Michigan Wolverines: Top 3 Takeaways From Week 13


Nov 27, 2023

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes for the third straight season, clinching a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.

What did we learn about Michigan on Saturday?

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Turnovers Were the Difference

The game between the two bitter rivals was hotly contested, and as is often the case in rivalry games, the winner was the team that made the fewest mistakes. While Ohio State’s offense found some success, quarterback Kyle McCord threw two key interceptions that proved decisive. Will Johnson intercepted McCord in the first quarter to set up Blake Corum‘s first rushing touchdown and put Michigan ahead 7-0. Then Rod Moore picked off McCord on the final Buckeye drive to seal the win for the Wolverines with a final of 30-24. Despite being outgained by 40 yards and despite OSU having three more first downs, the Wolverines won the turnover margin by two.

Corum and the Running Game Out-Muscle the Buckeyes

One of the themes of the past three meetings between Michigan and Ohio State has been the Wolverines’ ability to control the line of scrimmage. It is fair to say Ohio State came much closer to matching the physicality of Michigan in this year’s matchup than they have in the previous two years, but it is also accurate to say the edge still went to the Wolverines. Ohio State was held to 107 yards, while Michigan churned out 156 on the ground. Corum had 88 yards with two touchdowns, and Donovan Edwards added 31 yards. This trend goes back well beyond Ryan Day or Jim Harbaugh: the team with more rushing yards in this annual game has now won the last 22 meetings in the series.

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Is the Offense Explosive Enough to Win It All?

Michigan has beaten Ohio State for the third straight season, advancing to the Big Ten Championship Game. They are heavily favored against Iowa, will likely thump the Hawkeyes in a low-scoring contest, and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff Semi-finals. Is this passing attack good enough for the Wolverines to clear the next hurdle and win a National Championship? J.J. McCarthy was 16 for 20 for 148 yards with one touchdown to Roman Wilson. McCarthy played well, and tight end Colston Loveland stepped up with five receptions, all for first downs. The offense feels like it lacks explosive plays in the passing game, something that cannot be said of potential opponents like Georgia, Washington, or Oregon. Michigan has been in this spot before. Do they have enough to reach the next goal?

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Thumbnail photo via Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

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