Thursday was a day of celebration at Ohio State, as the Buckeyes got their Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship rings in the team room of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
The players also got their Gold Pants for beating arch-rival Michigan, 62-39.
At the same time, about 190 miles northwest, things were not quite so chipper inside Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor.
Michigan Special Teams Coordinator and Safeties coach Chris Partridge opened up on his feelings about last November’s edition of The Game.
TL;DR – He wasn’t thrilled.
“I’ve got blood in my mouth. There’s no qualms about it. For me the motivation is last year,” Partridge said. “I don’t wake up a day and not think about it, that’s for sure. I know (defensive coordinator Don Brown) feels the same way.”
The Buckeyes put up 62 points and 567 yards of total offense that day on what had been the nation’s top-ranked defense.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins completed 20 passes for 396 yards and six touchdowns on the afternoon. Parris Campbell had six catches for 192 yards and two scores.
But now Haskins and Campbell are gone, and the Buckeyes have to head up to Ann Arbor in November.
There’s no shortage of motivation for Partridge and the Wolverines this season as they look to win The Game for just the third time since 2000.
Near the top of his list was former Michigan assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington trading in their maize and blue for scarlet and gray in January.
“I want to be candid. Those guys left and it was another shot. It wasn’t okay. That’s how I feel. I’m not speaking for anyone else,” Partridge said.
“I’m ultra-motivated. So I make sure my guys that I get in front of, they hear it. They know that every single day that I wake up, I’m motivated. I want to take this thing, I want to hit it in the mouth, and I want to go get it.”
“I just think each person is motivated their own way. I just know my personal opinion. I’m going to coach harder than I’ve ever imagined I can coach. I’m going to be more aggressive than I ever have before. And we’re going to make sure that scoreboard never looks like it did last year.”
You can watch his full answer below.
Chris Partridge: ‘I’ve got blood in my mouth … the guys who left (for Ohio State), that’s not OK.’
A bit fired up. pic.twitter.com/3HFMDfn69K
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 11, 2019