Fans & pundits grasp to find historical context at times like these, but no matter what you come up with doesn’t really help you explain or understand what’s going on.  It’s head shaking.   Michigan is destroying these teams.  This game felt over when Michigan went up 14-0 just a few minutes in.  It was certainly all but done at 21-0.   Teams aren’t even getting decent looks at field goals right now. 

All this said – State looks better than any of these teams we’ve crushed.  Connor Cook is an outstanding QB.  Despite this, at this point it’ll be a big let down if Michigan doesn’t win.

Sights and Sounds:

Opening Kickoffs –  The last Wolverine to take the opening ball to the house was Coach Wheatley against Houston in 1992.    Coincidentally the big board showed a few highlights from Tom Harmon’s performance at Cal in 1940 – and Old 98 took the first kickoff back in that game as well.  Sadly #1000SSS didn’t show this highlight, Harmon’s TD run where the final “defender” was Harold Brennan, a drunk Cal fan:

More on that epic run & incident here.

TDs in 3 Phases:  via #1000SSS, the holy trinity achieved:

• The last time U-M posted touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams was 2003 against Indiana. Steve Breaston scored on a 69-yard punt return, Jeremy LeSueur scored on a 60-yard interception for a touchdown, and Breaston scored another on a 20-yard pass from John Navarre. U-M won the game, 31-17.

Derek Jeter for Nerds.  Word is that LeVar Burton has a junior daughter at U-M, and he was on prem Saturday.  Below he spent a few minutes in the booth with Brandy and Dierdorf (left).  The last officer on the Enterprise to visit Michigan Stadium was Patrick Stewart visit during the 2006 Ball State game:

LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart - Michigan Stadium

Of course Captain Kirk did play for Bo….namely Kirk Lewis (below left), captain on Schembechler’s 1975-1976 squads.    That’s the downtrodden Ron Burgundy on the right just in case you needed it right now:

Captain Kirk Lewis - Michigan

Ufer Plaque:  This used to sit right outside the press box on the main concourse:

Bob Ufer Plaque at Michigan Stadium

After the renovation it disappeared and I wondered what happened to it.  While I was tracking down Geordi LaForge, I spotted on the south wall inside the home radio booth (where Brandy and Dierdorf broadcast).

Uniform Timeline:  No updates but I did notice in this shot, the block M thigh pad looks more pronounced and defined, but I’m thinking it’s just the angle, or shadows, or someone simply outlined the M with a Sharpie:


3 Bagels:  last time, via the Bentley Historical Library:

 1980 Michigan Football

If you want 4 straight in the same season you have to go waaayy back, to 1931.

One Downside..of humiliating the Cats, we didn’t get to see another Fitz sarcastic spaz dance:

Pat Fitzgerald Goes Crazy gif

Pantone Deaf.  Love these guys but the team colors are moving in the other direction, friends.  Get it together in 2016 plz:

Blue and Maize guys at Michigan Stadium

Dealing with Success:  More wins = more painted jeans, bare chests, painted skulls and mock super heroes with blanket capes.  Stadium and Main will look like Times Square in 3 weeks – mark my words.  #harbaugheffect?


Decal Fiasco:  Good god, we have 6 games (+ the results of a 38-0 shutout) yet to award and here’s Pep pregame bedazzled in helmet stickers:

Jabrill Peppers helmet stickers


The FIST OF ROMO.  The great Sierra Romero flashing her softball title ring pregame:

Sierra Romero Go Softball!

Mood.  BOOM – I guess we find out how good next week.  For now:

The Michigan MOOD

Mudbowl – It went on despite lacking its traditional host, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  Mudbowl is a good thing – glad it went on.  (HT: Geoff Voss for this photo)

SAE Michigan Mudbowl

Bless you Harbaugh and Hackett.  Your tickets are worth a lot right now.


Ace @ mgoblog“The Wolverines allowed 168 yards; only 38 of those came on the ground against a Northwestern team that relied on its run game and its strong defense to win its first five games. One could easily argue the pass defense was even better than the rush defense. Jim Harbaugh said DJ Durkin called a “near-flawless game,” adding “A-plus-plus.” It would be much harder to argue that point.”

Hoover Street – “From the moment when Jehu Chesson found the seam and engaged the slipstream drive, this one was never in doubt.  The profound joy of knowing that 7 points, the way the defense has been playing, might be enough to win the game, is exceptional.  Just tremendous.  That Michigan went on to run a meticulous series of offensive plays against a very very stout Northwestern defense, go up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, add a logic and science defying Jourdan Lewis pick six late in the second quarter and then after a great halftime featuring the Alumni Band and, oh yeah, the New York Philharmonic’s brass section, (for what it’s worth, playing “Ode to Joy” might have been a little on the nose, but, nah, it’s all good.), it was time for classic “dull and boring football” in the second half, where all Michigan fans (and the Michigan defense) wanted to see was a preserved shutout.  That a mostly full Big House was chanting “defense” with less than a minute to go in a game where Michigan had a 38 point lead, well, it reminded me of the good old days.”

Maize and Blue Nation – “I’m not saying Jehu Chesson’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown won this game, but it was the winning score. But seriously, John Baxter’s impact as special teams coach has been felt on the field just as much as Harbaugh’s or Durkin’s. O’Neill’s punts are pinpoint, coverage has been exceptional, and punt returns have become must-see TV thanks to Jabrill Peppers. Even his fair-catches are fun.
It’s just a matter of time until Peppers brings one to the house and Michigan gets a punt block. Both have been close a few time this year.”


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TWIMFbH: Wrecking Roger, Swindling Sparty, & Wiping Out Woody (1964)

Guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

I was there at Michigan Stadium when this last happened.  

When Michigan last rolled out three straight shutouts, I had the same reaction in 1980 as I did on Saturday – “Wow!  Didn’t see that coming!!”Granted, 35 years ago the Wolverines stymied some pretty good QB’s, with one of them being the all-time leading passer in NCAA history, but as the old hockey saying goes, “They don’t ask how – they just ask how many.”  So true and so impressive.   Even more impressive are this week’s Champions:

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Typically the Special Teams Champion gets also-ran, ho-hum coverage – not anymore!  I’ve played on enough teams and watched enough football to realize that the truly great teams end up getting contributions from different players each week.  Saturday against Northwestern was a classic example.  In recent weeks I have mentioned how the defense may have set the tone early in the game with an INT, or how the offense may have set the tone by dominating and driving for an early score.  Well, Jehu Chesson sent a message that hasn’t been sent since Tyrone Wheatley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Houston in 1992.  We’ve all seen how masterful Coach Baxter has been with these Special Teams in the first six games.  They are starting to look quite special indeed.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Like I said, three straight shutouts is three straight shutouts – even if they have been against freshman QB’s.  Nonetheless, like Chris Speilman said a couple of weeks ago, the Big Ten has been put on notice – this team and this defense is for real.  Jourdan Lewis‘s pick-six was an unbelievable play and just the defensive exclamation point needed to remind Northwestern that there was not going to be any overtime in this year’s game. 

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – There was a reason Joe Kerridge ran for 34 yards on a fullback dive play.  There was a reason nine Wolverines carried the ball for over 200 yards.  There was a reason Jake Rudock went 17 of 23 for 179 yards passing.  The offensive line imposed their will on the Wildcats, but more importantly they played with a quiet confidence and swagger that we haven’t seen from a Michigan o-Line in a loooong time. 

UNIFORM CHAMPION – I do like those maize and blue gloves worn by most of the defense on Saturday.  Could that be the reason Northwestern missed their field goal early in the game?  You have to admit, they do catch your eye.  Wonder if that’s what the Wildcat kicker was looking at when his kick went awry?  Think about it – those gloves preserved the shutout and the shutout streak!  OK, maybe not. 

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern:

Sap’s virtual helmet for those keeping score (it’s starting to look like Peppers!):

sap helmet

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1964 Wolverine Charm

51 years ago this fall your beloved maize and blue were beginning a very special season.  This Week in Michigan Football History talks about the brilliant 1964 Wolverines, and specifically, a match-up with reigning Heisman winner Roger Staubach, Duffy Daugherty and the powerful Spartans, and Woody and the hated Buckeyes:

Much, more more on the great 1964 team here:

You can listen to all 6 years of This Week In Michigan Football History here.  And don’t forget to catch the whole KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff on WTKA 1050AM starting 4 hours before each game, and of course live in the Bud Light Victors Lounge when they lace them up in Ann Arbor.

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One of benefits of having the winningest program in football history is that we get to celebrate many milestones. Last season coach Bump Elliott and many members of the 1964 Wolverines were honored in the Big House to commemorate 50th anniversary of their championship season.

That special year began in Ann Arbor on September 26 with a convincing 24-7 win over Air Force. The following week Navy and quarterback Roger Staubach, the reigning Heisman winner, returned to town.

In 1963 the mobile QB had torched U-M for over 300 yards of offense (back when that was a huge deal) in a 26-13 victory for the Midshipmen. This time Staubach didn’t live up to his Roger the Dodger moniker as the Wolverine defense suffocated him early on. A bone crushing hit delivered by big Bill Yearby and Captain Jim Conley – basically ended the game and hobbled Staubach the rest of the year. Michigan forced six turnovers and won 21-0.

That brings us to this day in Michigan Football History – October 10, 1964. That’s when the 7th ranked Wolverines headed up to East Lansing to face Duffy Daugherty and his powerful Spartans. Those were dark times in the Paul Bunyan rivalry, and you had to go back nearly a decade since the Wolverines beat not-so-little brother.

Trailing 10-3 midway through the fourth, a Rick Sygar touchdown run put Michigan within a point, but Bump’s attempt for 2 and the lead was stopped short. But there was still life, as the defense forced a stop, and quarterback Bob Timberlake and Michigan rumbled into Spartan territory. Bump reached way down into the playbook for a trick play. Sygar took a pitch on a run, but then completely sucked the air out of Spartan Stadium when he pulled up—and tossed the pigskin to receiver John Henderson who dashed the rest of the way. This time Bump’s two-point try worked and Michigan went onto to a 17-10 victory.

In the regular season finale Michigan traveled to Columbus and shut out Dr. StrangeHayes and the Buckeyes 10-0 to earn a trip to Pasadena. In the Rose Bowl, after surrendering an early touchdown to Oregon State, your beloved Wolverines throttled the Beavers and triumph 34-7, thus restoring Michigan’s rightful place atop the college football world.

Saturday, the 82nd Annual Mud Bowl is on.  The former residents of the giant red house with the kettle hole in front at 1408 Washtenaw are on triple non-secret probation, but the game goes on nonetheless.  Don’t be surprised if you see a former resident and blogger in the mud.  Deets:


Hey, I love the pic (HT: MVictors, circa 2009). 

Speaking of the Mudbowl – I added this to the list of Michigan Traditions.


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Via the #1000SSS game notes: “The U-M defense forced 12 three-and-outs, holding the Maryland offense to 1-of-18 on third-down opportunities.”  Yikes.  For the second straight week the opponent didn’t even get close to scoring.  I haven’t felt bad for an opponent in a long time but I was seriously concerned about the welfare (well before he was body slammed) of that Terrapin back-up QB.  The dude should have hid his helmet.


  • We’re fortunate to have many options at back, but clearly De’Veon Smith was missed.  Here’s to hoping he’s ready for Northwestern.
  • Brandy and Dierdorf went on and on about this on the radio call (I #mutedMillen) but the physical recovery of Drake Johnson after the ACL is remarkable.   I love how that dude runs with the pigskin.   Check out this shot (HT: G. Loose), DJ gets up at least 6’ on his repaired knee:


  • You can’t do it, but seriously, I’d love to see the analysis on whether Michigan should have elected to kickoff to start the second half. Mathlete?


  • I loved the performance of Desmond Morgan – if nothing else for how many times the guy had his hand on the football.  Via the Michigan Daily:


  • From the shelves of Ann Arbor Armchair & Nitpick:
    • I don’t get going for two up 12-0 with eight minutes left in the third.
    • It clearly wasn’t what Harbaugh wanted, but the lil’ squib at the end of the first half was horrific.
    • No matter how good the defense is, if Rudock can’t stretch the field it’s going to catch up to us.

Sights and Sounds:

Ollie’s – Dear lord.  I’m sure there are righteous bargains at Ollie’s but dude…I’m thankful we don’t see this stuff inside the Big House:


History Notes:

  • Via the official game notes, the last time U-M pitched back-to-back shutouts was in the 2000 season, when the Wolverines shut out the Indiana Hoosiers (58-0) and Michigan State Spartans (14-0) in consecutive contests from Oct. 14-21.
  • Did you know Michigan actually pitched a pair of shutouts in the same afternoon on this day (Saturday October 3) in 1931?   Yes, we played and bagel’d CMU and EMU in one afternoon.  If you listened to TWIMFbH you knew.

Mood:   New chart.  Thanks again to Scott at The Blockhams for the M Mood faces…that we both agree kind of look like ol’ Coach Harbaugh himself!

mood updated

mood data



  • No major updates to the Uniform Timeline.
  • Again – the helmet stickers are out of control and there’s been no attempt to slow the roll.  Jamie Morris declared a couple weeks ago that at some point they don’t actually put the stickers on the helmet – they put them on a wall or something.  That might be the plan, but either way it seems everyone is heading for a skullcap full a stickers, now projecting one week away from being full-on Hammersteined:

Photo Oct 04, 8 37 16 AM

  • OK, after a couple games now, what do you think of the all-white roadies?

Regarding the All-Whites:

View Results

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Mudbowl – I’m hearing the annual pigskin battle in the slop at the corner of Washtenaw and South U. is on (in some form) this weekend coming weekend.

100 years of Moe’s – Did you know it’s the 100th anniversary of Moe’s this year?     Check out this fact – thankfully something good actually happened around here in 1934:








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Guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

Well, I was one of those guys who predicted a shutout against Maryland – just not like that – yikes!   The defense is starting to look very 1980/1985-ish.  But the offense?  The offense is still a work in progress, or is it?  I don’t know.  I guess we’ll find out where this team is in the next two weeks.  In the meantime, here are the Champions for the Maryland Game:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – Gotta go with Drake Johnson. With no De’Veon Smith and Ty Isaac not being able to hang on to the ball, The Drake made plays and looked comfortable running the ball – brace and all on his left knee. When the team was sputtering and looking for a spark on “O,” #20 made the most of his opportunity.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – It’s obvious the D-Line is playing lights out these past few games, but when the game/match was resembling an FA Cup Final and tied nil-nil after 15 minutes, Desmond Morgan was the difference on defense. His INT and strip thwarted Maryland drives when the game was still in doubt. The more I see of #3, the more I think that he is starting to look like a classic Michigan middle linebacker.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Speaking of soccer, you do realize that the winning points came from the kicker, don’t you? Yes, he missed one FG early, but Kenny Allen accounted for 8 points against Maryland. If the kicker is good for 8 or 9 points on the road, I’ll take that every week.

UNIFORM CHAMPION – Back in 1975, Ricky “The Peach” Leach and company wore white socks with their road white uniforms. It was a classic & clean look.


But Saturday against Maryland, Michigan came out with white socks on top of a blue lycra legging:

Leggings 1

It looked sharp and reminded me of another timeless look from 1969:


I’d say stick with the blue & white stockings for the rest of the year – you have the Dr. Sap Seal of Approval! :)


Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).



19311003 Two Bucks, Two Games:  A ducat for a doubleheader (1931)

The 1930s are a underappreciated period of Michigan football, and the goings on in 1931 alone provide a representative morsel.   Click below for a spicy version of This Week in Michigan Football covers a wide range of events on campus in the wacky year eighty four years ago:

For more on the Rum Raid of 1931 click here
For more on the special charity football game played at the end of the 1931 season click here.

You can listen to all 6 years of This Week In Michigan Football History here.  And don’t forget to catch the whole KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff on WTKA 1050AM starting 4 hours before each game, and of course live in the Bud Light Victors Lounge when they lace them up in Ann Arbor.  

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This morning we take a trip back to 1931 – a difficult time for the American people including those on campus in Ann Arbor. Not only was the country in the midst of the Great Depression, it was illegal to drown your sorrows as the law of the land was still Prohibition– making alcohol possession a crime.

These social forces were evident in 1931 as the year started out with a major booze raid on the local campus fraternities – all told 75 students were nabbed including the captain of the 1930 football team, a forward on the hoops team, the president of the student council and the sports editor at the Michigan Daily. The students were eventually given a slap on the wrist, but they never got back the estimated 50 quarts whiskey and gin that were confiscated by the cops.

The athletic department had other problems, namely how to get fans through the Michigan Stadium gates. The great Depression rendered a two buck ticket to the Big House a luxury, eventhough head Coach Harry Kipke had assembled a championship-calibre squad.

In a ploy to draw fans into the Big House, it was on this day in 1931 that U of M played a double header – that’s right, 2 games on one afternoon – to start the year. The opponents were Central State Teachers College and Michigan Normal, known today at Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan respectively. Naturally the Kipke’s Wolverines took both lambs to the slaughter, pitching 27-0 and 34-0 shutouts—- but only 13 thousand fans bothered to watch.

To conclude the bizarre year, the Western Conference agreed to schedule a full slate of “extra” games to benefit a fund for unemployed workers.   Michigan was originally set to face Northwestern in the Big House, which would have set-up a match of the teams that shared the 1930 conference crown. But just weeks before the game, the conference brass shifted the schedule to have Northwestern play Purdue in Chicago at Soldier Field – and Michigan was left with Wisconsin.

Upon hearing the swich-er-oo folks in Ann Arbor were steaming. Fielding Yost called the whole thing a mess, and predicted a light turnout. The Michigan Daily suggested a boycott. Charity be damned – students were quoted saying they “wouldn’t give a nickel” to see a weak Wisconsin squad.

Ironically the biggest benefactor of the whole event, which raised $154,000, was Meeechigan. Northwestern ended up losing to Purdue 7-0, so those who watched the maize and blue beat the Badgers 16-0 actually saw them earn a share of the league title and perhaps some momentum in the next two glorious years — when Kipke and crew won back-to-back national titles.


For more, check out and For the Keybank Countdown to Kickoff, this is Greg Dooley.


Hurricane Joaquin ain’t so bad.  Saturday’s schedule shift isn’t first time a scheduled game has been moved.  Unfortunately many of the other incidents were brought on by darker circumstances.  Adapted from a 2009 post, here’s a look at a few of those:

1963 – Kennedy

The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 moved out the Ohio State game which was scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor the next day.

Played November 30, 1963, scheduled November 23, 1963

Back in 2009 I was able to connect with Dr. Barry Dehlin, a sophomore on Bump Elliott’s 1963 crew, and asked him about his memories of the days surrounding the assassination. Here’s what he wrote:

Naturally the assassination was a shock to all of us. I remember being in the dorm getting ready to go to practice when I heard what had happened. One of those sentinel moments in your life that you will always remember. We still met that Friday and the decision was already made that the game was postponed and would be played the next Saturday which of course was after Thanksgiving. The players would have to stay in town and not go home for Thanksgiving.

It was a cold week of practice but the interesting thing we did was bus to the Lions/Packers game on Thanksgiving. We sat on the field at Tiger stadium to watch the Lions and Packers tie. I believe that was the last game of the Lions and Packers on Thanksgiving for many years. That story I don’t know. [Ed: Correct. That game, a 13-13 tie, was the end of a string of thirteen straight Thanksgiving Day games for the Packers and Lions in Detroit.]

The game then was played the next Saturday and Ohio won on a pass to Paul Warfield in the end zone just over the hands of Jack Clancy. Warfield of course had a fine pro career and so did Clancy, who also was a wideout in the pros. Also remember the college game before 1965 did not allow unlimited substitution. On a fumble or interception only 2 players could be substituted each down for the first series. It was a much different game.

Thanks for letting me reminisce.

Incredible stuff.

The Ohio State loss capped a tough run for Elliott’s squad, as they finished 3-4-2 good for fifth in the conference. The following season, Dehlin along with captain Jim Conley turned things completely around capped off with a 10-0 victory in Columbus and a 34-7 thumping of Oregon State in the Rose Bowl.

2001 – 9/11
The September 11, 2001 attacks took place right in the beginning of the college football season and caused a few ripples throughout the schedule. Michigan pushed games against Western Michigan and Illinois out one week.

Played September 29, 2001, scheduled September 22, 2001

1918 – WWI, Flu
In 1918 football took a backseat to WWI and a massive flu outbreak. The schedule was a complete mess and the Bentley Library added a note to help sort out all the shifts/cancellations:

Scheduled games with Camp Custer (10/12), M.A.C. (Michigan State – 10/19), Ohio State (10/26 at Columbus), Northwestern (11/02), Cornell (11/16), Syracuse (11/16 in place of Cornell) and Minnesota (11/23) were canceled in response to the influenza epidemic and war-related travel restrictions. Only the Michigan State and Ohio State games were rescheduled.

Fielding Yost’s Michigan squad ended up playing and winning five games that season and claimed the national championship.  Here’s a look at the M.A.C. stub:

Scheduled October 19, 1918, played November 23, 1918

You’ll note that the ticket has the date of the day the game was actually played, not when it was originally scheduled. Assuming the Bentley’s facts are correct on the date shuffle, they either printed new tickets (possible) or they were aware of the changes before they printed the 1918 tickets (likely).

1991 and 2003 – The Twins
A late add for posterity – yes, on a couple occasions the game at Minnesota has been moved to avoid a conflict with the MLB playoffs.


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