Desmond Howard made things rather awkward for C.J. Stroud during Saturday's Heisman Trophy ceremony.
With both the Buckeye quarterback and Aidan Hutchinson on stage in New York as finalists for the award, the crowd reacted audibly toward the start of the broadcast when the Michigan defensive end told Howard that "the main mission was to come back, beat Ohio State and win a Big Ten Championship."
Aidan Hutchinson reminding CJ Stroud at the Heisman ceremony— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 12, 2021
All eyes turned to Stroud, whose Buckeyes lost 42-27 to the Wolverines for the first time in a decade on Nov. 27. Tim Tebow quipped that he was "glad (Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett) is in between them," and then Howard chimed in with a shot at Ohio State.
"Better than his offensive linemen," the 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and former Wolverine said, in reference to the three sacks Hutchinson recorded against Stroud and the Buckeyes during The Game.
Stroud appeared none too pleased with the remark, but did not offer up a response to the chide. At a press conference this past Wednesday, Stroud said that several Buckeyes – including himself – having the flu in the week leading into the rivalry game "kind of does matter" when assessing the outcome.
The redshirt freshman Buckeye finished fourth in the voting for the Heisman, while Alabama quarterback Bryce Young took home the honor. Hutchinson finished second, earning 78 first-place votes to Young's 684.
Following the Michigan win two weekends ago, Hutchinson said "these guys have been disrespecting us, stepping on our jerseys, talking about hanging 100 on us, doing all the rah-rah, doing all the talk."
Wolverine head coach Jim Harbaugh, who earned his first win as head coach in the rivalry after six tries, took a shot at Buckeye head coach Ryan Day in his post-game press conference by saying "sometimes people who are standing on third base think they hit a triple, but they didn't."
Jim Harbaugh says some of the comments and other bulletin board material by Ohio State only motivated his team.— TheWolverine.com (@TheWolverineOn3) November 27, 2021
"Sometimes people who are standing on third base think they hit a triple, but they didn't." pic.twitter.com/yKAPjeRWEt
In the week after the Michigan win, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said during a radio appearance that the Buckeyes are a "finesse team, they're not a tough team." When asked what he thought about that comment this past Sunday, Day said "I don't really think about that much at all."
It's safe to say the rivalry game will have plenty of heat on it next season, when the Wolverines return to Ohio Stadium for the first time since 2018's 62-39 Buckeye win.