This Wolverines game day in history: Oct. 26

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Take a look back at how the Wolverines have fared on the 26th day in October throughout their 134 year history.

Unfortunately, this week sees the Michigan Wolverines with their worst game day record this season. Fortunately, the team doesn't play on Saturday, so history doesn't really matter during a bye week. As expected, the Wolverines cruised to multiple early-century shutout victories, defeating Rush Lake Forest 40-0 in 1895, Buffalo 128-0 in 1901 (yes, that's not a typo), and Ohio 22-0 in 1907. The only game that needs a note is the obvious one, the 128-0 Buffalo beatdown. Five players had multiple touchdown with end Albert Hernstein leading the team with six scores. With a such a dominant performance, the Wolverines forced Buffalo to stop the game fifteen minutes early (which seems late considering the score). It should be noted the the Bulls were not a walkover, having defeated eastern powerhouse Columbia earlier that season. But it was no matter as Fielding Yost's "Point-a-Minute" squad thoroughly embarrassed the squad from New York.

After shutting their opponent's out for three straight Oct. 26 games, the Wolverines dropped back-to-back contests, first against Syracuse in 1912 and then against Illinois in 1929. With poor field conditions, Michigan couldn't find a way to score past the first quarter on the road against the Orange, falling by a score of 18-7. After taking a 7-0 lead in the first, Michigan allowed Syracuse to score in each of the next three quarters in the loss. Almost two decades later, the Wolverines traveled to Champaign to battle the Fighting Illini. Both teams failed to put up points in the first half, but Illinois found the scoreboard with two touchdowns in the third. The points would end up being the difference as Michigan lost by a score of 14-0.

Following the two losses, the Wolverines cruised to a pair of victories against Ivy League opponents. It's still funny to me to think Michigan played Ivy teams, but it happened, and they won 19-7 against Columbia in 1935 and 14-0 against Penn in 1940. In their first game in New York, the Wolverines scored quick, taking a 12-0 lead early in the game, but failed to do much after that. Regardless, they earned the win. After the Penn game, The Atlanta Constitution described Tom Harmon as "a combination of poetry of motion and you know what on wheels." Harmon accounted for the bulk of Michigan's offense, rushing for the Wolverines first touchdown and passing for the second.

Beyond the two Ivy showdowns, Michigan lost a game at home against Illinois by a score of 13-9, and proceeded to play the Minnesota Golden Golphers four times in a row on Oct. 26. The Wolverines ended the four games with three wins and one loss. In the three wins, Michigan outscored the Gophers 106-27, but failed to score any points in the lone defeat, losing 6-0. In '57, the Wolverines sprinted out to a 24-0 lead by halftime and rested on that en route to a 24-7 victory. The '68 game watched Michigan annihilate Minnesota's powerful defense during the victory. As the Chicago Tribune stated, "The final score was 33 to 20, and if that makes it seem like a close game, it was not." And in the '74 meeting, the Wolverines crushed the Gophers by a score of 49-0. That speaks for itself.

After the four straight games against Minnesota, the Wolverines beat Indiana by a score of 42-15 in 1985 and smoked the Gophers again, 44-10, in 1996. Against the Hoosiers, Michigan headed into the locker rooms tied at 15 but exploded for 27 points in the second half while the defense shut out Indiana. In the second half, the Hoosiers gained a mere 59 yards, and quarterback Jim Harbaugh finished the game with 283 passing yards, a Michigan record at the time (Devin obviously destroyed that last week). In the Minnesota game, Michigan extended their winning streak to 10 games against the Gophers, setting the record for the rivalry.

In the most recent Oct. 26 game, the Wolverines lost at the hands of Iowa, 34-9. It's not worth talking about. So since it's a bye week, enjoy a trip through history, and let's get ready for the Spartans next week. Go Blue!

Overall Record on Oct. 26

10-5

Game Scores

1895 vs. Rush Lake Forest, 40-0

1901 vs. Buffalo, 128-0

1907 vs. Ohio, 22-0

1912 at Syracuse, 7-18

1929 at Illinois, 0-14

1935 at Columbia, 19-7

1940 vs. Pennsylvania, 14-0

1946 vs. Illinois, 9-13

1957 vs. at Minnesota, 24-7

1963 at Minnesota, 0-6

1968 vs. Minnesota, 33-20

1974 vs. Minnesota, 49-0

1985 vs. Indiana, 42-15

1996 at Minnesota, 44-10

2002 vs. Iowa, 9-34

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