Grant Mason Anticipates the Big Game

On Monday, the Wolverines fifth-year senior cornerback Grant Mason took the time to meet with the media to discuss the Wolverines' important match up with the rival Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday.

Grant Mason is no stranger to rivalries. In his fifth year as a division one athlete, the six-foot cornerback from Orchard Lake St. Mary's high school has experienced two of the very best during his college days at both Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

However, as Mason learned last fall during his first and only trip to Columbus, the Cal-Stanford rivalry can't quite match the intensity brought to the table when the Wolverines and Buckeyes meet on the field for the regular season finale every November.

"It's a bid difference. In each one's area they're big rivalries," said Mason. "But I think on a national scale, the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry beats all other rivalries. The attention to both schools and the programs -- not to take anything away from University of Cal or Stanford, but I think that Ohio State and Michigan football-wise have greater tradition."

As a result of the schools rich football tradition, Michigan's expectations against the Buckeyes always remain high. After coasting through the first seven games of the Big 10 schedule last year, Michigan came to Columbus with an opportunity to clinch an outright Big 10 championship along with the schools second consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes foiled things behind an outstanding performance at quarterback from sophomore Troy Smith.

Now, however, the time has come for the Wolverines to take aim at revenge, and this time they enter the game more prepared for what Ohio State's extremely mobile quarterback is likely to do.

"Just make sure that you stay square and try to knock them back. He's a real big guy, but he's a quarterback. If a defensive player has got an opportunity to go against a quarterback and you don't do well, your teammates will get at you."

With that said, one thing Mason is looking to do is not force things fundamentally.

"Just go out and don't over think it because when you over think it you tend to try to overcompensate and you give off another thing," Mason said on Monday. "You just go out and do what you were coached to do all year, and hopefully that's good enough."

As a senior, it is Mason's last chance to be "good enough" to take down Ohio State, something not lost on Grant.

"Last year we didn't play as well as we should have and ended up taking a loss. For me, this is my last game as a senior and at home here at Michigan Stadium, and I've talked to a lot of guys, Sam Sword, he's one of our coaches now, his last game as a senior he lost, and he always tells us that you don't want to have that feeling about your last game against Ohio State. He won all the games previous to that, but he lost the last one. I don't want my last one to be a loss. I think we've done a great job and we've been improving throughout the season. We were up and down early but we've been getting better and better I think that all the work we've put in and stuff throughout the year, considering how we played last year sense Ohio State, I think it would be a huge disappointment to me if we don't come out and play our best. I think if we play our best we'll have a good opportunity to win."

At the same time, Mason also realizes that knocking off the Buckeyes won't be easy. After stumbling at Penn State in early October, Ohio State has rolled through its opponents in dominating fashion on its way to Ann Arbor. However, Mason is still confident.

"Athletically, definitely, these guys are real good. It'll be a big chance for everybody when we can't get caught up in how the receivers are. Also their quarterback is very good. If we go out and do what we're coached to do, I think we'll have success."

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