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Failure to adjust leads to nightmare second half for Michigan

By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published November 24, 2012

Robinson was in at quarterback again, and he handed to senior running back Vincent Smith.

Smith didn’t gain a yard.

Before the run, Michigan running backs had rushed for 11 yards on six carries.

“You kinda look at where you’re at and what you feel you may have an opportunity,” Hoke said of the third-down calls. “You know, upstairs, you see a lot of different things.”

Michigan was again forced to punt. Through three possessions in the second half, the Wolverines rushed eight times for six yards. Gardner passed three times, all complete, for 46 yards.

The Wolverines faced a third, third down in the fourth quarter. This time, Gardner was in at quarterback, needing one yard. He handed off to Smith. Smith lost two yards.

Hoke said Gardner didn’t pass more, because “they just weren’t called.”

Gardner fumbled on his next possession, and by then, Michigan had lost its offensive rhythm after three second-half turnovers.

“When we gave the ball back as many times as we did in the second half, your rhythm kinda fades away a little bit,” Hoke said. “And then the clock’s against you a little bit.”

By Michigan’s final drive, Meyer and the Buckeyes didn’t have to worry about Robinson. He was out of the game, as Michigan needed to pass more, Hoke said — though Hoke also said Robinson could have thrown on Saturday.

Ohio State had done its job. Robinson actually lost two yards in the second half. Michgian, its star neutralized, found no other answers.