1. Can Michigan’s pass rush disrupt C.J. Stroud?
It registered only four sacks, but the answer is a resounding yes. Stroud was bothered all day by Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo and the entire Michigan pass rush. He still threw for nearly 400 yards and completed 34 of his 49 passes – no slouch numbers by any means – but Ohio State’s offense was off schedule all game and the pass rush played a big role in that.
As for the highly touted Buckeye offensive line, on the whole, it was a tough, tough afternoon. The Michigan defense added four more TFL in the rushing game as Ohio State’s tackles were beaten badly off the ball.
2. How healthy is Blake Corum?
Corum seemingly wasn’t at full strength, but as it turns out, it really didn’t matter. Michigan used him sparingly but he was excellent when called upon, delivering a huge rush to open the second half that sparked Michigan to a quick touchdown and put it out in front by eight points – the closest Ohio State would get in the second half. Hassan Haskins was the star and deserves his shine, but both Corum and Donovan Edwards deserve their due for changing up the pace and challenging Ohio State horizontally while Haskins bludgeoned it inside.
3. What’s the path to victory for the Maize and Blue?
It pretty much was what we thought it was. Michigan needed to run the ball like crazy and find a lot of success doing so. It did. It needed to put Ohio state behind schedule offensively through big plays from the defensive line, forcing Stroud and company to win on a bunch of long third and fourth downs. Ohio State faced 31 passing downs to Michigan’s nine, and even though it was usually fairly successful in those spots, that’s just way too much to ask.
Michigan even managed to win the big play battle too, which just felt like a cherry on top above anything else. Michigan had 13 to Ohio State’s 12, including a whopping nine on the ground that racked up 181 yards. Ohio State, for reference, had three on the ground worth 54 yards, nearly all of its rushing production for the day.
Really, Michigan just won in the trenches. That’s going to pave a pretty easy path against any opponent and Michigan took it happily.