Determined Hassan Haskins carries Michigan, runs over Ohio State to end rivalry skid
Ann Arbor — The way Hassan Haskins ran the ball and scored a program record-tying five touchdowns against Ohio State, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t sure what the Buckeyes saw.
Haskins, who rushed for 169 yards on 28 carries, helped lead Michigan to a 42-27 win over Ohio State on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, snapping an eight-game losing streak. Haskins has rushed for 1,232 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He did not lose yardage on a single carry on Saturday.
“It was dominant in the offensive line, no question about it,” Harbaugh said. “There was movement, continual movement up front by the guys.
"And Hassan Haskins, they might have thought they saw a ghost, but they didn’t. It was No. 25 Hassan Haskins. He was running with great determination, great purpose, great ability.”
Michigan rushed for 297 yards as a team, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day credited Michigan's offensive line and run game for the success of the Wolverines' offensive performance. Ohio State had given up three rushing touchdowns during its nine-game winning streak heading into the game. The Buckeyes were held to 64 yards rushing and one rushing score.
“When you’re on schedule and running hard, a lot of good things are going to happen," Day said. "We have to figure out and get on the film and figure out why that was on our side of the ball. Hat’s off to them. They obviously did a good job."
The Wolverines controlling the ball with their ground game threw Ohio State off.
“You just felt you could never get the ball back on offense,” Day said. “That’s a bad feeling because you start to force it a little bit on offense. You don’t stop the run and don’t establish the run, you’re in that position."
Haskins has shouldered the majority of the run game the past month while Blake Corum recovered from a high right ankle sprain in the first quarter against Indiana on Nov. 6. Corum returned to play against Ohio State and had six carries for 87 yards, including a 55-yard run that set up Haskins’ second touchdown.
“I told myself, ‘I’m not going down, we’ve got to win this ball game,’” Haskins said. “I kept telling myself that. I put that in the back of my mind. I went out there with determination to win. I felt like the whole ball team, we took that mindset that we’ve got to win this ballgame. That was my mindset throughout the whole game.”
Right tackle Andrew Stueber said the emphasis all week heading into the rivalry showdown was being able to run the ball against the Buckeyes.
“We thought that a lot of teams maybe played a little scared against them, played a little timid, and that’s just not Michigan football,” Stueber said. “It’s not how we like to play as an offensive line, as a run game as a unit. I think we did a great job of coming off the ball, playing our football, establishing our run game and opening the pass game. I couldn’t be more proud of this offensive line and these backs did a tremendous job.
“The biggest thing for us was coming out playing our football and not playing timid or scared and being able to move them off the ball.”
The soft-spoken Haskins said he wanted to thank each of the offensive linemen for their blocking.
“They played their hearts out,” Haskins said. “I bow my head for that. This whole feeling is amazing, it’s a blessing. We're gonna keep it going.”