COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio blood supplier is fueling one of the biggest rivalries in college football, but for a good cause. 

What You Need To Know

  • "Blood Battle" between Ohio State and Michigan kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Schottenstein Center

  • It's a competition to see who can collect the most blood

  • Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett was at The Schott to support blood donors

  • Senior Medical Director of Versiti Blood Center Dan Waxner said blood donations down during pandemic, hopes compeition encourages people to donate

​​Versiti Blood Center is the official blood supplier of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Wednesday kicked off the “Blood Battle,” a four-week competition between Ohio State and the University of Michigan to see who can collect the most blood. 

“We really want this year to be the year that we’re going to take on the blood battle and bring home a win in donations,” said Senior Medical Director of Versiti Dan Waxman. 

The competition has been going on since 1982, with Ohio State losing the last two years. Waxman said this year, of all years, is an important one to encourage blood donations.

“During the pandemic, we have not had access to university students, high school students, which they make up 20-30% of our donors,” said Waxman.

Ohio State Football defensive tackle Haskell Garrett is used to fans cheering for him in Ohio Stadium, but he cheered on blood donors at the Schottenstein Center for the first day of the campaign. 

“It’s something I wish I could do today, but, unfortunately with medical procedures, having practice, I cannot, but I can definitely come support those,” said Garrett.

He’s encouraging Ohioans to donate if they can, especially if it means beating"The Team Up North." 

“We not only have a rivalry on the field,” said Garrett. “Think about all the lives that you could possibly save by donating blood.”

For a full list of Versiti clinics, visit the organization's website