The biggest downside of this past college football season — other than Ohio State coming up short against Alabama in the national title game — was not getting to see the Buckeyes put Michigan in a dumpster for the ninth consecutive year. COVID-19 cases within the Wolverines program prevented the 2020 edition of The Game, but luckily the gridiron isn’t the only place Ohio State gets to assert its dominance over The Team Up North.
This weekend has been dubbed ‘Beat TTUN Weekend’, as Ohio State and Michigan will face-off in not one, not two, but FIVE different sports over the course of the next few days. While the matchup on the hardwood between the No. 3 and No. 4 mens teams in the country on Sunday afternoon will get almost all of the publicity, there is a ton to look forward to from college sports’ biggest rivalry this weekend.
Feb. 19 —
Men’s Ice Hockey (5:30 p.m., BTN Plus)
Everything kicks off on Friday afternoon, as the Ohio State mens hockey team takes on No. 7/6 Michigan at 5:30 p.m. ET. The Buckeyes have not exactly excelled on the ice this season, posting a 5-14-1 record having lost each of their last five games. The Wolverines, on the other hand, are 11-7-0, averaging 3.61 goals per game while allowing only 2.06 per contest to the opposition. Michigan swept Ohio State in Ann Arbor in a two-game series back in January, but the Buckeyes swept the last series in Columbus in 2019.
Ohio State is led by forward Travis Treloar and his a team-high 16 points, good enough for third among Big Ten freshmen. He is second among conference rookies with six goals, and his 10 assists rank third among the group. Austin Pooley, the Buckeyes’ captain, is one of 15 candidates for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award, recognizing DI seniors who excel in their community, classroom, character and competition. In net, goaltender Tommy Napier is second nationally with 520 saves on the year. The senior’s 38 career wins tie him for 10th place in program history.
Feb. 20 —
Women’s Soccer (5:00 p.m., BTN Plus)
Men’s Ice Hockey (5:30 p.m., BTN Plus)
While the men’s ice hockey team will play their second game of the series against Michigan on Saturday, the Ohio State women’s soccer team will open their 2021 season against the Wolverines at 5:00 p.m. ET. Taking place at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center’s indoor field, the Buckeyes will be embarking on their 28th season in program history, led by head coach Lori Walker-Hock for the 24th-consecutive campaign.
All-time, the Ohio State women’s soccer team is 13-15-3 against Michigan. Three players on this year’s OSU roster have been voted as players to watch by Big Ten Conference coaches, which includes Kayla Fischer, Peyton McNamara and Izzy Rodriguez. Fischer led the team in points in 2019 with 14, as her five goals and four assists were both team-highs. Rodriguez is a three-time All-Big Ten defender, and has played in all but one game in her Ohio State career. The Buckeyes are 18-5-4 all-time in home openers, and Saturday’s match will mark the first time the team has taken the field in an official game since Oct. 30, 2019.
Feb. 21 —
Women’s Lacrosse (1:00 p.m., BTN Plus)
Men’s Basketball (1:00 p.m., CBS)
Women’s Basketball (2:00 p.m., BTN Plus)
Sunday is a huge afternoon for Ohio State athletics, with three of their programs facing off against Michigan including the marquee matchup on the hardwood between Chris Holtmann and Juwan Howard.
The Buckeyes’ women's lacrosse team suffered a brutal 23-7 loss to No. 5 Northwestern in their season opener last Sunday, but will look to bounce back in their first home contest of the year against the Wolverines. Ohio State was 5-4 last season and had not yet entered Big Ten play before the remainder of the schedule was cancelled because of COVID-19. In net, the Buckeyes still have their all-time leader in saves in Jillian Rizzo. With 663 career stops, Rizzo has started 58 of 59 games in her OSU career, and is No. 1 nationally among active NCAA goalies with 11.15 saves per contest.
The men’s basketball game is the one that many have been waiting for. Ohio State has been one of the best teams in the country this season, ranking No. 4 in the AP Top 25. The Wolverines, having missed some time with a COVID-19 pause across their athletics programs, come in at No. 3 and in the top spot in the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes have a chance to further solidify themselves as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win over the Michigan this weekend. We will have a more in-depth preview of this game on Sunday morning here at Land-Grant Holy Land, so stay tuned for that to learn more.
Finally, the last Ohio State-Michigan matchup on the slate is for the women’s basketball team. Like the men’s teams, this is also a ranked battle, with the Buckeyes coming in at No. 15 in the nation and the Wolverines at No. 11. Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff has been named to the Naismith Late Season COY Watch List, having coached his team to a 13-3 mark on the season. The Buckeyes have been led by Jacy Sheldon and Dorka Juhasz, who are the top two scorers on the squad with 16.4 and 15.9 points per game, respectively. Juhasz is the team’s leading rebounder with a whopping 11.2 per contest, while Sheldon is among Ohio State’s top players in assists (2.8 per game) and steals (1.38 per game).