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Don’t look for Hoke to ‘mail it in’ Saturday

November 29, 2013
By SETH STASKEY - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

Not many people outside of the state of Michigan are giving the Wolverines much of a chance this week against the undefeated and No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes.

However, don't expect Brady Hoke - the Wolverines head coach - to just 'phone' it in this weekend.

"I am very confident we can win, or we wouldn't play," Hoke said during his weekly press conference. "I'd call down there to Columbus and say that we won't do it."

That phone won't be ringing anytime soon.

Because over the course of time, this is one of those rivalries where the cliche about throwing the records out the window can be utilized. When you hear that for high school games, it doesn't always work because of the wide gaps in talent at times.

Let's not forget that in 1969, the Buckeyes were riding a lengthy win streak and favored, but the Wolverines prevailed, 24-12.

Very few people associated with this weekend's game were alive for that contest, but often times history does tend to repeat itself.

That's why Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer has been making sure his players are completely dialed in on what's ahead on Saturday.


Obviously, the history of this series is far too deep to get into in this portion of the notebook, but let's give it a shot anyway.

As you look at the game notes for both schools, the Michigan notes indicate the Wolverines lead the all-time series, 58-45-6. However, the Ohio State notes indicate the Wolverines lead by a 58-44-6 margin.

Ohio State vacated its 2010 victory, which was a 37-7 pasting of the Wolverines. The Buckeyes' opponents of that season still recognize the games, which is where the discrepancy lies.

The Wolverines have been impressive on their home field, leading 31-20-4.

The series has shifted back to Ohio State's favor the last decade or so. The Buckeyes have won 10 of the last 12 games.


Meyer has been to Ann Arbor a handful of times. His last time there in a coaching capacity was in 1987 when he was a graduate assistant under Earle Bruce. Meyer's last time there was as a television analyst during the 2011 season.


Ohio State and Michigan recruit similar players. Michigan has been nabbing players from the Buckeye State for several years. On this year's Wolverines roster, there are 22 players from the Buckeye State.

Many of those will be playing key roles on Saturday.


Though the date with Michigan was just two days away, the holiday didn't go without celebrating for the Buckeyes football family.

The players who lived in the Columbus area or Ohio were permitted to go home on Thursday to spend time with their families.

Everyone returned to campus this morning and the team made its way to Ann Arbor.


Saturday's game will be broadcast nationally on ABC. Kickoff will occur shortly after high noon. Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge will be on the call in the booth. Holly Rowe will handle the sideline reporting.


The Big Ten Championship Game is set for 8 p.m. on Dec. 7. Ohio State and Michigan State, which didn't meet in the regular season, will clash for the title. The winner earns the conference's automatic berth to the Bowl Championship Series. That game will be broadcast on FOX.



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