Michigan week has arrived, and reminders of that will be everywhere on campus.
Not that the Ohio State football team needs those.
“Darn near every day you get reminded of this game,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said Monday during his weekly press conference. “There would have to be something wrong with you not to get it."
As a boy in Ashtabula, Meyer grew up with the rivalry as a Buckeye fan. He became indoctrinated into it as a graduate assistant under coach Earle Bruce in 1986.
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“He taught me the intensity of it, and no one respected the rivalry more than him,” Meyer said.
Meyer is undefeated in five games against the Wolverines, but the Buckeyes’ dominance this century under him and Jim Tressel has not lessened the passion for the rivalry. Asked how big this game is for him, he said, "I think everybody knows that. It's a big week."
“This rivalry is not a one-week deal. I learned that from Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce, Jim Tressel. It's in your blood. It's in your DNA."
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The Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1) are a double-digit favorite for Saturday’s game in Ann Arbor. Michigan (8-3, 5-3) has a stout defense but has struggled on offense and is unsettled at quarterback after Brandon Peters was knocked out of last week’s loss at Wisconsin. If he can’t play, John O’Korn is the likely starter.
But Meyer said he expects Michigan’s offense to play its best game of the year.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s the history of this game. Both teams play their best.”
Meyer said that safety Jordan Fuller is probable for Saturday’s game. The sophomore missed Saturday’s 52-14 victory over Illinois with what Meyer described as a leg injury. Meyer did not address the status of linebacker Dante Booker (concussion), who also missed the Illinois game.