Ohio State Battles Michigan
COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the 110th time, Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) and Michigan (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten) will exchange pleasantries on the football field.
The third-ranked Buckeyes roll into Michigan Stadium today, not only with hopes of setting a school record with their potential 23rd straight win, but aspirations of a BCS title game spot and a shot at hoisting the national championship hardware on January 7.
After last week’s 42-14 senior day thumping of Indiana, Ohio State secured its Big Ten title game ticket next week to Indianapolis and will likely tangle with Michigan State.
”It’s just striving for the best,” quarterback Braxton Miller told reporters this week in Columbus. ”We ended the season 12-0 last year, and we weren’t able to play in a bowl game or the Big Ten championship game (because of NCAA sanctions). That’s what we were striving for. We want to accomplish that and keep going forward, keep winning games and just make Ohio State proud.”
Big Blue got off to a 5-0 start, but has fizzled of late. The Wolverines offense has been their bug-a-boo. They were held scoreless in the second half of its 24-21 loss last week at Iowa, its third defeat in four games.
Brady Hoke’s squad scored nine points the previous week in regulation before going on to beat Northwestern in triple overtime; they were limited to six and 13 points in losses to Michigan State and Nebraska.
“This game has always been different in some ways,” Hoke said. “Are they a good football team? Yeah. They’re a very good football team. Do we have to play better than we’ve played? I don’t think there’s any doubt.”
Offense has never been a question all season long for the Buckeyes. Miller has roughly 2,400 yards of total offense and has accounted for 24 touchdowns. Carlos Hyde has been a work horse in the backfield. In his last 6 games. he has rushed for 938 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Ohio State has won eight of the last nine meetings, included last year’s 26-21 win.
“I have great respect for this rivalry , it almost makes me in awe,” Urban Meyer admitted this week. “The respect we have comes with incredible responsibility that sometimes can be overwhelming when it comes to what we have to do next week. So we take it very seriously.”
Kick-off is set for noon from Ann Arbor.
FOX 8’s P.J. Ziegler will have all the highlights on FOX 8 News at 6 & 10 p.m. as well as a recap here on FOX8.com.