The Game Given Extra Significance At Ohio Stadium

By November 25, 2022 (7:26 pm)Football

There have been no shortage of classics in the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan, and another could be in store on Saturday.

For the first time in four seasons, though, The Game will be played at Ohio Stadium, returning to Columbus after the rotation missed out on the Buckeyes due to The Game in 2020 being canceled. And the Buckeye faithful are beyond ready for The Game to be played at home.

“It’s the first time in four years,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Tuesday. “It’s been a while and being the 100th year anniversary (of Ohio Stadium), it’s going to mean a lot more to a lot of people…I’ve learned so much over my time here at Ohio State about what this tradition means to so many across the country. And that’s why we work the game so hard and take a lot of pride and being our best here and this is our No. 1 goal every season.”

The hype is through the roof for this year’s edition of The Game given that it’s the first top-three matchup since 2016 – a game that set an Ohio Stadium record with 110,082 fans in attendance to watch the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines in double overtime – and the first that features both teams as undefeated since 2006.

Along with the revenge factor following last season’s loss that will surely have Ohio Stadium at a fever pitch, it should be one of the more raucous environments in recent memory for an opposing team playing Ohio state.

“We need to be as loud as we possibly can,” Day said. “We’ve got to make it a hostile environment anytime they have the ball, we’ve got to be as loud as we possibly can. This game has been going on for a lot longer than I’ve been here. But I know how much it means to so many people and for all the people that are going to be in the stadium if their presence can be felt that helps the Buckeyes right behind them playing all them.”

It also has added significance given the number of Buckeyes that will play their final game at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. There are 23 members of the team that will walk during Senior Day festivities, including safety Ronnie Hickman, who has already announced that he will enter into the NFL Draft following this season, and defensive end Zach Harrison, who came back for a final season with the Buckeyes.

“Honestly, it really hasn’t hit me that is my last game in the ‘Shoe,” Harrison said this week. “It probably will on Saturday when I run out there from the tunnel.”

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