<
>
Insider

Memories of 'Ohio' rivalry

Michigan coach Brady Hoke and a few of the Wolverines reflected on their memories and the importance of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.

Brady Hoke: "My dad had a chance to play for Woody Hayes and loved Coach Hayes. That game, you were always watching. ... It's always been of special significance at noon, that last Saturday in November or the Saturday before Thanksgiving when it used to be played then. You were watching that football game."

Senior defensive end Ryan Van Bergen: "I remember coming here in '05 on a recruiting visit and we had [Ohio State] down and then Troy Smith threw a bomb on some crazy play down the field and they ended up winning that game. And then the next game was the No. 1 vs. No. 2 game, which everybody remembers. That's one of the biggest Michigan-Ohio games I think there's ever been played. And those two games, I think, were one of the solidifying reasons I came to Michigan. Regardless of the fact that Michigan came out not winning those games, the intensity and the hype and just the stage it set for this game for both teams I think is why there's such an allure to go to both schools. There's not another game in the country that has this stage set for it. If you want to become a player and be recognized as a football player, you have a good game in the Michigan-Ohio game and you'll be remembered."

Senior center David Molk: "When I was in high school, before I played college football, I don't think I watched a single college football game ever. So in reality, I didn't even know anything about Michigan State or Notre Dame or Ohio State. It wasn't really until I played in that game and experienced what it is when I understood it."

Junior quarterback Denard Robinson: "Oh yeah, I watched 'The Game.' It's a big game. I watched it and my family told me it was a big game and you knew it."

Senior tight end Kevin Koger: "I definitely remember watching the game in the living room, my dad sitting on the couch and me, just laying on the ground. I remember the 'Take That,' when it was on the front of Sports Illustrated. I remember all of that so there's a lot of memories from the game."

On if it affected his recruitment: "Definitely. I think that's why anybody comes to Michigan, to play in that game. It's a lot different on the field during the game than watching it on TV. ... It was always either Ohio State or Michigan [for me], there were no other schools."