to let the program’s decline to continue. [RECAP | BOX]

No. 11 Michigan State 14, Minnesota 3: The Spartans’ defense has been one of the best — if not the best — in the nation all year. The unit turned in another solid performance in Michigan State’s final regular season game on Saturday, holding the Golden Gophers to 243 total yards. Spartans running back Jeremy Langford led the offense with 129 rushing yards and a touchdown. Coach Mark Dantonio’s team will have its hands full against an explosive Ohio State offense in the Big Ten championship game next week, when Michigan State will have an opportunity to play spoiler and earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. [RECAP | BOX]

Vanderbilt 23, Wake Forest 21: Casey Spear’s 38-yard field goal with 40 seconds to play gave the Commodores the win and kept Demon Deacons coach Jim Grobe tied with former Wake Forest coach Peahead Walker for the most wins in program history (77). The Demon Deacons finished the season with five straight losses; Vanderbilt won eight regular season games for the second straight year under coach James Franklin. [RECAP | BOX]

• Utah State 35, Wyoming 7: Despite the early-season loss of quarterback Chuckie Keeton (knee) to injury, the Aggies secured a spot in the Mountain West championship. Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson threw for three touchdowns, and running back Joey DeMartino rushed for 112 yards and a score as Utah State won its fifth straight to improve to 8-4. It will take on Fresno State next Saturday. [RECAP | BOX]

• Southern Miss 62, UAB 27: Southern Miss won Southern Miss won Southern Miss won Southern Miss won Southern Miss won [FLEX BOMB] [REGGAETON HORN]. Let’s all celebrate with tasty snacks and cold soda pops. The Golden Eagles’ victory snapped a 23-game losing streak. [RECAP | BOX]

42 comments
NickGarrison
NickGarrison

Alabama would have 8 losses if they played in Big 10

 Signed, 

Just as valid as SEC morons...

DanLeeper
DanLeeper

OSU, just saying look at the rankings of the teams. The Vanderbilt Commodores (SEC) have played 4 ranked teams this year that's more then OSU over the last 3 years and there 8 an 4. The point is when you play cupcakes and win then your the best cupcake. And that is how it's viewed, and should be. Next year play Alabama, UCLA, Stanford, LSU, Missouri, Oregon, Auburn, FSU and win those games then you'll have a right to number 1, as for now you have the same clam as N Illinois.

DanLeeper
DanLeeper

Hey OSU, Northern Illinois Huskies are 12 an 0 too but like you who have they played? Sorry but you'd be the next Notre Dame for most of the SEC. And so it go's.

playemball
playemball

FSU has to face Duke for the ACC title game...lol

heardhimsay
heardhimsay

OSU lost more votes today with that performance.

Rick G1
Rick G1

Auburn "jumps" to 3rd and NO higher : )

Beth3
Beth3

In the NFL, just about anyone can beat anyone. There's not that degree of parity in college football, but any team can lose and ain't that cool?

6marK6
6marK6

You know, I am no Ohio State fan, not at all. But I have never ever seen a team get less respect than they get. It is like people are expecting them to apologize for being ranked so high. They have not lost a game in two years. And if we are going to examine the two undefeated teams, I would say the Big 10 is infinitely better than the ACC. The ACC is comical. DUKE is in the ACC Championship game. How come FSU gets so much more respect. Sorry, Auburn lost a game and that means something. And riddle me this, who exactly had Bama beat this year?

rkcla08
rkcla08

meechigan puts up 41 on the buckeyes while sparty held them to negative yardage.

spartans handily win the tune-up by a meager 14-3.  the fifth over the past six without a touchdown allowed.

media will love ohio state in making their upcoming big-championship predictions.

style-point victories are meaningless. defense wins championships.

go green.

ernestright
ernestright

Totally agree.  Right call!  Bowling balls.  Hio Stank is ranked but not near the top now

StephenGrange
StephenGrange

TOTAL respect to Michigan for going for the throat and the win against Ohio..May not have worked but the decision was the RIGHT call!

_chewbucca
_chewbucca

@DanLeeper Hey Dan, for reference you might remember that Northwestern beat Vandy in their last two meetings last year and the year before.  That's one of those weak B10 teams that you The SECtards say would lose every game in the SEC.  Kind of like Mizzou and A&M have shown how empty that argument is.  Just give it up.  You get no Mulligans! 

I saw Auburn beat Washington State by a whole touchdown.  I don't remember them playing Stanford, Oregon, FSU or Mizzou yet.  Which team played all of those other teams?  We can all see the schedules.

NickGarrison
NickGarrison

@DanLeeper Funny you mention Vanderbilt...since they WUSSED out on the Buckeyes and CANCELLED at the last minute.  Typical wimpy SEC...

OSU
OSU

@DanLeeper tOSU can handle to SEC just fine this year.  The only team I would favor over them is Alabama, but oops, they are out of it!  That puts tOSU back in the top two.  You just worry about n. illinois embarrassing themselves again on the big stage.

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@heardhimsay Survive and advance.  Just ask Bama how hard it is to win on your rival's field.  I am a Buckeye fan and and I, and the kids in that locker room, don't give a darn about the "votes".  Congrats on 12-0 and a win the The Game.

OSU
OSU

@6marK6 A local radio sports show talked about how this season was so hard to enjoy.  If tOSU won, it wasn't by enough points.  If they won by 30+ points, then the conference sucks.  It was a constant state of looking over ine's shoulder and kept many fans from just enjoying a great team and season.

danielryanmiller
danielryanmiller

@6marK6 and if Auburn loses next week and Ohio State wins, everyone will be clamoring for Alabama to jump the Buckeyes.  First it was one-loss Stanford.  Then Baylor.  Now Auburn.  Alabama will be next.   The Buckeyes just keep winning.

danielryanmiller
danielryanmiller

@rkcla08 The transitive property doesn't exist in college football. Why did Michigan State only beat Indiana by 2 scores, and Ohio State destroyed them?   How did Michigan State only beat Purdue 14-0, when Ohio State beat them 56-0 and could have scored 100 if they wanted to?  Common opponents don't matter.  It's going to be a good game between two excellent teams. 

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@rkcla08 Records are meaningless in these rivalry games and trying to compares results against common opponents is a fool's errand.  OSU has won 8/9 vs MSU and the game is on a fast track - Buckeyes by 2+ scores.

rkcla08
rkcla08

@ernestright hoke made a huge blunder.  if that was the play drawn up it played right into the defense.  a risk like that required the mentality of little giants to make it work. 

MatthewEugeneHaag
MatthewEugeneHaag

@ernestright Actually they may be 2 when the polls come up with Auburn dropping Bama.  Probably play FSU for the title game unless MState pounds them in the Big 10 Title game.

rkcla08
rkcla08

@StephenGrange  no. it was a pretty bad call.  the spirit was right, but the play call totally negated the ability to win..better coaching was required, there was nothing up the sleeve for this exact situation.

rkcla08
rkcla08

@danielryanmiller @rkcla08 @Rick G1  nuts.  as i said, style points are just as meaningless.  #5 missouri beat indiana by almost the exact score as msu beat them. so what.

this won't be a matter of scoring enough, it will be if osu can find a way to score for style against a defense that can hold them back they haven't seen the likes of this year.  based on today, they won't.

it will be a good game.  go green!

rkcla08
rkcla08

@KristinDiggins the fool's errand is to think winning throughout the season with style-point scores is an indication of greatness.

as for rivalry games, if you don't think the wolverines weren't equally amped to win state supremacy against the spartans, then i dare say the term rivalry should be abolished.

it was a one-point win last year for the buckeyes.  the grudge will be green instead of scarlet for this one.  msu won't score a lot, but osu will score even less.

EricWelsh
EricWelsh

@rkcla08 @StephenGrange Everyone in Columbus knew Hoke was going for 2 when they started that drive. He didn't trust his little gulo to stop the OSU attack in OT. He wanted the win. It was the right call.

EricWelsh
EricWelsh

@rkcla08 @danielryanmiller @Rick G1 You're delusional. 

Look at the teams that held MSU under 30 points: USF, ND, Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, scUM, Minnesota. 

Look at how many have held OSU under 30 points: None.

There hasn't been a team that has shown it can stop the OSU point machine. Some have slowed it, sure. None have stopped it. You can't say the same for MSU. This OSU defense can stop this MSU offense, and if you can't even see that the weight in this game will be on MSU to drive points, then you have a bad weekend coming up.

rkcla08
rkcla08

@EricWelsh according to your response you live in style points mentality.  how about this for style; for the first time in big-ten history msu was the first (undefeated in conference) team to win each conference game by 10 points or more.

you can have your high-scoring output against purdon't, but pardon me, msu waxed uofm and osu barely got by.  now that's a lol!

KristinDiggins
KristinDiggins

@rkcla08 @KristinDiggins Not sure you read my post closely rkcla as I didn't mention a thing about style points.  I simply pointed out comparing scores vs a common opponent generally doesn't help predict the outcome in college football (if it did, I might point out MSU beat a terrible Purdue team by only 14).  I look at history and it says tOSU owns this series.  MSU has a great defense but they haven't seen an offense like tOSU's and the game is indoors on a fast field.  

rkcla08
rkcla08

@EricWelsh @rkcla08 @KristinDiggins  in 5 of the their last 6-games spartan opponents have failed to score a touchdown.  in the game where they did allow td's (nebraska) they were coming off a by-week.

last year the score was 17-16, osu.  expect your "less than 30-points" marker null and void against a far better defense than last year's squeaker.  other that the meager 29 scored in their blowout of michigan, the spartans have scored 30 or more in 4 of the last 5-games.

EricWelsh
EricWelsh

@rkcla08 @KristinDiggins And which game is your reference point for where the Buckeyes have scored less than 30 points in a game this year? Oh? You don't have one. Exactly. The offense is not the questionable part of this OSU team, it's the Defense. The Offense will put points up. The question is whether MSU will keep up or not.

According to your same logic, MSU has been held under 20 points this year three times; Notre Dame(13), Purdue(14), Minnesota(14). Pardon me, but...LoL? 

I won't question the validity that MSU has a good defense, but it's on MSU to put up points, and I don't think they'll keep up.

rkcla08
rkcla08

@EricWelshit was the right call to go for two, it was the totally wrong call in how they did it.  hoke was schooled in coaching today.