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Ohio State vs. Michigan: Buckeyes and Wolverines look forward to “The Game”

BY LAUREN BALL

This is the moment football fans have been waiting for. Whether you are a die-hard fan or the casual spectator of football, chances are you have heard of the intense rivalry between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. “The Game”, as it has been appropriately titled, is drawing near, and with it comes the scrutiny of both teams’ seasons, predictions, and, of course, the opinions of some students here at WHS.

Michigan emerged with a 42-27 victory last year over Ohio State after a ten year drought. The Wolverine win made both teams hungry to prove themselves again this year on November 26 in Columbus, where the Buckeyes will host.
Let’s start with this year’s home team: the Ohio State Buckeyes. As suspected, they are the team to root for here in Wadsworth due to the local affinity for Ohio’s biggest university. As of November 21, the Buckeyes are 11-0 (8-0 in conference play) and are share the number one ranking in the Big Ten East with the Wolverines. They opened the season with a 21-10 win over then-ranked number five Notre Dame in week one. Since then, they have scored 40 points or more against all their competition except for Northwestern on November 5.

Averaging 543.7 yards per game as of November 21, the Buckeyes’ offense has been strong out of the gate. They also lead the nation in points per game so far with 48.8. These statistics have helped convince Ben Stuchal, sophomore at WHS, that the Buckeyes will win this year.

“I think it’s going to be an offensive game the whole time until the last minute, and the defense will have to stop each other,” Stuchal said. “I think OSU will win because they have always had the better team and they will do anything to win.”

Stuchal believes that Ohio State is the best team in the nation and since the organization has a chip on their shoulder from last year’s loss, it will help propel them to a win.

“Because it’s the last game of the season, it will boost their momentum and they will definitely win, especially at their home stadium,” said Stuchal.

Infographics last created on October 26. Refer to article for further updates. Infographic created by Lauren Ball.

Now for their underdog opponent: the Michigan Wolverines. They, like their rival counterpart, are undefeated in both regular season and conference matchups (11-0, 8-0). The Wolverines are currently tied for first in the Big Ten East with their previously mentioned rival. In week seven, their victory over then-ranked number ten Penn State solidified their standing as both a Big Ten and national powerhouse.

The Wolverines have posted a .737 offensive completion percentage under sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy, second only to UCLA in the national rankings as of November 21.

WHS sophomore Tahlie Loftin thinks that for these reasons, Michigan will extend their one year win streak into at least two.

“I think Michigan will take the win,” Loftin said. “I think that the win from last year is going to push them to keep going and to keep on winning, like how Ohio State did that with Michigan [in the past].”

Loftin believes that the Wolverines will emerge victorious, but it will be a very close contest.

“There are things players have improved upon, and some players have come and go which is why the outcome will continue to be different,” Loftin said.

Infographics last created on October 26. Refer to article for further updates. Infographic created by Lauren Ball.

ESPN’s matchup predictor says that Ohio State has a 71.8% chance of winning, and they are also a 7 point favorite over Michigan according to Caesars Sportsbook. According to FanDuel, the money line for the game is -320 for Ohio State and +255 for Michigan, with an over/under of 57.5 points.

Whatever the outcome of The Game is, it will no doubt be a hard fought battle and an entertaining contest for fans of both teams. Tune into Fox Sports on Saturday, November 26 at noon to catch both teams in action as they fight for the rivalry victory.

Where it all started: the history of the rivalry

BY CARSON BERNARD

It’s that time of the year again. College football is up in full swing and one of the biggest rivalries is just around the corner. The Ohio State Buckeyes are set to play the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday November 26. 

This national rivalry between the two teams is not something new. The teams first played each other in 1897 with Michigan coming out with the win 36-0. Little did the nation know that this win would start a fierce rivalry between the two teams that is still burning to this day.

Michigan for twenty-two years came out on top winning 13 games and only tying twice with Ohio State. Michigan’s nine game winning streak from the year 1901-1909 is the longest winning streak held by both teams in rivalry history. Ohio State took home their first win against the Wolverines on October 25, 1919 with a score of 13-3. 

The rivalry was just heating up. As of 1969, the Buckeyes had only 24 wins as compared to the Wolverines who had a whopping 38 wins. The following and fanbase for these two schools is so big this rivalry was earning national recognition. John Yaggi, a history teacher at Wadsworth High School and lifelong Ohio State fan. gave his thoughts on the fanbase of both teams. 

“OSU fans are more ruthless but Michigan fans can be pretty ruthless too. I think this hatred is pretty equal,” Yaggi said.

On November 22, 1969, Ohio State traveled to Ann Arbor for the honorary rivalry game. This game is one of the most notorious in rivalry history. Coach Woody Hays, longtime Ohio State coach, lost his former player and short term staff member Bo Schembechler. The Ohio native – Schembechler wasfrom Barberton – was hired by Michigan and offered the head coaching job for their football program. This era of the rivalry is known in the college football world as the Ten Year War. 

“Woody Hays came there in ’51. He made that game a huge rivalry. Then you have the ten year war with Woody and Bo [Schembechler]. That ten year span was for most of the 70s. Woody coached with Bo and Bo was from Barberton so it made the already intense rivalry a lot more,” Yaggi commented.

Going into the game Ohio State had the number one spot in the rankings and was looking really strong. Schembechler ended up taking home the win for the wolverines. Michigan’s huge upset set a precedent for the next ten years. For the next ten years the rivalry game would end up determining who would represent the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl. From 1969 to 1977 the two teams either shared or won every single Big 10 championship. 

Today the rivalry is still as big as it was in the 70s. Yaggi, having gone to Ohio State in the 90s, gave his opinion on the atmosphere of the school during rivalry week. 

“The lead up was crazy. Fall of ’96 we were I believe undefeated and we lost 13-9 to Michigan. That took us out of the championship that year,” Yaggi said. “The next week, everyone was pretty bummed out, not really wanting to talk about football, but then we won the next week and everyone was energetic again.”

This year the Wolverines will play the Buckeyes on November 26 in Columbus. The hype is already here all over the media and both teams are looking really solid this year. Ohio State looks to avenge their loss to the Wolverines in their 2021 matchup. Last year the Buckeyes lost 27-42.

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