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Game Day – October 29, 2016 Michigan at Michigan State

Posted on October 29, 2016 by Barry Gallagher

Calendar History: Michigan has played a total of seventeen games on October 29th. The Wolverine record on this date is so far 12 wins and 5 losses which works out to a winning percentage of just over seventy percent (.705). They have done slightly better in conference play as they have won ten of fourteen games. Here is a quick look at the numbers:

Type Game

Games Won Lost Tied Win %












All Games



5 0


Michigan has played six home games on this date and eleven road games. Their home record is 5 wins and 1 loss. On the road they have won seven contests and lost four. Once again, it appears that history is on Michigan’s side on the twenty-ninth day of October. Here is a little more history about Michigan football on this date.

  • Michigan’s first game on this date took place in 1892. The Wolverines journeyed to Evanston to play Northwestern and went back to Ann Arbor pondering a loss (8-10).
  • Michigan’s first win on this date was also a conference game at Wisconsin in 1904. The Wolverines went to Madison and returned home with a 28-0 victory.
  • Michigan’s biggest win on this date was a 52-7 victory at Northwestern in 1988.
  • Their biggest loss was a 0-14 defeat at Illinois in 1927.
  • Michigan won the last game they played on this date against Purdue in 2011. The Boilermakers came to Ann Arbor looking for a win and left with a 36-14 loss.

Series History: Today’s game is the first rivalry game of the season against the Spartans from Michigan State. Oddly enough this is the first game that the hated rivals have ever played on October 29th.

The first game between Michigan and Michigan State was played in Ann Arbor in 1898. The Wolverines defeated the farmers from Michigan Agricultural College (MAC) by a score of 39-0.

The last game between these two Big Ten rivals was October 17, 2015. Michigan State won  that game by a score of 23-27. The Spartans called it one of their greatest victories – period! Most Wolverines simply refer to it as the “Ten Second Nightmare!” That’s all I am going to say about that one. We have seen the replay a thousand times and now it’s finally time to move on!

Michigan and Michigan State have played a total of one-hundred and eight games. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 73 49 21 3 .692
UM Away 35 19 14 2 .571
Series Total 108 68 35 5 .652

History is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in East Lansing.

In addition to sixty-eight wins over the Spartans, Michigan players have had some record setting performances against the Green and White. Here are five of the most notable Wolverine performances against Michigan State for games played in East Lansing:

  • October 1, 1960 – Dennis Fitzgerald returned a kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown.
  • October 10, 1981 – Butch Woolfolk rushed (39 times) for 253 yards in a 38-20 win.
  • November 3, 2001 – Hayden Epstein kicked a 57-yard field goal.
  • November 3, 2001 – Shantee Orr recorded five tackles for loss.
  • November 9, 2003 – Chris Perry set a Michigan record with fifty-one carries in a 42-20 win.

Interestingly, Michigan’s last series win came in 2012. Brady Hoke got his only win against MSU with a late field goal to win by a score of 12-10. The best thing about the win is that it made Michigan the first team (and still the only!) in college football history to win nine hundred games.

Al Herrnstein scored seven touchdowns in a 119-0 victory over Michigan Agricultural College in 1902. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Al Herrnstein scored seven touchdowns in a 119-0 victory over Michigan Agricultural College in 1902. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

So, some of the greatest plays and milestones in Michigan football history have occurred against the Michigan State Aggies/Spartans. Let’s hope something magical happens against the Green and White today as well!

Today. At this point in the 2016 season, Michigan and Michigan State are having completely different seasons. The Wolverines are playing for a Big Ten championship and a shot at the national title. The Spartans are simply playing for respect.

Michigan is a twenty-four point favorite, but I think it will be closer than that. A Spartan win today would be huge, but I don’t think it will happen. I do think that Michigan State will give the Wolverines all they can handle. However, Michigan is the better team and they will find a way to win. I’m looking for a solid road victory today for Harbaugh’s footballers. Go Blue!



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