Yesterday’s Ohio State win over Michigan was very satisfying, and allowed all members of Buckeye Nation to sleep more peacefully last night.
It was satisfying because it was so dominating. The Buckeyes ran the ball at will and made the Wolverines’ defense look totally overmatched. We’d been hearing about the great Wolverines D early this season, but there was only one great defense on the field in Ann Arbor yesterday, and it was wearing scarlet and great. The telltale sign was that Michigan couldn’t get stops when it absolutely had to do so — whereas the Buckeyes D could, and did.
It was satisfying because the Buckeyes finished. With the game close at halftime, the Buckeyes reeled off four straight touchdowns on methodical drives. They executed and beat the Wolverines physically. As the second half wore on, it became clear that the Michigan defense just wanted no part of the OSU offensive line, or Zeke Elliott, or J.T. Barrett. I think the Buckeyes could have hit 50 if Coach Urban Meyer hadn’t called off the dogs.
And finally, it was satisfying because it had to be soul-crushing for the Michigan faithful, who view the hiring of Jim Harbaugh as the harbinger of a return to the glory years. It reminded me of OSU during the Cooper era, when Buckeye fans would have high hopes that this would be the year they would knock off mighty Michigan, only to have a Michigan running back with a long name rush for 300 yards. In a rivalry game, there is nothing sweeter than beating your opponent so convincingly on their field that their fans are streaming out with 10 minutes left in the game.
Ohio State has now beaten Michigan 10 of the last 11 years. When that happens, all’s right with the world.