15 months ago, Ryan Day added some fire to the rivalry.
During a Big Ten coaches conference call in August of last year, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly interrupted Ryan Day and accused the Buckeyes of breaking rules with impermissible on-field instruction, according to a report from Bucknuts.
Day promptly dismissed Harbaugh and his allegations, reportedly saying "how about I worry about my team and you worry about yours?"
Then came Day's legendary quote.
In a team meeting later that afternoon, ESPN confirms Day told his team that Michigan better hope for a mercy rule because the Buckeyes were "going to hang 100 on them."
Day himself wouldn't confirm his comments, but he sure didn't deny them either, saying "I appreciate the question, but I'd rather not answer that right now."
The fiery word's certainly added some juice to the meeting that was slated for later that year, and it looked like Ohio State was primed for a blowout win like Day predicted, opening as an eye-popping 30-point favorite over Michigan – the largest spread in the modern history of the rivalry.
Except, the game was never played.
Due to a COVID-19 outbreak at Michigan, the Wolverines were unable to field a team and the 2020 edition of The Game was canceled and not rescheduled.
So when the No. 2 Buckeyes head up to Ann Arbor on Saturday to face the No. 3 Wolverines, it will be the first meeting between the two rivals since Day's fiery comments 15 months prior.
Of course, this year's Michigan team is quite a bit better than last year. Instead of a losing record, the Wolverines are 10-1 and enter the game ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Instead of a 30-point spread in the 'Shoe, the Buckeyes are favored by just one touchdown heading into a road contest in Ann Arbor. Instead of having nothing to play for, Michigan is still very much alive in both the Big Ten title and national championship race.
It's a much stiffer task this season, but for Day and the Buckeyes, that would just make a lopsided win that much sweeter.