More than any national championship-winning squad in recent memory, the 2002 Ohio State team was carried throughout the season by its dominant defense – including against its archrival.
The Buckeyes entered its game with Michigan 12–0 and ranked No. 2 in the country. The Wolverines held a 9–7 lead at the half, but the OSU defense shut Michigan out the rest of the way while the Craig Krenzel-led offense finally scored the go-ahead TD with under five minutes left.
Michigan had a chance at a game-winning touchdown on the final play, but safety Will Allen picked off John Navarre’s pass just outside the end zone to clinch the game.
Allen is currently in his ninth NFL season and his third with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A decade after this iconic moment in Buckeyes history, Ohio State hosts Michigan again this Saturday. Will Allen profile