Michigan overcame a rough start and a three-point halftime deficit to defeat the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 45-23 on Saturday afternoon. J.J. McCarthy had arguably his best game in a Michigan uniform, and he led the Wolverines to the biggest victory in college football this season. Here are three takeaways from the upset victory.
J.J. McCarthy delivered
The former five-star quarterback proved why he had that fifth star next to his name coming out of high school, today. One of the halftime takeaways from Saturday’s game was that J.J. McCarthy needed to go out and win this game for Michigan, and that he did.
The sophomore quarterback threw for three touchdowns and rushed in one more as he nearly single-handedly helped the Wolverines to victory over the Buckeyes. He only completed 50% of his passes, but he threw for XXX yards in the legendary performance.
Today, McCarthy proved why he won the starting quarterback role in fall camp, and he capped off a perfect regular season with a performance that will be remembered forever.
Jesse Minter remains elite
Jesse Minter has been the master of second-half adjustments this season, and he remained elite in that department once again on Saturday. Michigan controlled the time of possession, and the Wolverine defense was able to rest on the sidelines for the majority of the second half.
After giving up 20 first-half points, the Michigan defense allowed only three points in the second half. A few key stops early on in the second half gave Michigan a lot of the momentum, and Minter and the defense were able to play their brand of football in the second half.
Minter, who is a Broyles Award finalist, has established himself as one of the best defensive coordinators in college football, and he shut down the second-best scoring offense in the country on Saturday.
With the win, Michigan wins the Big Ten East and heads back to Indianapolis for the second straight year. The road will likely get easier, with how poor the Big Ten West has been this season. Michigan will take on Purdue if the Boilermakers win today’s game against Indiana.
Michigan will look to win back-to-back outright Big Ten Championships since 1991-92. The Wolverines have completed their first undefeated regular season since they won the national championship in 1997.
Michigan is almost certainly in the College Football Playoff, and it might have a strong argument for the No. 1 seed after today’s blowout.
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