ANN ARBOR, MI (AP) – Dwayne Haskins replaced injured star J.T. Barrett in the third quarter and led No. 8 Ohio State from behind to beat Michigan 31-20 Saturday for their sixth straight win in the storied rivalry.
This one came with a twist. Barrett was warming up on the sideline before kickoff when he said someone made contact with his right leg, aggravating a knee injury he has played through all season.
“Too many people on the sideline,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. “I’m so angry right now.”
Barrett also lamented how many people Michigan allowed to be around the Buckeyes’ bench before the game, including an unidentified male who made contact with him.
“I remember he was wearing something grey, and he continued to walk,” Barrett said. “He got a little nervous.”
Barrett said he will play next Saturday night when Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) plays in the Big Ten championship game against No. 5 Wisconsin, needing another win to bolster hopes of getting a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Wolverines (8-4, 5-4) have lost 13 of 14 to Ohio State, including the last three with coach Jim Harbaugh.
Michigan was relegated to starting John O’Korn because Brandon Peters wasn’t cleared to play after having a concussion and Wilton Speight is still out with cracked vertebrae. The fifth-year senior O’Korn simply didn’t make the most of the opportunity, completing fewer than half of his passes. He was picked off with about two minutes left and the Buckeyes ahead 24-20.
Mike Weber sealed it for Ohio State with a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:44 left.
Haskins, meanwhile, took full advantage of his chance to play. The redshirt freshman was 6 of 7 for 94 yards and had a 22-yard run that set up J.K. Dobbins’ 1-yard touchdown gave Ohio State a 21-20 lead late in the third quarter.
Barrett appeared to hurt his right knee on a run midway through the third quarter. He limped off the field and toward the locker room before returning to watch the rest of the game from the sideline.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes rallied from deficits for 14-0 in the first half and 20-14 in the second. Now the question is: Will they have Barrett for the Big Ten championship in Indianapolis.
Michigan: The Wolverines can’t win 10 games for the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s three seasons and they will lament the many missed opportunities they had against Ohio State. O’Korn missed open receivers early in the game and late. Leading 14-0, defensive back Josh Metellus dropped Barrett’s pass that hit his hands. Barrett took advantage of getting another chance on the drive, scoring on a 21-yard run to cut Michigan’s lead to 14-7 in the second quarter.
Ohio State: The last time Ohio State faced Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship with a backup quarterback Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 victory in 2014 that put them in the playoff.
Michigan: The Wolverines may end up in the Holiday Bowl.