Beating Ohio with cruelty.
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Many, many more GIFs from this game can be found on Flickr. To view each GIF, click the still, then the arrow in the bottom-right corner, then select “view all sizes.”
The second viewing feels different. Absent the terror, the dominance comes through.
From the opening drive, Hassan Haskins had a running start into Ohio State’s linebackers, if they were even there to be trucked. The early whoopings got the Buckeyes trying to beat their blockers to the ball, which let Josh Gattis dig into his bag and pull out a track star:
Ohio State was lucky to stay as close as they did. Cade McNamara’s uncharacteristic interception stood as the biggest swing play of the game by Expected Points Added, taking 5.19 EPA off the board.
The lists of most impactful plays by EPA and Win Percentage Added from Game on Paper reveal the almost boring manner of Michigan’s dominance. The top six plays by EPA belong to Ohio State; same with eight of the top ten plays by WPA. The Buckeyes held the edge in explosive plays.
Michigan made their fair share of swing plays, too. More importantly, they commanded the non-explosive plays by running roughshod over OSU.
By the math, 68% of Michigan’s runs and 60% of their passes added positive value. It felt that way. McNamara’s interception briefly derailed a train that kept building steam as Buckeyes in distress were pinned to the tracks by cackling, mustachio’d Wolverine linemen.
Runs by Haskins added 22 percentage points of win probability for Michigan.1 While Haskins gets much of the credit for his uncommon mix of brutality and balance, so too does the offensive line and the coaching braintrust. This was a holistic ass-beating.
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