A Century long Rivalry
The football rivalry between The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan dates back to 1918, when the schools started playing annually. These teams have had one of the most intense rivalries in college football history. It is said to have originated during the 1830’s when the two states were arguing over the Toledo strip of land. This controversial argument was still raw when the two teams first met in Ann Arbor of 1897.
The rivalry still continues today as Ohio State took their eighth consecutive victory over Michigan, on Saturday, November 30th. Over the past decade, Ohio State has been dominant over the Wolverines. There has been much speculation as to why the record has been so one-sided recently.
Quarterback of the buckeyes, Justin Fields, says in post game press conference, “I just think we take it more seriously than they do, We prepare for it all year. We’re preparing for them next year right now. I think it just means more at Ohio State.”
Offensive lineman Jonah Jackson, also at the press conference, agrees with this stating, “Once this game’s over, it’s 364 days of preparing for it for next year.”
This victory was extra appreciated by Buckeye fans because there is a new person running the show. Head coach Ryan Day took over for Urban Meyer at the beginning of 2019. Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy and it put a lot of pressure on the new coach. However, Day’s eyes were always set on the rivalry game.
“Ever since I took the job it’s been on my mind,” said Day at the postgame press conference, “I know what this game means to the people of Ohio, the Buckeye nation.” Much to fans delight, the coach successfully beat Michigan, continuing the team’s undefeated season.
Game highlights included four touchdowns by J.K Dobbins, for 211 rushing yards. Dobbins won the MVP award for the game and easily dominated the playing field. However, Buckeye fans had a scare when Justin Fields took a hard blow to his left knee, in the third quarter. Fields had previously sprained his MCL in the Penn State game, so his health was a concern from the start. Players and fans alike were relieved when Fields came out of the injury tent and back onto the field.
Jonah Jackson told Washington Post, “I said a prayer, real quick, just to make sure he was all right.” Fields injury, if serious, could have resulted in losing him for the playoffs, therefore, putting the team at a severe disadvantage to their opponents. Thankfully, everyone on both sides, ended the game healthy.
The Ohio State and Michigan game is a timeless rivalry that could last for another century. Each team has evolved throughout the years and will continue to grow. As each team prepares for the playoffs or next season, people will continue to speculate which team will come out on top.