Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Sixth-ranked Ohio State will need to win and have some luck this weekend if they are going to get into the College Football Playoff rankings.
The Buckeyes (10-1) are preparing for Michigan (5-6) and have won nine out of the last ten meetings.
“We just make a huge deal out of rivalry games. I want the players to take ownership in the program, part ownership in the game,” Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyere said this week. “This is not another game. This is the game.”
“I want to have some fun with it,” Meyer continued. “But I also want the players to, when you say have fun, I’m not sure how to have fun. It’s how to have fun is sing the fight song in the locker room after a win against your rival. That’s how you have fun. Everything leads up to that fun.”
Michigan will have to pull off an upset to become bowl eligible.
“This is one of those weeks where there is a lot of excitement and obviously when this rivalry, which I believe is the greatest one is sport, that obviously would make it the greatest rivalry in college football, so it is fun. It is fun to prepare; it is a game that the intensity level by both teams is always at its highest,” Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said.
“We all want to play our best, and that is our goal, to play your best game on that last Saturday in November. Very balanced team we are going to play, when you look at what they do from an offense, defense, special teams standpoint,” Hoke continued. “There is a great deal of pride when you play in this game, coach in this game. That is special. You talk to the guys who have played in it, and they can tell you how special it is. We have got to improve, we have got to improve every week, and that is one of the goals we have always had. At times we are making strides, and at times we are not as good executing as we would like to be, but this is a game that is like no other, and we are excited about it.”
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown 33 touchdowns and has the offense averaging 44.3 points per game this season.
“You look at the progression from the first start to going through the season, and I think he has done a great job in how they manage and what he wants and has to do offensively. He is athletic, obviously, and I think the way he has thrown the ball, the precision on that,” Brady said of Barrett. “I know last week was one of those games, the way it started, that was not as good. I think he has overcome a lot when those things have happened, and I think he has been a guy that has done a great job for them.”
Michigan is 3-4 in their Big Ten matchups this season.
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