By Morris Kirkland
On November 26, the 2016 edition of the greatest rivalry in sports took place at Columbus, Ohio on the campus of the Ohio State University. For those unaware of the significance of the rivalry and of the venue, the University of Michigan and Ohio State University have played one another since 1897 and Michigan hasn’t beaten them since 2011. This rivalry has been deemed by many as the greatest rivalry in sports, and is often referred to as “The Game.”
This year’s contest had a lot at stake for both teams. Both teams played for a chance to go to the college football playoffs. Michigan fans were optimistic once they realized their starting quarterback Wilton Speight was healthy, and able to play. Michigan was first to score with a field goal from kicker Kenny Allen, but Ohio State quickly answered back with a 16-yard Pick 6 by Ohio State defensive back Malik Hooker. At the end of the first half Michigan led Ohio State 10 – 7 after Michigan fullback Khalid Hill ran for a one yard touchdown with six seconds left in the first half.
In the third quarter Michigan fans were elated after Speight found Khalid Hill for an eight yard touchdown, making the score 17 – 7. The excitement for Michigan fans didn’t last long, because coming to the end of the third quarter former Cass Tech running back Mike Weber ran for a one yard touchdown diminishing the ten point lead to only three.
The fourth quarter was hard offensively for both teams, but with one second left Ohio State kicker Tyler Durbin kicked a clutch field goal sending the game to overtime (first time in the history of their rivalry). Ohio State started with the ball first and scored immediately with a seven yard touchdown by Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett. Michigan responded soon after with a five yard reception by Amara Darboh from Speight. Due to college football overtime rules, Michigan started with the ball in the second overtime (2OT), getting stopped on fourth down forcing them to settle for a field goal making the score 27 – 24 Michigan.
The next drive left Michigan fans in shock after the officiating crew made a controversial call giving Ohio State quarterback the first down, even though after further observation it seemed like he did not cross the plane. The play after made every Michigan fan hang their heads in defeat, as Ohio State running back Curtis Samuel ran for a 15 yard touchdown giving Ohio State the win (30-27).
After losing a well fought and controversial game the Wolverines will not be attending the Big Ten Championship and will instead hope they have a chance to still make the college football playoffs, while their counterparts punch their tickets to the playoffs.