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Date: Nov 17, 2015
Ohio State vs Michigan - 1973 Revisited
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It’s that time of year again.  Thirty-two years ago this month, undefeated Ohio State and Michigan battled to a 10-10 tie.  The decision of who would represent the Big Ten (which some called the “Big Two and Little Eight”) in the Rose Bowl was left in the hands of the conference’s athletic directors.  Though it always seemed to me that the eventual choice (Ohio State) was at least as reasonable (if not more so) than Michigan, a myth of injustice surrounding the pick has arisen over the years.  The argument for Ohio State was that they were a better team, especially in light of the injury to Michigan quarterback Dennis Franklin (which at the time appeared to be serious).  The argument for Michigan boiled down to their domination in the second half of the game and the fact that the Buckeyes went to the Rose Bowl the previous year.  The Wolverines’ play cannot be discounted, even though Ohio State dominated the first half.  Ohio State coach Woody Hayes apparently thought Michigan’s play would get them the nod.  Personally, I assumed Ohio State would be selected, because they seemed to be the better team and would give the Big Ten the best chance of beating USC in the Rose Bowl (which they did, 42-21). The Big Ten Network aired a somewhat one-sided documentary titled “Tiebreaker” two years ago, which heavily suggested that an injustice of sorts had been done.  If only they had overtime.

Well, why not use Strat-O-Matic to decide (and re-decide each year) which team is better?  Since 2013, I’ve played eight games.  Fittingly, the series is tied, 4-4.  I will play two games this year, one at the Shoe and the other at the Big House.  Here are the previous years’ scores:

Michigan 21    Ohio State 14
Michigan 30    Ohio State 14
Ohio State 31  Michigan 24
Michigan 31    Ohio State 14
Ohio State 13  Michigan 7
Ohio State 27  Michigan 10
Ohio State 24  Michigan 12
Michigan 20    Ohio State 17

Here’s an analysis of the teams (a la Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder) I did a couple years ago:

                           OSU     Mich

Team Speed                  x
Quarterback                          x
Defensive Secondary         x
Defensive Front                      x
Offensive Line              x
Running Game                x              
Special Teams               x
Discipline                  x
Kicking Game                         x

Team Speed.  With Archie Griffin and Cornelius Greene in the backfield, and breakaway threat David Hazel as the wideout, Ohio State wins this category.  Certainly Michigan has the potential for the big play with Chuck Heater (RB) and Clint Haslerig (WR), but Heater isn’t a starter, and it’s always uncertain whether Dennis Franklin will be able to connect with his able receiving corps.

Quarterback.  The Big Ten was not a passing conference in 1973, and neither Ohio State nor Michigan exactly lit up the conference through the air.  Though there can be no doubt that Greene is the superior scrambler, Franklin’s better throwing accuracy and receivers, especially big Paul Seal (TE), gives Michigan the edge in this category.

Defensive Secondary.  Michigan has one of the best free safeties in the country in Dave Brown, but that’s where it ends.  Ohio State simply has better defensive backs.  And when one further considers OSU’s killer trio of linebackers (Randy Gradishar, Vic Koegel and Rick Middleton) this category is a no-brainer.  Just as Michigan’s defensive line might be able to neutralize Ohio State’s rushing advantage (as detailed below), Ohio State’s secondary and linebackers might eliminate Michigan’s passing edge.

Defensive Front.  Man for man (with the likes of Van DeCree and Pete Cusick), Ohio State might slightly edge Michigan here.  But Michigan utilizes a 5-2 defense (albeit at the expense of their linebacker capability), which has yielded one less yard per carry than the Buckeyes’ 4-3 formation.  Collectively, Michigan’s front five, led by all-American end Dave Gallagher, just might be able to neutralize Ohio State’s offensive line and running attack advantage (considered below).  Furthermore, despite Ohio State’s pass blocking edge, Michigan’s pass rush could put pressure on Greene if and when Woody lets him pass. 

Offensive Line.  Ohio State’s pass blocking is consistently first-rate across their front five and their run blocking bests Michigan’s at three positions.  Edge to Ohio State here.

Running Game.  Greene and Griffin are better than anyone Michigan has.  Period.  And converted linebacker Bruce Elia likely will be able to match Ed Shuttlesworth’s toughness up the middle from the fullback slot.  Here, Ohio State has at least as much of an edge as Michigan has in the passing game.

Special Teams.  Both teams have the capability of returning punts for touchdowns, which could make a difference in a game like this.  But Ohio State’s kick returners (notably Griffin) and superb punt coverage can give them better field position in the absence of a breakaway scoring run.  Since place kicking will be considered separately, edge to the Buckeyes on this one.

Discipline.  Ohio State is less penalized and fumbles less often.  But Michigan’s ability to force more turnovers makes this category a closer call.

Kicking Game.  Michigan’s placekicker Michael Lantry is everything Blair Conway is not – namely, accurate on field goals and PATs.  He also has a stronger leg.  A field goal (missed or made) could be the difference in these games.  Big edge to Michigan.

As an aside, those familiar with the actual game will recall that Lantry missed two game-winning field goal attempts in the closing minutes.  He choked.  Big time.  Especially on the second, much closer attempt. I suspect the extreme outrage of not being selected for the Rose Bowl was for some Michigan fans an attempt to mask the greater heartbreak of knowing that they could have (indeed should have) won a trip to Rose Bowl on their own and without the aid of an athletic director vote.



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My few tweaks to the teams may be paying off from a realism standpoint. At the half, the game is knotted at 3. Michigan had a golden opportunity to take the lead after they blocked a Tom Skladany punt and had a first and goal at the OSU six. But they could not capitalize. In three plays they lost nine yards and then Lantry - true to form - missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.

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I hate to correct you, but you are a little off with the Lantry comments.

In 1973, he DID miss two field goals in the last 1:01 of the game. They however were from 58 and 44 yards.

The 1974 game however, was when Lantry, with his team down 12-10 and 16 seconds left, missed a 33-yarder, albeit from the extreme angle.

From his wikipedia page...........

165px-Mike_Lantry.png

Mike Lantry (born c. 1948) is a former All-American football player. He was a left-footed place-kicker who played for Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan from 1972 through 1974. He was selected as a first-team All-American in 1973 and set Michigan records for the longest field goal, most field goals, and most point after touchdown kicks. However, he also missed three key field goals in the last minutes of the 1973 and 1974 Michigan–Ohio State games.

Contents

1 Early years and military service
2 University of Michigan
2.1 1973 season
2.2 1974 season
3 See also
4 References

Early years and military service

A native of Oxford, Michigan, Lantry enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school. He spent three years in the Army, including service in the Vietnam War. Lantry's experiences in Vietnam and Michigan were the subject of Michael Rosenberg's 2008 book, War As They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest.[1] Lantry later recalled, "For a full year, my parents agonized, hoping they wouldn't get the call that so many other parents received."[2] In 2007, Lantry described himself as "a proud Vietnam veteran".[3]
University of Michigan

After his discharge from the Army, Lantry enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1971. Unlike most college athletes, Lantry was a 23-year-old freshman who was married, had a young child, and had seen combat action in Vietnam. And he had no scholarship. He made the Michigan football team as a walk-on. Lantry earned a spot on the team in 1971 and was Michigan's first-string place-kicker for all 33 games of the 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons. In addition to football, Lantry was also a shot putter who earned three varsity letters at Michigan.[3] Lantry graduated from Michigan's School of Education in 1975.[3]
1973 season

In September 1973, Lantry broke the Michigan record for longest field goal twice in the same quarter of a single football game. Nine seconds into the second quarter of a 47–10 win over Stanford, Lantry kicked a 50-yard field goal to break the school record. In the waning moments of the quarter, Lantry broke his own record by kicking a 51-yard field goal.[4] After the record was broken twice in the span of a 15-minute quarter, Lantry's record stood for 11 years until 1984 when Bob Bergeron kicked a 52-yard field goal for Michigan.[5]

In the 1973 Michigan–Ohio State game, Lantry missed two key fourth-quarter field goal attempts. With the game tied 10–10, and 1:01 remaining in the game, Lantry attempted a 58-yard field goal but the kick was wide to the left, missing by inches. Michigan intercepted an Ohio State pass on the first play of the ensuing drive, and Lantry got another shot at a game-winning field goal with 24 seconds left to play. His attempt at a 44-yard field goal went wide by about three inches, and the game ended in a 10–10 tie.[6] Both teams finished the 1973 season with identical 10–0–1 records, and the Big Ten Conference athletic directors voted to send Ohio State to the 1974 Rose Bowl. Because Big Ten rules at that time allowed only one team to play in a post-season bowl game, Michigan did not play in a bowl game despite having an undefeated season.

Lantry was selected by Football News as a first-team All-American in 1973.[7][8]
1974 season

In his senior season in 1974, Lantry broke the Michigan school record for most field goals and point after touchdown kicks. The prior record of 107 point after touchdown kicks had stood since 1947.[9]

Lantry was again called on to attempt a critical field goal in the 1974 Michigan-Ohio State game. Ohio State led 12–10 nearing the end of the fourth quarter. Lantry was brought in to attempt a game-winning field goal and a chance for redemption. One newspaper described the scene as follows:

"There were 16 seconds to play when Mike Lantry's left leg boomed the ball. The distance was 33 yards. The angle was very bad and very tough and from a wide side of the field. Mike Lantry's kick was very high. The officials looked for an agonizingly long, long time. They finally made their signal No good. Wide. Not by much. Inches again. But still no good. Close. There was that word again, that awful word that had tormented Mike Lantry for a whole year. Close."[10]

The game was broadcast on national television, and as Ohio State fans came flooding onto the field to celebrate, the camera followed Lantry as he picked up his tee, and in the words of game announcer Keith Jackson "walked disconsolately toward the sideline."[11] The image of Lantry walking slowly to the sideline became one of the iconic images of the Michigan–Ohio State rivalry. Because of the severe angle, several people believed Lantry's kick was actually good, and this has been used to advocate for the use of cameras on the uprights to permit replay review of ambiguous kicks in the future. [12]

The Chicago Tribune opened its coverage of the game with the line, "Mike Lantry served in the Viet Nam War and he had reason to believe the worst was over—until Saturday."[13] After consecutive years with disappointments on last-minute field goal attempts, one sports writer joked that "perhaps the state of Michigan was going to form a lynch mob for Mike Lantry."[10] Instead, Lantry received thousands of letters from fans expressing compassion, sympathy and encouragement.[2][10] Even Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes expressed his sympathy for Lantry: "I hate to see that happen to a kid like that because he served his country in Vietnam, but if it had to happen, I'm glad it happened against us."[14] Lantry told reporters at the time, "I guess the biggest surprise is the way people have acted. They're suffering with me. They've been more than kind. I wish there was a way I could thank them all."[10]

Interviewed in 2004 about the missed kick in the 1974 Ohio State game, Lantry recalled: "I was numb. That was the final play of my college career right there. Everything you worked for, those glorious years of competition, my teammates. ... If we had won that game, we would have played in the Rose Bowl. We could have shot to the top of the AP and UPI rankings. Who knows? That was like the World Series: bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs, a 3–2 count. It was on my foot, but it didn't happen."[2]



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Not sure what there is to correct. I initially stated Lantry was "accurate on field goals and PATs" and gave a "(b)ig edge to Michigan" in the kicking game. (Did you read that part?)  Otherwise, I just stated that he missed two field goals in the 1973 game, which we both agree on.  I did not say how long they were.  The reference to the missed 32-yarder was to what happened in the first half of my replay, not the actual game. 

Choking big time is an opinion, not a fact. And given Lantry's skills, I think missing a 44-yarder to win the game was a choke.  (Had it been Blair Conway, it would have been simply an indication of his ineptness as a kicker rather than a choke.  You need talent to choke, which is the reason why I wouldn't accuse Greg Hare of choking when he threw the interception that set up the final Lantry try.)  Lantry's 1974 performance was, of course, worse, but I didn't mention that.  Personally, I think the 58-yarder was well within Lantry's range (it was wide, not short), but I wouldn't call that almost-record-breaker a choke.



-- Edited by boomer on Friday 20th of November 2015 04:40:03 PM

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Michigan seemed to have this one in hand with a 10-9 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.  Except for a few clutch runs by Cornelius Greene, Michigan was totally shutting down the Ohio State ground game.  It took Neal Colzie’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown to give Ohio State the lead for good.  Thanks to a string of completions by Dennis Franklin, who had been having a pretty bad day up until then, Michigan was on the verge of scoring at the end (so this one easily could have been 20-17, possibly with enough time for an onside kick).

                  1     2     3     4       F
Michigan 1973     0     3     7     0      10
Ohio State 1973   3     0     6    11      20

SCORING PLAYS
Qtr   Clock   Description (Extra Point)
1      5:54   OSU - Conway 28 yard field goal
2     11:05   Mich - Lantry 48 yard field goal
3     10:22   Mich - Heater 10 yard run (Lantry kick)
3      2:36   OSU - Greene 6 yard run (kick failed)
4      6:39   OSU - Colzie 65 yard punt return (Greene run)
4      4:17   OSU - Conway 32 yard field goal

TEAM STATISTICS       Mich     OSU
First Downs             17      12
Total Offense          244     188
Rushing
   Attempts             48      49
   Yards               161     132
   Average             3.4     2.7
Passing
   Attempts             19       3
   Completions           7       2
   Percent Complete   36.8    66.7
   Yards                83      56
   Average/Pass        4.4    18.7
   Interceptions         2       0
Punts-Average       5-43.4  5-32.6
Penalties-Yards       8-55    6-35
Fumbles-Lost           0-0     0-0
Time of Possession   31:35   28:25



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And the individual stats:

PASSING                  ATT   CMP   YDS    PCT   TD  INT
Ohio State
Cornie Greene              3     2    56   66.7    0    0
Michigan
Dennis Franklin           19     7    83   36.8    0    2

RUSHING                  ATT   YDS   AVG   TD
Ohio State
Archie Griffin            29    55   1.9    0
Cornie Greene              8    64   8.0    1
Pete Johnson               5     2   0.4    0
Bruce Elia                 4     1   0.3    0
Elmer Lippert              2     5   2.5    0
Brian Baschnagel           1     5   5.0    0
Michigan
Ed Shuttlesworth          19    36   1.9    0
Gil Chapman               14   100   7.1    0
Dennis Franklin            9     3   0.3    0
Chuck Heater               5    25   5.0    1
Clint Haslerig             1    -3  -3.0    0

RECEIVING                 NO   YDS   AVG   TD
Ohio State
David Hazel                1    21  21.0    0
Archie Griffin             1    35  35.0    0
Michigan
Clint Haslerig             3    39  13.0    0
Paul Seal                  2    28  14.0    0
Keith Johnson              1    14  14.0    0
Ed Shuttlesworth           1     2   2.0    0

OTHER STATS OF NOTE
Ohio State
Vic Koegel- 10 tackles
Neal Colzie – 9 tackles, 65 yard TD punt return
Randy Gradishar – 9 tackles, 1 sack
Pete Cusick – 8 tackles, 2 sacks
Bruce Ruhl – 6 tackles, 1 sack
Steve Luke – 2 tackles, 1 interception
Tim Fox – 1 tackle, 1 interception
Michigan
Steve Strinko – 9 tackles
Carl Russ – 8 tackles



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boomer wrote:

Not sure what there is to correct. I initially stated Lantry was "accurate on field goals and PATs" and gave a "(b)ig edge to Michigan" in the kicking game. (Did you read that part?)  Otherwise, I just stated that he missed two field goals in the 1973 game, which we both agree on.  I did not say how long they were.  The reference to the missed 32-yarder was to what happened in the first half of my replay, not the actual game. 

Choking big time is an opinion, not a fact. And given Lantry's skills, I think missing a 44-yarder to win the game was a choke.  (Had it been Blair Conway, it would have been simply an indication of his ineptness as a kicker rather than a choke.  You need talent to choke, which is the reason why I wouldn't accuse Greg Hare of choking when he threw the interception that set up the final Lantry try.)  Lantry's 1974 performance was, of course, worse, but I didn't mention that.  Personally, I think the 58-yarder was well within Lantry's range (it was wide, not short), but I wouldn't call that almost-record-breaker a choke.



-- Edited by boomer on Friday 20th of November 2015 04:40:03 PM


 This was what you originally wrote.....from how I read it, it looks like you are referring to 1973 when you talk about the field goals.  Even with the tee they used back then, I would not call a 58 yarder and a 44 yarder in that era anything near a gimme.  Yes a 44 yarder is "much closer" then a 58 yarder, but I think he choked more in 1974 (even he admitted it).

A Pro kicker in 1973 would do well to make 70% of their kicks (without checking, it was probably closer to 60%).  Even with using the tees, I can't believe the college game is any easier...ESPECIALLY with the extreme angles.

You do admit "choking" is an opinion, not fact.  That we definitely agree on.

 

Kicking Game.  Michigan’s placekicker Michael Lantry is everything Blair Conway is not – namely, accurate on field goals and PATs.  He also has a stronger leg.  A field goal (missed or made) could be the difference in these games.  Big edge to Michigan.

As an aside, those familiar with the actual game will recall that Lantry missed two game-winning field goal attempts in the closing minutes.  He choked.  Big time.  Especially on the second, much closer attempt. I suspect the extreme outrage of not being selected for the Rose Bowl was for some Michigan fans an attempt to mask the greater heartbreak of knowing that they could have (indeed should have) won a trip to Rose Bowl on their own and without the aid of an athletic director vote.



-- Edited by nacster on Friday 20th of November 2015 11:47:15 PM

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"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

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1906

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1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



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I would like nothing better than to see Lantry put into a position in my replay like he was back in 1973-74 - game on the line with the field goal attempt being the difference. I've played nine games and it hasn't happened yet. Though I'm a big Ohio State fan, I'm more interested in achieving realism with my created teams. (I created Michigan from scratch and modified Ohio State in various ways.) A Lantry moment (regardless of the outcome) would be ideal.

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boomer wrote:

I would like nothing better than to see Lantry put into a position in my replay like he was back in 1973-74 - game on the line with the field goal attempt being the difference. I've played nine games and it hasn't happened yet. Though I'm a big Ohio State fan, I'm more interested in achieving realism with my created teams. (I created Michigan from scratch and modified Ohio State in various ways.) A Lantry moment (regardless of the outcome) would be ideal.


 With the closeness of the two teams and how they play, it is just a matter of time before a FG attempt decides the outcome.

I very vaguely remember these games in real life.  Shows how far college football as come, both for the good (Michigan would never ever have been left out of anything now), and the bad (every game seems like it's 55-52).



__________________

"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

1896-1900

1906

1916-1917

1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



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Before the next game, I will modify Strat-O-Matic's computer 5-2 and 4-3 defenses to eliminate the nickel and dime defenses in all but the clearest passing situations. Either team (especially Michigan) using a nickel or dime package on even third and long is unrealistic.  This should help the defenses a bit.



-- Edited by boomer on Saturday 21st of November 2015 01:09:52 PM

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We all appreciate his service to our country but Lantry choked in the "Big One", twice.  Lantry's senior year he was also right around 40% on FG's way down from '73.  In this day missing game winners two years in a row in the OSU/Mich game, he'd have to leave the state.  OSU's Conway didn't miss a FG inside 40 yards in '72 or '73 and didn't miss against Mich.  He also set the all time OSU record for most extra points that year breaking Stan White's record.  Another clutch performance was delivered by Mike Bartoszek who took over for Skladany at punting when he broke his ankle early in the game.  Bartoszek hadn't punted since he was a senior in high school.  He did a fine job in that game.



-- Edited by fbfan on Monday 23rd of November 2015 08:26:47 PM



-- Edited by fbfan on Monday 23rd of November 2015 08:27:25 PM

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For 1973, I have Conway hitting on a not too impressive 45 of 55 PATs (81.8%) and 5 of 10 in the field goal department. He seems to have missed on a 34-yarder against Washington State (week three). It seems odd that Conway would be 5 of 6 from inside the 40 yet miss that many PATs.

Lantry hit on 8 of 13 field goals, and a couple of those were 50+. His PATs were very good for a head-on kicker of his era - 42 of 43 (97.7%).

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One thing nobody realized in those years OSU had 125+ players on the team so multiple same numbers.  I was the third team kicker (a walk on) for the Bucks and also had number 3 (Conway's # also).  Sadly to say I was the kicker that missed the Wash St. FG and 3 of those extra points (2 of which  my foot never met the ball, bad snap and dropped hold).  Our names were not on the jersey's so he got credited with the misses.  He probably really missed maybe three pat's.  No way to change the stat, at least we didn't know of any.  Something else that year our regular center Steve Meyers got hurt and couldn't long snap, but still great at QB exchange.  So we were experimenting with long snappers.  We had numerous "bad snaps" where Conway never even kicked the ball yet got credited with a miss.  Finally later in the year we found Mark Straka by accident, he was also a backup end.  He was just playing around snapping and was firing the ball back.  Coach Staub snatched him up and after that we were solid.  But to make a long story end Conway was not to blame for several misses that he was credited with.  He also had tryouts with Chicago and Cleveland and was in the late cut with Cleveland.  Came back as a Grad assist coach in '74 as well.  I got injured in spring ball '74 never played again.  I didn't do a good job nerve's I guess but Woody tried to get everyone in when we were winning big.  Just a note Tom Klaban (the second team kicker)went  1 for 4 on pat's again probably from the bad snap's.  In '74 when we had the snap's corrected he was great as was evident from his '74 Mich game.



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My source (and likely SOM's) was the game sheet.  I have noted some obvious errors now and then, but I'm sure there were many I didn't see.

Sorry about your injury.  I always wonder about those who never got the chance because their careers (amateur and professional) were cut short by injury or just the lack of a chance to shine.  But, as they say, when one door closes . . .

I have one more OSU vs Michigan game to play this year.  Stay tuned to see if OSU goes up by two games or Michigan comes back at the Big House to even things up until next year!



-- Edited by boomer on Tuesday 24th of November 2015 12:35:31 PM

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At the half, the Ohio State has a 13-0 lead.  The Buckeyes scored on their opening drive and scored again after quarterback Dennis Franklin fumbled the ball away in his own territory. 

Michigan did not come close to scoring.  Mike Lantry missed a 49-yard field goal attempt.  The next time they got that close, the Wolverines went for it on fourth down and fullback Ed Shuttlesworth was stuffed by the Buckeye defense. 

Back in 1973, Ohio State had a 10-0 lead at the half.  We’ll see if Michigan can rally like they did in real life.

                  1     2     3     4       T
Ohio State 1973   7     6                  13
Michigan 1973     0     0                   0

SCORING PLAYS
Qtr   Clock   Description (Extra Point)
1     10:08   Ohio State - Hazel 5 yard pass from Greene (Conway kick)
2     12:16   Ohio State - Griffin 7 yard run (kick failed)

TEAM STATISTICS        OSU    Mich
First Downs             10       6
Total Offense          136      92
Rushing
   Attempts             31      25
   Yards               131      63
   Average             4.2     2.5
Passing
   Attempts              1       4
   Completions           1       2
   Percent Complete  100.0    50.0
   Yards                 5      29
   Average/Pass        5.0     7.3
   Interceptions         0       0
Punts-Average       4-38.5  3-45.0
Penalties-Yards       2-20    4-45
Fumbles-Lost           1-0     1-1
Time of Possession   15:45   14:15



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