On Nov. 27, 2021, Michigan beat Ohio State for the first time in 10 years. Even more, it was only the third Wolverines victory over the Buckeyes since former head coach Jim Tressel took over the program in 2001.
Ohio State has stood above Michigan since the turn of the century, with most wins ending in blowouts. Before last season, the Buckeyes had won the previous two contests by three or more touchdowns. Thirty points favored them in 2020 before the Big Ten canceled the game due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Michigan.
Still, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy and the remaining first- and second-year Wolverines have never lost to Ohio State during their collegiate careers, offering them a blissful ignorance toward the Buckeyes’ favorable outcomes in the last two decades.
“For us, the whole 10-year stretch of us not winning – that’s all we know is beating Ohio State right now,” McCarthy told Sports Illustrated. “We’re going to keep that going.”
For Ohio State, that means that are 68 of the 91 scholarship players have never beaten “That Team Up North,” meaning only 23 own a pair of Gold Pants, with only 10 contributing snaps to a win over Michigan. None of those 10 players started in The Game.
Only six full-time Ohio State coaching staff have beaten Michigan, including head coach Ryan Day, running backs coach Tony Alford, quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis, wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.
The Ohio State players and coaches made their intentions clear after the devastating loss that they never want to experience another defeat at the hands of their rival again. Michigan hasn’t yet turned the tides in the rivalry, though it’s worth mentioning that this is the first time in over 20 years that the program has gone consecutive seasons without winning the final regular-season game.
The Buckeyes will look to reclaim their grip on the rivalry when they host the Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022, and McCarthy’s quote will be more fuel to their fire.