Published November 24, 2012
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The first quarter of the 109th meeting between Michigan and Ohio State featured long passes and shoeless players and plenty of penalties.
Michigan won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. After starting the game with three straight handoffs, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller connected with Devin Smith for a 52-yard completion on the Buckeyes’ opening drive. Smith beat fifth-year senior cornerback J.T. Floyd to give Ohio State possession at Michigan’s eight-yard line. Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde punched in a three-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes the early lead.
On Michigan’s first offensive play, senior quarterback Denard Robinson scampered for 30 yards, while losing a shoe, to give Michigan the ball in Ohio State territory. The drive broke down, though, after junior quarterback Devin Gardner lost a fumble as he was sacked on a third-down play.
After Michigan forced a punt, Gardner connected with fifth-year senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree on a hitch route along the sideline. Roundtree broke a tackle, and ran more than 50 more yards for the 75-yard touchdown to even the score, 7-7.
At the end of the quarter, Ohio State drove 47 yards, but stalled after a string of penalties. The Buckeyes settled for a 41-yard field goal to go ahead 10-7 heading into the second quarter.
Ohio State continued to hurt itself with costly penalties in the second quarter.
Michigan’s first drive of the quarter was a wild one. On a third-down try, Gardner found redshirt junior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon for a long first down, but play was called back on an offensive pass interference call on Roundtree.. On the Michigan punt, the Buckeyes were flagged for roughing junior punter Will Hagerup. On the same play, Brown, the returner, fumbled the punt, and Michigan recovered and took over deep inside Ohio State’s territory.
Later in the drive, junior receiver Drew Dileo dropped a third-down pass, but Ohio State was whistled again, this time for roughing the passer. After the call extended the drive, Robinson rushed to the one-yard line, setting up a sneak by Gardner to put Michigan ahead 14-10.
A big third-down hit on Miller by an unblocked sophomore defensive end Frank Clark ended Ohio State's next drive, and Michigan retook possession. The Buckeyes were again flagged for a personal foul — a late hit out of bounds on Gardner — but the Wolverines stalled and punted.
On Ohio State’s next drive, the Buckeyes used several pounding Hyde runs and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brown to retake the lead 17-14.
Michigan took over with 1:30 remaining in the half, but needed just two Robinson rushes to score. On the second play of the drive, Robinson ran 67 yards for a touchdown. Ohio State safety Christian Bryant and cornerback Travis Howard both had a chance to take down Robinson, but both him from opposite sides at the same time, and Robinson broke free.
After the run, Robinson needed 83 yards to tie Pat White’s career rushing record for a quarterback.
Michigan led 21-17 with 32 seconds remaining, but Ohio State drove down to the 35-yard line with five seconds left in the half. Drew Basil drilled a 52-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 21-20 at the half.
Michigan carried the opening drive up to midfield before stalling on third down with a plunge by sophomore tailback Thomas Rawls that went nowhere. After a timeout, Michigan coach Brady Hoke elected to go for it on fourth down. Robinson tried to pick his way through the middle but was stuffed for a two-yard loss.
Working with a short field, Ohio State bent the Wolverine defense but couldn’t break it, settling for a 28-yard field goal to grab a 23-21 lead with 8:12 remaining in the quarter.
Michigan started deep in its own territory after a late-hit penalty was assessed to redshirt junior linebacker Mike Jones on the kickoff. Gardner hit Gallon for a gain of 30 yards, but Robinson fumbled on the next play to give the ball back to the Buckeyes.
Miller and the Buckeyes moved deep into Michigan’s red zone and had a first-and-goal from the four-yard line. But a sack from redshirt junior safety Thomas Gordon and a bad snap put Ohio State back to the 22, from where Basil missed a 39-yard field goal wide left.
Michigan went three-and-out, punting back to the Buckeyes.