for this game

Ohio St, Michigan look to bounce back in annual grudge match

Nov 17, 2007 - 12:00 PM No. 7 Ohio St (10-1) at No. 23 Michigan (8-3) 12:00 pm EST

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Ohio State and Michigan both may have lost last week, but they still have plenty to play for.

The Big Ten Conference championship and a Rose Bowl berth are on the line Saturday when the seventh-ranked Buckeyes visit the 23rd-ranked Wolverines at the "Big House."

For the first time since 1959, however, both teams will be entering the game coming off a loss.

Ranked first in the country, Ohio State was stunned by unranked Illinois at home, 28-21, while Michigan was felled by Wisconsin in Madison, 37-21.

The Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) had been ranked first in the country in both scoring and total defense but surrendered four touchdowns and 400 yards, including 260 on the ground.

The loss likely ended any shot Ohio State had of playing in a second straight BCS national championship game.

The Wolverines (8-3, 6-1) opened the season with back-to-back home defeats to Football Championship Subdivision squad Appalachian State and Oregon, then won eight straight games before falling to Wisconsin.

True freshman Ryan Mallett threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns but completed just 11-of-36 passes and was intercepted two times, including once deep in Michigan territory after he had pulled the Wolverines within two points late in the fourth quarter.

Star running back Mike Hart sat out the contest to nurse his high ankle sprain back to health, while quarterback Chad Henne exited early in the first quarter after aggravating a shoulder injury.

Both seniors are expected to play as they attempt to avoid going winless in their careers vs. the Buckeyes.

Ohio State has turned the tables in the rivalry since coach Jim Tressel took over prior to the 2001 season, winning five of the past six matchups, including a 42-39 home win last year in the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in their storied rivalry.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, rumored to be retiring after the season, had been 5-1 against Buckeyes coach John Cooper and desperately wants to avoid slipping to 6-7 in the series.