With playoff spots at stake, Ohio St beats Michigan in 2OT

Curtis Samuel swept in for a 15-yard touchdown on 29 Lead left after Ohio State barely converted a fourth-and-1 in the second overtime. Saturday's game was handsome, a four-hour scramble of emotions and surprises.

"So it's a game - and I'm not being disrespectful - it's one of the classic games of this rivalry that (will) forever be". Letting him lock onto Barrett could help shut down a key part of Ohio State's offense.

"Sucks", Michigan defensive lineman Chris Worley said.

"Man, I was trying to block somebody, but I ain't the best blocker", Barrett said. It had a little bit of everything: controversial calls, a sideline meltdown by Jim Harbaugh, questionable coaching decisions and a comeback for the ages.

"I lost my brain cells", Meyer said. The first-down call stood up to video review.

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The play he referred to - multiple times - was Ohio State's attempt on fourth-and-1 in the second overtime. The officials ruled that by a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, a wee sliver of pigskin, Barrett had reached the first down, but then came a buzz. He said he also officiates basketball. "I was like, 'Oh, my god'".

The Wolverines came up short against a young defensive line that has been porous at times. A reversal could have placed them in the Big Ten championship game at 11-1, one win from the four-team College Football Playoff in only Harbaugh's second year after the long-acclaimed program had spent seven seasons littered with dreariness.

And that minimal margin was about the only gap separating Ohio State and MI on Saturday. After taking the ball from Barrett, Samuel hustled around left end, got past the first wave of defenders and sprinted into the end zone for the clinching score. After an interception for a touchdown for the Buckeyes, the Wolverines reacted with a 54 yard drive before the second quarter ended.

MI now sits at 10-2. "I think they're saying Wisconsin could go if they win (the Big Ten title game) and we beat that team".

Peppers likely won't get in too much trouble, and he's still had a terrific season. For much of the fittingly gray afternoon, it looked the more capable side.

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The status of starter Wilton Speight (left, non-throwing shoulder) is again uncertain so figure another game where MI will be limited in the passing game.

The play call was simple, but it wound up creating a complex problem for Ohio State.

Late in the first half, Ohio State took a 7-3 lead when the Buckeyes intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Stakes, more often than not, are always high when Ohio State and MI meet annually in the regular-season finale. U-M's field-goal block unit forced two misses by OSU's kicker. Maybe in a playoff game on New Year's Eve? Samuel is the only player in the country with at least 600 yards rushing (650) and receiving (790).

MI seems to have the edge at wide receiver, with Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh, but both quarterbacks should expect small windows in which to throw and few deep shots available.

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MI got Kenny Allen's 37-yard field goal. But in order to get into the four-team CFP field, Ohio State must be viewed as "unequivocally better" than conference champions - perhaps even including its own league's.


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