Michigan beats Ohio State for first time in Harbaugh era


Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

Michigan running back Hassan Haskins (25) scores a touchdown against Ohio State during the second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Free Press

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines took the field in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 27 for the 117th all-time meeting between the two schools. Both teams entered the matchup with 10-1 records, setting the stage for one of the most anticipated matchups in the rivalry’s recent history. 

The Wolverines came ready to play as a 14-yard A.J. Henning touchdown run capped off a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the team’s opening possession. The momentum continued for Michigan, as a quick three-and-out from Ohio State’s offense had Jim Harbaugh’s team in prime position to take an early 14-0 lead. However, Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara proceeded to throw his third interception of the year, giving the ball back to the Buckeyes. 

In the second quarter, the teams traded punches. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud connected with receiver Garrett Wilson on a 25-yard touchdown pass, and Michigan running back Hassan Haskins leaped over his offensive line for a 1-yard touchdown run, ultimately resulting in a 14-13 Wolverine lead heading into halftime. 

On Ohio State’s opening second half drive, Michigan senior linebacker Josh Ross met Ohio State freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson behind the line of scrimmage on a critical 3rd & 2, forcing the Buckeyes to punt. From there, the Haskins show began. Haskins was unstoppable in the second half, adding four more touchdowns and cementing his name in rivalry history.

The Wolverines had five drives in the second half, and thanks to Haskins’ four aforementioned touchdowns, McNamara was able to take a knee to end the fifth and final possession of the half. 

There was always a belief that the Buckeyes’ high-powered offense would come into full effect and take over the game — however, while the team had some highlight moments, Haskins and the Michigan offensive line proved to be too much for the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to handle.

Michigan won this game in the trenches, physically dominating their arch rival. In a post game interview with FOX’s Jenny Taft, Harbaugh gave his thoughts after his first win over the Buckeyes as Michigan’s Head Coach.

“I just feel so great for the players, who prepared so well for this game and went out and executed pretty much thoroughly,” Harbaugh said.

The Wolverines next traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time since the game’s inception. Michigan represented the Big Ten East division in the game, proving victorious against the Big Ten’s West division champion, Iowa.

With this latest win, the Wolverines are Big Ten Champions for the first time since they shared a title in 2004 — with Iowa, ironically. That won’t be the end of the road for Michigan, however, as the team has clinched its first College Football Playoff appearance in program history.