Jack looks back | Buckeyes Aim for Eighth Straight Against Wolverines

Jack Park For The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh shake hands after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 42-13 at Michigan Stadium in Arbor, Michigan on November 28, 2015. (Dispatch photo by Kyle Robertson)

The Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor on Saturday in search of their eighth consecutive victory over the Michigan Wolverines. This year’s clash will be the 116th between the rivals, with the Wolverines holding a 58-51-6 edge over the first 115 games.

The two have met every season beginning in 1918. The last 107 contests are exactly even at 51-51-5 (1907 through 1912 and 1918 through 2018). Michigan has outscored Ohio State by only 22 points over these 107 games, 1,755 to 1,733.

OSU has won 14 of the last 15, 16 of the last 18, and 17 of the last 20, but only 23 of the last 43. The home team has won 59 and the visitor 50. The other six ended in ties. The home team has won 11 of the last 17, and 14 of the last 22.

Michigan was 13-0-2 against Ohio State in the first 15 games, outscoring the Buckeyes 369-21. Led by legendary halfback Chic Harley, OSU finally obtained its first win in the 16th meeting, 13-3, played at Ann Arbor 100 years ago on Oct. 25, 1919.

With last year’s 62-39 triumph at Ohio Stadium, Urban Meyer became the first Ohio State coach to lead the Buckeyes to victories over the Wolverines during each of his seven seasons at the helm (2012 through 2018). Coach Frances Schmidt’s first four Ohio State teams shut out the Wolverines by a combined score of 114-0 from 1934 through 1937, before Michigan broke Schmidt’s streak with an 18-0 triumph in 1938.

The date of Saturday’s game is Nov. 30. Only two games in the series have been played on this date and both were at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State won both games, 14-10 on Nov. 30, 1963, and 42-41 50 years later in 2013.

The 1963 game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23. But when the United States became grief-stricken with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Friday, Nov. 22, the game was postponed.

Ohio State led 42-35 late in the final quarter in 2013, but Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner connected with Devin Funchess for a 2-yard touchdown pass to bring Michigan within 42-41 with 32 seconds remaining. Coach Brady Hoke elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion attempt, rather than play for overtime.

Gardner’s pass intended for Drew Dileo was intercepted by OSU’s Tyvis Powell, and the Buckeyes escaped Ann Arbor with the single-point triumph.

Ohio State’s largest margin of victory is 38-0 in 1935. Michigan’s largest is 86-0 in 1902. The1902 game produced the second highest combined score in the series with 86 points, even though Ohio State did not score. The highest combined score is 101 points in 2018 – Ohio State 62, Michigan 39.

Only once during the 115 years they have played have both schools ended the season with losing records. That happened 60 years ago in 1959 when Michigan was 4-5 and Ohio State finished at 3-5-1.

The last time the winner was behind at halftime was 2016. The Wolverines led 10-7 after two quarters, but Ohio State won 30-27 in double overtime. The 2016 game was tied 14-14 at the half, before OSU outscored UM 17-6 in the final two quarters for a 31-20 triumph.

Last season, the Buckeyes led only 24-19 at halftime, then outscored the Wolverines 38-20 in the second half to win, 62-39.

Ohio State coach Woody Hayes was 16-11-1 against the Wolverines, Earle Bruce 5-4, John Cooper 2-10-1, Jim Tressel 9-1, Luke Fickell 0-1, and Urban Meyer was 7-0. Michigan coach Bo Schembechler was 11-9-1 against the Buckeyes, Gary Moeller 3-1-1, Lloyd Carr 6-7, Rich Rodriguez 0-3, Brady Hoke 1-3, and Jim Harbaugh is currently 0-4.

Enjoy the game!