November 18th, 2006. Columbus, Ohio. The Game of the Century.
Bitter foes Ohio State and Michigan were set to renew their storied rivalry once again. But this time both teams were undefeated and for the first time in the history of The Game, Ohio State and Michigan would meet as the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the country in a battle for supreme bragging rights. And with the death of legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler just a day before the game and a late start time of 3:30p (a first for the rivalry at the ‘Shoe), a bizarre aura enveloped Columbus in the hours leading up to kickoff.
One hundred ten years in the making and with perfect seasons and a berth to the National Championship Game on the line, the Game of the Century kicked off at 3:44p. In what would become a thrilling offensive-driven clash, Ohio State took a 28-14 lead under the lights and into halftime. After a third quarter surge by the Wolverines that cut the Buckeye lead to 4, Antonio Pittman burst through for a 56 yard touchdown run into the north end of the stadium. Michigan would respond, turning an OSU turnover into a touchdown and narrowing the score to 35-31. Ohio State answered with an 11 play, 83 yard drive to build an 11 point lead and appear to lock up the W. But Michigan wouldn’t go softly, adding another touchdown and a 2-point conversion to close within three. Michigan’s hopes of a perfect season would end, however, when Ted Ginn Jr. recovered the Wolverines’ onside kick attempt and Antonio Pittman converted a 3rd and 2 to run out the clock, capping a wild Ohio State 42-39 victory.
As Ohio State and Michigan get ready for another classic matchup (again at the ‘Shoe and again with everything on the line), pay homage to the greatest iteration of The Game and rep our super-soft Game of the Century raglan. Go Bucks!