Game Day September 17th, 2016

September 17th is another “good day to play” for the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan has played a total of six games on this date and they have won four of them. All six games have been non-conference games.

Here is a quick look at all the games that the Wolverines have played on September 17th and the results:

Game # 1 – September 17, 1966 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 41 Oregon State
Game # 2 – September 17, 1977 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 21 Duke 9
Game # 3 – September 17, 1983 @ Washington, Score: Michigan 24 Washington 25
Game # 4 – September 17, 1988@ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 30 Miami of Florida 31
Game # 5 – September 17, 2005 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 55 Eastern Michigan 0
Game # 6 – September 17, 2011 @Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 31 Eastern Michigan 3

Today’s opponent, the Colorado Buffaloes will be making their fifth appearance on a Michigan Schedule since 1974. Colorado will also be making their fourth visit to Michigan Stadium.

Michigan and Colorado are both undefeated in this young season and their victories have been impressive, albeit against lesser opponents. Somebody is going to lose their first game today and the odds makers think it will be Colorado. Michigan is an 18-20 point favorite coming into the game. Both defenses are nationally ranked and the offenses are scoring tons of points. Obviously, this should be the first big test for both teams.

The first game between the Michigan and Colorado took place in 1974. The unranked Buffaloes came to Ann Arbor to play Bo Schembechler’s sixth-ranked Wolverines. Final score: Michigan 31 Colorado 0!

The second game is, of course, the most memorable of the four previous games. The seventh ranked Buffaloes came back to the Big House to play the fourth-ranked Wolverines. Colorado had a former Michigan assistant named Bill McCartney as their head coach. McCartney, who had strong recruiting ties to the Detroit area, had a number of Detroiters on his roster including a young man named Michael Westbrook. The game came down to the last play with Michigan leading by a score of 26-21. With only seconds remaining on the clock Colorado’s quarterback Kordell Stewart launched a sixty-four-yard “Hail Mary” that was caught by Westbrook in the end zone for a game ending touchdown. Colorado fans call it the “Miracle in Michigan.” Final score: Michigan 26 Colorado 27.

It was an amazing, uplifting play for Colorado fans. Understandably, it was a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching play for Wolverine fans. Yes, they will show this video about fifty times during today’s game. But, just in case you miss it, here it is – one more awful time. Ugh!

Michigan (#11) journeyed to Colorado (#5) in 1996 to exact a small bit of revenge and came away with a hard-fought win. Final score: Michigan 20 Colorado 13.

The fourth game of the series was the first game of Michigan’s magical season in 1997. The fourteenth ranked Wolverines shut down the Buffaloes by a score of 27-3.

Here is a quick summary of the Michigan vs Colorado series to date and the results:

Game # 1 – September 21, 1974 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 31 Colorado 0
Game # 2 – September 24, 1994 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 26 Colorado 27
Game # 3 – September 14, 1996 @ Colorado, Score: Michigan 20 Colorado 13
Game # 4 – September 13, 1997 @ Michigan Stadium, Score: Michigan 27 Colorado 3

So, there you have it. A few items to inform your viewing of today’s game. It should be a good game, but Wolverine fans hope it is not “too good.” No one want’s it to come down to the last play of the game, for sure! Apparently, the Buffaloes will be wearing “throw-back” jerseys to get in the right frame of mind for another big upset. However, if the odds makers are right, Michigan will be the better team. 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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