Game Day – October 1, 2016 Wisconsin at Michigan

Michgan vs Wisconsin Football | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Ron Johnson, one of Michigan’s greatest running backs made history against Wisconsin in 1968

Calendar History: Michigan has played many games on the first day of October and the results have always been very, very good. The Wolverines have played a total of sixteen games on this date and their record is 14 wins and only two losses. They hold a big advantage in non-conference play as they have won eight of nine games. Their conference record on October 1st is excellent. Michigan has won six and lost one. Here is a quick look at the numbers:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 9 8 1 0 .889
Conference 7 6 1 0 .858
All Games 16 14 2 0 .875

So, it appears that history is on Michigan’s side on the first day of October. Here is a little more history about Michigan football on this date.

Michigan’s first game on this date took place in Ann Arbor against the neighbors from Michigan Normal College (now known as Eastern Michigan University). Final Score: Michigan 21 and Michigan Normal 0.

Michigan’s first conference game on this date took place against another team from the Great State of Michigan. The Wolverines entertained the Spartans from Michigan State on October 1, 1955. The Maize and Blue footballers beat the boys from East Lansing by a score of 14-7.

Michigan’s first loss on this date took place against those hated Spartans. Michigan went to East Lansing on October 1, 1960 and returned home to ponder a 17-24 loss. Ugh!

The only other loss on this date was in a non-conference contest in 1966. The rude guests from North Carolina sent Wolverine fans home with a defeat. Final score: Wolverines 7 Tar Heels 21. Ouch!

Michigan’s biggest win on this date was a 58-0 dismantling of the Minnesota Gophers by Lloyd Carr’s talented team.

Series History: Today’s opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers will be making their second appearance on a Michigan Schedule on this date. Bo Schembechler took his Wolverines to Madison in 1988 and blasted the Badgers by a score of 62-14. Wow!

The first game between Michigan and Wisconsin took place at Madison, Wisconsin. Frank Barbour’s  road warriors defeated the Badgers by a score of 10-6.

The last game between these two Big Ten teams was in 2010. Wisconsin blasted Rich Rod’s Wolverines. Final Score: Michigan 28 Wisconsin 48. Ouch!

Michigan and Wisconsin have played a total of sixty-four games so far. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 36 31 5 0 .862
UM Away 26 18 7 1 .712
Neutral Site 2 0 2 0 .000
Series Total 64 49 14 1 .774

History is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, especially when the game is played in Ann Arbor. I like the fact that we have won just over eighty-six percent of our home games against the Badgers. I would be worried if the game was being played in Chicago where the Wolverines lost both games (1899 and 1902).

In addition to forty-nine wins over the Badgers, Michigan players have had some record setting performances against the Red and White. Here five of the most notable Wolverine performances against Wisconsin:

1)      Ron Johnson, pictured above, set the Michigan record when he rushed for five touchdowns against the Badgers on November 16, 1968.

2)      Ron Johnson also set a single game rushing record when he steamrolled the Badgers for 347 yards in that November 1968 game.

3)      Butch Woolfolk set a Michigan record for the longest run from scrimmage when he bolted 92 yards and a touchdown against Wisconsin on November 3, 1979.

4)      Seth Smith set the Michigan record for longest kickoff return for a touchdown against Wisconsin on October 29, 1994.

5)      Ryan Mallett and Mario Manningham combined for the Michigan’s longest pass play (97-yards) against the Badgers on November 10, 2007.

So, some of the greatest plays and milestones in Michigan football history have occurred against the Wisconsin Badgers. Let’s hope something magical happens against the Red and White today as well!

Today. Michigan and Wisconsin are both perfect through the first one-third of their schedules. Each team has four wins and no defeats.  Both teams have stingy, hard hitting defenses that will make it hard for the offenses to score. Michigan definitely has the edge on special teams.

Somebody is going to lose their first game today and the odds makers think it will be the Badgers.  Michigan is an eleven-point favorite coming into the game. I’m looking for a solid win today. Go Blue!

 

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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