The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


November 18, 2007

A Todd Porter column: Back stamps signature on win

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — On a cold Woody Hayes kind of afternoon with a wind that felt like razor blades, Ohio State punished Michigan on Saturday at The Big House.

The Buckeyes didn’t just punch the Wolverines in the mouth. They pancaked their linemen, stood up their cocky running back and won a good, ol’ fashioned football fist fight. Michigan, its pride wounded after a fourth straight loss to Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes, limped off the field to a cold, quiet locker room. The Wolverines seniors leave never having tasted victory against Ohio State.

Across the way in the visiting locker room, they held roses between their teeth and let out Saturday’s loudest roar when Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany handed OSU its second straight outright Big Ten trophy. By the tune and tone of the Buckeyes, they couldn’t even tell it was cold out.

On a day with the kind of hard-nosed weather for which this series was made, the Buckeyes won a bruising 14-3 game.

“There was a lot of hitting. There will be a lot of sore kids,” Tressel said.

Amidst it all, a Buckeye legend was born. Meet Chris “Beanie” Wells, the toughest back in the Big Ten. Wells hurt from his toes to his head. Michigan pounded him, but Wells hit back.

“We hit him, and we hit him — and I mean we hit him hard — and he just kept coming,” Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr said.

Even when Michigan knew he was going to run, the Wolverines couldn’t stop him.

“That’s a special way to break a team’s will,” Ohio State right tackle Kirk Barton said. “We lined up and ran it right at them when they knew we were running the ball. ... The ghost of Woody Hayes came down and called plays.”

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