Dear LGHL readers,
Saturday was a horrible day for all of us. It ruined my Thanksgiving break, personally. I cried more than once. I was almost physically ill watching so many Michigan fans be happy. It was a very depressing day. The beginning of the day offered so much hope, but by 4 p.m., all hope was dashed away. I am here to offer you an inside look on what the day was like as an Ohio State student.
I am currently a junior at OSU. Therefore, this was my first and last Ohio State-Michigan game in-person as a student (actually, my first rivalry game ever). Freshman year, the game was cancelled. Last year and next year will both be away. So, this was my only opportunity. The day I’ve been waiting for ever since I stepped on campus as a freshman, and honestly, my whole life, as I am from Columbus.
My roommates and I woke up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. None of us slept well because we were too excited. We immediately started blasting music and ate breakfast because we expected it to be a very long day. We left for the game around 10:30, because we were not going to chance missing a single thing, or missing kickoff as a result of a long line.
By the time the game started, we were unbelievably amped. I couldn’t believe that I was about to witness this game. The most hyped up rivalry game in decades. That first drive was perfection. I had a good feeling; everyone in stadium did. The ball was spread out well and it ended in a touchdown. That had to be a good sign, right?
If only I knew what would happen. Michigan scored a TD. Then another one. After the second one happened, the mood changed. I started to get nervous. My mind was racing. How in the world did J.J. McCarthy just throw two bombs on back-to-back drives that resulted in touchdowns, when the deep ball was the weakest part of his game?
All good though, I was telling myself and my friends. Bucks were only down by four and it was only the second quarter. And you know what? The positive thinking worked! Marvin Harrison Jr. scored to put Ohio State ahead by three. That’s when I started to relax. Marv got in on the action and now the Buckeyes were back in the lead. Halftime hit and I was feeling good! We all made fun of Michigan’s halftime show (their band looked like baby deer hopping around). All was right in the world.
Until it wasn’t. As soon as the Wolverines scored on their first drive, I had a bad feeling. But there was plenty of time left (this was my anthem throughout the entire game). A few drives later, Chip Trayanum ran for 23 yards. The stadium went nuts and I was optimistic. Maybe this was the momentum swing the Bucks needed? That is, until there were two penalties, with the Gee Scott Jr. unsportsmanlike conduct really killing the Bucks, forcing them to a 1st & 35. Somehow in this moment, I knew the game was over.
Yet, I still had hope. Even when Donovan Edwards ran for 75 yards to score and put the Wolverines up 38-23 with seven minutes left, I told myself it would happen. The Bucks would come back and I would get to storm the field and celebrate all day long into the night. We just needed two TDs and a two-point conversion. C.J. Stroud would show why he’s the Heisman frontrunner. I had hope.
Then, Stroud threw a pick. Cue my bottom lip trembling and tears rolling down my face. I knew that Ohio State’s season was over and this was the last time I would see Stroud in the scarlet and gray. Initially, I was pissed. Stroud, please take the sack. The shovel toss to Xavier Johnson was not a smart move. I knew that he was not playing to his potential and had lost all confidence. BUT TAKE THE DAMN SACK!
A lot of Ohio State fans left after that happened. But I told myself I would stick it out to the end. Maybe the Bucks would still find a way to come back? Then Edwards happened again. I think a piece of my heart just broke when I saw him running towards the endzone I sat behind. Still, I forced myself to stay until the end.
Until Stroud threw his second interception. I literally laughed like a psychopath because of course that would happen. I mentally could not wrap my head around the game getting any worse than it did. But then it did. I had to leave; I couldn’t stay for Carmen.
I slid my sunglasses over my eyes even though the sun was covered by the clouds. I didn’t need the Michigan fans to see me crying as I was leaving.
Once I got back to my house, it was silent. However, none of us had eaten since 6 a.m.— we were hungry. So, we went to Olive Garden. The alfredo helped my stomach, but not my heart.
I didn’t go on social media the rest of the day because I knew I couldn’t handle it. I went to sleep at midnight, about six hours earlier than I was planning on at the start of the day. Now, I just feel numb. I have two more weeks of classes before winter break. I have no football to look forward to; just final projects and exams. Campus is depressing.
I’m always thankful to be a Buckeye, but man, is it a tough time to be a Buckeye right now.