The 1951 Rose Bowl victory capped off a nice season for coach Bennie Oosterbaan’s crew.  The 1950 squad featured team MVP Don Dufek and All-American R. Allen Wahl and won the conference title with a 6-3-1 overall record, dropping games to Michigan State, #1 ranked Army [played at Yankee Stadium), and to Illinois.  Despite a tough start the team rallied to win their final three games and added the great victory in Pasadena.

You probably can’t say this for any Michigan Rose Bowl champion, but the win over Cal in Pasadena was not the definitive victory for this team. That distinction will always be reserved for the game over a month earlier on November 25, 1950 in Columbus—a game that will forever be known as The Snow Bowl.

The week leading up to the game was somewhat normal for a November in the Midwest. On Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), Columbus experienced 38 degree temperatures and rain. By 8am Friday morning the thermometer sunk to 5 degrees and it snowed off and on for most of the day. The forecast for Saturday was a chilly 15 degrees and possible snow, but Friday evening to early Saturday morning things took a wicked turn:


A shirtless, unruly hairy beast with bad teeth seen outside Ohio stadium?  shocker

During the night, a storm moving up the Carolina coast pumped Atlantic moisture like a fire hose westward to meet the southward blast of frigid air. The clash of these two air masses reached full fury over Ohio and western Pennsylvania, paralyzing the region with heavy snow, gale-force winds and near-zero temperatures. Pittsburgh lay under a 16-inch snowfall with another foot forecast, forcing cancellation of the Pitt-Penn State game. Southeastern Ohio measured 14 plus inches. Transportation across the state ground to a halt.

As game time drew near the field was buried and around 50,000 brave fans huddled beneath the Ohio Stadium stands and waited to take their seats. A meeting was held between the schools to decide whether to play the game that included Ohio coach Wes Felser, Ohio athletic director Dick Larkin, Michigan AD Fritz Crisler and Oosterbaan. There had yet to be a Big Ten conference game canceled for any reason and this game held greater significance. If the game wasn’t played, Ohio State would earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. But Larkin knew (and certainly Oosterbaan and especially Crisler reminded him) that Michigan could potentially earn a trip to the Rose Bowl with a win. Ultimately Larkin gave the green light and remarked, “We’ll just have to do the best we can.”

When the game started, the teams did the only thing they could. Run a play or two and then punt rather than risk a turnover.

Michigan entered the game third in the conference standings behind the Buckeyes and Illinois. During the game word made it to the Michigan sideline that Northwestern upset the Illini meaning a Wolverine victory would send Oosterbaan and company to Pasadena.

The decisive moment came with time running out in the first half as Fesler made a tactical move that probably cost him his job, as described by Sports Illustrated:

On third and 6 at the Ohio State 13, Buckeyes coach Wes Fesler instructed [Heisman Trophy winner Vic] Janowicz to punt with Ohio State holding a 3-2 lead. Only 47 seconds remained in the half and it is likely that Ohio State could have run out the clock. But Michigan’s Tony Momsen — whose older brother Bob played for the Buckeyes — blocked the kick and then fell on it in the end zone, closing the scoring in a 9-3 Michigan win.

Thanks to WolverineHistorian, a few clips from the game:

 

 

The statistics from the game are remarkable:

  • Ohio State had 41 yards of total offense, Michigan 27.
  • The Buckeyes actually attempted 18 passes, completing just three for 25 yards.
  • Michigan had no first downs; Ohio State three.
  • The teams punted a combined 45 times for a total of 1,408 yards.
  • The team fumbled 10 times but lost only one each.

There’s probably hundreds of other stories about the game from those who witnessed it. HBO’s The Rivalry spent a good portion of the documentary on the game providing some phenomenal footage. The BBC website pulled together an impressive recap and added this anecdote which will definitely get a chuckle out of any Michigan Marching Band fan:

..the Ohio State Marching Band, which considered itself the best in the country (and still does), was offended by an article in Life magazine which claimed Michigan had the best. Ohio State was determined to prove itself and arranged an elaborate performance for half time. However, the brass instruments were chilled and the mouthpieces frozen. It seemed it would be unable to play.

The band planned to silently perform its maneuvers, which included standing together in a shape resembling a Buckeye leaf, while previously recorded music played over the loudspeakers. However, the determined band members got hold of some antifreeze for their mouthpieces and did the performance.

I’ll bookend end this eBay Watch with another item from the period. It’s a 1951 Michiganensian yearbook, featuring a few photos from both games, here’s a few pics from the Snow Bowl as displayed in the yearbook:

[Originally posted November 16, 2008]

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Sources:
* From the Ohio State library 1950 OSU vs. Michigan, The Snow Bowl
* An excellent recap from The BBC Website
* Game footage from ohiohistory.com
* Weather Events: Blizzard Bowl
* SI.com on the 10 greatest games in the U-M/OSU Rivalry

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[Ed. Bumped for Ohio week.]

by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

On November 24,1973 the Ohio State Buckeyes performed one of the most heinous acts in any rivalry, in any sport – they went after the sacred GO BLUE M CLUB SUPPORTS YOU banner.
If you aren’t aware of this, or have been living under a rock, I have created a YouTube Video that documents this act, one which legendary broadcaster Bob Ufer decried that the Buckeyes “will meet a dastardly fate here for that!”

When the Buckeyes returned in 1975 word was that Woody wanted to do it again, but this time the Michigan Students were ready.  The Buckeyes decided that discretion was the better part of valor, so no dastardly shenanigans ensued.

Recently, I was doing some work for the Ufer Family and I stumbled across a video that was labeled “1973 OSU Banner.”   Curious to see what it was, I popped in the videotape only to see that it was NOT the 1973 OSU Banner Incident.  The short clip is what I call, ‘1977 OSU Banner Incident Part 2.’   As I watched the tape I noticed that a few Michigan Students wearing their M varsity jackets were indeed fending off Woody and his Buckeyes.  There were some serious haymakers being thrown as things got downright ugly. Ohio State players and coaches got involved, even the fat-man himself, old Dr. Strange Hayes, was part of the melee.  Check it out!

The more I looked at the video, the more fixated I became on one student who seemed to be exhibiting some very sound blocking fundamentals and technique. At the end of the video, I got the somewhat blurry money-shot of the courageous M Man. Much like the old Bigfoot Bluff Creek video footage from the 1970s, the image was grainy but I could make out some defining features and characteristics of the subject.

Light brown, mullet length hair. Possibly a goatee with a mustache. Tough looking dude for sure…

..could it be this guy?

Dave Gallagher

It couldn’t be?!   That’s former M man All-American Dave Gallagher who graduated in 1973 and who I believed was playing in the NFL in 1977.   Or was he?

When I double-checked his NFL stats, I noticed that there was a one-year hiatus in his career…in 1977!

I recently tracked down Dr. Gallagher and asked him if he indeed was the Buckeye Banner basher dude.

His response?  “Yes I was,” he told me as I could hear him proudly smile over the phone.

My suspicions confirmed, I needed to find out more.   Not only was it Gallagher, former Michigan teammates Doug Troszak and Tom Drake also donned their M Jackets to thwart Woody and company one more time.

“I bought tickets and I told them (Troszak & Drake) that we were going to defend the banner,” the 1973 co-captain told me.
“We stood in front of the banner as a warning to Woody and them,” he recalled.

But the Ohio State players and coaches paid no heed to #71’s warning as they headed right for the M Club banner that fateful day in 1977.

Push came to shove and next thing you know, even Woody started throwing some punches himself!

Don’t believe it? See for yourself:

Woody Hayes banner incident 1977Photo Credit: Alan Bilinsky (Michigan Daily) via U-M Bentley Historical Library

Here’s the caption from the Daily:

FullSizeRender

Yup – that’s Woody Hayes already grabbing Gallagher with his right hand and clenching his left fist about to show the former Michigan Captain how much the old man still had in his left hook.

Now remember, all this happened before the Wolverines took the field! After cooler heads finally prevailed, Gallagher emerged with a bloody nose and ready to grab his #71 jersey one last time!

The first Michigan coach to see what was going on was Freshman Coach Dennis Brown. He relayed what had just transpired to the maize and blue waiting in the locker room and you can only imagine how fired up they were to take the field in 1977!

Michigan took down Woody and his Scarlet and Gray Test-tubes that day, 14-6, to win the Big Ten Title in 1977, but Dave Gallagher got one more souvenir from his last skirmish with the Scarlet & Gray.

“At the end of the year, the Michigan Football team held a players-only banquet and I was the only non-player invited to the event. The 1977 team gave me a plaque commemorating my involvement in defending the banner that year.”

Related:
Where Ufer Laid Woody Hayes Away
Woody says, “Don’t give this to Bo!”
Woody’s message for you Poindexters

 

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20. November 2016 · 3 comments · Categories: 2016

[Ed.  I’m happy to introduce guest writer Andrew Kahn, who covered Saturday’s game for MVictors.  You can check out more on his website.]

Guest post by Andrew Kahn

Michigan fans are partying like its 1970-something. That’s the last time the Wolverines had a football season like this. Saturday’s 20-10 win over Indiana completed a perfect home slate. They’ve done that plenty—there have been 37 seasons in which Michigan has played at least four home games and won them all, most recently in 2011. But to win by an average margin of 32 points at the Big House, as Michigan did this year, is what makes 2016 so impressive.

The chart below shows some of the seasons in which Michigan has played at least four home games and won them all (without ties). They are ranked by the average margin of victory in the home games and the chart also shows the closest home game, the team’s overall record at the end of the season, and whether it won the national championship.

michigan-home-win-margin-chart

For the curious: margins in 2006 (16.0), 1997 (16.3) and 1948 (27.8) don’t crack the top 17.

Fielding Yost’s “point-a-minute” teams at the beginning of the 20th century fill up the top of the list. Other than the two pre-1900 teams, the only squads above the 2016 Wolverines on this list were coached by Yost, Fritz Crisler, or Bo Schembechler.

Saturday’s 10-point win, in which the Wolverines trailed at half for the first time all season, was the exception at Michigan Stadium this year. (And Michigan did take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter, after which there was no scoring.) Michigan had a scare against Wisconsin, winning by seven. The other home games were blowouts, hence the 32.4 average margin. Not since Bo’s teams in the 70s have Michigan fans witnessed such dominance in person, and the especially high number of home games made it even more fun.

“Winning this game feels like one of the best wins I’ve ever been involved with,” Jim Harbaugh said after the game, comparing it a playoff game. Asked to reflect on the seniors winning their final game at Michigan Stadium, Harbaugh said, “I know how it feels to play at Michigan and not win your last game at home. [Michigan lost to Minnesota in its final home game in 1986]. It’s not a good feeling at all. Our guys played eight home games and won them all. The constant for a Michigan football player through the ages is playing at Michigan Stadium. It always has been and always will be. The one constant to time, the facilities, changes in society and everything else is playing in that stadium. To have that feeling of winning your last game is a great feeling.”

Senior kicker/punter Kenny Allen said the undefeated home slate is another thing to check off the list of accomplishments. “We expect to win every game here,” he said. Added senior safety Dymonte Thomas: “It’s nice to go undefeated at home. It lets people know when they come to the Big House they better pack a lunch because it’s going to be a long day.”

 

O’Korn’s run
Senior running back De’Veon Smith was unquestionably the offensive star of the game, rushing for a career-high 158 yards and Michigan’s only two touchdowns on runs of 34 and 39 yards. But Smith said it was quarterback John O’Korn’s run, one play before Smith’s first score, that ignited the offense.

“When John took off for that run, that’s what really sparked us,” Smith said. “That really got the offensive line going.”

After the previous drive, quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch got on the phone with O’Korn and told him, “You need to make a play to change this game around.” O’Korn obliged. Facing a third and eight from the Michigan 34 with under five minutes left in the third quarter, O’Korn took off. Here’s how Harbaugh described it:

“Two defenders were pressuring John. He stepped out of it with good ball security. He got the first down and was being threatened at the sticks and didn’t dive or slide; he kicked through an arm tackle. A big play, a signature play for a quarterback in a big game.”

 

Let it snow
Harbaugh and the players who spoke to the media mentioned “the elements” several times, justifiably. Watching the weather from the press box, the Big House at times resembled a snow globe. Late in the fourth quarter, I couldn’t help but think of Ron Burgundy’s line in Anchorman: “Boy, that escalated quickly.”

Here’s the field at 6:33 p.m.:

snow-on-field-1

And again at 6:39 (notice the cheerleaders’ snow angels in the bottom right corner):

snow-on-field-2

Just three minutes after that, at 6:42:

snow-on-field-4

At 6:45, with cheerleaders sliding in the north end zone and making snow angels (again) in the south end zone:

snow-on-field-5

And finally, at 6:49, with the players belly-flopping in celebration of a big win:

snow-on-field-6

 

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20. November 2016 · 2 comments · Categories: 2016

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Here are the Decal Champions for game 11 by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPIONS – As a senior, you always want to go out with a bang and leave it all on the field. De’Veon Smith once again gave his all, left no doubt and left nothing on the field Saturday. A career best 158 yards and two TD’s was the perfect ending for Michigan’s battering-ram of a runner. Never one to take the easy route or run out of bounds, Smith once again showed that he has a nose for the endzone. His two scores were classic Smith runs and a great way to punctuate your last game at The Big House.

I also wanted to call out Ben Bredeson for his play Saturday. He seemed to always be getting to the second level on his blocks and paving the way for Smith and his scores in the second half. I thought #74 was the best O-lineman out there and reminded me of another #74 – Mike Husar. He was another stalwart from 30 years ago who was a critical cog in those great O-lines that blocked for coach Harbaugh when he was a QB at Michigan.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPIONS – I’m not sure that I have ever seen a more talented group of Michigan defensive backs than this year’s unit. Every guy has great cover skills, can close and pursue, but more importantly, can wrap up and tackle. There have been some great Wolverine Secondaries in the past that may have featured one or two studs, but top to bottom this year’s group makes each opposing QB throw a perfect ball every time and against every DB. Usually there will be one or two guys that an opponent can pick on and go after, but not with this team. They ALL are lights out. Because they create so many incompletions, maybe we should call them the Legion of INC?  J

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Once again, Kenny Allen was solid in everything he did. He put up two field goals but just as importantly, he pinned IU deep on at least four occasions with his punts. His non-returnable touchbacks also help set the Michigan defense up with good field position and is just another example of how important the kicking game is.

COACHING CHAMPION – I touched on it above, but you gotta credit Mike Zordich & Brian Smith for the job they have done with this Wolverine Secondary. They are a confident, aggressive and talented group that has been shutting down opponent’s passing attacks all year long. Last week they shut down Iowa’s passing game and Saturday they did the same against the Hoosiers. Spread Offenses can make any defense look bad by putting everyone on an island, but not this group – they have no fear! Let’s hope they can shut down those hairless nuts from Columbus next week!

UNIFORM CHAMPION – For all of you who complained that there were too many decals on the helmets last year, I noticed that not one player’s helmet is “full” of stickers this year.

via mgoblue.com

via mgoblue.com

Maybe it’s because they are a tad smaller in size this year? Maybe it’s because they are oriented and positioned properly this year? Or maybe no stickers were awarded last week after the Iowa game? Not sure, but I do like the look, and will see if I can find out what the real story is.

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Week 1:  Chris Evans (Offense), D: Mike McCray (Defense), Jabrill Peppers (Special Teams), Don Brown (Coach), Michigan helmet (Uniform)
Week 2:  Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers (O), Tyree Kinnel/Chris Wormley (ST), Chris Partridge (C), Soles of shoes (Uni)
Week 3: Jake Butt (O), Jabrill Peppers (D), Jabrill Peppers (ST), Don Brown (C), Helmet Stickers (Uni)
Week 4: De’Veon Smith (O), Maurice Hurst (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Greg Mattison (C), #26 White Shoe Laces (Uni)
Week 5: Wilton Speight & Amara Darboh (O), Channing Stribling (D), Jourdan Lewis (ST), Jay Harbaugh (C), Jumpman do-rag (Uni)
Week 6: Jabrill Peppers (O), (D), (ST), Entire Staff (C), White socks (Uni)
Week 7: Khalid Hill (O), Rashan Gary (D), Khaleke Hudson (ST), Coach Tyrone Wheatley (C), blue socks (Uni)
Week 8: Amarah Darboh and Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Jim Harbaugh (C), white Jumpman Towels (Uni)
Week 9: Wilton Speight (O), Ben Gedeon (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Offensive coaches (C), Juwann Bushell-Beatty and his roaming jersey # (Uni), Ricky Leach
Week 10: N/A
Week 11: De’Veon Smith & Bed Bredeson (O), M defensive backs (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Mike Zordich & Brian Smith (C), volume of helmet stickers (Uni)

decals-week-11

[Ed. Bumped up – I wrote this on MVictors just after I heard Bo passed away 10 years ago on November 17, 2006]
NOVEMBER 17 – What an empty feeling here at noon on the Friday before the biggest game that may ever be played against Ohio State and Michigan. I just heard on WTKA 1050 am that we lost the man that single handedly restored Michigan Football to its rightful place.

I had the pleasure to be in school for Bo’s final season. He is and was the heart and soul of Michigan football, and his legacy will reign in Ann Arbor forever.

I actually heard Bo live on WTKA this morning giving his thoughts on the game…he sounded a little rough. I remember thinking ‘Wow, Bo is getting old’. I understand he was in his car on the way to the taping. He collapsed at the TV station minutes later.

For whatever reason, coincidence I assume, perhaps it was stressful on him, he collapsed again during the taping of his TV show. This is pretty shocking, and the timing of this is really crazy, and this turned this into a really sad days for college football.

For those of you outside the football program. Yes, Bo Schembechler was still an active part of the team and the program. Look no further than this week’s Sports Illustrated:

The Football Complex..is named Schembechler Hall, where 77-year-old Bo keeps an office and occasionally pokes his head into metting rooms.

So where does this leave the game? Well, the game will be played. Michigan will play their asses off. Carr won’t give a rah-rah ‘Do it for Bo’ speech, he might remind them about the legacy that Bo leaves, and have them remember why they chose to be part of this program, and perhaps Carr will ask them to remember the time each of them had with Coach Bo. The players will understand and they will play like champions, win or lose.

A favorite memory of mine? When Bo was part of the Tigers organization and everyone was bitter at Bo and blamed him for firing legendary radio man Ernie Harwell (which Bo denied to his death that this was his doing). One of my roommates defended Bo and instead turned the attention on Harwell, of whom he called “An Old Coot”. Rogie, this was an instant classic.

Another great memory and he’ll leave this forever: When he first started at Michigan, players were quitting the team in droves, complaining about the workouts Bo put them through, Schembechler made a promise. He hung a sign in the locker room that read Those Who Stay Will be Champions.” After one game this year I saw an ex-player with a hat that simply read “We Stayed”. I love it.

Here’s an encounter I had with the legend not too long ago, inspiring this post:
Seeing Bo Schembechler

12. November 2016 · 1 comment · Categories: 2016

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For tonight’s edition of This Week in Michigan Football History we went way back, 118 years to 1898.   It was on this day 118 years ago that your beloved Wolverines faced Illinois in a game played at the Detroit Athletic Club. Heavy rains rendered the playing field a complete mess, but that didn’t stop Michigan from getting the job in the 12-6 victory.  Here’s more:

[display_podcast]

As always, this segment appears on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX’s epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game.  During home games you can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting 4 hours prior to kickoff.  Go Blue!

You can listen to all of This Week in Michigan Football History clips here.

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script after the jump:

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Iowa vs. Michigan 1900
Of the Michigan football fans that give a damn about the history of the program, these are typically broken into two groups: those that cherish the program as they know it during their lifetime or thereabouts, often starting with the Bo era in 1969.  And then there’s those who go deep, usually back to Yost’s first season in Ann Arbor in 1901.  You’ll notice there are only a few pre-Yost posts on these pages.

Looking at Iowa, one thing that’s kind of curious is that despite their long history of playing Michigan (starting in 1900) and their involvement in our league (they joined the Western Conference in that same year), we’re really not stacked with a bevy of major moments in history that would yield a rivalry with the Hawkeyes, although there are certainly important ties between our programs.

Take Forest Evashevski, the coach that delivered Iowa’s only recognized national championship in 1958 (a postseason vote by the writers after the 8-1-1 Hawkeyes delivered a dominating performance in their bowl), who played for Fritz Crisler’s Wolverines.  Evashevski is remembered by many as the man who helped lead Tom Harmon to the Heisman Trophy in 1940 as a “devastating blocker” per his college football Hall of Fame profile.

Today our rivalry with Iowa ranks somewhere buried beneath Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Penn State and even Wisconsin in that strata that probably includes teams like Illinois and maybe lately, Northwestern.

Reaching back to the game that started it all in 1900 I found some interesting stuff.   This was of course the season before Yost stepped foot on campus and just as with the ‘68 team that Bump Elliott delivered to Bo, the cupboard wasn’t exactly bare.   In fact ‘00 captain Neil Snow was an All-American on Yost’s 1901 team that outscored opponents 555-0.

The 1900 campaign started off with six straight wins heading into the first meeting with the team from Iowa.  The game was played at Bennett Park, the early home of the Detroit Tigers at the famed corner of Michigan and Trumbull, the future home of Tiger Stadium.

Iowa won the game 28-5 and I’m just going to let you partake in a little turn-of-the-twentieth century beauty put down in print by a writer at the Detroit Free Press:

The visitors were a most gentlemanly set of young giants, though anything but gentle when in action. They showed magnificent education and training from the tips of their long scalp locks to the soles of their perniciously active feet. Their brains worked like greased lightning set to clock-work. They were shrewder than a strategy board and could mobilize in less time than is employed in an owl’s wink. When they charged it was like a bunch of wing-footed elephants, and when they tackled one of the enemy it was like the embrace of a grizzly. They could kick harder than a gray mule with years of experience, and with the accuracy of a globe-sight rifle.

Get a bunch of rooms, old time Freep dude.

And when the Iowa team returned to Iowa City, well, they found good times along with a small bit of crime and some damage:

The things that happened…that night are written in the books. When our train reached Iowa City…, every person in town was there. A farmer was just driving in with a load of shelled corn. The boys confiscated it and filled their pockets and hats with it. [Ed. Corn was a hot commodity in Iowa?]

We were thrown up on a Tally Ho that was pulled by students with a rope a block long. There was a bonfire on the field. The boys pulled President MacLean and faculty out of their buggies and carried them in a dance around the fire. The president’s hair was singed.

The fire’s heat was so intense that plate glass windows cracked and for a time, it looked as if the flames were threatening an entire block of the business district.

Then they ran to the field and painted the opponent’s locker room pink.

07. November 2016 · Comments Off on Another Fritz Fixer-Upper (1938) | This Week In Michigan Football History · Categories: 2016

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penn

For Saturday’s This Week in Michigan Football History we headed back 78 years to 1938, the year Fritz Crisler made his coaching debut in Ann Arbor.  Fritz was brought in to do a fixer-upper, as the Harry Kipke-era left the program in a shambles:

[display_podcast]

As always, this segment appears on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX’s epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game.  During home games you can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting 4 hours prior to kickoff.  Go Blue!

You can listen to all of This Week in Michigan Football History clips here.

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script after the jump:

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06. November 2016 · Comments Off on Almost Point-A-Minute | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2016

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Here are the Decal Champions for week 10 by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – After coming off an emotional win against your in-state rival, this game with Maryland had all the makings of a trap game if Michigan was looking ahead to Iowa on the road next week. So how did the Wolverines respond?  They pulled an Arby’s and went Five for 5 on their first half possessions and ended any speculation about an emotional let-down or an eye on the Hawkeyes.  Bob Ufer used to say, “Victory has a thousand fathers, while defeat is an orphan.” While there is plenty of credit to be spread around for this win, I will start with Wilton Speight.  My gosh does he look in command!  He is making all the throws and even channeled a little Ricky Leach by running/jumping for a touchdown:

speight-jumpmanArtwork: @candor_for_sale (inspired by E. Upchurch photo)

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I thought Ben Gedeon matched up well against the Terrapins in the run game and made some big stops to end a couple of Maryland drives.  That appears to be his strong suit so hopefully #42 can start to settle in and continue to do that for the balance of the year.  The Michigan Defense is going to need him down the stretch.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Once again, Kenny Allen was solid in everything he did. Nice to have him back to his old, reliable self. Upsets typically happen because the favored teams make mistakes that allow the underdogs to stay in the game and make a big play. Those plays typically happen in the kicking game, but #91 is rock-solid right now and not allowing that to happen.

COACHING CHAMPION – Think back to all those times we all criticized the previous Michigan coaching staffs for being too predictable on offense. Whether it was personnel, or down and distance, it seemed liked we ALL knew what play was going to be run when say, Carl Tabb came into the game (running play), or whoever. As I watched the Wolverine offense execute on Saturday, I was amazed at how creative, and different each play and drive was. When you thought they would run on 3rd or 4th & short, the Michigan offensive coaches threw the ball. They totally kept Maryland of guard and, save the one pass play to Jabrill Peppers on 4th down, they were almost perfect on Saturday. I get it – Maryland is still a basketball school – but the Maize and Blue did not play down to their competition – another trait of the Michigan offense that the coaches have instilled on them.

UNIFORM CHAMPION – Last week he wore #95 and this week he wore #10. What number will Juwann Bushell-Beatty wear next week? At this rate, he is on track set the record for most numbers worn by a Wolverine in a career (3) in just one season.

HONORARY CAPTAIN – Gotta give it up to my man, Rick Leach. It was great to see the Guts and Glue of the Maize and Blue back on Canham’s Carpet, er, Hackett’s Rug on Saturday! Nice to see some of the older players who re-built the Michigan Football Program during the Schembechler Years get recognized. Don’t take what these guys did for granted – they were warriors and paid the price to build a foundation of excellence that we all enjoy to this day. Also nice to see ESPN show Leach’s TD run against Duke in 1977. You know – the one where 13-year old Jimmy Harbaugh jumps on #7’s back in the endzone.
leach-harbs

I wonder where they got that clip???  :)

 

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Week 1:  Chris Evans (Offense), D: Mike McCray (Defense), Jabrill Peppers (Special Teams), Don Brown (Coach), Michigan helmet (Uniform)
Week 2:  Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers (O), Tyree Kinnel/Chris Wormley (ST), Chris Partridge (C), Soles of shoes (Uni)
Week 3: Jake Butt (O), Jabrill Peppers (D), Jabrill Peppers (ST), Don Brown (C), Helmet Stickers (Uni)
Week 4: De’Veon Smith (O), Maurice Hurst (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Greg Mattison (C), #26 White Shoe Laces (Uni)
Week 5: Wilton Speight & Amara Darboh (O), Channing Stribling (D), Jourdan Lewis (ST), Jay Harbaugh (C), Jumpman do-rag (Uni)
Week 6: Jabrill Peppers (O), (D), (ST), Entire Staff (C), White socks (Uni)
Week 7: Khalid Hill (O), Rashan Gary (D), Khaleke Hudson (ST), Coach Tyrone Wheatley (C), blue socks (Uni)
Week 8: Amarah Darboh and Wilton Speight (O), Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Jim Harbaugh (C), white Jumpman Towels (Uni)
Week 9: Wilton Speight (O), Ben Gedeon (D), Kenny Allen (ST), Offensive coaches (C), Juwann Bushell-Beatty and his roaming jersey # (Uni), Ricky Leach

week-9-helmets

[Ed.  Originally posted in 2010, a repost for the anniversary of this important day in Meechigan football history.  And if you love Kryk, and I know you do, get STAGG vs. YOST now!]

1910 Headlines 

Guest post by JOHN KRYK of Natural Enemies – (Follow John Kryk on Twitter)

On Friday, Nov. 4, 1910, Michigan authorities cancelled the showdown football game scheduled for the next day between the Wolverines and the University of Notre Dame on old Ferry Field, now site of UM’s track and field oval.  In a nutshell, the Wolverines contended that at least two Fighting Irish players were ineligible under the rules of the game contract, and when Notre Dame refused to sit them out, Michigan pulled the plug on the contest, and, as it turned out, on the series for the next 32 years.

As I wrote in the two incarnations of my book Natural Enemies, just who was right and who was wrong is difficult to ascertain, because the status of the disputed players rested on the vague and variant eligibility rules of the day. That each side devised interpretations to suit its position, then steadfastly defended that position, should come as no surprise. Nor should the explosions that followed.

Michigan had literally taught the game of football to Notre Dame, in November 1887. For the next 21 years, the teams played off and on, with  Michigan always winning. Small-fry colleges in the Midwest, such as Notre Dame at the time, were always desperate to get a spot on the football schedule of a Midwestern giant such as Michigan, and when they failed it could devastate them. But as I first wrote in Natural Enemies in 1994 (13 years before Mike Hart popularized the analogy):

In Michigan’s eyes, Notre Dame was just the pesky kid brother who refuses to understand he can’t always hang out with the big boys. And when kid brother goes off whining to the other small fry on the block, well, big brother couldn’t care less. But kid brother was determined to prove he belonged. Indeed, for the next two decades, Notre Dame aspired to be everything that mighty Michigan already was in athletics.

In 1909 Notre Dame finally defeated Michigan in its ninth attempt, 11-3 at Ann Arbor. It was the only blight on an otherwise landmark year for Yost and his Wolverines, who knocked off defending national champion Penn in Philadelphia, and Conference champion Minnesota in Minneapolis. The loss rankled Yost and his team, because Michigan was observing the new Conference rules that barred freshmen and limited player eligibility to three years, while Notre Dame was still wantonly playing freshmen and four-year men. More »