COLUMBUS -- Ohio State outlasted Michigan in a mistake-filled matchup of the traditional rivals, beating the Wolverines 26-21 to complete an unbeaten season.
Thus ended Urban Meyer's first season as the Buckeyes' coach, in which he took the team to a 12-0 mark, coming off a 6-7 season and the wreckage of NCAA sanctions related to violations under previous head coach Jim Tressel.
Ohio State's undefeated season ended with the victory, though, due to those violations, leaving it without postseason eligibility.
The Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0) needed an interception from C.J. Barnett with just under five minutes left and then a couple of first downs from its offense to finally put the Wolverines away.
Michigan (8-4, 6-2) had used two big plays to take a 21-20 lead at the half, but the Ohio State defense never allowed the Wolverines past midfield in the second half.
The Buckeyes moved 75 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead as quarterback Braxton Miller hit Devin Smith for 52 yards, and then Carlos Hyde plowed in from three yards out. Hyde had 26 carries for 146 yards on the day.
Michigan inserted senior quarterback Denard Robinson, who had not started the past three games due to an elbow injury, on its first series. Robinson ripped off a 30-yard run, and ended up leading Michigan with 122 yards rushing.
Devin Gardner, who led Michigan to wins in its previous three games, hit Roy Roundtree with a 75-yard scoring pass midway through the first quarter to make it 7-7.
Ohio State went ahead 10-7 on a 41-yard field goal by Drew Basil in the final minute of the opening period on a drive crippled by three penalties inside the Michigan 30-yard-line.
Michigan took its first lead of the day after recovering a fumble at the OSU 25. The Wolverines got an assist from a major penalty on the Buckeyes and Gardner scored from two yards out to take a 14-10 advantage.
Ohio State regained the lead with 1:30 left in the half when Miller hit Brown for a 14-yard touchdown and a 17-14 edge. Miller passed for 189 yards and rushed for 57 more.
Robinson's 67-yard scoring burst just two plays later put Michigan on top, but the Buckeyes pushed across midfield and Basil nailed a 52-yard field goal on the final play of the half to cut Michigan's lead to 21-20.
The Buckeyes stopped Michigan on a fourth-down play near midfield to open the second half, then Basil hit a 28-yard field goal for a 23-21 lead. After a Robinson fumble was recovered by Ohio State's Nathan Williams at the UM 37, Basil missed a 39-yarder.
Michigan watched Gardner fumble the ball away midway through the fourth quarter and set the Buckeyes up at the 10, but the Wolverines stiffened and Basil hit a 25-yard field goal for a 26-21 lead with 6:26 to play.
Notes: Ohio State played without All-American defensive end John Simon, who leads the Big Ten in sacks. Simon injured his knee in the win over Wisconsin the previous week. ... Both Michigan's Brady Hoke and Meyer started their head coaching careers in the Mid-American Conference, Hoke at Ball State and Meyer at Bowling Green. ... Michigan senior safety Jordan Kovacs, a former walk-on, made the 45th start of his career.