For Saturday’s edition of This Week in Michigan Football History we go back 28 years to a highly anticipated non-conference battle against Jimmy Johnson’s #1 Miami Hurricanes.
No, this one didn’t work out for your beloved Blue – but the tale of a football season is NEVER written in September!
As always, this segment will appear all season on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game. You can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting at 8am Saturday. Go Blue!
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This week we head back to 1988, as General Bo George Patton Schembechler and his 15th-ranked Wolverines welcomed Jimmy Johnson and the top-ranked Miami Hurricanes to Ann Arbor.
The Canes hoped to avenge their 22-14 loss in their previous meeting with Michigan in 1984, when the maize and blue forced quarterback Bernie Kosar to toss six interceptions in the Wolverine victory.
On September 17, 1988 for most of the game it appeared as though The Convicts were going to receive a Big Ten beat down at the hands of Bo and his Maize and Blue.
Michigan held a 30-14 lead in the fourth quarter, thanks to three touchdown passes from quarterback Michael Taylor to three different receivers.
Many of the nearly 106,000 fans started a chorus of “Goodbye” to the Hurricane fans and players.
But midway through the final period Johnson went to the no-huddle offense and Miami QB Steve Walsh started a devastating comeback. A Carlos Huerta FG with 43 seconds to go sealed the deal, despite a late drive by Michigan that was thwarted by, ahem, horribly missed pass interference call.
Bo railed on the referees after the game, suggesting that the Big Ten crew was unevenly influenced by Jimmy Johnson’s rants and perhaps his hairspray, but that didn’t change the outcome.
But the tale of a football season is NEVER written in September, and 1988 would be no different. Bo and All-American Mark Messner rallied the troops and ran through the Big Ten schedule undefeated with one tie, including a 34-31 defeat of the Buckeyes at the Horseshoe.
To cap it all off, the 1988 Wolverines team also gave Bo his final Rose Bowl victory. Leroy Hoard ran for nearly 150 years and a pair of TDs as Michigan triumphed 22-14 over the USC in Pasadena and finished #4 in the final polls.