Phil Callihan and Clint Derringer discuss what happened in Michigan’s unexpected 62-39 loss to Ohio State.
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The fifth and final installment of this year’s series looking back at the football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State takes us back to 1995. The larger word had yet to discover the Internet, and Ohio State was on the verge of becoming a national football powerhouse. The Buckeyes were almost certainly headed to the Rose Bowl; the only thing that remained was their coronation in Ann Arbor.
But a funny thing happened on the way to that coronation. Ohio State had defeated Michigan the previous year, and was feeling very confident leading up to “The Game” in 1995. There’s a fine line between confidence and overconfidence. More to the point, you don’t want to give your opponents ammunition. and the Buckeyes did just that.
Naturally, Michigan players heard about this. It was an interesting season for Michigan. Lloyd Carr had replaced Gary Moeller as head coach, but Carr was only initially hired on an interim basis. The season started with a wild comeback win over Virginia on the game’s final play, but Carr’s team had been inconsistent. During the week of the game, Michigan tailback Tshimanga “Tim” Biakabutuka assured Carr that he had nothing to worry about; that the team would be ready for Ohio State when the game rolled around.
Sometimes — most times — those assurances should be taken a fair amount of skepticism, but Biakabutuka was a man of his word. Biakabutuka shredded the Ohio State defense for 313 yards, and freshman defensive back Charles Woodson left his imprint on the Buckeyes with a pair of interceptions, with the final pick salting away a 31-23 win for Michigan. The victory didn’t help Michigan very much in the Alamo Bowl, where the Wolverines lost to Texas A&M. But history has largely forgotten about the low-level bowl game, while the win over Ohio State has become part of the lore of that series.
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