Michigan takes a step back in year 3 of the era of trainer Jim Harbaugh



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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan has taken a step back in the third season of Jim Harbaugh.

After winning 10 games in each of their previous two years, the Wolverines can not finish the season with more than nine wins after losing 31-20 against No. 8 Ohio State. They also fell to 1-5 under Harbaugh against the rival Buckeyes and Spartans of the state of Michigan.

"He gets old after a while, just saying, 'Oh, let's get better'," defensive end Chase Winovich said. "At the end of the day, you have two options: it can get worse or it can get better."

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Michigan started strong against the Buckeyes, keeping them 6 yards negative of offense in the first quarter and taking a 14-0 lead early in the second. After allowing the state of Ohio to return, the Wolverines took the lead again and led a six-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

In the end, however, the result was too familiar for corn and blue. [19659002] The Buckeyes made enough plays to win for the sixth consecutive year and 13 of 14, guaranteeing that no one on the Wolverines' roster has experienced a victory in the rivalry.

"The hardest thing for me is simply, you come here to win this game and our senior clbad could not do it," said Field Marshal John O'Korn as he choked on the excitement. "I'm responsible for a lot of that, I can not imagine a worse feeling at this moment."

O & # 39; Korn was pressured to play due to the injuries of his teammates.

Brandon Peters could not compete after suffering a concussion last week and Wilton Speight is still recovering from a blow that left him with broken vertebrae two months ago.

O & # 39; Korn, a fifth-year student who transferred from Houston after his second season in college, lost tight end Tyrone Wheatley to finish the first unit and fought for much of the game to connect with open teammates. He finished 17-of-32 for 195 yards with a 3-yard touchdown pbad to Sean McKeon that put the Wolverines up 14-0 early.

With the possibility of taking Michigan in a series ahead at the end of the game, O & # 39; Korn stepped back in time to pitch and threw a deep pbad where only Jordan Fuller could catch him and the Buckeye fell with the interception.

"John misread the coverage," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh and his staff may have missed the opportunity to move the ball more effectively against Ohio State without having to rely on O & # 39; Korn to make accurate pbades. The Wolverines seemed to have missed a similar opportunity in a loss to Michigan State.

Chris Evans averaged 6.1 yards per carry and Karan Higdon averaged 5 per run attempt against the Buckeyes, but each received the ball only 11 times. On a stormy night against the Spartans, Higdon averaged 5.4 yards per carry and only had 12 rush attempts in a loss.

When Harbaugh seemed to make the right call against Ohio State, O & # 39; Korn simply could not do his part.

The quarterback sailed a pbad over Evans in a quarter and 4 from Ohio State 39 in the middle of the fourth quarter. That took away another chance to win a game that Michigan players, coaches and fans crave desperately.

In the defense, the Wolverines had the opportunity to close a substitute quarterback and could not do so.

Dwayne Haskins replaced JT Barrett, who said his injured right knee was aggravated by an unidentified man who accidentally hit him on the bench before kickoff. Instead of taking advantage of Haskins' lack of experience, the Michigan defense could not make enough plays to get him off the field.

"We had some offensive errors, we had some defensive errors," Harbaugh said. "I think we had some more than them."

More College American Football AP: https://collegefootball.ap.org and https://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25[19659002] –

Follow Larry Lage at www. twitter.com/larrylage

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