This week we head back to 1975 when Lee Corso and the Hoosiers came to town.  Of historical significance in 1975:

  • This game was the last time Michigan Stadium had an announced attendance of fewer than 100,000 (93,857).  So as Craig Barker suggests, should we blame Lee Corso?
  • 1975 was the first season the B1G allowed teams to go to bowl games other than the Rose Bowl.  And Michigan was invited to play the Oklahoma Sooners in the 1976 Orange Bowl.  (And at that Orange Bowl, the Michigan Marching Band unleashed the epic JAWS formation!).

Here’s the clip:

This was a tough year to pick – of historical note on this day in U-M football lore:

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM starting at 11:30am.

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This afternoon we drop back nearly 4 decades to October 25, 1975 as the Big House welcomed the Indiana Hoosiers. Even your host Ira Weintraub, who was just a day old, knew that our friends from Bloomington had no chance to upset his beloved Wolverines in this one.

In fact there is probably no team Michigan has dominated more than Indiana and since 1968 the maize and blue have dropped just a single game – in 1987.

The game featured two coaches you know very well — for different reasons. On the West sideline you of course had General Glenn E. George Patton Schembechler, who in his 7th season in Ann Arbor had already established himself as one of the biggest names in coaching, and his Wolverines were a perennial national powerhouse.

On the east sideline you had Lee Corso, a man today known less for his coaching resume, and more for his seat at the desk of ESPN’s GameDay since its inception in 1987.

Before playing the mascot-head donning pregame sidekick, Corso had spent a decade and a half in coaching including ten seasons in Bloomington leading the Hoosiers.

Tickets for the 1:30 kickoff were just 9 bucks, and the face of the ducats ironically featured a photo of a packed Big House. The reported attendance was just under 94 thousand and of historical significance, that was the last time a Michigan Stadium contained fewer than 100,000 for a game – a streak that is now running 256 games…

In the game itself Corso had no gimmicks that could do anything about Bo’s dominant running attack or his suffocating defense. Rob Lytle took the ball 22 times and pounded out 148 yards and 4 scores, while Gordon Bell added another 117. The defense, led by Calvin O’Neal’s 10 tackles, held the Hoosiers scoreless for over 3 quarters in the 55-7 beating.

That season the Big Ten finally changed its bowl eligibility rules and despite dropping the finale to the Buckeyes, later that year Michigan was off to the Orange Bowl to face Oklahoma. In that one the Wolverines, donning their all-white road uniforms, lost the game to the eventual-national champion Sooners, but won the halftime show. The Michigan Marching Band left a lasting impression in Miami with their deadly salute to the movie JAWS featuring a formation on the Orange Bowl gridiron that depicted a swimmer being consumed by a Great White shark.

1 Comment

  1. Love, love, love Michigan tradition and Michigan history. It brightens my “blue” world right now. Thank you!