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.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State