Though the Ohio State Buckeyes still bear their own logo on their Twitter page, the Buckeyes faced a tough defeat against friendly rival University of Michigan Wolverines. On a rainy Saturday, the two teams faced off in Ann Arbor to continue a longstanding, high-spirited contest. Final score of the match was 34-13, Michigan.
The Buckeyes came straight out of the gate with a heavy drive up the pitch. Early on a confused prop attempted to score a try by touching the ball down with just five meters to go to the try zone. The hard work was rewarded with a penalty and fullback Taylor Hurff landed a conversion placing Ohio’s first points up on the scoreboard. Despite an early lead, it seemed that the blunders followed Ohio State for the rest of the match, “we just never could find our rhythm. We managed to shoot ourselves in the foot and [Michigan] kept managing to score,” said OSU coach Tom Rooney.
Despite the wet conditions, Michigan kept discipline by controlling ball and exploiting opportunities. The Wolverines had three strong movements each emerging out of a penalty for Ohio State. These movements lead to creative patterns of ball movement up field, executed by strong leadership on the pitch. The first Michigan try came thirteen minutes into the match by flyhalf Joel Conzelmann with contributions shortly after by lock Stuart Starkweather and flanker Sequoyah Burke-Combs for a try a piece at the 19 and 24 minute mark respectively. Conzelmann followed through with one successful conversion. Ohio State managed to squeeze in two penalty kicks amongst all of the Michigan action (again, by Hurff) at 16 and 31 minutes. Michigan’s Stock landed a final try to round out the half, 22-5.
The second half did not see quite as much action on the scoreboard, though plenty on the pitch itself. Early on in the half, Michigan flyhalf Conzelmann brought in a try and conversion, making a statement of who is in control despite the unfavorable weather. Maintaining continuity for their team, Michigan saw underclassmen prop Nick Fehrman and inside-center Christian Mentzer step up to the plate. Ohio State eight-man David Stauder brought in the final try for the Buckeyes, with a two-minute turnaround for the final Michigan try of the match by wing Matt Kasten. Strong play was exhibited on both sides and standout execution for Michigan slippery playing conditions.
It is clear that coach Matt Treanry has carefully cultivated responsive and adept team of contenders for the Big Ten Championship. With upcoming matches against Wisconsin and Michigan State, University of Michigan is well positioned to be one of the strongest forces within the conference.