COLUMBUS - At one point in "The Game" on Saturday, Michigan appeared to have seized the momentum.
Ohio State return specialist Jordan Hall quickly took it back for the Buckeyes.
The Wolverines had just driven 80 yards in 11 plays, a drive capped by running back Michael Shaw's 1-yard plunge. The score cut a 10-0 Ohio State lead to just 10-7 midway through the second quarter.
Moments later, Hall took the ensuing kickoff at the Buckeyes' 15 and - despite one of his lead blockers falling down immediately - he broke through the first wave of would-be tacklers, zig-zagged near the left sideline and won a footrace to the end zone.
And just like that, Ohio State's lead again was 10 points, 17-7.
"I've been waiting all year for it," Hall said. "Jaamal (Berry) got a good block for me and I hit the hole."
The Buckeyes added another touchdown less than five minutes later for a 24-7 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Wolverines, 37-7. Ohio State has beaten Michigan each of the last seven years and nine of 10 since Jim Tressel became the Buckeyes' coach in 2001.
"You know, I don't know about turning point, but that was a critical point, because they worked very hard to go down and get their touchdown, and all of a sudden it took us 20 seconds to answer," Tressel said. "Jordan Hall is a great football player. I wish there were more opportunities for him to have the ball in his hands because, man, he can play."
Hall, a high school football and basketball teammate of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in Jeannette, Pa., produced the Buckeyes' first kickoff return for a touchdown since Ray Small took one back against Wisconsin in 2009.
"Words can't explain it," Hall said. "I've been waiting for it for so long. We're supposed to give the ball to the ref after we score, but I don't even know where I put it."
Hall came into the gamer averaging 25.4 yards on 12 kickoff returns this season. He also was averaging 10.1 yards on 23 punt returns.
TWO QBS: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez used both starting quarterback Denard Robinson and backup Tate Forcier against the Buckeyes.
Robinson ran for 105 yards on 18 carries and was 8-of-18 passing for 87 yards. Forcier was 8-of-15 for 82 yards. He was sacked once and threw an interception.
Robinson left the game with an injury late in the first half and tried to return in the second half, but was not effective.
"Denard dislocated a couple of fingers on his left (non-throwing) hand," Rodriguez said. "It wouldn't have been much of a problem, but he likes to grip it with that hand and he couldn't get any feeling back."
Rodriguez felt Robinson played well, but he was hurt by several drops.
"Denard looked sharp today," Rodriguez said. "Our receivers have to make different catches out there and some are going to be in a very tight window. Those are the kind of plays that you need to make to beat a good team."
UNDEFEATED VS. UM: Ohio State's seniors have never lost to Michigan. Some of them were redshirted as true freshmen, so they have five sets of the gold pants all Ohio State players get when the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines. In addition, those seniors won or shared the Big Ten Conference title in each of their seasons.
"Well, we've got probably half the senior class that has five - will have five Big Ten rings and five pairs of gold pants, which is a big deal," Tressel said. "It won't do anything for us in a bowl game. It will do something for us in our dresser drawer or wherever you keep your stuff, but it's just a feeling of accomplishment."
Ohio State has won or tied for the Big Ten title each of the last six years. The Buckeyes haven't lost to the Wolverines since a 35-21 defeat in Ann Arbor in 2003.
OH, NO: Twice on Saturday, the Buckeyes were penalized after touchdowns because several players ran to the end zone and used the Nike gloves that accompanied the company's 1942 tribute uniforms to form a "block O," and then displayed the sign to nearby fans in the stands.
"They didn't want any hand gestures or anything like that," Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. "Just celebrate with your teammates. So I think it's safe to say we will never wear gloves with anything on them again."
PUNTING PROBLEMS: Freshman kicker Seth Broekhuizen was pressed into duty as the Wolverines' punter because fellow freshman Will Hagerup, who averages 44 yards, was suspended for a violation of team policy and did not travel with the team to Columbus.
Broekhuizen employed a rugby-like style, but he averaged just 28.7 yards on his three punts. One of his punts traveled just 18 yards and went out of bounds at Michigan's 35-yard line to set up Ohio State's first touchdown.