For only the 12th time in 118 meetings, Saturday’s game between Michigan and Ohio State will be a matchup between two top-five programs.
The game will decide the winner of the Big Ten East and likely a bid to the College Football Playoff.
It’s a rivalry that, until last year, had been dominated by Ohio State in recent memory.
Heading into the 2021 version of “The Game,” Ohio State had won eight straight with Michigan last winning in 2011.
But the Wolverines snapped the losing streak last season, securing Jim Harbaugh’s first win as head coach in the storied rivalry and sending Michigan to the CFP.
The wound is still fresh for head coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes.
“I think you’re shaped by whatever’s happened in your past, and we have scars and it motivated us all offseason,” Day said, according to ESPN. “So we’ve worked very hard to get to this moment right here, and now it’s time to go prepare the best we can and that’s what we’re going to focus on physically, mentally and emotionally to go play the hardest game we’ve ever played. And we’ll find out where we’re at on Saturday.”
“Our guys know they felt the pain last year and let it simmer,” Day said. “And we had to chew on that for a whole year, and it’s a long time. So we’ll see the corrections we made, we’ll see about the growth that we’ve made and find out who we are on Saturday.”
Both teams are coming off of tight wins, with Michigan winning on a 35-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining against Illinois, and Ohio State beating Maryland 43-30.