In 2016, as Ohio State rallied to beat Michigan in two overtimes on a 15-yard burst up the left side by Curtis Samuel, right tackle Isaiah Prince wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
“To be honest, when Curtis scored, I didn’t even know the game was over, I was so shocked,” Prince said. “I was like, ‘Wow. We just scored. We just won.’ I was in disbelief. They pause it on the film — I just stopped and stood there like, ‘We just won.’”
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No doubt he would like to have the same feeling Saturday when the Buckeyes and Wolverines play with the Big Ten East title and a spot in next week’s league title game on the line. That’s because, like 11 other seniors, he will be stepping into the ‘Shoe for the final time as a player.
“That makes it more interesting,” Prince said. “This is the game I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
He didn’t mean from just a chronological perspective. He and his fellow offensive linemen must wrestle with a Michigan defensive line that, led by stellar Rashan Gary, anchors the No. 1 defense in the country.
“It gives me a lot of energy,” Prince said of the challenge. “I like competition, I love to compete, so I’m looking forward to that.”
With Michigan’s other star defensive end, Chase Winovich, possibly out because of an upper body injury, the Wolverines likely will rely a little more on Gary.
“He gives maximum effort every play,” Prince said of Gary. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him be lazy on a play.”
Senior right guard Demetrius Knox agreed.
“It has to do with respect,” Knox said. “He’s a great player” who likely will be against Prince much of the game.
“As far as Isaiah, we also respect him inside this program,” Knox said. “He’s been starting — this is his third year now. … He’s played them, he’s got experience, and we’re confident.”