The last time Ohio State and Michigan played, Ryan Day's Buckeyes ran all over Michigan

Joe Harrington
The Columbus Dispatch

When No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan play at noon on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, it will have been 728 days since the last Ohio State-Michigan game, or better known as "The Game."

Last year's matchup was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Michigan program. 

So much has happened in the 23 months and 28 days since then that the game might feel like it happened a decade ago. To some Michigan fans, maybe "The Game" hasn't been played in a decade, considering that's how long it's been since the Wolverines last beat Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes have won eight games in a row, seven of them under coach Urban Meyer, and have gone 17-2 since 2001.

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The 2001 game changed everything in a rivalry that was one-sided in the 1990s. Jim Tressel's first team beat Michigan in Ann Arbor and he was 9-1 against the team up north. 

But the last time Ohio State played? Well, it was Ryan Day's first time as head coach against the Wolverines and it was also in Ann Arbor. It was an Ohio State win, 56-27. 

Here are six things to remember about that game. 

Ohio State Buckeyes running back JK Dobbins (2) runs the ball during the first quarter of a NCAA Division I college football game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor Michigan [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

J.K. Dobbins ran up and down the field against Michigan

The junior running back from La Grange, Texas, averaged 6.8 yards per carry and he ran it 31 times.

That's 211 yards.

He found end zone four times. 

Dobbins  finished that season with 2,003 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. For his career, he had 4,459 yards and 38 touchdowns. 

The 2,003 rushing yards is the most in a single season for an OSU running back and he is the only back to cross the 2,000 yard mark in OSU history.  

Dobbins was drafted 55th overall in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens in 2020. 

Justin Fields put on a show against Michigan

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) rolls out of the pocket during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.  [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

The Heisman Trophy winner in 2019 was former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow. The Athens product transferred to LSU and he led the Tigers to the national championship and was eventually drafted No. 1 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Fields was also a transfer, coming in from Georgia, and in his first year as the starting quarterback would finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting. 

The Michigan game probably helped.

Fields threw four touchdowns passes for 302 yards as the Ohio State offense scored 56 points. 

Michigan actually led in the game 

Despite the 29-point defeat, Michigan's Giles Jackson gave the Wolverines a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 22-yard run. The first quarter was a missed extra-point away from being tied at 14, as Donovan Peoples-Jones hauled in a 25-yard touchdown. 

Ohio State then outscored Michigan 28-6 in the second and third quarters, The Wolverines didn't find the endzone again until Hassan Haskins scored early in the fourth quarter. 

Welcome to the rivalry, Ryan Day

Day joined, Meyer, Tressel and Earle Bruce as the only coaches since Woody Hayes took over the Buckeyes in 1951 to win their first game against Michigan.

Hayes, John Cooper and interim coach Luke Fickell all lost their first game against Michigan. 

Day's 29-point win was the biggest win for an Ohio State coach in their first game against Michigan since Hayes was hired. Meyer, Tressel and Bruce combined to beat Michigan by just 14 points in their first games. 

The last time Ryan Day's Ohio State Buckeyes and Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines met was in 2019, when the Buckeyes won 56-27.

Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson were the leading receivers for OSU

Wilson, from Lake Travis, Texas, was a freshman while Olave a sophomore. Wilson had three catches for 118 yards a touchdown. Olave, the program's all-time leader in touchdown receptions, had a touchdown and two catches for 68 yards. 

Master Teague, who is listed as the third back on the depth chart for the Buckeyes in 2021, had 12 carries in the game for 29 yards. 

The duo have helped lead Ohio State's explosive offense in 2021. 

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave (17) catches a touchdown pass behind Michigan Wolverines defensive back Josh Metellus (14) during the first quarter of the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.  [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

The game featured four 2020 NFL first round draft picks

The second and third players selected in the NFL draft, defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah, were on the Buckeyes defense, as was No. 19 pick Damon Arnette, another cornerback.

Young went to Washington, while Okudah went to Detroit. Arnette was drafted by the then-Oakland Raiders.

Michigan center Cesar Ruiz was selected 24th overall by the New Orleans Saints

Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) gets the Ohio State Buckeyes pumped up during warm ups against  Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 30, 2019. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

Ohio State and Michigan both had 10 players selected in the 2020 draft. 

Fields was taken 11th by the Bears in the 2021 draft. Ohio State had 10 players selected in the 2021 draft and Michigan eight. 

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