November 26, 2016. The Game – Michigan at Ohio State

Michigan Football Team 2000 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
The 2000 Michigan Football team was the last team to defeat Ohio State in Columbus. They won The Game by a score of 38-26 and earned a share of the Big Ten Championship. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Calendar History:

The Wolverines have only played five games on this date in their football history and have only played “The Game” once before on November twenty-sixth.  Michigan’s record on November 26th is 3 wins and 2 losses which works out to a winning percentage of sixty percent (.600). They have done as well in conference play. Check out the numbers below:

Type Game

# of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference

2

1

1

0

.500

Conference

3

2

1

0

.667

All Games

5 3 2 0

.600

 

The Wolverines have only played one home game on this date and four road games. Their home record is perfect at 1 win, 0 losses and 0 ties. Michigan’s road record on November 26th nothing special.  They have won 2 games and lost 2 games when playing away from Ann Arbor. The numbers on this page absolutely make November 26th a good day for Michigan football, but not a great one! History is on the side of the Maize and Blue today, but not by much! Here is a little more history about Michigan football on this date.

  • Michigan’s first game on this date took place in 1885. The Wolverines traveled to Detroit to play the Peninsulars. The Maize and Blue men won by a final score of 42-0 which us still the largest margin of victory on this date.
  • The biggest Michigan loss on this date was a mere four points. Michigan journeyed to Cleveland in 1891 to take on the Cleveland Athletic Association. The Wolverines ended up on the short end of a 4-8 score.
  • Michigan won the last game they played on this date (2011) against Ohio State in “The Game.” It was also the last time the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes. Final Score: Michigan 40 and Ohio State 34.

Series History:

Today’s game is the one-hundred-thirteenth game in the series between Michigan and Ohio State. This will only be the second time that these Big Ten rivals have ever played on the twenty-sixth day of November.

The first game between Michigan and Ohio State was played in Ann Arbor in 1897. The Wolverines won  the game, before it was “The Game,” by a score of 34-0.

The biggest series win belongs to Michigan. Fielding Yost’s footballers blasted the Buckeyes by a score of 86-0 in 1902!

Michigan’s biggest loss to the Buckeyes was in 1935. Ohio State beat Michigan in “The Game” in Ann Arbor by a score of 38-0. Ugh!

Last year’s version of “The Game” was played in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines had the passion, but not the players. Ohio State won by a score of 42-13.

Desmond Howard | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Desmond Howard’s punt return in 1991 was one of the greatest plays in “The Game.” Which Michigan Man will make a memorable play like this one today? Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

“So, “The Game’s” history still favors Michigan, just not the recent history. Ten Wolverine losses in the last eleven games has really narrowed the gap. The last time Michigan won in Columbus was in 2000. Drew Henson led the Wolverines to a big win (38-26) and clinched a tie for the Big Ten Championship. That is a very, very, long time ago.

Michigan and Indiana have played a total of one hundred-twelve games so far. Check out the series numbers below:

 

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 57 31 22 4 .579
UM Away 55 27 26 2 .509
M Series Total 112 58 48 6 .545

History is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in Columbus, just not lately. Some of the greatest plays in Michigan football history have occurred against the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Big plays in “The Game” are just that much BIGGER. Which Michigan player will do something BIG today?

Today.

At this point in the 2016 season, Michigan and Ohio State are almost exactly in the same place.  Third ranked Michigan is 10-1 and looking to win the BIG East Division title. They are also in the hunt for the college football playoff. Michigan is looking to get to their first BIG Championship Game, but the road to Indianapolis goes through Columbus first.

Michigan has scored 465 points this season and allowed only 120. This averages out to 42.3 points scored per game and only 10.9 allowed. The Wolverines have a positive point differential of 31.4 points per game in 2016. Very impressive!

Ohio State has scored a total of 482 points and allowed 143.  The Buckeyes are averaging 43.8 points per game and give up about 13.0 points per game. Ohio State’s positive point differential of 30.8 points per game is just below the Michigan total.

There is no doubt about it – the 113th version of “The Game” is a championship game. The stakes have never been higher in “The Game.” Today’s game is the biggest game in Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan coaching career so far. Today will be the measuring stick for how far Coach Harbaugh has brought the Wolverines in two seasons. Ohio State is the standard of excellence in the BIG Conference and Michigan has to be better today to be able to say “we’re back.”

I believe that Michigan is truly the better team, even though they are the underdogs for the first time all season. As usual, it will come down to some key plays made by star players. I think Michigan’s stars will outshine Ohio State’s best. It will be a great college football game and the Wolverines will be just a little bit better on offense, defense and special teams. 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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