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Key Buckeye-Wolverine games sprinkled through every decade

Gannett News Service

Following is a capsule look at some of the more interesting Ohio State-Michigan games:

1897: Michigan 34, Ohio State 0

The inaugural game of the series was no contest. Played on Oct. 16 in Ann Arbor, Michigan scored six touchdowns (which were worth four points at the time, conversions were worth two). The Wolverines substituted liberally in the second half, and OSU played much better after intermission.

It was Michigan's 18th year of football, the seventh for Ohio State. Although OSU forged a 0-0 tie in 1900 (the second meeting), the Buckeyes would score only once in their first nine encounters with the Wolverines (a 10-6 loss in 1908).

OSU forged a 3-3 tie in 1910, but UM dominated the early stages of the rivalry, going 13-0-2 through 1918 and 19-3-2 through 1927.

1902: Michigan 86, Ohio State 0

This game marked the largest margin of victory by either team. Michigan scored an incredible 15 touchdowns and 11 PATs, despite the game being shortened by 10 minutes in the second half.

The Wolverines rolled to a 45-0 halftime bulge largely on the running of All-American fullback Willie Heston. Michigan finished the season 11-0, while OSU went 6-2-2 against an inferior schedule.

1919: Ohio State 13, Michigan 3


Ohio State’s first three-time All-American, running back Chic Harley, delivered the Buckeyes initial victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1919. (Photo courtesy of the College Football Hall of Fame)

Ohio State’s first three-time All-American, running back Chic Harley, delivered the Buckeyes initial victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor.

OSU got on the board first when tackle Iolas Huffman blocked a punt and Jim Flowers recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Harley took control after that, intercepting four passes on defense and clinching the game with a touchdown run from near midfield. It was the Buckeyes first victory over famed Michigan coach Fielding “Hurry Up” Yost and marked the first of three straight wins for OSU in the series.

1922: Michigan 19, Ohio State 0

The Wolverines snapped a three-game losing streak to Ohio State with this convincing shutout in the dedication game for Ohio Stadium before an estimated 70,000 fans.
Paul Goebel and Harry Kipke dominated the action for Michigan. Each player kicked a field goal, Goebel blocked a punt and recovered a fumble and Kipke scored two touchdowns, one on an interception return. The Wolverines would finish the season undefeated at 6-0-1, while the Bucks stumbled to a 3-4 record.

1926: Michigan 17, Ohio State 16

In a game that would truly foreshadow the nature of the series, once-beaten Michigan nipped previously undefeated Ohio State before an estimated 90,000 fans who swarmed over, around and through the gates at Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes opened an early 10-0 lead, but Michigan stormed back to forge a 10-10 halftime tie. In the fourth quarter, OSU’s Elmer Marek fumbled a punt at the Ohio State five and Michigan quarterback Bennie Oosterbaan fired a TD pass to put the Wolverines in front. Oosterbaan had a brilliant day, nailing a 42-yard field goal earlier in the game and hurrying the potential game-tying PAT later in the contest.

The Buckeyes fought back, embarking on a long drive. The march was fueled by the running of Byron Eby, who scored on a short line blast. But Myers Clark missed the PAT drop kick which went under the cross bar. Both teams finished their respective seasons at 7-1, but this game cost OSU a Big Ten title.

1927: Michigan 21, Ohio State 0

The dedication of Michigan Stadium went much better for the home team. More than 87,000 fans were in attendance as the nation’s largest college football venue opened for business.
The Wolverines christened the facility in style with Benny Oosterbaan tossing a pair of touchdown passes to Louis Gilbert, who also scored a third TD on a breakaway run. The Buckeyes threatened only late in the game but couldn’t avoid the shutout.

1934: Ohio State 34, Michigan 0

Coach Francis Schmidt’s wide-open offensive attack led to a whopping 460-45 advantage in total yardage. Seven Buckeyes were involved in scoring plays in the resounding victory.

This was Schmidt’s first year, and his first encounter with Michigan. When hired he vowed to beat the Wolverines, stating, “They put their pants on one leg at a time like every one else.” This comment launched a pants club at Ohio State. The tradition lives to this day. Every Buckeye team member receives a trinket in the shape of Gold Pants after a victory over Michigan.

1935: Ohio State 38, Michigan 0

Schmidt’s Buckeyes were again in high gear and fully recovered from a miracle 18-13 loss to Notre Dame in the Game of the Century three weeks earlier. All-American linemen Gomer Jones and Inwood Smith dominated up front, All-American end Merle Wendt was a threat on the outside and diminutive Tippy Dye all played key roles in an easy victory.

This decision capped Ohio State’s undefeated run through the Big Ten.

1944: Ohio State 18, Michigan 14

Carroll Widdoes took over for Paul Brown, who had brought Ohio State a national title in 1942. Although a rookie coach, Widdoes led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and No. 2 ranking in the national polls behind Army. OSU won the national civilian championship and Les Horvath garnered the Heisman Trophy.

But none of that was clinched until Horvath scored the game-winning touchdown late in a thrilling, see-saw battle that included five lead changes. This was the first time the OSU-UM winner would be the outright Big Ten champion and this game lived up to the legacy it spawned.

Ohio State made all the plays in the final five minutes to earn the win. Horvath finished a 52-yard drive with a one-yard dive at the 3:16 mark. Michigan’s last march was snuffed when Dick Flanagan intercepted a pass. Interestingly, this was Flanagan’s only year as a letterman at Ohio State.

1950: Michigan 9, Ohio State 3

Perhaps the most talked about game in the history of the series was the Snow Bowl. This contest featured 45 punts and was played in single-digit temperatures, winds approaching 30 mph and driving snow.

Michigan won despite not recording a single first down. Ohio State’s Vic Janowicz, the Heisman Trophy winner that season, drilled an incredible 37-yard field goal into the wind for the Bucks’ only points. But his third-down punt with 47 seconds showing in the half was blocked by Michigan’s Tony Momsen, a Toledo native. Momsen then recovered the ball in the end zone for the game-winning score.

The victory sent Michigan to the Rose Bowl and earned OSU coach Wes Fesler incredible criticism. He resigned a couple of weeks later, bringing Woody Hayes on the scene.

Additional coverage: More than 50 years ago, ‘Snow Bowl’ heated up OSU-UM rivalry

1954: Ohio State 21, Michigan 7

Michigan drove 68 yards after the opening kick to take a 7-0 lead against undefeated and No. 1-ranked Ohio State. But the once-beaten and 12th-ranked Wolverines wouldn’t score again. OSU’s Jack Gibbs changed the game’s momentum by intercepting a pass late in the second quarter and returning it 47 yards to the Michigan 10. Dave Leggett’s TD pass to Fred Kriss tied the game at intermission.

Late in the third period Michigan marched to the Ohio goal line, but sophomore Jim Parker stopped Michigan running back Dave Hill at the one-foot line on a fourth-down play. Future Heisman Trophy winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady ignited the ensuing drive with a 47-yard bolt. Leggett finished the march with a TD pass to Dave Brubaker. Cassady scored the final touchdown to send OSU to the Rose Bowl.

The Buckeyes whipped Southern California 20-7 in Pasadena to capture the national championship.

1955: Ohio State 17, Michigan 0

Much as Tom Harmon had done in 1940, Howard “Hopalong” Cassady completed his spectacular rush to the Heisman Trophy with a final thrilling performance on his archrival’s home turf.

Cassady ripped off 146 yards and scored his final collegiate TD early in the fourth period. Michigan crossed midfield only once in this game as Ohio State’s stifling defense denied the Wolverines a Rose Bowl bid. Instead, OSU picked up the conference championship in its first win at Ann Arbor since 1937. The Buckeyes were barred from playing in Pasadena due to the no-repeat rule. Michigan State was the Big Ten’s representative.

1957: Ohio State 31, Michigan 14

Playing before more than 100,000 fans, the inspired Wolverines opened a shocking 14-10 halftime lead in Ann Arbor. But All-American Bob White recovered a key fumble in the third quarter and the momentum switched for good. OSU’s Dick LeBeau and Frank Kremblas spearheaded a 21-point offensive explosion in the second half to seal the victory.

The Bucks would go on to nip Oregon 10-7 in the Rose Bowl and capture the school’s second national championship in four years, and third in 15 seasons. This was also Ohio State’s third Big Ten championship in four years. Meanwhile, Michigan finished 5-3-1.

1961: Ohio State 50, Michigan 20


Two-time All-American fullback Bob Ferguson gained 152 yards and scored four touchdowns in Ohio State’s 50-20 victory in 1961. (Photo courtesy of the College Football Hall of Fame)

Ohio State featured offense and lots of it in this encounter. Two-time All-American fullback Bob Ferguson gained 152 yards and scored four touchdowns. Sophomore halfback Paul Warfield peeled off a 69-yard touchdown run and quarterback Joe Sparma fired an 80-yard touchdown pass to Bob Klein.

Michigan was within 21-12 entering the fourth quarter, and featured their own fireworks when Dave Raimey took a kickoff back 90 yards for a score. But the Buckeyes owned a 512-271 total yardage bulge and added insult to injury by going for two and making it after their final touchdown. OSU won the National Football Foundation’s national title, but was denied a Rose Bowl bid when the school’s faculty council voted to reject the invitation 28-25.

1964: Michigan 10, Ohio State 0

Both teams were in the Top 10 and the winner would claim the conference crown on a frigid day in Columbus. Ironically, it was the Ohio influence that fueled Michigan’s win. Toledo native Jim Detwiler scored the game’s lone touchdown on a pass from Bob Timberlake of Franklin, Ohio. Wauseon, Ohio product Rick Volk intercepted two passes and returned a punt 27 yards to set up Timberlake’s fourth-quarter field goal that clinched the game.

The Wolverines advanced to the Rose Bowl. This was Michigan’s only league title in Hayes’ first 18 years at Ohio State.

1968: Ohio State 50, Michigan 14

Fourth-ranked Michigan scored first, but Ohio State fought back to take a 21-14 lead at intermission. The second half was all Buckeyes as quarterback Rex Kern and fullback Jim Otis dominated the action. Kern ran for 96 yards, threw for 46 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. Otis ran for 143 yards and four touchdowns as the Bucks romped in the final two periods.

This game sent OSU to the Rose Bowl, where the Buckeyes thumped second-ranked USC and O.J. Simpson 27-16. Ohio State was the consensus national champions and this squad, led defensively by senior Mark Stier and sophomores Jim Stillwagon and Jack Tatum, was voted the college football team of the decade.

1969: Michigan 24, Ohio State 12

ABC broadcaster Bill Fleming called this game the Upset of the Century. Undefeated Ohio State needed only to beat double-digit underdog Michigan to continue its march toward a second straight national championship. But the Buckeyes committed an incredible eight turnovers and rookie coach Bo Schembechler’s team played inspired football.

Jim Otis gave the Bucks an early 6-0 lead, but Michigan countered with Garvie Craw scoring on a three-yard plunge. Ohio State immediately regained the advantage when Rex Kern fired a 22-yard TD pass to Jan White, but it would be OSU’s final score of the day. Michigan drove 67 yards for the go-ahead score, again on a Craw dive.

UM defensive back Barry Pierson intercepted three passes and had a 60-yard punt return in the second quarter that set up the clinching touchdown. All of the scoring was done in the first half. The Wolverines snapped a 22-game Ohio State winning streak and a 17-game conference winning streak, although the Bucks did share the league title with Michigan and were ranked fourth in the final AP poll. The Wolverines lost the Rose Bowl after Schembechler suffered a heart attack just prior to the game.

This victory ignited a 10-year war between Hayes and Schembechler which marked the peak of the rivalry.

1970: Ohio State 20, Michigan 9

This was the revenge tilt in Columbus. For the first time in the rivalry both teams brought perfect records into this tense game. But Ohio State’s defense limited Michigan to just 37 yards rushing, compared to 242 for the Buckeyes.

OSU moved on top when Michigan fumbled the opening kickoff and the Bucks capitalized with a field goal. Michigan tied it on the first play of the second quarter after Jim Betts returned an interception to the Buckeye 18. Ohio State moved in front 10-3 when Rex Kern hit Bruce Jankowski with a 26-yard scoring strike before the half.

Michigan’s Don Moorhead fired a 13-yard TD pass to Paul Staroba in the third period, but Tim Anderson blocked the PAT to keep the Bucks in front 10-9. The game entered the fourth period with Ohio State clinging to a 13-9 edge when linebacker Stan White intercepted a pass and returned it to the Wolverines nine. Two plays later tailback Leo Hayden, who gained 117 yards, scored on a 4-yard option pitch from Kern to put Michigan on ice.

OSU won the National Football Foundation’s national title, but fell 27-17 to Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

1971: Michigan 10, Ohio State 7

Undefeated Michigan used a brilliant defensive effort to stymie Ohio State in a controversial win that sent the Wolverines to the Rose Bowl. Unranked OSU took a 7-3 lead in the third quarter on Tom Campana’s brilliant 85-yard punt return for a score. He had five punt returns for 166 yards, outgaining his offensive teammates by eight yards on the afternoon.

Michigan moved in front on Billy Taylor’s clutch, 21-yard sweep around right end late in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes final march was stymied deep in Michigan territory when defensive back Thom Darden intercepted a pass. Woody Hayes protested that Darden had interfered with an Ohio State receiver, but to no avail. Hayes shredded the down and distance markers and was hit with a pair of 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalties in a scene that was replayed over and over on national television.

1972: Ohio State 14, Michigan 11

Two tremendous goal-line stands helped ninth-ranked Ohio State upset undefeated and third-ranked Michigan in a game that belongs on ESPN Classic. The Wolverines twice had the ball inside the OSU one but failed to score on fourth-down plays each time.

Michigan took an early 3-0 lead, but Buckeye fullback Champ Henson scored on a one-yard plunge in the second quarter. Ohio State freshman Archie Griffin bolted 30 yards for a TD (his only touchdown in the series) to give the Bucks a 14-3 edge in the third period.

Michigan fought back when fullback Ed Shuttlesworth scored on a 1-yard fourth-down dive. The ensuing two-point conversion made it 14-11, but the Wolverines didn’t score again.

A field goal on either missed goal-line situation would’ve sent Michigan to the Rose Bowl, but Bo Schembechler wanted no part of a tie. The Wolverines dominated the statistical battle (344 to 189 in total yardage), but Ohio State collected the Rose Bowl bid.

1973: Michigan 10, Ohio State 10

Only the Notre Dame-Michigan State tie in the previous decade created the same type of stir in college football circles. Undefeated and No.1-ranked Ohio State was severely limited in this game as starting quarterback Cornelius Greene played with a broken thumb. OSU didn’t complete a pass all day. Sophomore Archie Griffin was the workhorse, gaining 163 yards on 30 carries. Griffin’s darting runs set up a 31-yard Blair Conway field goal and a short Pete Johnson touchdown blast just before the break for a 10-0 halftime bulge.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but fourth-ranked Michigan dominated the action. Kicker Mike Lantry nailed a 30-yard field goal early in the period and quarterback Dennis Franklin scored on a 10-yard run off a fourth-and-one call to draw the Wolverines into a tie with 9:32 remaining. Ohio State drove past midfield but when Griffin suffered a slight injury and had to leave the game, the drive stalled.

Michigan suffered two missed field goals in the final 1:01. That set up a Rose Bowl vote of the conference athletic directors, who decided the undefeated Wolverines wouldn’t be at top form without Franklin, who broke his collarbone in the final period of this contest.

Instead, Ohio State was sent to Pasadena. The Buckeyes proved the wisdom of the vote by skinning USC 42-21 and finishing second in the national poll.

1974: Ohio State 12, Michigan 10

Once again third-ranked Michigan was undefeated going into the final game of the season and once again Ohio State played spoiler. The Wolverines started quickly on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Franklin to Gil Chapman. After an OSU fumble, Michigan marched deep into Ohio State territory to set up a 37-yard field goal from Vietnam War veteran Mike Lantry. It was 10-0 in the first period, but Michigan wouldn’t score again.

Tom Klaban, whose family had escaped from behind the Iron Curtain the previous decade, booted three field goals before the half to make it a 10-9 game. His 45-yard floater in the third quarter put the Bucks on top and proved to be the game winner.

Michigan had a final chance, but Lantry’s 33-yard attempt was wide left in the final seconds.

The second-ranked Buckeyes tasted heartbreak of their own in an 18-17 last-minute loss to USC in the Rose Bowl. It was a decision that cost Ohio State a national championship.

1975: Ohio State 21, Michigan 14

This is another contest that cries for an ESPN Classic audience. Undefeated and No.1-ranked Ohio State looked unstoppable on its opening drive, rolling 63 yards and scoring on a five-yard TD pass from Cornelius Greene to Pete Johnson. But the OSU offense was stifled for the next two quarters.

Meanwhile, Michigan tied the game at the half on Gordon Bell’s halfback pass to Jim Smith. Freshman quarterback Rick Leach scored on an option keeper in the fourth quarter for a 14-7 lead.

But Green’s passing brought Ohio State back. The Big Ten MVP tossed a key 17-yard pass to Brian Baschnagel on third-and-long and followed with completions of 14 and 17 yards to Len Willis. Archie Griffin, held to less than 100 yards for the first time in 31 games, got loose for gains of 11 and 12 yards to put the ball at the Michigan 8. Fullback Pete Johnson was called on four straight times and finally scored on fourth down. The ensuing PAT tied the game.

On the next series, Leach was intercepted by Ray Griffin, Archie’s brother, who returned it to the three. Johnson notched his 25th touchdown of the season with 2:23 to play for the final score.

1979: Ohio State 18, Michigan 15

This game is on ESPN Classic, and it should be. Unbeaten and second-ranked Ohio State moved the ball convincingly most of the day, but had trouble scoring. Sophomore All-American quarterback Art Schlichter threw for 196 yards, including an 18-yard TD pass to Chuck Hunter to give the Buckeyes their first touchdown against Michigan since 1975.

But Michigan countered with a passing attack of its own. Freshman receiver Anthony Carter scored on a 59-yard bomb from John Wangler. Carter set up another score with a 66-yard catch. That staked Michigan to a 15-12 edge in the fourth quarter.

But Buckeyes Jim Laughlin and Ernie Andria teamed to block a punt in the fourth quarter and Todd Bell returned the bouncing ball 18 yards for the game-winning score midway through the final period.

OSU dropped a 17-16 Rose Bowl decision to USC, costing the Buckeyes a national crown.

1981: Ohio State 14, Michigan 9

Clutch defense and a pair of long touchdown drives, one in each half, helped Ohio State upset Michigan and deny the Wolverines a Rose Bowl bid.

Four times Bo Schembechler’s team moved inside the OSU 10, but could not score a touchdown. It marked the first time since 1967 UM failed to score a TD in Michigan Stadium.

Art Schlichter’s one-yard run capped an 82-yard drive in the second quarter, but Michigan moved in front with a pair of third-period field goals. In the final quarter Ohio State rolled 80 yards, with Schlichter again scoring, this time on a third-and-goal call at the Michigan six. Schlichter faked out two defenders and fullback Vaughn Broadnax threw a key block to clear just enough room for the touchdown.

OSU claimed a Big Ten co-title with this victory.

1986: Michigan 26, Ohio State 24

Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh guaranteed this win, but that promise was realized only after OSU kicker Matt Frantz missed a 45-yard field goal with 1:06 remaining that could have won the game.

The two teams combined for more than 800 yards of total offense, but Ohio State couldn’t hold on to an early 14-3 lead.

Michigan tailback Jamie Morris was unstoppable, compiling 210 yards and Harbaugh added 261 yards passing. Michigan opened a 26-17 bulge, but OSU stayed in contention thanks to Vince Workman’s 126 yards rushing and 29 tackles from linebacker Chris Spielman.

1990: Michigan 16, Ohio State 13

J.D. Carlson’s 37-yard field goal with three seconds to play moved Michigan into a four-way tie for the conference title and sent Ohio State free-falling to fifth-place in the Big Ten standings.

The Buckeyes needed only a win to go to the Rose Bowl, but that situation prompted a risky decision by Ohio State coach John Cooper. Facing a 4th-and-one at his own 29 and only 38 seconds remaining, Cooper opted to go for it. But Greg Frey’s option keeper was stuffed in the backfield to set up the Michigan win.

Ohio State won the statistical battle, but suffered three interceptions. It was the beginning of a curse that would haunt Cooper throughout his OSU tenure.

1991: Michigan 31, Ohio State 3

This was the Desmond Howard show, a performance that pushed the Michigan receiver toward the Heisman Trophy. The Cleveland native racked up 223 all-purpose yards, caught passes of 50 and 42 yards and returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Howard capped that return by striking a Heisman pose in the end zone, it was a fitting signature to a fine career.

Michigan won its fourth straight game over Ohio State and handed the Buckeyes their worst loss in the series since a 58-6 drubbing in 1946. The Wolverines were the outright Big Ten champions and OSU finished third in the conference.

1993: Michigan 28, Ohio State 0

It’s hard to imagine this game being an upset. Michigan looked like the superior team throughout. But Ohio State came into the contest undefeated and needing a win to reach the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes were never in it as quarterbacks Bob Hoying and Bret Powers combined to throw four interceptions.

Michigan ran for 281 yards, with Tyrone Wheatley gaining 105 and quarterback Todd Collins pitching two TD passes.

John Cooper’s record against Michigan dipped to 0-5-1.

1995: Michigan 31, Ohio State 23


Bob Hoying and Terry Glenn didn’t connect often enough for Ohio State to win the 1995 OSU-Michigan game. (Gannett News Service photo)

Eventual Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George was the offensive focus in this game, but his 104 yards were less than one-third the total of Michigan running back Tim Biakabutuka. The second-ranked and undefeated Buckeyes featured an offense averaging 39.8 points per game. But Bilitnikoff Award winning receiver Terry Glenn fired up the Wolverine defense by claiming “Michigan is nothing” in the week leading up to the game.

Actually, it was the OSU defense that was nothing as far as Biakabutuka was concerned. The Wolverine standout gained 313 yards on 37 carries in the biggest game ever against an Ohio State defense. Michigan freshman Charles Woodson, of Fremont, stifled the Bucks’ final drive with his second interception of the day.

1996: Michigan 13, Ohio State 9

No. 2-ranked Ohio State was in complete command throughout the first half, but could not crack the end zone and held a precarious 9-0 edge on three Josh Jackson field goals. But Buckeye cornerback Shawn Springs slipped in coverage and Michigan receiver Tai Streets took a short slant pass 69 yards for a score. Remy Hamilton followed with field goals of 44 and 39 yards to clinch the win.

The Buckeyes again suffered miserable quarterback play. Joe Germaine and Stan Jackson combined for 13-of-35 accuracy for 157 yards and an interception.

1997: Michigan 20, Ohio State 14

Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, of Fremont, Ohio, almost single-handedly won this game for the undefeated and No.1-ranked Wolverines. He did it after being challenged by Ohio State sophomore David Boston, who said he played against better cornerbacks in practice and that OSU should win “by two touchdowns.”

Woodson intercepted a Stan Jackson pass in the end zone to thwart one Ohio State drive, caught a 31-yard pass from quarterback Brian Griese to set up Michigan’s first touchdown and returned a punt 78 yards for another score.

Michigan’s final TD came when Jackson was again intercepted. This time the struggling starter threw a pass directly to Andre Weathers and the startled Michigan defender bolted 44 yards for a score and a 20-0 lead.

Fourth-ranked OSU battled back with Joe Germaine throwing a 56-yard TD pass to Boston. A Griese fumble at the Michigan two set up a short touchdown run by Pepe Pearson, but that was the game’s final score.

Michigan went on to win the national championship by beating Washington State in the Rose Bowl.

1998: Ohio State 31, Michigan 16

The tables were finally turned in this contest as Ohio State cost Michigan a Rose Bowl bid. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 for 10 weeks, but were shocked by Michigan State two weeks earlier. Oddly, that defeat seemed to ease the pressure around coach John Cooper who brought a 1-8-1 record against Michigan into this game. The Buckeyes played loosely and it showed.

Receiver David Boston had 10 catches, 217 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Germaine completed 16-of-28 yards for 330 yards and three TDs. Running back Michael Wiley gained 120 yards on 12 carries and added a score.

Michigan was down 14-0 in the first five minutes as Wiley ripped off a 53-yard scoring run and Germaine hit Dee Miller for a 16-yard TD pass. Germaine added scoring strikes of 30 and 43 yards to Boston.

Michigan got within 21-10 at the half, but never really threatened to win the game.

Ohio State earned a Sugar Bowl berth, thumped Texas A&M 24-14 and finished the year ranked No. 2.

2001: Ohio State 26, Michigan 20


OSU running back Jonathan Wells trots into the end zone with his second touchdown in the 2001 Ohio State-Michigan game. (Dave Polcyn/Gannett News Service)

Upon his hiring the previous January, new Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said: “You'll be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the football field.”

He was right.

Playing without suspended starting quarterback Steve Bellisari, the Bucks rallied behind Michigan native Craig Krenzel, who was making his first start at quarterback. The Buckeyes won in Ann Arbor for the first time since 1987 thanks to a big first half from running back Jonathan Wells and two key interceptions by All-American safety Mike Doss.

OSU rolled to a surprising 23-0 lead in the second quarter on three Wells TD runs and a botched shotgun snap by Michigan. The Wolverines battled back behind the inspired play of receiver Marquis Walker. But Doss came up with his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter and that led to a crucial field goal from Mike Nugent that put Michigan into a desperation mode throughout the final period.

The Buckeyes played very conservatively in the second half, registering just one first down, but hung on for the win.

2002: Ohio State 14, Michigan 9

Undefeated and second-ranked Ohio State needed a win over a Top 10 Michigan team to secure a shared league title with Iowa and a spot in the national championship game.

True to Ohio State’s nature in this particular season, the Michigan game went down to the final play. Wolverine QB John Navarre controlled most of the first half with his uncanny ability to convert third downs. Michigan moved the ball as no other OSU foe had to date. Coach Lloyd Carr’s team had just three possessions in the first half, and each were long, time-consuming drives that ended in field goals. In fact, Michigan was 8-of-11 on third-down conversions, and all three misses were followed by made field goals.

OSU managed just one noteworthy drive in the first half, but made it count. Maurice Clarett bounced off the bench to spark the first-quarter march and completed it with a 2-yard plunge. Still, Michigan led 9-7 at the intermission.

With the pressure mounting, Ohio State finally took advantage of good field position midway through the fourth period. A fourth-and-one sneak by QB Craig Krenzel and a 26-yard pass to Clarett put the Bucks in scoring range. Two plays later Maurice Hall took an option pitch three yards for the game-winning TD with 4:55 remaining.

Michigan had two chances late. Junior defensive lineman Darrion Scott stripped Navarre and end Will Smith recovered the fumble deep in OSU territory to thwart one threat. Navarre gamely led the Wolverines on a length of the field drive, and with one second showing had one final shot. But his pass for Braylon Edwards in the end zone was intercepted by reserve defensive back Will Allen to end the game. OSU was 13-0 overall, 8-0 in the conference, and headed to Tempe, Ariz. for a date with destiny.

Additional coverage: Bucks cap improbable season at 13-0, head to Fiesta Bowl


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