3 things we learned about Michigan football after defeating Ohio State

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  • Hassan Haskins
    American football running back

ANN ARBOR, Mich — The last time Michigan has defeated Ohio State was back in 2011.

That losing streak is finally over.

There was plenty at stake going into this game between two top-five teams, and the first half lived up to all the hype. The Wolverines went right down the field on the opening drive for a touchdown and then forced the Buckeyes to go three-and-out. The next drive looked to be going well for the maize and blue, but Cade McNamara threw an unwise pass into tripled coverage for an interception in the red zone. The rest of the game was back-and-forth between the two teams, and the Wolverines led at halftime, 14-13.

The second half belonged to Michigan. The Wolverines out-paced the Buckeyes, 28-14, in the second half.

The Wolverines leaned on their ground game and defense on its way to defeating Ohio State, 42-27.

Here are three things we learned about Michigan after defeating the Buckeyes.

List

Predicting every Big Ten football game in Week 13

Michigan truly showed its identity

Michigan running back Hassan Haskins (25) is chased by Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman (14) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Going into the game, Ohio State had the 11th-ranked rushing defense — it allowed teams to run for 102.3 yards-per-game.

In usual fashion, the Wolverines were able to run the ball, quite effectively, even against the stout Ohio State defensive line.

Since week 1 of the season, the offensive identity has been running the football. The Wolverines had multiple weeks of rushing for over 300 yards as a team, and while it may not be the most ‘fun’ thing for fans to see, it has been very effective.

Michigan ran for 297 yards against the Buckeyes, doing whatever it wanted against the Ohio State line. Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum, and Donovan Edwards combined for a huge day on the ground, weaving around defenders, and fighting for every yard that they needed to get.

The true MVP, again, was Hassan Haskins — who tied the single-game record with five scores.

Haskins rushed for 169 yards and five touchdowns on the day to cement himself in the history books in this phenomenal rivalry. Haskins has been the heart and soul of the Michigan offense, and once again on Saturday, it remained to be true.

Aidan Hutchinson is one of the best to do it

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson celebrates a play against Ohio State during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Big-time players make big-time plays in the biggest games of the season.

Not only did Aidan Hutchinson have three sacks against the Buckeyes, but he also became the single-season sack leader in Michigan history with 13 on the year.

Hutchinson was a terror from the get-go on Saturday. The Buckeyes had trouble stopping both Hutchinson and Ojabo all game from the edge position. The Ohio State tackles had extreme difficulty stopping either on a one-on-one.

It seemed that Aidan Hutchinson had his hand in almost every play on Saturday — it could have been pressure, a tackle, or a sack, he was there. Hutchinson knows how to wreak havoc against offenses, he has done it all season, but his play really escalated in the biggest game of the entire season.

Hutchinson’s legacy has officially gone down as one of the best to ever play the defensive end position in Michigan history.

Hutchinson’s final stat line was: seven tackles, three sacks, and three tackles-for-loss.

It finally happened

Michigan running back Hassan Haskins (25) leaps over Ohio State defenders for a touchdown in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

The streak has ended, Michigan has defeated Ohio State after nine straight losses to the Buckeyes.

I wrote last week how this could be Michigans’ year against Ohio State and everything that I thought came to fruition.

This is a new year, a different team, and a newfound energy in not only the players but the coaches. Jim Harbaugh outdone himself this offseason in cleaning the house and basically hiring a brand new staff.

Everything that Michigan has done this offseason has paid off and the Wolverines have officially won the biggest game they have won in a long time,

Michigan now will be headed to the Big Ten Championship game, and it will have full control of getting itself into the College Football Playoff.

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