Jim Harbaugh and his fourth-ranked Wolverines are off to an excellent start in 2016. Today’s game against unranked Penn State should go Michigan’s way, but you never know.
Michigan does have history on the Maize and Blue side of the field again today. They have won eight of ten games played on this date in the past. So, it looks like there is about an eighty-percent chance that the Wolverines will win today.
This will be the third conference game played on this date. It will also be the first conference game that Michigan has ever played on this date. The Wolverines have split two games at Wisconsin on September 24th. They won in 1983 (38-21) and lost in 2005 (20-23).
Michigan has a non-conference record of 7-1-0 on this date. Their only loss was the last play of the game shocker in 1994 to Colorado which we already talked about last week. Enough of that!
Michigan’s biggest win on this date took place in 1955 when Bennie Oosterbaan’s Wolverines blasted Missouri by a score of 42-7.
Here is a quick “history” of the games that Michigan has played on September 24th and the results:
Game # 1 – September 24, 1949 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 7 Michigan State 3
Game # 2 – September 24, 1955 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 42 Missouri 7
Game # 3 – September 24, 1960 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 21 Oregon 0
Game # 4 – September 24, 1966 @ California Score: Michigan 17 Cal 7
Game # 5 – September 24, 1977 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 14 Navy 7
Game # 6 – September 24, 1983 @ Wisconsin Score: Michigan 38 Wisconsin 21
Game # 7 – September 24. 1988 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 19 Wake Forest 9
Game # 8 – September 24, 1994 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 26 Colorado 27
Game # 9 – September 24, 2005 @ Wisconsin Score: Michigan 20 Wisconsin 23
Game #10 – September 24, 2011 @ Michigan Stadium Score: Michigan 28 San Diego State 7
As for Michigan’s opponent today, the Nittany Lions from Penn State, the trend line looks good. Michigan has played Penn State a total of nineteen times. The first game between both schools was played in 1993 when Lloyd Carr’s eighteenth ranked Wolverines upset Joe Paterno’s boys by a score of 21-13. The last game in the series was played in 2015 and Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines prevailed by a score of 28-16.
Michigan holds the overall advantage in the series with a record of 12 wins and 7 losses. They have also been the better team in Michigan Stadium – winning six and losing only three.
This game will be the Big Ten opener for both teams. Michigan has won nine of the last ten conference openers. They also have an outstanding record of 49-12-2 in their Big Ten season premier games since 1953.
The odds makers also like Michigan today so it looks like it could be a very good Maize and Blue day in Ann Arbor. Go Blue!