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Posted on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 5:25 p.m.

Buckeyes put Rose Bowl plans on hold, take care of Michigan

By Jeff Arnold


Ohio State running back Dan Herron walks through the Michigan Stadium tunnel with a rose after the Rose Bowl-bound Buckeyes beat Michigan 21-10. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

As time ticked off the Michigan Stadium clock, the Ohio State marching band broke into a celebratory rendition of "California Here I Come" - a reference to the Buckeyes' upcoming trip to its first Rose Bowl since 1997.

By the time the band played, the No. 9-ranked Ohio State football team's 21-10 win over rival Michigan was well in hand, allowing Jim Tressel to exhale.

All week, the Ohio State coach warned his players not to ignore the intensity of a rivalry that Tressel owns an 8-1 record in following Saturday's latest triumph.

The Rose Bowl, he told them, can wait.

"I want you to forget about the Rose Bowl," Tressel told his players back in Columbus. "For a week."

Tressel's message sunk in during the Buckeyes' preparations despite former coach Earle Bruce delivering a large collection of roses to Ohio State's practice facility last Sunday.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes put their Pasadena plans on hold just long enough to secure Ohio State's sixth straight win over the Wolverines. Ohio State didn't play up to its potential offensively, but forced five Michigan turnovers, making certain they didn't overlook the final regular-season step on its journey westward.

"(Maintaining focus) wasn't really tough," said senior defensive back Kurt Coleman, who intercepted a pair of Tate Forcier passes in Saturday's victory. "Michigan (week) is a season of its own.

"It's so tough and as you can see, they play us really tough, and so it was really easy for me to get ready. I just tried to reiterate to the younger guys that this was going to be a tough game."

The Buckeyes didn't break the game open until the final 5 minutes of the third quarter. After Michigan trimmed the deficit to 14-10, Ohio State used an 11-play drive to cover 89 yards capped by a 12-yard Terrelle Pryor pass to Dan Herron.

Once with an 11-point lead, Ohio State intercepted Forcier three more times before closing out another win over their archrival, leaving the Buckeyes' faithful to begin chanting, "This is our house."

Given Saturday's result, Ohio State's seniors will finish their careers having never lost to Michigan. Pryor, who considered coming to play for Rich Rodriguez before choosing Ohio State, moved remained perfect against the Wolverines.

"I'm glad I'm on this side," said Pryor, who threw for 67 yards and a touchdown while also running for 74 yards in Saturday's win.

Afterward, Tressel said he didn't know what to make of his 8-1 record against Michigan.

"What it means to those seniors is for the rest of their lives, they can be arrogant or whatever they want to be," Tressel said. "When they're old, people will ask them more about how they did against Michigan than about what bowls did they go to."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for He can be reached at or 734-623-2554. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold



Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:24 a.m.

Tressel may be 8-1 but break it down further, He was 6-1 with Lloyd and 2-0 with RR. RR is showing improvement and Tressel was the one that stepped up and supported RR when the "practice allegations" came about. RR will re-right the ship and the Maize and Blue will be back. Be patient all you TRUE blue fans!!! Another note: When RR was hired, Tressel was immediately looking and talking to coordinators around the country to stop the Spread. When is get's running right, watch out points will be put up and the defense will shut down and you will see UofM back in the BCS competing with the BEST!! Not just showing up like OSU has in the past...


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 10:04 p.m.

Chosen - you gibe too much credit to the OSU defense. Coleman absolutely did not bait Forcier on that int at the 6. If Tate puts less air under the ball he completes it. Bad throw. Coleman just happened to be coming over to help. OSU was not impressive, its just that UM was worse.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:55 p.m.

Yes it WILL turnaround.Be a little patient.I know it's tough(to go thru this)but MAYBE this is what we need or have to go thru to truly appreciate GREATNESS when we do achieve it,b/c you know WE WILL achieve greatness........we just have to be patient and endure this trial.GO BLUE!!!Can't wait til next season.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:45 p.m.

ecmichman....what game were you watching....Coleman baited Forcier into the int down the sidelines at the 6....Torrence showed Forcier he was playing inside and baited Tate into the throw at the goal line....You can't forget the gift TD as it's a part of the game even if you don't like it. Our problem is our 2 qbs even though they are young are limited in what they are able to do. Forcier can't make throws to anyone not named Roundtree consistently (and i still don't get why opponents play so far off Roy) and D-Rob is a run only threat and he's only good at it occassionally


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:09 p.m.

Once again Tresel did a fine job of coaching. He took the air out of the ball so Pryor couldn't panic and make his patented horrible throws. U-M was without their 2 top RBs, had a true freshman QB (and he certainly played like it), started a walk on at safety and only lost by 4 (forget the gift TD by our freshman QB). Time for OSU to get their usual dressing down by solid NCAA competition in a bowl game. BTW - OSU did not 'force' those turnaovers as some a$$ kissing articles say. They were gifts. RR has one more year to get this right and the way U-M played today while so short handed, I think he will get it done. Back in the 90s OSU couldn't touch the Maize n Blue. Now it is their turn. It WILL turn again.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:01 p.m.

For you Michigan fans saying you're glad you had tate and not TP....your golden boy lost the game and now Tp is 2-0....And now tate has texted the media again taking blame and vowing that him losing a game cause of his errors will never happen again....can someone please take his phone and computer away from him?


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:26 p.m.

Tressel gets it. And for those keeping score, Pryor 2, RR 0.