How have Heisman Trophy hopefuls performed in Ohio State football vs. Michigan game?

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

When asked about what he thinks about Ohio State football ahead of "The Game" Saturday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh emphasized how similar both teams are.

"I think you got two teams that are like two superheroes going at each other," Harbaugh said. "And that's why we're so excited about being tested Find out about what we're made of."

While both teams have "great players" and "great coaches," Harbaugh specifically pointed to the "Heisman habits" of Michigan running back Blake Corum and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

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How have Michigan or Ohio State players with "Heisman habits" done in past editions of "The Game?"

Here's a look at every Michigan and Ohio State player that has finished in the top three of the Heisman Trophy voting since 1960, and how they did against either the Wolverines or the Buckeyes that season.

Michigan Heisman Trophy finalists since 1960

Michigan RB Rob Lytle

In 1976, Michigan running back Rob Lytle finished the season in third place in the Heisman race behind Pittsburgh running back Tony Dorsett and USC running back Ricky Bell.

In Michigan's 22-0 win against Ohio State, Lytle finished with 165 rushing yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

Michigan QB Rick Leach

In 1978, Michigan quarterback Rick Leach finished in third place for the Heisman Trophy behind Oklahoma running back Billy Sims and Penn State quarterback Chuck Fusina.

Michigan beat Ohio State 14-3 to cap off the 1978 regular season, in which Leach completed 11 of his 22 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 23 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh

Michigan Wolverines head coach Bo Schembechler (left) confers with quarterback Jim Harbaugh (4) during the 1986 Sunkist Fiesta Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Sun Devil Stadium.

In 1986, Harbaugh finished in third for the Heisman Trophy behind Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde and Temple running back Paul Palmer.

Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 26-24 win against Ohio State, completing 19 of his 29 passes for 261 passing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, while recording five rushing yards on six carries.

Michigan WR Desmond Howard

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 1991 file photo, University of Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard poses with the Heisman Trophy at New York's Downtown Athletic Club. On  Tuesday, April 1, 2014, it was announced that Howard will get the copyright to a famous photo of him in a Heisman Trophy pose after scoring a touchdown against Ohio State in 1991. Attorneys for Howard and photographer Brian Masck announced the agreement. Masck still is expected to benefit from commercial use of the photo, which was taken when Howard played for Michigan. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard won the Heisman Trophy in 1991, finishing the season with 1,165 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards each time he touched the ball.

Howard helped lead the Wolverines to a 31-3 win against Ohio State with three catches for 96 yards and one rush for eight yards. He also had a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown where the Michigan wide receiver celebrated with a Heisman pose.

Michigan CB Charles Woodson

Michigan's Charles Woodson races ahead of Ohio State's Scott Fulton during a second-quarter punt return touchdown Saturday, Nov. 22, 1997 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won, 20-14.

Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson finished the 1997 player as the only primarily defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, finishing the season with seven interceptions, along with three offensive touchdowns and one punt return touchdown.

In Michigan's 20-14 win against Ohio State, Woodson scored on a 78-yard punt return in the second quarter, added one reception for 37 yards and had three tackles, a pass breakup and an interception on defense.

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson

Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo (55) abnd defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) celebrate a sack of Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during the third quarter of the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson ended his 2021 season in New York City, finishing second in the Heisman race to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, while Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud finished fourth.

In Michigan's 42-27 win against Ohio State, Hutchinson finished with seven tackles, three sacks and a quarterback hit.

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Ohio State Heisman Trophy finalists since 1960

Ohio State RB Bob Ferguson

Ohio State fullback Bob Ferguson ran for four touchdowns in the Buckeyes' 50-20 victory on Nov. 25, 1961. [Dispatch file photo]

In 1961, Ohio State running back Bob Ferguson finished in second place to Syracuse running back Ernie Davis for the Heisman Trophy.

In Ohio State's 50-20 win against Michigan, Ferguson was at the center of the Buckeyes' run game, recording 152 yards on 30 carries, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, with four touchdowns.

Ohio State QB Rex Kern

Ohio State's Rex Kern (10), who threw two TD passes in the fourth quarter, was named most valuable player in the 1969 Rose Bowl.

Ohio State quarterback Rex Kern finished in third place for the Heisman Trophy in 1969 behind Oklahoma running back Steve Owens and Purdue quarterback Mike Phipps, but still fell short against Michigan.

In the Buckeyes' 24-12 loss to the Wolverines, Kern completed six of his 17 pass attempts for 88 yards with four interceptions and one touchdown pass. Kern added 53 yards on 12 carries in the run game.

Ohio State offensive lineman John Hicks

Nov 24, 1973; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; FILE PHOTO; Ohio State Buckeyes tackle John Hicks (74) in action against the Michigan Wolverines. The game ended in a 10-10 tie. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In 1973, Ohio State's John Hicks joined Pennsylvania's Chuck Bednarik, Oklahoma's Kurt Burris Minnesota's Tom Brown as the only offensive linemen to be finalists for the Heisman Trophy, finishing second behind Penn State running back John Cappelletti.

Starting at right tackle for the Buckeyes' in their 10-10 tie against Michigan, Ohio State ran for 234 yards on 49 carries, scoring one rushing touchdown.

Ohio State RB Archie Griffin

Ohio State's running back Archie Griffin smiles as he poses with the 1975 Heisman Trophy, on Dec. 2, 1975, in New York City. Griffin who also won in 1974, is the first player to win the prestigious award twice. Griffin wouldn't mind sharing his claim to fame. The former Ohio State tailback is the only player to win two Heisman trophies, receiving his second in 1975. Oklahoma quarterback Jason White has a chance to match Griffin on Saturday when the Heisman is handed out in New York. (AP Photo)

Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only back-to-back winner in Heisman trophy history, winning the award in 1974 after recording 1,774 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns before winning again in 1975 with 1,620 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.

In 1974, Griffin helped Ohio State earn a 12-10 win against Michigan with 111 rushing yards on 25 carries. He followed up with 46 yards on 19 carries in the Buckeyes' 21-14 win in 1975.

Ohio State RB Keith Byars

Sep 22, 1984, Columbus, OH, USA; FILE PHOTO; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Keith Byars (41) in action against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium during the 1984 season. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State running back Keith Byars just missed out on becoming the Buckeyes' first Heisman winner in nine years, finishing second behind Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie in 1984.

Byars showed what he could do against the Wolverines, scoring all three of Ohio State's touchdowns in its 21-6 win, recording 93 yards on 28 carries.

Ohio State RB Eddie George

Ohio State's Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy in1995.

Eddie George was Ohio State's sixth Heisman Trophy winner in 1995, bringing in 2,344 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns, while averaging 6.3 yards per touch.

In the Buckeyes' 31-23 loss to Michigan in 1995, Georgie recorded 104 rushing yards on 21 carries, scoring one touchdown in the third quarter.

Oho State QB Troy Smith

Ohio State's head football coach Jim Tressel with quarterback Troy Smith, 10, in the second half of their game against Michigan at the Ohio Stadium, November 18, 2006. (Dispatch photo by Neal C. Lauron)

Ohio State's most recent Heisman Trophy winner dominated the 2006 season, recording 2,542 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions in the passing game.

Leading No. 1 Ohio State to a 42-39 win against No. 2 Michigan, quarterback Troy Smith threw four touchdowns to four different receivers, completing 21 of his 49 pass attempts for 316 yards.

Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. (7) drops back to pass during the first quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Nov. 24, 2018.

Dwayne Haskins shined as Ohio State's quarterback in 2018, finishing third in the Heisman race behind Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The success continued int he Buckeyes' 62-39 win vs. Michigan, throwing six touchdowns to four different receivers with 396 passing yards while completing 20 of his 31 pass attempts

Ohio State QB Justin Fields

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]

One season after Haskins finished third in the Heisman race, Justin Fields finished third in his first season at Ohio State behind LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.

In Ohio State's 56-27 win against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Fields completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 302 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers, while adding 25 rushing yards on six carries.

Ohio State football 2022 schedule

Michigan football 2022 schedule

  • Sept. 3: Michigan 51, Colorado State 7
  • Sept. 10: Michigan 56, Hawaii 10
  • Sept. 17: Michigan 59, UConn 0
  • Sept. 24: Michigan 34, Maryland 27
  • Oct. 1: Michigan 27, Iowa 14
  • Oct. 8: Michigan 31, Indiana 10
  • Oct. 15: Michigan 41, Penn State 17
  • Oct. 29: Michigan 29, Michigan State 7
  • Nov. 5: Michigan 52, Rutgers 17
  • Nov. 12: Michigan 34, Nebraska 3
  • Nov. 19: Michigan 19, Illinois 17
  • Nov. 26: Michigan vs. Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio, noon

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