Wednesday, October 24, 1894 marked the first and only game between The University of Michigan and Adrian College. It was the fifth game of a very successful season for the up and coming Wolverines. The game was played in Ann Arbor and Michigan won easily by a score of 46-0. At that point in the season, the Wolverines had a record of 4 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie. Both teams were heading in different directions with their football programs so they never played again.
Interestingly, the first five games (all home games) of the year were played against teams from the State of Michigan. Games one and four were against a team from the Michigan Military Academy. The first game was a tie (12-12) and the second game was a rout in Michigan’s favor (40-6). Games number two and three were big wins against Albion (26-10) and Olivet (48-0).
The last five games of the season were against Case, Cornell, Kansas, Oberlin, Cornell and Chicago. There was a lot more traveling in the second half of the season since the Oberlin was the only game played in Ann Arbor.
Michigan won every game that season against the non-Michigan teams except the first Cornell game which they lost in New York by a score of 0-22. The Wolverines got a little revenge when they faced Cornell in Detroit on Saturday, November 24, 1894. Michigan won the game by a score of 12-4 which was the first time they had ever defeated a Cornell team after seven straight defeats.
First year coach William McCauley led Michigan to an excellent record of 9 wins, 1 loss, and 1 tie. It was the first time in Michigan football history that a Wolverine team won that many games in one season.
Another interesting thing about the 1894 season was that the Wolverines played six games on Saturdays, two games on Sundays, two games on Wednesdays and one game on Thursday. Travel really drove the schedule in the early days of college football. Now television drives the train. Things were different in the early days, but not that much different.
Check out the link below to the Bentley Historical Library’s summary of the 1894 season.