While Michigan has not had much success in “The Game” against hated rival Ohio State this century, fans of maize and blue can always hang their hat on the outstanding game between the two back on November 22, 2003.
It was the 100th edition of the long and storied rivalry. As was the case for a number of years, both Michigan and Ohio State were slotted very high in the rankings with national championship aspirations. The 100th meeting all-time set up yet another de facto Big Ten championship bout.
Michigan in that game built up an early 21-0 lead in the first half to ultimately propel them to a victory. The Wolverines accumulated nearly 450 yards of total offense in that contest. Senior quarterback John Navarre was 21/32 passing for 278 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Tailback and Heisman Trophy finalist Chris Perry racked up 154 yards on 31 rushes. And wideout Braylon Edwards hauled in seven catches for 130 yards and two scores.
Michigan went on to win by a score of 35-21, finishing 10-2 on the season; 7-1 in conference play. It was also the first of two straight Big Ten championships for the Wolverines. They earned another Rose Bowl bid in 2003 before falling to eventual national co-champion USC.
The 100th meeting between Michigan and Ohio State was in the midst of a “changing of the guard” era in the rivalry. The Wolverines have won just once against the Buckeyes since that 2003 contest. Then Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season. And this Buckeye loss in 2003 was the only defeat in ten seasons for then Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel.