Football The Rivalry

Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘It’s the most important thing in our lives’

Ohio State Football Notebook Buckeyes Buckeye Football


Consistency Over History

Big plays dot this rivalry like monuments on a battlefield.

Desmond Howard’s punt return in 1991. Beanie Wells’ spin to win in the Game of the Century. The Catch by Anthony Gonzalez in 2005.

Heck, former Wolverine receiver John Kolesar has an entire grove to his name.

And there will likely be more plays added to a list that could never receive its proper due.

Big plays aren’t what Ohio state center Billy Price is looking for, however.

“You have to wear them out. I’m not always looking for a home run. I’m looking for ‘Let’s go make sure we’re consistent 3-4 yards a gain,'” he said.

“I’m okay with hitting rock, and I’m okay with grinding the game out and putting it on us. I think they present a lot of challenges up front with all the things they do, all the movements, all the blitzes. This week is making sure our preparation is right for every type of play we’re going to run, putting a man on a man and executing. We’ll let everything else take care of itself.”

There Is No Routine Michigan Game

Ohio State is currently a 12-point favorite in this game, which isn’t a surprise when you consider that Michigan’s starting quarterback is in concussion protocol and their best running back is a bit banged up.

The Wolverines have played three teams that are currently ranked, and they have lost to each of those teams. Michigan State beat them 14-10 in the Big House. Penn State blew them out 42-13 in Happy Valley, and Wisconsin wore them down 24-10 in Madison.

And now Ohio State comes to town.

But the Buckeyes aren’t planning for anything easy on Saturday.

“Yeah, it’s never what you expect it is, and rankings don’t matter,” said defensive end Sam Hubbard. “Nothing else matters, previous records don’t matter, it’s a one-game season because it’s the most important thing in our lives, winning this game for the guys who did it before us. We’re not focusing on anything in the future, anything in the past. We’re focused on this game and putting our all into it.”

Good Memories of Bad Times

In a season that saw Ohio State win a national title, the picture below is still one of the lasting memories of the 2014 season.

J.T. Barrett, on his way to being a Heisman finalist, broke his ankle in the second half of the Michigan game. His teammates were devastated, but this shot of UM quarterback Devin Gardner showing support was a tremendous display of what this game is about, even if it can get a bit chippy at any other hour of the day.

Talking to the media this week, Barrett said he and Gardner even remained in touch a little bit after that, and he knows this moment captured above is something that people will always remember.

“I think that despite the hatred and dislike between the two programs and the two fan bases, at the end of the day, it’s not you wish somebody to be hurt, that’s not cool,” Barrett said. “And I think everybody understands that. And I appreciate the sportsmanship that he showed that day, just like I said, understanding that you don’t want to see somebody injured in this game. You want a hard-fought game, but you don’t wish that upon people.

Drop and Give Me Twenty

There are certain rules and regulations that supersede known governmental rules of law when you enter the Ohio State football facilities. One of those rules is that you’re not supposed to say the word “Michigan.” Another rule is that you aren’t supposed to wear blue clothes.

Sometimes it can be a tough lesson to learn.

“All the time you will have some recruits or some people who might come in with some blue shoes or something and you’ll just see Coach Meyer lose it and tell them to take it off,” linebacker Chris Worley said.

“I’ve seen parents do a hundred push-ups for wearing those colors, things like that. Every now and then you might hear someone slip up and say it, we have a couple guys from that state. It’s not pleasant if someone hears it but for the most part we’re good.”


One Response

  1. True story: Yrs ago a co I worked for had purchased an Ohioian-based co that manufactured buses. There was a tech problem with the bus. Our co sent a lead engr to the plant with a means to fix the buses by installing a carriage reinforcement part. It just so happened that our lead engr recommended the bus team in Ohio install the first bus with the new part on a Sat. When this was announced the workers at the Ohio plant said, “Sorry but no one around here will be able to work on that Sat.”. The lead engr asked “why?” The answer that came back stunned the lead engr: “It’s the Michigan game, sir. No one in these parts ever misses watching the Michigan game. That would just be unthinkable.” Didn’t work that weekend.

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