Tailback Tim Spencer ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns, Michigan helped out with six turnovers and Ohio State beat the visiting Big Ten champions yesterday, 24-14.
Immediately afterward, the Buckeyes accepted a bid to play in Dec. 17's Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Michigan had taken the league title and a Rose Bowl berth a week earlier.
Michigan quarterback Steve Smith threw three interceptions and fumbled twice and star flanker Anthony Carter fumbled once as the 13th-ranked Wolverines committed their most errors in one game this season. Three of the turnovers became Ohio State touchdowns, a fourth a field goal. It was the first time in 10 years the Buckeyes had gotten a touchdown against Michigan in Columbus.
The Wolverines (8-3, 8-1), who won the Big Ten title because they played one more conference game than did Ohio State (8-3, 7-1), got to the Buckeyes' seven on their first possession only to lose a fumble on first down.
Michigan's Bo Schembechler accused linebacker Marcus Marek of shouting signals at the same time as Smith, leading to confusion and fumbles. "It's a violation of the rules," the coach said. "The officials should call an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty." Marek, playing his fourth game against Michigan, denied the charge.
With the score tied at 14 in the last period, Carter fumbled on a sweep at his 14-yard line and defensive back Doug Hill recovered with 7:40 remaining. Three plays later Spencer dived the last yard. On the first play after the kickoff, Smith threw his third interception, picked off by Marek at the Michigan 37. Marek returned the ball to the 19 and four plays later Rich Spangler kicked a 33-yard field goal.