After a one-year hiatus, “The Game” is back this year, and with renewed vigor.
The Buckeyes have always met the rivalry with round-the-clock passion, with dedicated Michigan drills, a countdown clock in the locker room, banning blue throughout the football facilities, and not even allowing the word “Michigan” in conversation.
That same passion hasn’t always existed at Michigan, but that’s changing.
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“Every day. Every day. That’s what it’s about. It’s about beating them. Every single day,” Michigan linebacker Josh Ross said. “And that’s one thing that’s been a focus for our program, for the players, coaches, make the best of every day.”
Similar to Ohio State, Michigan has installed a countdown clock, rivalry signage and banned the color red from its facilities.
“We prepare for Ohio State every single day,” senior defensive end Aiden Hutchinson said. “In the weight room, in the walkthroughs, every day we got one thing on our mind and that’s Ohio State. And what are we gonna do to beat them?”
The No. 1 mission is to beat Ohio State. As head coach Jim Harbaugh puts it, “we’re going to do it or die trying.”
Maybe a year off was needed to reignite this rivalry.