THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo
COLUMBUS — For the final time in the regular season, Jordan Kovacs put on a brave face. When asked about the finality of the season and the short time left in his career, the voice of Michigan’s co-captain cracked.
“It’s not just about myself, you know,” Kovacs said. “You don’t want to come down here and lose, so … that’s about all I’ve got to say about it.”
In a sedate post-game press conference at Ohio Stadium after the Wolverines’ 26-21 loss to Ohio State, the Clay graduate was one of four seniors to speak on behalf of the Wolverines, joining quarterback Denard Robinson, receiver Roy Roundtree, and defensive tackle Will Campbell.
“Losing here, of course, is a bad thing,” said Campbell, who had 10 tackles and was part of a defense that sacked Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller four times. “But our season isn’t over. We have a bowl game to look forward too. We’ll keep the morale up of our team and we’ll try to end our season with a win.”
Did Kovacs have anything to add to that?
“I think he said it all,” Kovacs said flatly.
Michigan (8-4, 6-2 Big Ten) hasn’t won a game at Ohio State since 2000, and Michigan’s seniors finish with one win against the Buckeyes — last year’s 40-34 win in Ann Arbor.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said his team will meet at 4 p.m. Monday in Ann Arbor, and outlined his approach for the next few weeks, as the Wolverines await a bowl-game invitation.
“We’re going to move forward,” Hoke said.
FOURTH ROAD LOSS: With the loss to the Buckeyes, the Wolverines were unable to complete their goal of going 4-0 in November. All four of Michigan’s losses have come on the road this season, all to ranked opponents: a season-opening 41-14 loss to No. 2 Alabama in Arlington, Texas; a 13-6 loss at No. 1 Notre Dame, a 23-9 loss at No. 17 Nebraska and Saturday’s loss at Ohio State.
“I wouldn’t say it’s common things that happened,” Campbell said, when asked to compare each loss. “It’s just us not going out there and playing Michigan football.”
PREGAME ACTIVITIES: During warmups, Michigan kick returner Dennis Norfleet and Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby exchanged words on the field, and bumped helmets before Roby pushed Norfleet away with his left hand. Michigan safety Josh Furman and tailback Vincent Smith stepped between Norfleet and Roby in the corner of the end zone and had words with Roby, but likely prevented any further confrontation.
HANDS OFF? Spectators at Ohio Stadium stormed the field after the conclusion of Ohio State’s win over Michigan, and Hoke said he did not speak with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer either before or after Saturday’s game. Hoke also said he did not shake hands with Meyer after the game.
“No big deal,” Hoke said. “It’s not a big deal. Not a story.”
Meyer, meanwhile, did not comment on the lack of a post-game handshake but described the scene on the field as chaotic as he tried to find his wife and two daughters.
“I was trying to find them,” Meyer said.
“Obviously, the nut job students won’t let me find anybody, so that’s okay.”
THE CURSE CONTINUES? The father of Michigan offensive tackle Mike Schofield posted Friday on Twitter that Michigan’s team buses had an equipment malfunction en route to Ohio State.
“Two Michigan player buses got flats on the way to c bus,” the lineman’s father wrote.
ROBINSON CLOSER TO RECORD: With 34 rushing yards on Michigan’s first series in the first quarter, Robinson moved into second place all-time in NCAA rushing yards for a quarterback. Robinson entered the game with 4,273 career rushing yards and finished with 122 yards against the Buckeyes.
Robinson passed Missouri’s Brad Smith (4,289 yards from 2002 to 2005) and needs 85 yards to unseat West Virginia’s Pat White, who ran for 4,480 yards from 2005 to 2008.
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: email@example.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.