ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Denard Robinson accounted for five touchdowns, helping No. 17 Michigan beat Ohio State 40-34 on Saturday and snap a school-record, seven-game losing streak in the rivalry.
The Wolverines (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) were forced to settle for a six-point lead with 1:59 left on Brendan Gibbons’ career-long 43-yard field goal after two apparent TDs were negated by a video review and then penalties.
The Buckeyes (6-6, 3-5) had a chance to win the game on their final drive, but freshman Braxton Miller sailed a pass over Deviser Posey’s head on what could’ve been a 76-yard TD and threw a loss-sealing interception to Courtney Avery.
Michigan finally beat its archrival because it had a better quarterback than Ohio State for a change.
Robinson was 14 of 17 – completing 11 straight passes during one stretch – for 167 yards with TD passes to Kevin Koger, Junior Hemingway and Martavious Odoms. He ran 26 times for 170 yards and two more scores and lost a fumble.
Miller was 14 of 25 for 235 yards with TD passes to Posey and Corey Brown. He ran 16 times for 100 yards and a score.
The Wolverines also had more success creating holes for their featured running back.
Fitzgerald Toussaint had 120 yards rushing, but didn’t score because video review overturned his apparent TD late in the game because he ruled to be down before getting in the end zone. Robinson then had a TD run negated by a holding penalty – and yet another flag after the play pushed Michigan back to the Ohio State 26, forcing Gibbons to make the longest field goal of his career to force the Buckeyes to score a TD to win.
Ohio State’s Dan Herron was held to 37 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries, but the Wolverines had trouble slowing down Miller just as they had previously with Troy Smith, who started Ohio State’s winning streak in 2004, and Terrelle Pryor who extended it with last year’s win.
Pryor, though, wasn’t around to win again in The Game because a cash-for-Buckeyes memorabilia scandal forced him to leave, Jim Tressel to resign and several other players to sit out with suspensions for multiple games in what became the program’s worst season on the field since 1999.
The Buckeyes have already said they will pass up the chance to go to a bowl game.
Michigan, meanwhile, might be in a BCS bowl game for the first time since 2006 under first-year coach Brady Hoke, who took many of Rich Rodriguez’s players and helped them perform much better this season.
The Big House field was filled with maize-and-blue clad fans after the Wolverines finally beat the Buckeyes, ending a drought that lasted more than 2,900 days as the players were reminded each day they stepped into Schembechler Hall.
The public-address announcer tried in vain to get the field cleared for the bands, but they stayed in a cluster around the block ‘M’ at midfield and were sprinkled throughout the rest of the field as they soaked up the moment.