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Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Coaches always talk about the 5-10 plays that decide a football game. It doesn't take a genius to pick out the ones that decided this contest.
Ohio State's ability to generate big plays on both offense and special teams blew the game open in the third quarter. This hasn't been a game of methodical offense and sustained drives for the Buckeyes. They sputter at times, but when they strike, they strike for big yards.
Michigan appeared to carry over some momentum from the second quarter, notching three first downs before pinning Ohio State at its own 9-yard line. But "Beanie" and "Boom" -- also known as Chris Wells and Dan Herron -- responded with runs of 40-plus yards on back-to-back plays. Wells surged for a 42-yard gain, and Herron followed with a 49-yard touchdown. The most amazing thing? Neither man was touched. So much for that Michigan defensive line.
Though Michigan continues to have some success moving the ball, it can't get into scoring position and has missed several chances to attack the Buckeyes down the field. Special teams continue to haunt the Wolverines, and recently suspended Ohio State wide receiver Ray Small broke off an incredible 80-yard return down the sideline to set up a Terrelle Pryor touchdown pass. Welcome back, Ray.
There was more bad news for Michigan at the end of the quarter, as quarterback Nick Sheridan left the game with a sprained ankle. Freshman Justin Feagin is now taking snaps for Michigan.