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The Buckeyes were just 5-4-1 when they arrived in enemy territory, still in shock.

Just before the kickoff, Bruce was standing on the sidelines and turned to say something to an assistant when he noticed out of the corner of his eye that his players were wearing white headbands.

“I was going to tell them to get those headbands off,” Bruce recalled. “When I looked at them, I saw that they said `Earle’ and then I thought I can’t very well tell them to take them off.”

The Buckeyes pulled off a 23-20 stunner, and Bruce went to the Michigan locker room after the game to say goodbye to his close friend, Schembechler.

Bo looked up at Bruce and said: “You know how I don’t like losing. But, somehow, today I don’t mind.”

In both 1995 and 1996, Ohio State rolled into the rivalry unbeaten, ranked No. 2 and on the verge of playing for a national championship. Michigan, with three losses already, had little to play for _ except ruining the Buckeyes’ season.

Before the 1995 game, Ohio State wide receiver Terry Glenn said, “Michigan is nobody.” But the nobodies won 31-23 behind a virtual unknown named Tshimanga “Tim” Biakabutuka, who piled up 313 yards on 37 carries to outplay Buckeyes Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George.

A year later, Michigan was a heavy underdog again for The Game at Ohio Stadium. But a short pass to Michigan wide receiver Tai Streets on a slippery field turned into a long touchdown and the Wolverines pulled off another shocker, 13-9.

Michigan had owned the series from 1897-1918, going 13-0-2 and winning by scores of 86-0, 34-0 and 40-0 _ back when a touchdown was only worth four or five points.

Is it really a rivalry if only one team wins all the time?

In the days before the game was always the last one on the schedule, Ohio State was 3-0 in 1919 and Michigan had won its first two games by a combined score of 60-0 against Case and Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University). The Wolverines had not permitted the Buckeyes to score a point in the three previous meetings and had outscored Ohio State 369-21 in the lopsided series.

But Chic Harley, Ohio State’s first football star, changed all of that.

He scored on a 42-yard run for the game’s only touchdown, punted 10 times for a 40-yard average and intercepted four passes in a 13-3 Buckeyes triumph.

It was only the first of many surprises to come in The Game.


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