- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Turning point: Both teams were kind of slogging along in the first half Saturday -- a few big plays but a lot of three-and-outs. Denard Robinson ran to try and convert a third-and-2 inside the Michigan 30-yard line. He got the first down, but fumbled as he was falling down. Ohio State recovered and three plays later, Braxton Miller scored a 19-yard touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 17-16 lead and take momentum.
Stat of the half: 16 points. That’s Michigan’s first quarter total. It was more than the Wolverines had scored in any of their previous four games against Ohio State. Michigan also scored more points in a quarter against Ohio State than it had in any quarter since the third quarter of the 2000 game, when the Wolverines scored 17.
Best player in the half: Miller. The freshman quarterback, who has not been known for his passing during his first year, started shredding Michigan deep. Miller hit two deep passes, a 43-yarder to DeVier Posey and a 54-yarder to Corey Brown, to give the Buckeyes much more balance than they have had in previous games. Miller's pass to Posey, placed perfectly in double coverage, was the best pass by either team Saturday in the first half. Miller finished the half 8 of 15 for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran seven times for 59 yards.
What Michigan needs to do, What Ohio State needs to do: Michigan -- The Wolverines need to hold on to the ball. The Robinson fumble was Michigan’s biggest mistake Saturday -- and a concern because other than against Nebraska a week ago, the junior quarterback has been somewhat turnover prone during the Big Ten season both with interceptions and fumbles. Ohio State -- Get Dan Herron more involved. The Buckeyes went away from their best rusher early in the game, only running the fifth-year senior three times in the first quarter. He ended up with 10 carries for 28 yards in the first half -- a good complement to Miller.