Michigan Football: Wolverines Favored Over Ohio State Buckeyes as ‘The Game’ Approaches

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Underdogs Often Win

There have been several double-digit favorites in the UM-OSU series, but on several occasions the underdog has won. In 2004, Michigan was ranked No. 7  with a 9-1 record and Ohio State was unranked with a 6-4 mark.  The 2004 game was actually a dress rehearsal of what was to come in the 2006 game when both teams were undefeated.The 2004 affair featured back up quarterback Troy Smith rushing for 145 yards and passing for 241 while Wolverine running back Michael Hart was held to 51.Ted Ginn Jr. scored on an 82-yard punt return in the third quarter to put the game away.

“This was important because it’s Ohio State-Michigan,” said  Jim Tressel, then 3-1 against the Buckeyes’ archrivals.“(Former Ohio State) Coach Earle Bruce always said that if the Ohio State coach wins against Michigan he can walk down the main streets of Columbus. If he loses, he’d better walk the back alleys. It’s that important.”The tables were turned in 1993.  Michigan came into the game with a listless 6-4 record and unranked. Ohio State was 9-0-1 and ranked No. 5.It was no contest as Michigan controlled the ball more than 36 minutes and led 21-0 at the half. Tyrone Wheatley ran for 105 yards, Ed Davis had 96 on the ground and Todd Collins completed 70% of his passes.

“It was probably our lack of success during the season that helped in our victory,” Michigan coach Gary Moeller said. “… We played like we should have all season, with emotion.”There were 10 other upsets from 1969 thru 2004, with Michigan winning five, Ohio State four and the one tie in 1973.

Added ESPN: “From 1970 through 1975, Michigan entered without a loss every year. The Wolverines won just once. Ohio State was 9-0-1 in 1993, 11-0 in 1995 and 10-0 in 1996. The Buckeyes lost each time.”

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