12:00 PM ET, November 22, 2008
Ohio Stadium, COLUMBUS, OH
Wells' 134 yards pace Buckeyes' fifth straight win over Michigan
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State has never dominated Michigan the way it does right now.
Noted Wolverines nemesis Chris "Beanie" Wells ran for two touchdowns, including a 59-yard scamper and had 134 yards rushing to help the 10th-ranked Buckeyes beat their archrivals 42-7 Saturday.
"I've been here for one of them," Rodriguez said. "That's the only one I can really comment on. They have one in a row on us from what I see."
Ohio State (10-2, 7-1) used five big plays to win by the biggest margin in the rivalry since Woody Hayes was prowling and growling on the sidelines in a 50-14 rout of Michigan in 1968 -- the game in which he said he went for a late 2-point conversion "because I couldn't go for three!"
• Ohio State won its fifth straight over Michigan to claim the Buckeyes' longest streak in the history of the rivalry. The streak becomes Michigan's first five-game slide since dropping five straight to Purdue from 1962-66.
• Ohio State's Beanie Wells ran for 134 yards, including a 59 yard touchdown run. It was Wells' third career touchdown run of 50-plus yards against Michigan (one each year).
• Ohio State had two TDs of 50-plus yards (one of 49). The Buckeyes had just one such score on the season.
• Terrelle Pryor became the Buckeyes' first freshman quarterback to beat Michigan (only other to start was Art Schlichter in 1978).
• The 35-point win was Ohio State's third largest over Michigan, and the largest since a 50-14 victory in 1968.
-- ESPN research
No. 7 Penn State, which beat the Buckeyes 13-6 a month ago at Ohio Stadium, pounded No. 15 Michigan State 49-18 to clinch the Big Ten's automatic Bowl Championship Series berth.
Wells left the game in the second half after aggravating a right hamstring injury sustained last week against Illinois. He was expected to be fully recovered for a bowl game.
In Rodriguez's first season since coming over from West Virginia to take over for the retired Lloyd Carr, the Wolverines (3-9, 2-6) lost the most games in school history, missed a bowl trip for the first time in 34 years and had the first losing season in 41 years.
Asked how the season would be remembered, Rodriguez said: "Hopefully [we will] remember it as a blip on the screen, a one-time happening."
On Saturday, Michigan largely held its own on defense -- except for five big plays.
Ohio State's Beanie Wells ran for 134 yards Saturday, overcoming an early season foot injury to become the sixth Buckeyes running back to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
After the Buckeyes' first three possessions ended in an interception and two three-and-outs, Wells burst through a hole on the first play and went untouched 59 yards for the score.
Early in the second quarter, Pryor, who finished 5-of-13 passing for 120 yards with an interception, looped a deep ball over the middle that Hartline ran under and took 53 yards past safety Stevie Brown for a 14-0 lead.
After a punt pinned Ohio State at its 9, Wells went 42 yards on the first play, and Herron went for a 51-yard score on the next.
Rodriguez called Wells "a first-rounder" in the NFL draft. Told that Wells was only a junior, Rodriguez smirked and repeated, "He's a first-rounder."
Tressel said the game turned on those two long runs.
Bucking the First-Year Trend
Michigan coaches understand they are hired to beat Ohio State and, historically, have gotten the job done in their debut:
|W, 31-23||Ann Arbor|
|W, 24-12||Ann Arbor|
|W, 23-14||Ann Arbor|
Ray Small -- who missed the last two games while in Tressel's doghouse for unspecified problems -- returned a punt 80 yards to set up Pryor's 8-yard scoring pass to Brian Robiskie on the very next play for a 28-7 lead.
Junior tailback Brandon Minor, who scored Michigan's only touchdown, said the dismal season shouldn't be pinned on the coach.
"You can't really blame Rich Rod because everybody on the team did not buy in like they're supposed to. We have a couple of guys not going hard," he said. "We'll correct that most definitely. That ain't going to happen on my watch as a senior."
With a frigid crowd of over 105,000 wanting Ohio State to pour it on, the Buckeyes added two more fourth-quarter scores on Herron's 2-yard run and an 18-yard TD pass from Todd Boeckman to Hartline.
Michigan mustered just 198 yards and punted 12 times. Sheridan hit on just 8 of 24 passes for 87 yards.
"As we get older, we'll look back on our career and realize to be a part of the first team to win five times in a row is something that is very special," Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "To be able to say that you're a part of this team is something that I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg was used in this report.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Dan Herron sprinted 49 yards for a TD to give the Buckeyes a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Beanie Wells, who paced the Ohio State rushing game with 134 yards and one touchdown.
Stat of the game... 5. The Buckeyes have beaten the Wolverines five straight times for the first time in school history.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||1-17||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||2-2||0-1|
|TD||03:57||Chris Wells 59 Yd Run (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||0||7|
|TD||13:10||Brian Hartline 53 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||0||14|
|TD||02:51||Brandon Minor 1 Yd Run (K.C. Lopata Kick)||7||14|
|TD||11:04||Daniel Herron 49 Yd Run (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||7||21|
|TD||03:54||Brian Robiskie 8 Yd Pass From Terrelle Pryor (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||7||28|
|TD||14:52||Daniel Herron 2 Yd Run (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||7||35|
|TD||13:16||Brian Hartline 18 Yd Pass From Todd Boeckman (Ryan Pretorius Kick)||7||42|