COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State and Michigan is known as The Game. But what about the game before The Game? This season the Buckeyes play Penn State one week before playing the Wolverines. There’s no denying which game means more to the Buckeye faithful. But can Penn State be considered a rivalry game as well? Some players say yes while others disagree.
“Not really [a rivalry game] but it’s a big one for sure,” senior wide receiver Binjimen Victor said. “It’s a huge game so we’re preparing like it is.”
Victor was a freshman on the last team to lose to Penn State in 2016 when the Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes 24-21 in Happy Valley. And although he doesn’t consider it a rivalry game, his fellow wide receiver and senior teammate K.J. Hill does.
“Definitely. They give us their best shot every time. I was here in 2016 when we went down to Happy Valley and lost,” Hill said. “I feel like this senior group has had a chip on its shoulder since then cause we’ve seen it, we’ve felt it and we know how this game can go.”
Even juniors on the team are divided when it comes to the question: Is Penn State a rival?
“I kind of consider this one of the bigger rivalry games for us just because of the history with them beating us three years ago and then having two one-point wins the past two years,” junior cornerback Jeffrey Okudah said. “I think it’s a big rivalry game for us.”
“Not our true rivalry,” junior linebacker Pete Werner said. “But if it looks like it has the past two years, you might as well consider it [a rivalry] for this game.
Whether you think it’s a rivalry game or not, this game is clearly a big one with ESPN’s College GameDay, Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff and The Big Ten Network all coming to Columbus to be part of this (rivalry?) game.