September may be a more common football month these days than August, but throughout history, early September games are just as rare as August games. Last week, the Michigan Wolverines played their third game in history on the date of August 31st, and this Saturday, the Wolverines will play their third game in history on the date of September 7th. After Michigan's first September game in 1899, the team didn't play many early Fall games until the month of September became a regular fixture on the schedule in 1940. Years passed, the schedule expanded, and in 1979, the Wolverines played their first game in the single digits of September. However, games wouldn't be played regularly that early in the year until 1998, when it became a common part of the season.
As I've mentioned, Michigan's played twice on September 7th: in 1991 and 2002. In '91, the second-ranked Wolverines struggled, but eventually handled Boston College in the season opener by a score of 35-13. Going into halftime, the Eagles were controlling the game in front of their home crowd, taking a 10-7 lead into the locker room. But the second half was all Desmond Howard's, as he led the Wolverines to victory and started his Heisman winning season with some flash. After accounting for the only first half Michigan touchdown, he returned the second half kickoff 93 yards into the end zone. On the ensuing drive, the Eagles added a field goal, but Howard and the Wolverines would respond with two more touchdown drives. In the final minute, Michigan defensive back Lance Dottin added an interception return for a touchdown to give the Wolverines three touchdowns in the last eight minutes of the game and complete the Wolverines escape from 25-point underdog Boston College.
The other September 7th game involved a similar score to '91, as the Western Michigan Broncos scored one less point than BC. It would be the second game in Braylon Edwards breakout, sophomore season, and he led the offense with four receptions for 93 yards and two touchdowns. After preseason questions about how the team would replace star wideout Marquise Walker, head coach Lloyd Carr said after the game (in reference to Braylon's performance): "What did I tell you?"
Here's to the Wolverines continuing their trend of scoring five touchdowns and giving up less than two on the date of September 7th this Saturday against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Go Blue!
Overall Record on September 7th
Undefeated at 2-0
1991 at Boston College, 35-13
2002 vs. Western Michigan, 35-12