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COLUMBUS — Ryan Day wasn’t raised on the Ohio State rivalry with Michigan.
He certainly has adopted it since arriving at Ohio State in 2017, realizing quickly what the feud means to everyone involved in The Game, including former players, alumni and fans of both the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
That’ll all come to center stage for Day on Saturday when he paces the sideline at Michigan Stadium for his first shot at beating the Wolverines as a head coach. Think he doesn’t get the rivalry as well as former head coaches Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel? Think again. Day understands the rivalry. That’s why he has continued the Buckeyes tradition of living for The Game throughout the entire calendar.
“I’m trying to do the best I can to make it like every week, although we all know it’s not,” Day said. “Do a little extra here, do a little extra there, to make sure we’re covering every single scenario we can, making sure we’re letting the guys have a great plan.
“But if you start to overdo things, then you can get yourself jammed up. That’s why all the work gets done ahead of time, that’s why we live it 365 [days a year]. When you get here during the week, you don’t have to all of a sudden come up with an unbelievable speech on the Tuesday. The guys know what it is. You can put the focus more on giving them a good plan, making sure things are tight, spending your focus on making sure the guys are prepared.”
The newly-minted No. 1 Buckeyes are heading to Ann Arbor looking to cap off a perfect 12-0 regular season on their way to the Big Ten title game and a potential College Football Playoff berth. The Wolverines, meanwhile, are playing their best football of the season after stumbling early. They’re ready to play spoiler.
Day knows the weight surrounding the Ohio State and Michigan rivalry, and he knows he is stepping into a seven-game win streak over Michigan. The Game on Saturday will set the tone for Day’s coaching tenure at Ohio State moving forward.
“Oh, yeah, it’s no secret that part of your evaluation as the head coach at Ohio State is how you do in this game,” Day said. “We all know that. When you take this job, you understand it. You can win them all, not win this game, feel like it’s a disappointment. I get that, embrace it. That’s why we’re working so hard this week.”
Ohio State is favored to finish the regular season with a win in the Big House, where Day can begin to form his legacy. For anybody heading to the game, listening on the radio or watching on TV, Lettermen Row has all the viewing information that could possibly be needed to not miss a moment of the greatest rivalry in sports.
Latest Sports News: Ohio State vs. Michigan game time, details
The No. 1 Buckeyes and No. 13 Wolverines will meet for edition No. 116 of The Game on Saturday. Michigan leads the all-time series 58-50-6. Since 2000, Ohio State is 15-3 against Michigan; the Buckeyes have won seven straight in the series. Ohio State and Michigan have played each other in the regular-season finale in every year since 1935, with the exception of 1942.
Time: Noon ET
Date: Saturday, Nov. 30
Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan (capacity: 107,601)
Weather: High of 39 degrees with a 56 percent chance of precipitation
The line: The Buckeyes are a 10-point favorite, per BetDSI
Over/under: 51.5 points
Latest Sports News: What TV channel is the Ohio State game on?
The Buckeyes and Wolverines will play on FOX, with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Joel Klatt (color analyst) and Jenny Taft (sideline) on the call.
Latest Sports News: How can I watch online?
The Buckeyes and Wolverines can be streamed online via FoxSports.com.
Latest Sports News: How can I listen to the game on the radio?
Paul Keels and Jim Lachey will have the call on 97.1 FM (WBNS) in Columbus. A full list of football radio affiliates for the program can be found here.
Miss any of our coverage so far this week?
- Five Questions as Buckeyes look to extend dominance over Michigan
- When should Buckeyes pull trigger on last Jonathon Cooper game?
- Tim May Podcast: How Ohio State turned rivalry tide, previewing stakes in The Game
- BuckIQ: Top-ranked Buckeyes defense nitpicks issues before The Game
- Ryan Day picks play-calling spots, can switch gears if Buckeyes need it
- What We Learned as Ryan Day, Buckeyes turn focus to The Game
- CFP Reaction: Why top-seed return could be huge deal for Buckeyes
- BuckIQ: Resilience, fearlessness give Ohio State trust in Justin Fields
- Pete Werner looks to build on budding Buckeyes legacy in The Game
- BuckIQ: Ohio State ground game sends clear message it won’t be stopped
- Tough Love: J.K. Dobbins, Tony Alford and unbreakable Ohio State bond