HBO’s documentary on this rivalry featured incredible footage from the 1950 battle in Columbus. The game was played during a blizzard which blanketed the field in snow. ‘The Rivalry’ recalled that the battle featured 45 punts as the teams simply didn’t want to attempt a conventional offensive play given the conditions. The Ann Arbor News noted Zoltan Mesko punted 12 times against Ohio State, the most since that memorable game. Not exactly the piece of rivalry lore that I wanted to draw upon the day after the game.
While you can look fondly on the old footage of the game which Michigan won (the outcome probably doesn’t really matter at this point) but there’ll be no warm reimincising on this version of the rivalry for M fans 50 years from now. The Wolverines didn’t punt because of weather conditions that dictated such a strategy. No, Mesko punted because Michigan was manhandled by a furious Buckeye defense that thrived in the cold and damp conditions.
The Bucks stomped over and stuffed the M offense that at the beginning of the year was projected to rival some of the finest in college football history. The 91 net yards were the fewest since the last dark era in Michigan football lore, 1962 to be specific. When late in the game Detroit native Vernon Gholston (or as my pal next to me called, ‘that #50’) glanced off a block and slammed Henne to the ground a la WWE the stadium groaned:
Now all sources are saying it was Carr’s last home game, a press conference at the Junge family center for Monday at 10am which is expected to be the coach’s announcement.
More takes and photos from the game to come later. I’ve got a great photo of the two teams squaring off at midfield before the game which was unfortunately the high point of the game for me. (Update: Here’s the link to the pregame brawl pic.)