clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Wolverines Gameday in History Remembers Germany Schulz

Schulz was an absolute beast and a Michigan legend. If you've never heard his name before, you're in for a treat.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Last Gameday's History Recap

I missed last week's edition of TWGIH for a variety of reasons, so here's a quick recap for those keeping score at home:

  • 14-4 overall record on 11/7

  • Played Windsor in Canada in 1885 under Canadian rules, i.e. basically what rugby is today, and due to this, Michigan's victory received praise from The Michigan Argonaut: "The victory was a very flattering one, as being entirely unacquainted with the Canadian rules, our team expected to be defeated."

  • Topped Minnesota by a score of 6-4 in 1896 due to a blocked double-kick on the goal after attempt. Breaking down what this means, extra points were worth two instead of one in 1896 and take place from where the touchdown was scored - just like a conversion (extra point) after a rugby try (touchdown). The Gophers scored their lone touchdown at the edge of the field, making the point after attempt difficult. Therefore, they tried a double-kick, meaning they kicked the ball to a player closer to the uprights, who then attempted to kick the ball through the posts. But the Wolverines blocked the second half of the double-kick, leading to victory.

  • Shutout Ohio 36-0 in 1903 following a tie against Minnesota in the game that created the Little Brown Jug.

  • Stomped Illinois 70-21 in 1981 after falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter. Quarterback Steve Smith gave his best Shoelace impression almost a decade before Denard was even born, tallying six total touchdowns - three passing, three rushing - and 340 total yards. It was also the first home game following the passing of Michigan broadcasting legend Bob Ufer. Take ten minutes and watch the highlights. They are super fun.

  • Upset #9 Penn State 27-0 in 1998, handing the Nittany Lions their first shutout in over a decade. Tom Brady led the way with 224 yards and two touchdowns on 17 of 30 passing.

This Gameday's History

  • A 32-0 win over Windsor in 1885 marked the first ever football game played on Michigan's campus. All previous home games took place at the Ann Arbor Fairgrounds.

  • There seems to be some disagreement over the final score of Michigan's loss to the Chicago University Club in 1891. The Bentley Historical Library lists the game as a 10-0 loss, while an excerpt from the Detroit Free Press notes a Michigan defeat "by 20 points to nothing."

  • Michigan kicked of a two-game series with Notre Dame on this gameday back in 1942, marking their first meeting since 1909 after Yost effectively canceled the series. The fourth-ranked Wolverines outlasted the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish by a score of 32-20. Following the '43 game, the rivals would not play again until 1978 and currently have no scheduled meetings in the future.

  • In their only meeting with Indiana on this gameday, Michigan lost by a score of 7-26.

  • The Wolverines forced seven(!) Iowa turnovers in a 34-20 victory in 1964.

  • Heading into the fourth quarter in 1981, Michigan trailed a mediocre Purdue squad by a score of 10-7. The Wolverines would score three unanswered touchdowns, handing the Boilermakers and graduate assistant Mark Dantonio another loss.

  • If you've never heard of Germany Schulz, Michigan's legendary center from the early 1900s, I highly recommend spending some time reading up on him. Click here and go read his Wiki. By all accounts, he's one of the toughest football players of all time, the creator of both the spiral snap as well as the linebacker position, and his performance on this gameday in 1908 cemented his legendary status. In a 29-0 loss to Penn - a football powerhouse at the time, winners of seven National Championships between 1894 and 1912, including the 1908 season - Schulz "gave the greatest one-man exhibition of courage I ever saw on a football field" in the words of head coach Fielding Yost. He played center for the Wolverines, and depending on which telling of the game you believe, Penn had somewhere between two to five players focusing only on pummeling Schulz throughout the game: "Every time Schultz started anywhere he would find a couple of Penn men digging headfirst into his stomach. They would elbow him, jam him with the straight arm, and if he went to the ground in a scrimmage there generally would be a knee grinding him in the wind." The beating took a toll on Schulz, rendering his body shades of black and blue and covering his face in bumps. Many claim that Penn failed to score any points until Schulz left the game with about ten minutes remaining - this probably isn't true, but still - as he made essentially every play for Michigan on defense. As he walked off the field, he "didn't say a word — big tears rolled down as he lay there; Schultz was thoroughly beaten, but it took the entire Pennsylvania eleven to do it." I'll end this remembrance of Schulz with two quotes, the first from Grantland Rice in 1928: "Schulz stands as the fastest giant who ever played football, a human bulwark fast enough to tackle at either end, as he brought down his man after the manner of a hawk snaring a quail." The second comes from Schulz himself, months before his death in 1951, on his one regret: "I wish I could have lasted 10 minutes longer. That was one game I wanted to finish."

Overall Record on 11/14


Game Scores

1885 vs. Windsor Club, 32-0

1891 vs. Chicago University Club, 0-10

1896 vs. Oberlin, 10-0

1903 vs. Wisconsin, 16-0

1908 vs. Penn, 0-29

1914 vs. Cornell, 13-28

1925 vs. Ohio State, 10-0

1931 vs. Michigan State, 0-0

1936 vs. Northwestern, 0-9

1942 at Notre Dame, 32-20

1953 at Michigan State, 6-14

1959 at Indiana, 7-26

1964 at Iowa, 34-20

1970 vs. Iowa, 55-0

1981 at Purdue, 28-10

1987 at Illinois, 17-14

1992 vs. Illinois, 22-22

1998 vs. Wisconsin, 27-10

2009 at Wisconsin, 24-45