Today’s post takes a look back at the first game ever played between Michigan and Boston College. I found it interesting that these teams had never met until September 7, 1991. On that day, Coach Gary Moeller took his second-ranked Wolverines to Boston to face the Eagles. As usual, expectations were very, very high.
Coach Moeller had veteran team with lots of stars. All-Americans Greg Skrepenak and Tripp Welborne were back for their senior seasons. In addition to Welborne, the defense had some outstanding players like Erick Anderson, Mike Evans and Chris Hutchinson. The offense was loaded! Elvis Grbac returned for his second season as Michigan’s starting quarterback. Dean Dingman, Matt Elliott, Ricky Powers would also play at an All-Big Ten level. Finally, there was this guy named Desmond Howard who really showed flashes of brilliance in 1990. Would he be able to play at a high level for the entire season?
Michigan scored early, and often, in this game and it got out of hand pretty quickly. Desmond Howard returned a kickoff for 93-yards and also caught a touchdown pass. Michigan took control of the game and won going away. Final Score: Michigan 35 and Boston College 13.
So, season #112 in Michigan Football History was off to a fast start! People took notice of Desmond’s achievements at Boston College, but he would have to do more to earn national media attention. Michigan won a BIG game the following week against Notre Dame – 24-14. Of course, Elvis and Desmond teamed up on the most famous catch in Michigan Football History and everyone took notice. Michigan was for real and Desmond Howard was having a special season.
Well, we know what happened. Desmond Howard had a brilliant season and won the Heisman Trophy and seven other national awards. Elvis Grbac set a number of passing records and Erik Anderson became the first Michigan linebacker to win the Butkus Award and the Jack Lambert Trophy.
Michigan finished the season with a final record of 10 wins and 2 losses. The Wolverines were perfect in the Big Ten at 8-0-0 and won the conference championship for the fourth consecutive season. Both of Michigan’s losses were to teams that were highly ranked when they played them. The first loss 31-51 came at the hands of #1 ranked Florida State. Michigan’s second defeat took place at the 1992 Rose Bowl. Washington (#2 ranked) beat the Wolverines by a final score of 14-34 and eventually claimed the national championship.
Here are some interesting Michigan Football “firsts” associated with the Boston College game and the 1991 season:
· September 7, 1991 was the first game ever played against Boston College.
· Desmond Howard became the first man in Michigan Football History to record two kickoff returns in a career with his 93-yard return against Boston College. He also had a 95-yard kickoff return against Michigan State in 1990.
· Howard also became the first man to catch three touchdown passes in three different games in one season in 1991.
· Desmond Howard also became the first Wolverine to catch nineteen touchdown passes in one season.
Check out this video from Virayak Swaroop:
So, Michigan’s first ever game against Boston College resulted in program victory #713 and it set the stage for a special season for Desmond Howard and the Michigan Wolverines. Go Blue!