Buckeye fans didn’t enjoy Michigan’s comeback

Published 12:46 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

It wasn’t a great 48 hours to be a Buckeyes fan.

First there was Thursday night, when No. 1 Southern California lost at Oregon State. The Beavers were a robust 1-2 coming into the game, while some were saying the Trojans might be among the best teams in college football history. After all, they had dismantled the Buckeyes 35-3 at the Coliseum less than two weeks before.

But against the Beavers, the Trojans looked like, well, like the Buckeyes looked against them. The game was closer (27-21), but QB Mark Sanchez had trouble getting any time to throw the ball, the defense couldn’t stop this OSU and TB Joe McKnight barely broke double digits in rushing yardage.

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Asked how he felt about USC’s loss, OSU LB Malcolm Jenkins didn’t hide his emotions.

‘‘(I’m) upset, because I guess from a poll standpoint it makes us look even worse,’’ he said. ‘‘But it just lets you know that anybody can be beat depending on the day.’’

Like, uh, Saturday?

Earlier in the day the Buckeyes captured a 34-21 victory over Minnesota that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might have indicated because the Golden Gophers scored two late TDs.

Still, Ohio State was right on pace for next weekend’s big showdown with unbeaten and No. 9 Wisconsin.

But while fans were still celebrating the victory at some of the watering spots on High Street or along Lane Avenue, the jailers at The Big House were pulling off another shocker.

Michigan was booed in the first half but came out of nowhere in the second to upset the Badgers, 27-25, thanks to a penalty on a successful two-point conversion by Wisconsin with 13 seconds left.

This is bad news for the Buckeyes on two fronts: One, now Wisconsin figures to be one angry and desperate football team on Saturday night. Two, the Wolverines showed they will not be the pushover many have considered them.

Get out the red pen. Circle Nov. 22, the game at Ohio Stadium. Michigan isn’t dead yet.

POLLING PLACE: Ohio State stayed at No. 14 in the AP’s Top 25, while Wisconsin dropped nine slots to No. 18. Previously top-ranked Southern Cal slipped to ninth and still unbeaten Penn State, which rolls into Columbus on Oct. 25, climbed into the top 10 at No. 6 with their 38-24 win over Illinois.

THE OPPOSING VIEW: Minnesota coach Tim Brewster saw his team’s defeat a little bit differently than others might have.

He said the game revolved around ‘‘explosive plays’’ — lengthy gains and pivotal stops.

‘‘The name of the game is explosive plays and turnovers,’’ Brewster said. ‘‘Ohio State won the explosive plays, 11-3, and won the turnover battle 3-1. That’s why they won the football game.’’

QUOTE OF THE GAME: Ohio State had stumbled somewhat offensively in three games without Beanie Wells at TB. Even the Buckeyes admitted as much.

‘‘Every team goes through growing pains and I think we’re still going through it,’’ Wells said.