Michigan finally got over the Ohio State hump for the first win against their rivals in the Jim Harbaugh era. And the coach has his senior running back largely to thank for the win.
Hassan Haskins gashed Ohio State for 169 rushing yards on 28 carries, with five of those going for touchdowns, to help lead the Wolverines to a 42-27 win against the Buckeyes on Nov. 27. Haskins will hope to keep that momentum going against No. 13 Iowa in the Big Ten Football championship on Saturday as the Wolverines seek their first conference title since 2004, when they were co-champions with the Hawkeyes, and first win in the Big Ten title game.
For many, Haskins’ game against Ohio State was an eye-opening performance that put the running back in the national spotlight.
Before he plays for the Big Ten title, Sporting News breaks all you need to know about Haskins.
Moving up the record books
Haskins’ game against Ohio State will forever place him in the record books at Michigan.
In rushing for five touchdowns against the Buckeyes, he not only set the record for the most individual touchdowns in “The Game,” but it tied him with Ron Johnson for the most rushing touchdowns in a single game. Johnson set his record back on Nov. 16, 1968, against Wisconsin.
This has been the latest stellar game for Haskins in a season in which he has been the lead back for the Wolverines and further cemented his status as one of the best running backs in program history. This season, he has rushed for 150-plus yards in four games, tying himself for the fifth-most such games all time (the record is six). He’s also tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns in a season at 18. The record is set at 19 by Johnson, who tallied 19 in 1968. His 1,232 total rushing yards this season have placed him 20th, and another game with at least 150 yards would move him up to at least 14th all-time.
The season has also helped him move up the career charts. He currently is tied for 11th with 28 career rushing touchdowns (the all-time record is 55) and moved him into 19th in rushing yards at 2,333.
It is safe to say that Haskins has vastly exceeded expectations in his career with the Wolverines. Coming out of high school, Haskins was listed as a three-star recruit by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings in the 2018 class. He was listed as the No. 975 national prospect, No. 49 running back and No. 11 prospect in the state of Missouri.
Between ESPN, 247Sports and Rivals, all three recruiting services listed him as a three-star prospect.
That’s not to say that Haskins didn’t have a standout high school career. During his time with Eureka High School, he helped his team reach the state semifinals in 2017, and that year was named the Missouri Football Coaches Association Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year and was named to the Class 6A first-team all-state team, among other accolades, according to his Michigan bio.
His senior year, he rushed for 2,197 yards and 31 touchdowns on 255 carries, and had five games where he had at least 200 rushing yards.
Upon arriving at Michigan, his rise to starting running back status was progressive. He appeared in just three games on special teams in his first season with the Wolverines in 2018.
In 2019, Haskins was quiet over his first two games, but showed promise in a 52-0 win against Rutgers, carrying the ball nine times for 45 yards. He had his breakout performance two weeks later against Illinois, however, as he took 12 carries 125 yards for a touchdown. In the team’s huge 48-14 win against No. 8 Notre Dame, he gashed the Fighting Irish for 149 yards on 20 carries. He finished the season with 622 rushing yards on 121 carries with four touchdowns.
Haskins became the feature running back in 2020, surpassing Zach Charbonnet in carries with 61, rushing yards at 375 and rushing touchdowns with six.
For the 2021 season, Haskins has again been the lead ball-carrier, but he has also split time with Blake Corum. Corum rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the first three games of the season, while Haskins only surpassed the century mark in the team’s Week 2 game against Washington with 155 rushing yards on 27 carries. Haskins began to go on a tear on Oct. 9, when he rushed for two touchdowns and 123 yards on 21 carries against Nebraska. Since then, he has rushed for at least 100 yards in all but two games, gashing Indiana and Penn State for 168 and 156 rushing yards, respectively.
Overall, the two-headed rushing attack of Haskins and Corum has helped Michigan rank ninth among FBS teams with 224.2 rushing yards per game and the third-most rushing touchdowns in the country at 35. Haskins has rushed for 1,232 yards on 244 carries with 18 touchdowns, while Corum has rushed for 865 yards on 136 carries with 10 touchdowns.