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Halftime Analysis: Ohio State, Michigan Locked In Tight Contest

Here are some first half thoughts on the Buckeyes trail Michigan in a very tight game.

Halftime Score: Michigan 14, Ohio State 13

This has certainly not been the game I expected. Michigan's game plan of running long drives that chew up a lot of clock has worked well and they've kept the Buckeye offense on the field quite a bit.

Ohio State's first three drives yielded three points and included two punts. That's certainly not the high-powered attack we are used to seeing from them this year.

On the other side of the ball, Ohio State did a good job of keeping the game tight while the offense worked through some inefficiency. Michigan threw an unusual interception at the goal line after scoring the first time they had the ball. But the Buckeyes forced back-to-back punts on the next two possessions.

I thought Dawand Jones and Jeremy Ruckert both had tough first halves. Jones had a couple of penalties and Ruckert wasn't as impactful blocking in the run game as he usually is. Thayer Munford also got flagged for a false start. The Buckeyes committed three pre-snap penalties that all proved costly.

LIVE UPDATES: No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

After Bryson Shaw's critical interception, a red zone penalty stalls the Ohio State drive and the Buckeyes had to settle for a field goal. The Buckeyes haven't been stopped very often in the red zone, and most of the time it's because of a self-inflicted wound.

Ohio State allowed Michigan to convert all four third down conversions in the first quarter, while U of M ran for 7.7 yards per carry in that first quarter (11 carries for 85 yards). Michigan racked up 60 yards on the ground on the first drive of the game. The Buckeyes allow on average only 103 yards per contest. They went into the locker room with 21 carries for 109 yards. In the second half, they have to be better about getting off the field and getting Michigan in more challenging second and third down situa

The Buckeyes have been really effective running tempo in the first half, but they haven't been able to do it frequently enough. They had a couple of really nice sequences in both the first and second quarters, including on the touchdown throw to Garrett Wilson.


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