Notes: Penalties a big problem for Ohio State in loss to Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Ohio State could see plenty of maize in the stands at Michigan Stadium and another shade of yellow lying on the turf.

In its 42-27 loss to the Wolverines on Saturday afternoon, the Buckeyes were flagged 10 times for 66 yards, matching their season-high total for penalties.

A bulk of them were committed by the offensive line, which was penalized five times for false starts and twice for holding, both of those by left tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere.

"That was really frustrating," coach Ryan Day said, "because that got us off schedule on offense. When you look at games we've struggled, that's gotten us off schedule."

Some occurred in especially costly situations.

On its second drive, Ohio State was staring at a third-and-3 at Michigan's 3-yard line before right tackle Dawand Jones was called for a false start, setting the offense back 5 yards.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) talks to offensive lineman Luke Wypler (53) and Thayer Munford after the Buckeyes were called for one of their five false start penalties on Saturday.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) talks to offensive lineman Luke Wypler (53) and Thayer Munford after the Buckeyes were called for one of their five false start penalties on Saturday.

Left in more of a passing down instead of having an opportunity to run to pick up a few yards on the ground to reach the end zone, quarterback C.J. Stroud dropped back to pass and was sacked by defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

The star pass rusher for the Wolverines, Hutchinson sacked Stroud three times.

The Buckeyes settled for a field goal as a result of the first sack.

"Those are things that are mental errors that we talked about," Petit-Frere said. "Those are things that can put us behind, that we aren’t supposed to do, that we can’t do, that puts us in a hole and makes it harder for us to win games. In terms of us being able to mentally be able to power through in situations like that, we just didn’t execute."

Stroud shouldered some of the blame for the penalties on offense. He said he was sick earlier in the week and lost his voice, impacting his communication with the offensive line before the snap.

But Petit-Frere said, "I would like to say it's not his fault. It's our fault as a team, it's a unit."

Other penalties appeared to be signs of frustration for the Buckeyes, who trailed through the second half before losing in The Game for the first time since 2011.

Cornerback Cameron Brown was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter after pulling off the helmet of Michigan receiver Roman Wilson.

The sequence began when Wilson appeared to tug at the ankles of Brown and setting off an on-field scrum between a handful of players.

Milestone for Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson became only the seventh 1,000-yard receiver in school history.

When he caught a 5-yard pass from Stroud early in the third quarter, his receiving yards total for the season surpassed 1,000 yards.

Wilson finished with 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown against the Wolverines. His scoring haul came in the second quarter when he pulled in a 25-yard catch over cornerback Vincent Gray and fell onto an end-zone pylon.

Joining Jaxon Smith-Njigba with more than 1,000 receiving yards, the Buckeyes will finish with their first-ever pair of 1,000-yard receivers.

Smith-Njigba went above that mark two weeks ago in their rout of Purdue.

Notable absences for Ohio State

The Buckeyes had a season-high 19 players who were listed as unavailable on their official pregame status report.

They included cornerback Sevyn Banks, who missed his second consecutive game, as well as reserve linebacker Palaie Gaoteote and running back Master Teague.

Cornerback Demario McCall, linebacker Cade Kacherski and tight end Gee Scott were also out.

Banks’ absence continued to alter their starting lineup with Brown taking his spot opposite freshman Denzel Burke.

All other starters were available, including middle linebacker Cody Simon, who was injured early the previous week against Michigan State.

First pick for Bryson Shaw

Starting safety Bryson Shaw made the first interception of his career in the first quarter when he picked off a pass thrown into double coverage by Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara.

The pick came at a critical moment for the Buckeyes, who were in danger of falling behind early by a pair of touchdowns.

After Ohio State had gone three-and-out deep in its own territory on its opening series, the Wolverines had gained possession at the Buckeyes’ 39-yard line and moved to the 15-yard line after McNamara connected with Roman Wilson for a gain of 24 to start the drive.

Shaw, who intercepted the throw in front of the goal line, returned it to the 22-yard line.

Field goals on mark

After missing his first field goal of this season last week against Michigan State, kicker Noah Ruggles made both of his attempts at Michigan.

His first attempt was from 31 yards and his second was from 30 yards.

Etc.

TreVeyon Henderson reached 19 rushing touchdowns for this season, breaking Maurice Clarrett’s freshman record.

The College Football Playoff schedule

Here are the dates to know for the College Football Playoff:

  • Selection show: Noon Dec. 5 on ESPN

  • Cotton Bowl: 3:30 or 7:30 p.m., Dec. 31 on ESPN

  • Orange Bowl: 3:30 or 7:30 p.m., Dec. 31 on ESPN

  • College Football Playoff national championship game: 8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 on ESPN

Week 13 College Football Playoff rankings

  1. Georgia 11-0

  2. Ohio State 10-1

  3. Alabama 10-1

  4. Cincinnati 11-0

  5. Michigan 10-1

  6. Notre Dame 10-1

  7. Oklahoma State 10-1

  8. Baylor 9-2

  9. Ole Miss 9-2

  10. Oklahoma 10-1

  11. Oregon 9-2

  12. Michigan State 9-2

  13. BYU 9-2

  14. Wisconsin 8-3

  15. Texas A&M 8-3

  16. Iowa 9-2

  17. Pittsburgh 9-2

  18. Wake Forest 9-2

  19. Utah 8-3

  20. NC State 8-3

  21. San Diego State 10-1

  22. UTSA 11-0

  23. Clemson 8-3

  24. Houston 10-1

  25. Arkansas 7-4

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Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Penalties hurt Ohio State football in loss to Michigan