A look back at Ohio State’s previous six top-five games with Michigan at Ohio Stadium

The game is called the game for a reason.

While there have been plenty of epic, tension-filled and biting clashes over the years, only 11 have featured the two top-five ranked rivals. Six of those 11 were played within the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium, and those games included some of the most memorable matchups in The Game’s history.

As the No. 2 Buckeyes prepare to host the No. 3 Wolverines in a top-five game at the Shoe for the seventh time on Saturday, we look back on Ohio State’s previous six home games against Michigan with such high stakes.

1942: 5 Ohio State 21, #4 Michigan 7

Michigan came to Columbus after a 32-20 win over Notre Dame and was 6-2. Corn and Blue’s two losses were to the pre-flight Iowa Seahawks and Minnesota Gophers.

The stage was set for 72,691 fans – the largest crowd at Ohio Stadium in 1942 – to watch Paul Brown’s fifth-ranked Buckeyes take on the fourth-ranked Wolverines.

Michigan coach Fritz Crisler was a near-perfect 4-0-1 against Ohio State and his team entered The Shoe full of confidence for a nationally broadcast game. Adding to the North team swagger was the knowledge that Ohio State would be without halfbacks Tommy James, Bill Durtschi, Bobby Frye and Tom Cleary.

It was a cold and rainy game, but the Buckeyes overcame the playing conditions and forced it on their rival. Team MVP Chuck Csuri blocked a Michigan punt in the second quarter to set up Ohio State’s first touchdown. Paul Sarringhaus and Shaw connected on a touchdown pass and the Bucks led 14-0 late in the third quarter.

The Wolverines cut the lead to 14-7, but the Buckeyes responded when Sarringhaus found Les Horvath for his second touchdown pass of the day. It would be the game’s last points as Ohio State earned its first victory over Michigan in five years.

It was the last time in 78 years that Ohio State did not finish the regular season against Michigan.

1968: 2 Ohio State 50, #4 Michigan 14

What was at stake for Woody Hayes and his talented young team was the Big Ten crown, a Rose Bowl berth and a possible national championship. The Wolverines were on an eight-game winning streak after losing the season opener to California. Like Ohio State, Michigan was playing for a conference championship and a trip to Pasadena.

On this 55-degree day, Michigan won the toss and elected to host. The Wolverines made the record crowd of 85,371 nervous when they methodically rushed for 84 yards on 17 plays – including 15 points – to take a 7-0 lead.

The fears proved unfounded when the Buckeyes responded and earned one of the most lopsided wins in The Game history. Hayes even went for two after taking a 50-14 lead with 1:23 remaining, but Bill Long’s pass to make it a 38-point victory remained incomplete.

Ohio State’s 11th undisputed Big Ten title ended a brief championship hiatus for Hayes. The Buckeyes won the league title in 1961, but were denied a trip to the Rose Bowl by faculty. This time, the team knew they were heading to Pasadena to take on No. 2 USC, where they would win the national championship.

1970: 5 Ohio State 20, 4 Michigan 9

The Super Sophs were two years out of their championship season and had spent the last year brooding over the upset loss to Michigan in 1969. A year of frustration from fans and the team was ready to unleash on Wolverines and sophomore coach Bo Schembechler.

The 5 best matchups in the game




2022 #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan To be determined
2016 #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan 30–27
2006 #1 Ohio State vs #1 Michigan 42–39


#4 Ohio State at #5 Michigan



#4 Ohio State and #1 Michigan



#4 Ohio State at #5 Michigan



#1 Ohio State and #4 Michigan


1974 #4 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan 12–10


#1 Ohio State and #4 Michigan


1970 #5 Ohio State vs. #4 Michigan 20–9
1968 #2 Ohio State vs. #4 Michigan 50–14
1942 #5 Ohio State vs. #4 Michigan 21–7

Home games in bold

The Ann Arbor team was riding a 14-game winning streak and a record crowd of 87,331 at the then Ohio Stadium packed The Shoe to watch two undefeated, untied Big Ten teams play for the title of the conference for the first time since 1905.

Ohio State used the energy surrounding The Game to their advantage. Michigan won the toss and elected to host. Stan White kicked off Lance Scheffler who sent him straight back to Ohio State. The Buckeyes converted the three-point turnover when Fred Schram netted a 27-yard field goal.

Wolverines tied the game with a field goal early in the second quarter, but Rex Kern and Bruce Jankowski connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the home side a 10-3 halftime lead .

Shades of 1969 fell on the stadium when Don Moorhead found Paul Staroba for a 13-yard score in the third quarter. However, Ohio State blocked the extra point and still led 10-9.

Fears were put to rest when the Buckeyes scored the next 10 points and kept Michigan’s rushing game to 37 yards for the day. With the 20-9 win, Ohio State was 9-0 and the absolute Big Ten champion.

Woody Hayes laid the groundwork for the 1970 win over Michigan shortly after the 1969 loss. He set up a mat just outside the locker room with the score against the Wolverines taped to it. It reminded the players of the upheaval every day and the motivation worked as Ohio State defeated Michigan for the eighth time in 11 years.

1974: #4 Ohio State 12, #3 Michigan 10

In what was becoming an annual tradition, Ohio State and Michigan faced off for the Big Ten title. The Buckeyes were looking to atone for the 10-10 draw suffered by the 1973 side, arguably one of the best teams in the program. The 1974 match set the “foot” in football.

Just over three minutes into the game, Wolverines scored the only touchdown of the game on their fourth offensive play. Dennis Franklin’s play pass fooled the Buckeyes defense as he found Gil Chapman for a 42-yard touchdown. Later in the first quarter, the Wolverines extended their lead to 10-0 after Mike Lantry had a 37-yard field goal.

The rest of the day’s score belonged to Ohio State’s Tom Klaban, who scored four field goals – including three from over 43 yards – and accounted for all of Scarlet and Gray’s points in the 12-10 win. .

Helping the Buckeyes win, Lantry missed field goals for 59 and 33 yards in the 4th quarter. The Buckeyes’ ticket to the 1975 Rose Bowl was stricken, a game Ohio State lost, 18-17, when USC scored and converted a two-point conversion with 2:03 remaining in the match.

2006: #1 Ohio State 42, #2 Michigan 39

For the first time in the series’ history, the Passionate Rivals entered The Game ranked as the first and second ranked teams in the nation. The week leading up to the game was electric as anticipation of another shot at a national title permeated Columbus.

As if the event couldn’t get any bigger, former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died the day before kickoff. Lloyd Carr’s team used the sudden overrun as further motivation to knock out the top-ranked Buckeyes.

A Michigan-inspired team went 80 yards in seven plays and scored when Mike Hart dived a yard. The quick score didn’t shake the home side as Troy Smith completed 9 of 11 passes and threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Roy Hall in the ensuing practice to tie the game at seven each.

The Buckeyes scored the next 14 points to take the lead to 21-7 after Ted Ginn Jr.’s 39-yard touchdown reception. Like the heavyweight boxers, the blue blood programs traded and blocked blows the rest of the way. match.

When the final whistle sounded, Ohio State was up 42-39, undefeated and poised to play for a national championship against future coach Urban Meyer, whose Florida Gators would defeat the Buckeyes in the final game of the season.

2016: #2 Ohio State 30, #3 Michigan 27

A decade after ‘The Game of the Century’, the rivals were once again ranked in the top three when they met at Ohio Stadium in 2016. Adding to the tension and drama are new fan expectations and hopes. of Michigan with their second-year coach, Jim Harbaugh, on their sidelines.

The khaki-wearing and underdog Wolverines have scarlet and Gray stalwarts fearing their team will succumb to the northern side at Ohio Stadium for the first time since 2000.

At the end of the third quarter, Ohio State led by 10 points when Jerome Baker turned the game around. The sophomore linebacker intercepted Wilton Speight’s pass at Michigan’s 35-yard line and returned it 22 yards to Wolverines’ 13. three meter run.

Urban Meyer’s team used a 5:36 drive to end regulation with a 23-yard field goal from Tyler Durbin. For the first time in The Game’s history, the result would be decided in overtime.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, and Ohio State’s defense limited Michigan to a 37-yard field goal in second overtime. The stage was set for three remarkable consecutive plays.

Facing 3rd and 9th on the Wolverines 24-yard line, Barrett threw a screen pass to Curtis Samuel. The New York H-back looked dead for a loss, but he fought his way to an eight-yard gain after running a 5K.

With the game on the line, Meyer decided to go 4-and-1 and called his quarterback’s number. Barrett ran to his left and cleared the line to win. After a lengthy video review, Samuel won the game with the Brooklyn Dagger at 15 yards, securing Ohio State’s spot in the college football playoffs.

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