Game Day – October 8, 2016 Michigan at Rutgers

michigan vs Rutgers 2016 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Fielding Yost’s 1916 Team was his last “independent” team. Michigan would return to the Western Conference in 1917.

I thought it would be fun to look back one-hundred years and see what Rutgers and Michigan were doing in 1916. Michigan finished the 1916 season with a record of 7-2-0. Rutgers ended their seven game season with a record of 3-2-2.

Both Michigan and Rutgers are playing their sixth game of the season so I looked at the schedules of both teams from one hundred years ago. Michigan’s sixth game in 1916 was played against another eastern team, Syracuse. The Wolverines beat their New York visitors by a score of 14-13. Rutgers played their sixth game of the 1916 season against Dickinson College. Final score: Dickinson 34 and Rutgers 0. Ouch!

Calendar History: Michigan has played a total of twenty football games on October 8th. Fortunately, the results have always been very, very good. The Wolverines have played seventeen of these games at home and three on the road. So far, Michigan has won about eighty-two percent of all the games played on this date. Check out the numbers below to see the Wolverines have been on this date.

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference

11

9 1 1

.864

Conference

9

7 2 0

.778

All Games

20

16 3 1

.825

 

The Wolverines hold a record of 14-2-1 at home on this date. They are 2-1-0 on October 8 when they are away from Michigan Stadium.

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

Michigan’s first game on this date took place way, way back in 1892. The game was played in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Athletic Association (MAA). The Wolverines won big, very big. Final score: Michigan 74 MAA 0.

Interestingly, Michigan’s biggest win on this date came against a visiting team from East Lansing. Fielding Yost’s “Point -a-Minute” team demolished the “Aggies” by a score of 119-0. That must have been a fun game for the folks in Ann Arbor, but not so much for farmers from East Lansing.

Michigan’s first conference game on this date took place against the Wildcats from Northwestern University in 1932. The Wolverines bested their Chicago guests by a score of 15-6.

Michigan’s first loss on this date did not take place until 1949. After nine wins and one tie, the rude guests from Army defeated the Wolverines by a score of 21-7. Ouch! This score still stands as the largest margin of defeat for Michigan on this date.

Series History: Today’s opponent, Rutgers University, will only be making their third appearance on a Michigan schedule. This is very interesting since both teams were early adopters of the game of rugby/football in their perspective regions. Of course, Rutgers played in the first college football game ever when they hosted the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1869.  The Wolverines were the first “Western” team to play when they met in Chicago to play Racine College (1879). Michigan played a lot of football against eastern teams in the early years, but somehow they missed Rutgers.

The first game between Michigan and Rutgers took place in Piscataway, New Jersey on October 4, 2014.  The Michigan program, under Brady Hoke, was heading in the wrong direction. Rutgers was ready for Michigan and played their best game of the season. Final score: Michigan 24 Rutgers 26.

The most recent game between these two Big Ten teams was played in 2015. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines exacted some revenge and sent the Scarlet Knights home to ponder a 49-16 pounding!

So, this “young” series stands at 1-1 for each team. Both teams have won at home, so Rutgers hopes that trend continues. Michigan was exceptional on the road in Harbaugh’s first season. They will be looking to play well on the road in 2016.

A closer look at program history records for Rutgers and Michigan:

Since there isn’t a lot of series history to write about. I want to take a closer look at how these two pioneering football universities compare in their football accomplishments so far.

Category Rutgers Michigan
First Season

1869

1879

Games Played

1310

1297

Program Record 643-625-42 930-331-36
Program Win %

.508

.731

Winning Seasons

65

116

Losing Seasons

64

17

Even Seasons

17

3

National Championships

1

11

Heisman Winners

0

3

All-Americans

45

127

BIG Games

63

711

BIG Record 17-46-0 493-200-18
BIG Win %

.270

.712

BIG Championships

0

42

Even though Rutgers had a ten-year head start on Michigan, they have not capitalized on their early advantage. Michigan took their share of “whuppins” from some Eastern teams in the early years. However, the Wolverines learned their lessons well. They have grown into the winningest program in college football. Their numbers compared to Rutgers, and every other college football program, are impressive. The Michigan Wolverines are indeed, the “leaders and the best.!”

Today. The football programs at Michigan and Rutgers continue to be in very different places. The fourth ranked Wolverines come into today’s game with a perfect record of six wins and no defeats. They have two BIG wins in two tries so far in conference play. Unfortunately, Rutgers is not doing as well. Currently, the Scarlet Knights have a losing record at two wins and three losses. They are winless so far in the BIG season with losses to Iowa and Ohio State. With all that said, it is no surprise that Michigan is listed as a thirty-point favorite for tonight’s game.

Jim Harbaugh has been aggressive in his New Jersey recruiting since taking charge. His 2016 Michigan roster has nine players from the Garden State. Only one Rutgers player, Quarterback Giovani Reseigno  from Warren DeLaSalle High School, hails from the Great Lake State.

Road games have been difficult for Michigan teams recently, except for year one of the Jim Harbaugh Era. After five weeks of “home cooking’ the Wolverines hope to avenge their 2014 loss to the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway on Saturday night. Michigan will be ready for a solid performance. In Harbaugh we trust! 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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