Antonio Pittman’s 3-yard run with 24 seconds left capped an 88-yard drive and gave the ninth-ranked Buckeyes a 25-21 win over No. 17 Michigan on Saturday.
Ohio State’s rank went to 7th after this victory and Ohio State (9-2, 7-1) closed the regular season with six straight wins and gave coach Jim Tressel his fourth win in five games against Michigan (7-4, 5-3).
The Buckeyes rallied for the victory despite two turnovers and a shanked punt that led to UM scores, a missed extra point and field goal, mishandled punt returns and two pass interference penalties in the end zone.
Michigan was essentially playing mistake-free football when it led 21-12 midway through the fourth quarter before Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith rallied his team to a victory.
Smith’s 26-yard pass to Santonio Holmes made it 21-19 with 6:40 to go in the fourth quarter.
Michigan then drove to Ohio State’s 34 and chose to have Garrett Rivas pooch punt, instead of kicking a long field goal into the wind.
Smith’s 26-yard pass to González at UM’s 4 set up victory
Smith started the second scoring drive at the Buckeyes’ 12 with 4:18 left and made a series of clutch plays, including a 26-yard pass to Anthony González to Michigan’s 4, to set up Pittman’s winning TD.
In response, Michigan got to midfield, but its comeback hopes ended when receiver Tyler Ecker caught a short pass and tried to gain yards instead of running out of bounds.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Buckeyes ran across the field and celebrated with their fans in the corner of Michigan Stadium.
Smith was 27-of-37 for 300 yards with a TD pass, and ran for 37 yards and a score, one year after his spectacular performance led Ohio State to a win over Michigan.
Pittman had 85 yards rushing and a TD. Ted Ginn Jr., who had trouble fielding punts, caught nine passes for 89 yards and Holmes had 72 yards receiving and a score.
Chad Henne, who had to throw because Michigan couldn’t run on Ohio State’s defense, was 25-of-36 for 223 yards and a TD. Steve Breaston had seven receptions for 53 yards.
Mike Hart, who aggravated an ankle injury early in the second half, was held to 15 yards rushing on nine carries and his replacement, Kevin Grady, ran for just 11 yards.