Anyone worried Ohio State’s dominance of Michigan this century has taken some of the juice out of the rivalry needed only to listen to reps from both sides talk about it at Big Ten Football Media Days.
The Game was a hot topic on both days as Ohio State’s representatives talked about maintaining the approach that has helped them win seven in a row.
Meanwhile, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made headlines when he referenced former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer having to deal with multiple controversies during his career and fielded multiple questions about how the Wolverines can snap that losing streak.
“It really starts with our goals,” Harbaugh said when asked about beating OSU and winning the Big Ten. “You named half of them anyway. And also to win the Big Ten championship, qualify for the playoffs, win the national championship. Those are our goals, and then you put those to the back of the mind and focus on how you can achieve those.
“That's what we're trying to -- that's what we're trying to do better, trying to do more, focus on that day to day. I think it's good right now. I think it's good. I think it's tight. But like an anaconda, you want to just keep squeezing it tighter and making it better and that’s where our football team is.”
Ohio State will have a new coach in Ryan Day, who he said he will not be deviating from Meyer’s approach to preparing for the Wolverines, who never beat him in seven tries during his time as head coach in Columbus.
“No, no,” Day said. “It worked. 7-0. It worked just fine.”
After chuckling, he added, “I think the thing I learned from working with Urban is you have to work the game every day. And the way to honor the rivalry and respect the rivalry is to work it every day, and we do whether it’s recruiting or (in practice) we have periods we call The Team Up North drill.”
Like Meyer and his predecessor, Jim Tressel, Day will continue to make sure the Buckeyes do little things to keep Michigan in the back of players’ minds all year.
“We’ll have workouts and however many days are left until the game we will do that many reps of curls or whatever workout,” said senior safety Jordan Fuller. “So at the beginning of the winter it’s like 300-some days so you have to do 300-some reps and that makes you start to be like why are we doing this for one team?”
They find out when the Saturday after Thanksgiving rolls around.
“You don’t really understand until you actually play how intense it is and how every play matters,” Fuller said. "It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna be dirty. It’s gonna be grimy but that’s why we work so hard just to overcome that.
“It’s not like we don’t talk about other teams but we just emphasize that one because we know how much it means to everybody in Columbus in general and to our families and it’s about bragging rights for a whole year, too.”
Former Buckeye finds new NFL team
Northmont graduate Kurt Coleman is a Buffalo Bill after signing with the team Friday.
An All-American safety at Ohio State, Coleman has played nine seasons in the NFL, including four with the Philadelphia Eagles and three with the Carolina Panthers.
He started nine games for the New Orleans Saints last season but is slated to be a backup for the Bills according to NFL.com.
The 31-year-old has 22 career interceptions and five forced fumbles.
He was a multi-year starter at Ohio State, where he won four Big Ten championships and never lost to Michigan.
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