For those who may not know, we do not speak their name during HATE WEEK, so whenever you see TTUN, it refers to M*c*g*n. TTUN stands for The Team Up North, and TSUN stands for The State Up North.
Outsiders might not see this as a big game when No. 8 Ohio State (9-2, 6-1) visits Ann Arbor this weekend to take on TTUN (5-6, 1-6).
Astute college fans nationwide know that's not the case. The records don't matter—the rankings don't matter—the hype doesn't matter when the Buckeyes and TTUN meet.
Even with TTUN rebuilding, the hate and utter disdain between these two programs, fan bases, and neighboring states absolutely matters.
That is why this rivalry has always, and will always, rank as the best rivalry in all of sports, period.
Ohio State already has a share of the Big Ten title and a trip to the the Rose Bowl (their first since 1997) locked up, but they want to win the title outright with a win over their hated rival from TSUN (that state up North).
TTUN, under then-first year coach Rich Rodriguez, missed going to a bowl game in 2008 for the first time in over 30 years, and are in danger of missing out on the post season yet again in 2009.
The hot seat is getting hotter and hotter for Rodriguez, and it might just explode with another bowl season absence and embarrassing loss to the Buckeyes, a la 2008.
You can bet when toe meets leather at Noon this Saturday, that both teams will be ramped-up and ready for this one—The 106th edition of THE GAME.
TTUN—By The Numbers
Tate Forcier has 1,824 passing yards, 230 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 12 passing touchdowns, six interceptions, and a QB Rating of 133.
Denard Robinson has 185 passing yards, 320 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, four interceptions, and a QB Rating of 97.
Forcier, Robinson, Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Vincent Smith, Michael Shaw, Michael Cox, and Kevin Grady have combined for 2,147 yards on the ground and 26 rushing touchdowns. That's an average of 195 yards and 2.4 touchdowns per game.
TTUN's top receivers are Roy Roundtree (23 receptions, 318 yards, three touchdowns), Greg Mathews (23 receptions, 285 yards, one touchdown), Martavious Odoms (22 receptions, 272 yards, one touchdown), Junior Hemingway (15 receptions, 263 yards, two touchdowns, and Kevin Koger (16 receptions, 220 yards, two touchdowns).
Ohio State—By The Numbers
Terrelle Pryor has 1,761 passing yards, 633 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, 15 passing touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a QB Rating of 131.
Pryor, Brandon Saine, Boom Herron, Jordan Hall, and Jermil Martin have combined for 2,037 yards on the ground and 19 rushing touchdowns. That's an average of 185 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game.
Ohio State's top receivers are DeVier Posey (47 receptions, 689 yards, seven touchdowns plus one passing touchdown), Dane Sanzenbacher (26 receptions, 495 yards, six touchdowns), Duron Carter (13 receptions, 176 yards, one touchdown), and Ray Small (15 receptions, 175 yards). Small is also a solid contributor as a punt returner.
Ohio State—TTUN History and Tidbits
• This will be the 106th meeting between Ohio State and TTUN.
• Ohio State trails in the all-time series, 42-57-6.
• From 1897-1918 OSU played TTUN 15 times, losing 13 times and playing to two ties, a 0-0 tie in 1900, and a 3-3 tie in 1910.
• Ohio State's first-ever win over TTUN came in 1919 by a final score of 13-3.
• Since 1919, Ohio State is 42-43-5 head to head against TTUN.
• In what is widely considered the modern era of college football (1950-present day), Ohio State is 30-27-2 vs. TTUN.
• Ohio State is 3-7 in the last 10 road meetings vs. TTUN ( six of those losses were by John Cooper pre-2001).
• Ohio State is 9-10-1 in the last 20 meetings overall vs. TTUN, dating back to 1989.
• Ohio State's last road loss to TTUN was in 2003 by a score of 35-21 (that year, OSU was 11-2, TTUN was 10-3).
• Ohio State's last road win at TTUN was a 14-3 victory in 2007.
• Jim Tressel is 7-1 overall (4-0 at home, 3-1 on the road) vs. TTUN.
• Ohio State will play in their eighth BCS bowl game this postseason, the most BCS appearances by any school.
• Ohio State has won 34 Big Ten titles—having now won or shared five in a row, including 2009.
• Ohio State claims seven national championships and has had six Heisman winners (seven trophies).
• The Ohio State football program began in 1890 and all-time, they currently have an overall record of 817-308-53.
• This is Head Coach Rich Rodriguez's second season at TTUN (8-15).
• The TTUN football program is the all-time leader in wins, currently with 877.
• TTUN claims 11 national titles, the last being a split title in 1997. Prior to that, TTUN's last title was in 1948.
• TTUN has won 42 Big Ten titles, the last being a co-championship in 2004 (Iowa).
• The TTUN football program began play in 1879 and currently has an overall record of 877-300-36.
As you may already know, Ohio State will wear throwback uniforms provided by Nike this week to pay tribute to the 1954 Buckeye National Championship team.
Here's the full uniform:
FULL PHOTO GALLERY OF THE 1954 THROWBACK UNIFORMS
Video featuring former Buckeye Raymont Harris "modeling" the throwback uniform:
The Bottom Line
On paper, TTUN appears to be able to move the ball and score, but when I look at their schedule, I can't ignore the weak out-of-conference opponents that a lot of their stats came against, plus their poor showing in-conference.
They have a horrendous defense, while the Buckeyes have one of the best in the Big Ten, and the nation.
I don't expect a 42-7 blowout like last season's game in Columbus (I won't be upset if I'm wrong though), but a comfortable win is in order, even though a bowl bid is riding on this one for TTUN, and in spite of "Tressel-ball."
Sorry, but you're just not my boy Blue...
Final Score Prediction
Ohio State 34, TTUN 16
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