Football The Rivalry

What’s Better? Beating Michigan in Double Overtime or Blowing Them Out?

Over the one hundred-plus years of Ohio State playing Michigan, the Buckeyes have won in any number of ways.

There have been close wins, come-from-behind wins, blowouts, comfortable-but-still-kind-of-close wins like in 2007, and even a win in the Game of the Century in 2006.

Over the last three years, however, the Buckeyes have won in ways that they never have before.

In 2016, it was a 30-27 victory in double overtime, and then last Saturday it was a 62-point outburst the likes of which Michigan had never before seen in regulation. The loss ended the Wolverines’ playoff hopes, which was a nice little bonus for the Buckeyes.

Both games stand out for obvious reasons.

Going back to the 2016 game, starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan even ranked it above the 2014 playoff games.

“This is probably my favorite win of all time that I’ve ever played in,” he said at the time. “Winning the national championship, the Sugar Bowl, beating Penn State on the road when I was a freshman, all those, I think this is the best game I’ve ever played in.”

Why did he feel that way?

“This is The Rivalry,” he said. “This is the game that everybody who is an Ohio State fan or That Team Up North Fan will remember for the rest of their lives. We went to double-overtime, in The Shoe, number two vs. number three, it was one of those games that people will look back on and say it was a great game.”

McMillan was absolutely correct. That game will live on forever.

There also has to be a special place for a 62-39 blowout that saw record performances all over the field.

For two rare outcomes, it begs the question of which was better, and the only people who can properly answer that question are the ones who played in both games.

“What’s better?” junior defensive end Jonathon Cooper asked? “I couldn’t explain the double overtime win. That was a different type of feeling. That one, that one was special. But blowing them out was also good. A win’s a win. A dub’s a dub.”

Pressed to rank the two wins, however, and he finally acquiesced.

“I would say double overtime probably takes that one.”

For others, like junior safety Jordan Fuller, the number of snaps he played in each respective game clouds his judgment a bit.

“A win is a win, I would say. A win is a win,” he said before adding, “I had more of a role in this one, so this one probably felt better. I can’t really say.”

It’s a bit like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.

Do they have more love for the one who had some rough moments while growing up and gave them ulcers but ultimately turned out just fine, or do they keep that special place in their heart for the kid who was never a problem and never caused them any stress?”

For fourth-year junior receiver KJ Hill, he doesn’t have a favorite — unless you ask him a second time.

“I think both because you get the win and another pair of gold pants,” he said.

Hill was clearly having a good time on Saturday, including this touchdown catch where he pointed to Michigan safety Josh Metellus to let him know that the play was coming his way.

Seeing that play, it probably isn’t a surprise which game is Hill’s favorite when pushed just a tiny bit.

“I’d say blowing them out,” he said smiling.

Would he be pointing at his defender and giving him a heads-up during the stress of a double-overtime game?

“Yeah, I still am,” he said with a laugh.

For most Buckeyes, however, the answer is likely to be the same — every win over Michigan is at the top, and senior right tackle Isaiah Prince explains why perfectly.

“A win over our rivals is always satisfying,” he said. “I’m always satisfied. It doesn’t matter. It’s a win over our rivals. They can’t have any bragging rights. They can’t say that they beat us. I’m fine with however we win.”

Anything to keep Michigan from experiencing the joy of victory in this rivalry is all each player is asking. As long as that happens, it doesn’t matter if that win is by one point or 70 points.

“We just don’t like those guys,” Prince said. “We spend all year preparing for them. To me, it doesn’t really matter how we win. It matters that we won, period.”

11 Responses

  1. Are you kidding? Blowing them out as four point ‘dogs when they had high expectations and sitting in the #4 position, lol! I wouldn’t trade it for anything especially with their trash talking and win prediction. In retrospect I’m glad we took a knee on their 10 yard line.

  2. Another approach: Winning when we are not expected to win like THIS YEAR. 2004 also was very satisfying!

  3. We older fans have been on the other side of that same coin. Coop stepped up the program, but those were some VERY painful Ls….and it is GREAT to return the favor. As has been said, beat ’em ANYWAY we can. But the special games, when they & their fans are talking shtuff…to not just beat ’em, but to rip their hearts out and dash their hopes…B E A U T I F U L …

  4. I prefer merciless, humiliating beat downs delivered without remorse which will haunt their souls forever haha.

  5. No brainer … beat them as badly as possible and watch their fans go into shock. Love it!

  6. In the CFP era, Buckeye fans should want two things for the Michigan game –
    1) Michigan is highly ranked and 2) we blow them away. That way, we beat our rivals in The Game and we impress the panel that picks the “final four”. A true Win-Win.

    1. I do NOT want scUM “highly ranked”, as that status suggests they were winning by end of year. I want them to fail as much as humanly possible, then for OSU to discard them like trash.

  7. I have been to every OSU vs. TSUN game in Columbus since 2002. The 62-39 win was the best of them all and seeing their fans walk out of the stadium from way up high in C deck early in the 4th quarter was really satisfying.

  8. “To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.”

  9. Timely article; Since Urban’s arrival, OSU has basically pulled away from MI. Close games to me are attributed more to OSU’s weakness each year as The Bucks have dealt with losing assistants, see a lowing scoring affair in 2016, and a high scoring nail biter in 2013. To me, this was the worst type of blow out as we dumped 62 points and it could of been easily more, 2 drives that began inside their 5 and 6 points and a closing drive when we took a knee. Debating a MI friend, he stated that The Wolves didn’t play their best game, I hope MI keeps that perspective as we will continue to route them as our talents and philosophy is up to date compared to a well coached 70-90’s team. I would prefer a blow out every time, especially when we devastated their strength.

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