ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Jim Harbaugh has revived Michigan's football program. He still has work to do to help the Wolverines beat their rivals.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 8 Ohio State rout the 12th-ranked Wolverines 42-13 Saturday.
Michigan (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP) simply could not stop Ohio State from running at will. The Wolverines botched a punt on the final play against Michigan State in their only other loss in the conference.
"I'm very proud of the team the way they've worked and the way they've progressed," Harbaugh said. "We've closed a lot of ground. More ground to make up, but knowing our team, we will keep working hard."
The Buckeyes (11-1, 7-1, No. 8 CFP) have won 11 of the last 12 games in what has become a lopsided series.
Michigan trailed the entire game and pulled within four points twice in the first half.
The Buckeyes' no-huddle, up-tempo offense gave the Wolverines problems much like Indiana did when the Hoosiers ran for 307 yards two weeks ago.
"We've got to get better at that," Michigan defensive tackle Chris Wormley said.
Elliott's performance came a week after he was held to 12 carries for 33 yards against the Spartans, then criticized the team's play calling and said he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. He had a 5-yard run that put Ohio State up 14-3 in the second quarter and a 10-yard run put the Buckeyes ahead 35-13 early in the fourth.
"We couldn't make tackles, especially on No. 15," Wormley said. "A guy like that takes more than one person to tackle him."
J.T. Barrett, who had 19 carries for a season-high 139 yards, started the scoring barrage with a 7-yard run late in the first quarter. His 13-yard run late in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes an 18-point cushion and his 17-yard run midway through the fourth made mercifully ended the scoring for Michigan.
As a team, Ohio State ran for 369 yards.
"The biggest thing is they were getting tired and they weren't getting lined up," Elliott said.
When the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter, Wolverines quarterback Jake Rudock was sacked and slammed onto his left shoulder and left the game. Rudock was injured by former high school teammate Joey Bosa and was replaced by Wilton Speight. Rudock and Bosa played together at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rudock was 19 of 32 for 263 yards and a TD.
Unlike Ohio State, the Wolverines struggled to move the ball on the ground. Three-way player Jabrill Peppers had 29 yards rushing on seven carries and No. 1 running back De'Veon Smith had 10 carries for just 23 yards.
Harbaugh has generated a lot of hype this year for coming back to lead Michigan, were he was the starting quarterback two decades ago, he has to improve a program that is 0-4 against Meyer.
Michigan kept the game competitive — in the first half.
Kenny Allen kicked a 25-yard field goal to pull the Wolverines within four points early in the second quarter. Rudock made a 5-yard TD pass to Jehu Chesson to cut Ohio State's lead to 14-10 just before halftime.
This wasn't the year for Michigan to gain an edge in The Game. In the fourth quarter, red-clad fans were easy to see in the emptying stadium and could be heard shouting, "OH-IO! OH-IO!" toward the end of another blowout.
"We're down right now, but we can always come back," Chesson said. "The sun will rise."
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