Michigan and Ohio State, a rivalry lived year-round with each program using the other as a source of motivation. Both teams have drills dedicated to the other team. There’s a Beat Ohio drill, there’s a Beat Michigan drill as well.
Michigan’s three non-conference opponents to start off the season (Colorado State, Hawaii, UConn) are a combined 0-7 to start the year. Michigan’s next opponent is UConn, a team that went 1-11 a season ago. Despite facing teams that Michigan are not only expected to beat but also pummel, the Wolverines are trying to maintain the same mental approach as they would have against their biggest rivals.
“We try to treat every game like it’s Ohio State so we don’t take no games lightly,” Michigan cornerback Gemon Green told the media on Monday. “We prepare the same, we try to stay focused. We just try to stay focused throughout the week.”
Green said it isn’t that hard to maintain that train of thought.
“Everybody stays locked in. Hold each other accountable and stuff like that. It’s kind of easy.”
Green was asked how the team identifies how they are staying locked in and playing up to the standard of treating the game like it’s Ohio State. It boils down to how much speed and effort they’re playing with.
“Just to see us fly around the ball. We kinda, I ain’t gonna say we punished the teams that are in front of us these last two games, but we try to keep pressure on people next.”
Green made it clear he wasn’t trying to be boisterous, it’s just their vision has domination attached to it. The way the team plays now will have an impact on how they’ll play against the best teams on their schedule.
“We try to manhandle everybody that’s in front of us so when we get to those types of games it’s a breeze.”
Michigan’s defense has been flying around on defense through the first two weeks of the season and they’ll have nine more games before they head to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. A lot will happen between now and then, but it’s never too early to start preparing for Ohio State.