'Going into danger zone'; Michigan arrives focused for 'The Game'
Columbus, Ohio — Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich, who left last week’s game with an undisclosed injury, got off the team bus at Ohio Stadium to massive cheers as he fist-pumped and walked purposefully with his teammates.
If looks are anything, the fourth-ranked Wolverines, who play No. 10 Ohio State today at Ohio Stadium for a trip to the Big Ten championship and national playoff implications, appeared focused and loose as they walked toward the visitor’s locker room Saturday morning.
There is plenty on the line, but for those Ohio natives, this is about bragging rights.
Ohio State has won six straight and 13 of the last 14 against its arch-rival. Michigan is 10-1, having won 10 straight since losing the season opener at Notre Dame, and 8-0 Big Ten. Ohio State is 10-1, 7-1.
Winovich’s status was unclear all week, but the Wolverines’ team leader in tackles for loss (13.5) participated in pregame warmups.
“It’s everything to me. As an Ohio guy, this is what you come to Michigan for, to play in this game. It’s everything to me,” senior linebacker Noah Furbush ((Kenton, Ohio) said this week. “You hear about it every time you go home from everybody.
“It sucks to go home not having won this one. I’d like to go out on a good note my last season here.”
Jon Falk, who had been Michigan’s longtime equipment manager, specially ordered a “Top Gun” hat last week. Why?
“We’re going right into the danger zone today,” Falk said before the game. “We’re going to have be like Ice and Maverick to take these guys out. “
This will be Falk’s 44th Michigan-Ohio State game.
“I just bought it last week for this week and been walking around with it all week in the football building and walking up to all guys, ‘Hey men, we’re going right to the danger zone,’ and they know what I’m talking about.”