Jim Knowles calls the rivalry between Ohio and Michigan “the pinnacle” of college football

Columbus, Ohio– Jim Knowles has worked his entire life to be part of a rivalry as big as Ohio State football and Michigan, and he doesn’t take it for granted.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of when you’re a guy working his way up to get to this position,” Knowles said. “Now is no time to think. Someday hopefully. When you are young in this profession, you see it as a high point.”

But he also knows that Saturday’s game is the main reason he was brought to Columbus in the first place. Last season, the Buckeyes gave up 42 points to the Wolverines and gave up 297 rushing yards and six touchdowns without being able to do much about it. This can’t happen again.

Because of that, the focus for him won’t be to grasp the fact that he’s finally on this stage or that it’s a game with so much at stake. He’ll instead tackle it like he’s done the other 11 weeks. Even if he understands how much more important this game is.

“It’s the biggest stage there is, so you take everything and up it by 1,000 and go from there,” Knowles said. “You do whatever it takes to stay focused and get your work done in the middle because there is work to be done.”

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What else have we learned from Knowles?

said Thomas Eichenberg, “embodies what they want to be as a defense and as a program.” He will emerge: “Tommy is as tough as they come.”

Said it was difficult to simulate Michigan’s running game in practice, but there was a lot of emphasis on getting ball carriers down: “Everyone has to tackle.”

On JJ McCarthy as a scrambler: “We have a powerful, aggressive line of defence. … It’s definitely a problem when you have people who are after the quarterback. I’m glad we have it. It’s my job now to fix it.”

On Michigan’s offense: “They’re a total offense and they challenge you in a lot of different ways. We need to have different things that you can go to at different times to try and unbalance the offense.

Said the Jack position is a “tool in our toolbox” to deal with all the things this offense throws at you.

On the Maryland game, especially the second half: “We were wrong on a few things. I see it. We all see it. We know we have to get better. The good thing is the competitive excellence, and the defense has developed that in crucial situations this year.”

On Michigan Running Back Blake Corum: “If you’re out of place, he’ll make you pay for it.”

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