Ohio State and Michigan have combined for many memories
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) When Ohio State plays Michigan for the 112th time, Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will begin a chapter in perhaps college football's greatest rivalry.
There's a lot of material in the storied series that dates to 1897.
The eighth-ranked Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) and 12th-ranked Wolverines (9-2, 6-1) will make scarlet-and-gray and maize-and-blue fans ooh and ah for a few hours Saturday at the Big House. Millions of people on TV will probably enjoy the view, too.
Here's a look back at some memorable moments since Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler kicked off what became known as the Ten Year War, a rivalry within a matchup often referred to as The Game:
Schembechler went 5-4-1 against Hayes, and his first victory was his sweetest and it left his mentor sour for years. ''You will never win a bigger game than that!''' Schembechler recalled Hayes shouting at him. ''And he was right. I don't think I ever did.'' Schembechler played for Hayes at Miami of Ohio, started his coaching career as one of Hayes' graduate assistants at Ohio State and disobeyed him when told to stick around to be the Buckeyes' next leader. Schembechler refused to wait to be a head coach because he didn't believe Hayes would retire anytime soon. Bo knew. He later followed in Hayes' footsteps at Miami before taking a job with ''That Team Up North,'' as Hayes used to say, and Meyer still does today. The 12th-ranked Wolverines stunned heavily favored and top-ranked Ohio State 24-22, ending its 22-game winning streak.
Vietnam veteran and Michigan kicker Mike Lantry missed two kicks in the last 2 minutes that would've broken a Big Ten 10-10 tie between the fourth-ranked Wolverines and top-ranked Ohio State. Instead, both teams walked off the field with a 10-0-1 mark. The conference's athletic directors became the tiebreakers, voting to send the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl. Schembechler was, ''bitterly resentful,'' back then and was still stewing about it decades later. ''I thought they might give Michigan the opportunity,'' Ohio State tailback Archie Griffin, who won the Heisman Trophy the next two seasons, has recalled. ''I think they looked at the fact that Dennis Franklin, who was their quarterback, got injured and the fact that they didn't beat us at home.'' The Big Ten later changed its rules in 1975 and allowed schools to play in the postseason in games other than the Rose Bowl.
Harbaugh guaranteed a victory over Ohio State and backed it up, helping No. 6 Michigan edge No. 7 Ohio State 26-24. He was 19 of 29 for 261 yards passing against the Buckeyes. At Harbaugh's weekly news conference before his first game as coach in the series, he refused to walk back down memory lane about the guarantee or much about what it was like to play in the rivalry. ''Long time ago,'' Harbaugh said with a grin.
Desmond Howard, in one of the most memorable plays in college football history, returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown and struck a Heisman Trophy-like pose in the end zone just after TV broadcaster Keith Jackson had shouted ''Hello, Heisman!'' The receiver and returner helped No. 4 Michigan rout No. 18 Ohio State 31-3, and went on to win the Heisman.
Charles Woodson returned a punt 78 yards for a TD, sprinting up the same side of the field and into the same end zone as Howard did to help No. 1 Michigan beat No. 4 Ohio State 20-14 for a spot in the national championship game. Michigan safety Marcus Ray, who hails from Ohio like Woodson, in the same game hit David Boston low when he went up high to try to catch a pass and the receiver crashed onto the ground. A picture of the hit was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Maurice Clarett ran for 119 yards and a TD to help No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 12 Michigan 14-9 in its national championship season. The Buckeyes went ahead with 4:55 left on Maurice Hall's 3-yard TD run. Will Allen picked off John Navarre's pass with zeroes on the clock, avoiding the heartache of letting a rival ruin an undefeated season as Michigan had done as recently as 1995 and 1996.
Ohio State's Troy Smith threw for four TDs and 316 yards to lead No. 1 Ohio State to a 42-39 win over No. 2 Michigan, the day after Schembechler died. The Buckeyes went on to get routed 41-14 in the BCS national championship game by the Urban Meyer-led Florida Gators.
The third-ranked Buckeyes gave up four TD passes to Devin Gardner, but stopped unranked Michigan on a 2-point conversion with 32 seconds left to win 42-41. That was one of 10 wins in an 11-season stretch for the Buckeyes. The call to go for the win and not overtime was made by former Michigan coach Brady Hoke, an Ohioan, who referred to the Buckeyes' school as Ohio, and was fired in part because of a 1-3 record in the series. Rich Rodriguez was fired, too, after going 0 for 3 in The Game.
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