The Buckeyes forced overtime by driving 77 yards in 13 plays to a 23-yard field goal by Tyler Durbin with one second remaining in the fourth quarter to make it 17-17.
J.T. Barrett kept it on fourth down and slammed into the back of his blocker, A.J. Alexander, right at the line to gain. The Buckeyes eschewed a tying field goal attempt and Barrett barely picked up the first down that was confirmed by review.
"That was not a first down", said Michigan's Jim Harbaugh. "I'm bitterly disappointed with the officiating today".
On the next play, Samuel, who had made a swerving, change-of-direction run to set up the fourth-and-1, raced through a lane and skipped into the end zone for the win.
The scarlet-clad crowd soon covered the field.
On Saturday, in the most hyped meeting in a decade, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 MI delivered an all-time classic, one that instantly joins any collection of the best games in the 112-game history of a rivalry that has often had Big Ten and national championship implications.
Kenny Allen kicked a 37-yard field goal after MI failed to pick up a first down in the second overtime to give the Wolverines (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) a 27-24 lead. Still, the Buckeyes added to a resume that already impressed the College Football Playoff selection committee. The Wolverines could end up in the Rose Bowl, but the biggest prizes are still eluding them in their second year under Harbaugh, who dropped to 0-2 against Meyer and the Buckeyes. He also was angry about a pass interference on MI during Ohio State's tying drive late in regulation and a non-call on a would-be pass interference against the Buckeyes in OT. "I just looked around and, man, that just happened". Alabama allowed just 4.0 yards per play and held the Tigers to two of 12 on third downs.
Durbin missed a 21-yard attempt with 7:01 left in regulation that would have tied the score. They entered the week ranked No. 2 and just beat the No. 3 team; they're not falling out after that.
The comeback served as an exclamation point for an already momentous weekend.
In other games involving Big Ten teams Saturday, Devine Redding powered in from 1 yard out with 4:59 left to give in a 26-24 victory over rival Purdue.
Auburn (8-4, 5-3, No. 15) failed to muster much offense for the second straight SEC game. No. 8 Penn State beat Michigan State 45-12 in State College, Pennsylvania, to clinch the East Division and a spot in the conference title game next week against No. 5 Wisconsin.
If Clemson and Washington win their respective conference title games (Clemson will play Virginia Tech for the ACC title and Washington will play Colorado for the Pac-12 title), they'll likely join Alabama and Ohio State in the national semifinals. The Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes 24-20 at home October 22. Two-loss Penn State and Wisconsin will play in that game at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday despite both losing to MI in the regular season. Wisconsin and Penn State fans.
As for Ohio State, the Buckeyes' playoff spot is secure because their regular season is over.
Andre Robinson added 14- and 40-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter for Penn State, and Saquon Barkley scored on a 1-yard run in the second.
LOS ANGELES - Adoree Jackson returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass to help lift Southern California to its eighth consecutive victory, a romp ovre Notre Dame on in the 88th edition of their famed intersectional rivalry. The Buckeyes finally put together a touchdown drive, and then they intercepted Michigan QB Rick Leach and turned that into the go-ahead TD with 2:19 to play.
Sam Darnold passed for 205 yards and two TDs, and Ronald Jones II rushed for 134 yards and an early score to keep the surging Trojans in line for a New Year's Day bowl berth. They outscored Iowa State 28-3 in the second half. Wes Lunt completed 28 of 54 passes for 377 yards and two touchdowns for IL (3-9, 2-7), which closed out its first season under Coach Lovie Smith with three consecutive losses. Justin Crawford, who ran for 331 yards against Oklahoma last week, was replaced by Pettaway after two series.