As evidenced by the Rich Rodriguez era, if one side of The Rivalry allows itself to be bullied, the midwest blood feud quickly dissipates into a whooping with some history attached.
When No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan, however, both teams will enter thinking themselves as bully. No rostered Buckeye has lost to the Wolverines, but this UM roster is the oldest, deepest, and most talented roster OSU has seen in that time.
Each team's respective Swiss Army knife, Curtis Samuel and Jabrill Peppers, will also share the same field for the first time this year.
Monday, Peppers said "everything is coming out of the bag" on Saturday.
Though Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis will likely draw primary duty on Samuel, Peppers should see some time against Samuel as well, in the open field if not by assignment.
Tuesday, Peppers said he watched Samuel's film, and thinks he found a new strategy to combating Samuel's effectiveness.
“I don’t know him, I just know of him. Typically I know all the guys from my general area,” said Peppers, who starred at Paramus (N.J.) Catholic. “But a phenomenal athlete, definitely has a lot of respect from us. At the same time, we feel he hasn’t been hit a lot either.”
Area man would like to make sure you're aware he knows other men from his area.
Peppers didn't stop there, either. Against Wisconsin, Northwestern and Penn State, he identified a common theme he thinks his defense can exploit.
“We gonna see how they respond to physicality. Come with bad intentions. It’s never our intention to hurt anyone, but when we hit you, we want you to feel it. You know what I’m saying?”
Yes, we know what you're saying, Jabrill.
In other news, it should be a chippy affair Saturday on ABC.