Thurs., November 25, 2 PM ET
Nov. 19, 2005 – #9 Ohio State 25, #17 Michigan 21 To earn a Fiesta Bowl bid, Ohio State had to rally from a 21-12 deficit with just eight minutes to play in Ann Arbor. Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith piloted consecutive touchdown drives of 67 and 88 yards, while the Ohio State defense limited Michigan to only 19 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.
Big Ten Network to Feature Michigan’s Dennis Franklin, Ohio State’s Cornelius Green
Pre-Game Show airs at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday morning
CHICAGO – This Saturday, Denard Robinson and Terrelle Pryor will become only the second pair of African-American quarterbacks to go head-to-head in the Michigan-Ohio State series. At 10:30 AM ET, during the Big Ten Football Saturday Pre-Game Show, the Big Ten Network will profile Michigan’s Dennis Franklin and Ohio State’s Cornelius Green who, in 1973 and 1974, were the first African-American quarterbacks to face each other in the fabled rivalry.
Green, who legally changed the spelling of his last name from Greene to Green after his playing days, and Franklin became starting quarterbacks as underclassmen and supplanted white upperclassmen coming off successful seasons. In the feature, both pioneers recall their place in history, some of the negative public reaction to the historic, but controversial situation, and the risks taken by coaches Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes to place the players in starting roles.
Green says, “Coach Hayes, when I was recruited, said ‘if you are good enough you’ll play and if not, you won’t.’ It was never a color issue. I love Coach dearly. He put his life on the line and put his job on the line.”
Franklin recalls, “I was just grateful and I think just knowing Bo as well as I did throughout the years, there was a lot of respect. I can’t say that I had as much respect for anybody, other than my father. I felt very close to Bo Schembechler, there’s no question about that.”
Green and Franklin were competitors on archrival teams, and held a sincere, mutual respect from a distance. However, the two had never met until Nov. 19, 2010, when the Big Ten Network arranged to have them meet at the Horseshoe, site of their last game 36 years ago.
The feature also includes interviews with Green’s teammate and two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, historian John Bacon and Todd Boyd, USC professor and Detroit native.