A look back at Jim Tressel's games against Michigan
From his first day on the job, Jim Tressel made the importance of the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry clear.
"I can assure you that you'll be proud of our young people -- in the classroom and in the community, and most especially, in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field" he told an Ohio State basketball crowd on the day he was hired.
Tressel lived up to that promise, snapping Ohio State's six-game losing streak in the rivalry by winning at Michigan Stadium in 2001, and going 9-1 against the Wolverines before he resigned today amid scandal.
Tressel quickly turned a rivalry that had been decidedly in Michigan’s favor. His predecessor, John Cooper, was 2-10-1 against the Wolverines. Tressel went 6-1 in games against Lloyd Carr (who was 5-1 against Cooper) and beat Rich Rodriguez-coached teams in three straight seasons.
AnnArbor.com file photo
Here’s a look back at each of the Michigan-Ohio State games in Tressel’s time at Ohio State:
Ohio State 26, Michigan 20: The Buckeyes’ first win in Michigan Stadium since 1987 prevented the Wolverines (8-3, 6-2) from sharing the Big Ten title and playing in the Fiesta, Sugar or Orange bowl. Ohio State (7-4, 5-3) led 23-0 at halftime behind 129 yards rushing and three touchdowns by Jonathan Wells.
Ohio State 14, Michigan 9: The Buckeyes had undefeated seasons and national title hopes wiped out by Michigan in 1995 and 1996. Not in 2002. On its way to a national championship, the Buckeyes (13-0, 8-0) beat the Wolverines (9-3, 6-2) 14-9 when Maurice Hall scored on a 3-yard run with 4:55 left to play. Will Allen intercepted John Navarre's pass just short of the end zone as time expired.
Michigan 35, Ohio State 21: Navarre threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns to beat the No. 4-ranked Buckeyes (10-2, 6-2) and earn No. 5 Michigan (10-2, 7-1) its last outright Big Ten title. Braylon Edwards had seven catches for 130 yards, including both scores.
Ohio State 37, Michigan 21: Two weeks after former running back Maurice Clarett accused Tressel, his staff and Ohio State boosters of giving him and other players improper benefits, Troy Smith - who’d later be suspended by the NCAA for receiving money and other benefits from boosters - passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 145 yards and another score in a win over the Wolverines. Once again, Ohio State (7-4, 4-4) kept Michigan (9-2, 7-1) from clinching an outright Big Tten title. They shared it with Iowa.
Ohio State 25, Michigan 21: Antonio Pittman’s 3-yard run with 24 seconds left capped an 88-yard, game-winning drive. Troy Smith threw for a career-high 300 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and the Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1) shared the Big Ten title for the first time since 2002. Michigan (7-4, 5-3) led 21-12 midway through the fourth quarter.
Ohio State 42, Michigan 39: The day after Bo Schembechler’s death, the teams played one of the greatest games in the history of the rivalry - and its first 1 vs. 2 matchup. The top-ranked Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0) earned a spot in the national title game by beating No. 2 Michigan (11-1, 7-1). Troy Smith, who’d later win the Heisman Trophy, put Ohio State up 42-31 with a 13-yard touchdown to Brian Robiskie with 5:38 left. Michigan answered when Chad Henne connected with Tyler Ecker for a 16-yard score and Steve Breaston for a 2-point conversion with 2:16 left. Ted Ginn Jr. recovered the Wolverines’ onside kick attempt and the Buckeyes ran out the clock.
Ohio State 14, Michigan 3: Chris Wells ran for a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns and Tressel became the first Ohio State (11-1, 7-1) coach to beat Michigan (8-4, 6-2) six times in seven years. The game was Lloyd Carr’s last in Michigan stadium and four-year starters Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Jake Long ended their careers winless against Ohio State.
Ohio State 42, Michigan 7: In Rich Rodriguez’s first taste of the rivalry, the Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1) scored 28 unanswered point in the second half to pull away from the Wolverines (3-9, 2-6). Chris Wells and Dan Herron combined for 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Ohio State 21, Michigan 10: The Buckeyes (10-2, 7-1) intercepted Tate Forcier four times - including three on consecutive fourth quarter drives - on their way to a fifth straight Big Ten title. Dan Herron (TD reception) rushed for 96 yards, Brandon Saine (TD rush) 84 yards and Terrelle Pryor 74 yards. Michigan finished the season 5-7, 1-7.
Ohio State 37, Michigan 7: The Buckeyes’ seventh straight win over Michigan would prove to be the final rivalry game for both Tressel and Rodriguez. After a scoreless first quarter, Ohio State (11-1, 7-1) exploded in the second to take a 24-7 halftime lead. Jordan Hall answered Michigan’s only score (a Michael Shaw 1-yard run) by returning the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score. Dan Herron rushed for 175 yards and a score and Terrelle Pryor threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns.