[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/19/art.split.cnn.jpg caption="Biden may have upset some crucial swing state voters."]
(CNN) - Joe Biden's off-the-cuff remarks on the trail have at times taken the Obama campaign off-message, but the Delaware senator's latest riff just may have landed him in hot water with voters - and die hard football fans - in a key battleground state.
Speaking to members of the University of Delaware football team Friday morning, the Democratic VP candidate said he thinks the Fightin Blue Hens (1-1 this season) could thrash a certain team from Ohio.
"I was out in Ohio," he said while fiddling with a football in his hands. "I told the folks in Ohio that we'd kick Ohio State's ass!" (It remains unclear if Biden actually ever told Ohio voters this.)
Biden, a proud University of Delaware alum, was clearly trying to rally his Division 1-AA team ahead of their match-up with Furman this weekend, but the comments couldn't have come at a worse time for faithful Buckeye fans who saw their team suffer a 35-3 trouncing at the hands of USC last weekend.
The comments also come as polls show the race in Ohio could hardly be tighter: A CNN poll of polls in the Buckeye state shows Obama holding a slim 1 point lead there. Close enough, presumably, that enough angry OSU fans could just make the difference - at least that's what Republicans are hoping.
The state GOP is already attacking the Democratic ticket over the comments, as well as his comments yesterday suggesting it was patriotic for some wealthier Americans to pay higher taxes.
"As if his comments about it being a patriotic duty for Ohioans to pay higher taxes weren't bad enough, now Biden is taking pot shots at the Buckeyes," GOP State chair Bob Bennett said. "Barack Obama and Joe Biden must really think they can win this election without Ohio, because they're doing their best to lose it with stupid comments like these. Keep talking, Joe."
David Wade, a spokesman for Biden said, “I think this episode explains exactly why we’ll win Ohio: Joe Biden is loyal to his home team, and John McCain is loyal to President Bush."
"We forgive the Republicans on this one, though," he added. "After watching John McCain flip flop on everything from taxes to torture, they’re just mystified by someone who takes a position and sticks with it.”
UPDATE: Michigan Democrats, fans of OSU arch rival University of Michigan, weighed in on the back-and-forth, calling John McCain a "Panderer in Chief" for recently purchasing Ohio State apparel on a campaign swing.
"John McCain won't be hailing any victors on Election Day if he thinks Michigan fans will let this recent pander slide," said Liz Kerr, a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party.