No excuses for Michigan: ‘They devastated us’

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State‘s offense “slowly devastated” the best statistical defense in the country on a record-setting day for the Buckeyes.

Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel said he couldn’t pinpoint a specific time in the 62-39 Ohio State victory Saturday when things went awry. The senior and team captain said no one in the visiting locker room escaped blame for the loss.

“They slowly devastated us throughout the game. Knowing all the yards they were putting up and how easily they were scoring, it was tough. It was very tough,” Kinnel said. “They completely beat us everywhere. Run game, pass game, everyone is to blame.”

The defense for No. 4 Michigan had not allowed more than 24 points in a game this season, but it surrendered that many in the first two quarters before things truly got out of hand after halftime. The nation’s No. 1 passing defense gave up 318 passing yards and five touchdowns through the air, allowing Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins to set Big Ten records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season.

The 62 points allowed were the most a Michigan defense has yielded in a regulation-length game in program history. It also had never allowed more than 50 points to Ohio State in the 114 previous meetings between the teams.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game that he was aware the point total was unprecedented.

“I believe I did, yes,” Harbaugh said when asked if he knew. “And congratulations to them. They played really well.”

Harbaugh praised Ohio State’s pass protection and said the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) in a variety of ways — with deep passes, crossing routes, speed on the outside and in the running game.

He said he takes responsibility for the loss, as did Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. The Ole Miss transfer who was born in Ohio left his only game against the Buckeyes with a bone bruise on his knee. Harbaugh said he doesn’t believe Patterson’s injury will be a long-term issue.

No. 10 Ohio State (11-1, 8-1) secured a spot in the Big Ten championship game with the victory Saturday. Coach Urban Meyer moved to 7-0 against Michigan since coming to Columbus. That makes him 4-0 against Harbaugh and the current group of Michigan seniors.

Kinnel, an Ohio native, said he felt “blessed” to play in the rivalry for four seasons despite not beating the Buckeyes.

“That’s the toughest part,” Kinnel said. “I’m going to have to sleep on that the rest of my life — I wasn’t able to win in this game. Other than that, I’m blessed to be here.”

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