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Marvin Harrison Jr. talks emphasizing Michigan-Ohio State rivalry

Harrison Jr. doesn’t know what it feels like to beat Michigan.

Big Ten Football Media Days Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Marvin Harrison Jr. is arguably the best receiver in college football, but through two seasons at Ohio State, he hasn’t experienced being on the winning side of the OSU-Michigan rivalry.

Michigan beat Ohio State 42-27 at Michigan Stadium in 2021 and followed that up in 2022 with a 45-23 victory at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said at Big Ten Media Day that Michigan is discussed every practice, something Harrison was asked about on Wednesday.

“The Game hasn’t gone the way we want it to the past two years,” Harrison Jr. said. “We emphasize that game more than any other game that we’re gonna play on the schedule.”

Ohio State had a 20-17 lead over Michigan heading into halftime last season, but the Wolverines clamped down in the second half and The Game became a rout. Michigan outscored the Buckeyes 28-3 in the second half.

Harrison Jr. reflected on what it’ll take to correct what went wrong a season ago. He didn’t shy away from the mistakes that were made.

“It’s really just focusing on the little things — situations and football and just executing at a high level,” Harrison Jr. said. “That’s one thing I feel we didn’t do. From a player's standpoint is execute late in that game, especially in the second half to give us victory.”

Harrison Jr. had a productive game in defeat, hauling in seven receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown. However, Michigan cornerback Will Johnson held him in check for most of the day and it’ll be exciting to see those two square off again this fall.

Harrison Jr. will likely be one of the first players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound wideout put up big numbers a season ago (77 receptions, 1,263 yards, 14 touchdowns) and seems destined for a huge campaign in 2023.