It was all leading up to this.
Rivalry Week is one of the most heavily anticipated weeks of the college football season, and this year we got some good ones that we were looking forward to for a long time. The biggest one was, of course, "The Game." Ohio State versus Michigan. Was this the year? Could Michigan finally break the streak? Would each team's top prospects come to play?
This was the answer.
To end the suspense of anyone who might have been living under a rock and not seen the Ohio State versus Michigan game, Ohio State once again emerged victorious -- by a lot. The storylines from the Buckeyes' 62-39 win we monumental, from their side of things. 62 points is the most points ever scored in the historic rivalry, and the victory on Saturday made it seven in a row for Ohio State. It also made Urban Meyer 4-0 against Jim Harbaugh.
As for the players themselves, this game had quite a few chips on shoulders and some big stats that came with it. Buckeyes' quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed up big time with 318 passing yards and five touchdowns. In the process of throwing those five touchdowns, Haskins passed Drew Brees for the most touchdown passes in conference history in a single season.
Running back Mike Weber, who was wearing No. 5 this game due to the fact that he wore No. 5 when he played little league football in Michigan, got the majority of the carries on Saturday and recorded 96 rushing yards with a touchdown. However, it really was wide receiver Parris Campbell's day, as he had a 78-yard run for a touchdown and recored 114 yards on five catches for another score. Campbell is a true player maker/athlete type who can be used in many ways in the NFL, both out of the backfield and as a receiver, especially with his long speed.
On the defensive side, Buckeyes' junior linebacker Malik Harrison led the team in tackles with five and also recorded a sack. He was a force all over the field on that day, and a prospect we will be taking a closer look at this week. Defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones seemed to all but declare for the draft on Saturday. It wasn't anything official, but an emotional Jones talked as if he'd played his last game in Columbus.
Michigan Get Exposed
As the stats and numbers looked good for Ohio State, they subsequently looked awful for Michigan.
Michigan had not allowed more than 24 points in a game so far this season, but they gave up that many in the first two quarters before things got really ugly after halftime. The nation's No. 1 passing defense gave up 318 passing yards and five touchdowns, which allowed their rival Haskins to set Big Ten records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season. The final score of 62 points allowed were the most a Michigan defense has given up in a regulation-length game in the program's history. And to truly pile it on, they had never allowed more than 50 points to Ohio State in the 114 previous meetings between the two teams.
A big reason for that is because Michigan's players just could not keep up. Players like safety Tyree Kinnel and linebacker Devin Bush were out-played by the superior athleticism and play making ability of the Buckeyes, and that not only hurt them on Saturday, but also hurt their draft stock, too. For Bush specifically, the big potential issue with him was his explosiveness in his speed. Against the rest of the Big Ten, he was able to mask it. He couldn't against Ohio State.
On the offensive side of the ball, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson looked nowhere near an NFL-caliber quarterback on Saturday. The speed of Ohio State gave him trouble, and there were too many throws that were inaccurate or mentally pressured from him. When the scoring started to ramp up, he couldn't keep up. Even running back Karan Higdon, who has had a nice year for the Wolverines, was completely bottled up with only 72 yards on 15 carries.
McSorley Goes Out Like A Champ
Penn State won't be playing for Big Ten Title this year, but the accomplishments and career of their quarterback, Trace McSorley, should be well noted regardless.
McSorely threw for 230 passing yards and ran for 64 rushing yards with three total touchdowns. Saturday marked the 21st time in his career that he had passed for and rushed for a touchdown each in a single game.
McSorley recently accepted his invitation to the 2019 Senior Bowl, so we haven't seen the last of him.
Wisconsin Comes Up Short Again
Do you all remember when Wisconsin started the season ranked No. 4 in the nation? Yeah, I don't forget, mainly because I'm on a never-ending crusade to stop preseason polls, as they skew rankings down the road because of preconceived trains of thought on teams that should have never existed.
Wisconsin finished the regular season 7-5 after their 37-15 loss to Minnesota. Sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 120 yards on 19 carries, but of his draft-eligible teammates, he didn't get much help. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw for just 189 yards with two touchdowns but three interceptions. His sleeper stock is all but gone. However, on a positive note, linebacker T.J. Edwards did finish the game with a team-high 12 tackles.