Greatest Victory: 14-7 over Illinois in '47
Prior to 1997, the Wolverines had not won a National Championship since winning back-to-back titles in 1947 and 1948. Back in '47, Michigan only played one ranked team during the regular season, and they hailed from Champaign, Illinois. On the road against the #11 Ilini, the #2 Wolverines faced their toughest task of the season. It was a must-win game for the Maize and Blue after being leapfrogged by Notre Dame in the polls following a narrow, 13-6 Week 5 victory over Minnesota.
Near the end of the first quarter, Michigan struck first on a 74-yard punt return by Bump Elliott to take a 7-0 lead. Illinois countered with a tying touchdown in the second before Elliott came up big again for the Wolverines. Michigan quarterback Bob Chappuis connected with Elliott for 52 yards to set up what would end up being the game-winning score. Up 14-7, the Wolverines held on for another narrow victory. They'd win the rest of their games in '47, including a 49-0 romp of USC in the Rose Bowl which led to what was then a special post-bowl AP poll which awarded Michigan the National Championship over Notre Dame.
Defeat Win: 6-0 over Wisconsin in 1902
For Yost's "Point-a-Minute" squads from the early 1900s, this was not up to standards. As usual for that time period, Michigan dominated the game and controlled field position, but turnovers and missed field goals led to the Wolverines putting up a meager six points. The Detroit Free Press summarized the game as follows:
In what is conceded to be the greatest football game ever played on a western gridiron, Michigan decisively defeated Wisconsin on Marshall field this afternoon and undoubtedly Won at the same time the championship of the west...
Pretty high praise for what sounds like a fairly boring, mistake-filled football game.
Game Most Likely to be Repeated Today against the Hoosiers: 0-0 against Toronto in 1879
I have zero expectations for today's game against the Hoosiers and won't be surprised if it resembles something similar to Michigan's 0-0 tie against Toronto in the Wolverines first season of existence and second intercollegiate game ever played.
Game We Want to see Repeated Today against the Hoosiers: 35-0 over Indiana in '80
Maybe the resignation of Brandon will inspire Michigan today, and we'll see the first dominating victory of the season since Week 1. Back in '80, Butch Woolfolk and Lawrence Ricks combined for 275 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the blowout. The game was effectively over when Ricks scored two touchdowns in a span of 28 seconds in the first quarter: Ricks 29-yard rush for TD, Indiana fumbles ensuing kickoff, two more Ricks rushes for another TD.
Well that's it for Michigan's history on Nov. 1. They blew out the Hoosiers in '80 and a similar performance today would be a nice cherry on top of yesterday's wonderful news. Go Blue!
Overall Record on Nov. 1
1879 vs. Toronto, 0-0
1890 vs. Purdue, 34-6
1902 vs. Wisconsin, 6-0
1913 vs. Syracuse, 43-7
1919 vs. Northwestern, 16-13
1924 at Minnesota, 13-0
1941 at Illinois, 20-0
1947 at Illinois, 14-7
1952 vs. Illinois, 13-22
1958 vs. Iowa, 14-37
1969 vs. Wisconsin, 35-7
1975 at Minnesota, 28-21
1980 at Indiana, 35-0
1986 vs. Illinois, 69-13
1997 vs. Minnesota, 24-3
2003 at Michigan State, 27-20
2008 at Purdue, 42-48