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Go Blue Game Day – Michigan vs Iowa October 5, 2019

Posted on October 4, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Game Day – Michigan vs Iowa October 5, 2019

Happy October Wolverine fans – it’s time for the sixty-first game in the Michigan vs Iowa football series. It is also the 119th rendition of the Michigan Football Homecoming tradition. Today’s opponent will be the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) who would like nothing better than to pin a second loss on Jim Harbaugh’s 2019 season.

Today’s Michigan vs Iowa contest marks the 34th time these two conference rivals have played in Ann Arbor. Before I get into my predictions about today’s game, let’s take a closer look at what has happened when Michigan plays on the fifth day of October. Then, we will shift our attention to the history of Michigan vs Iowa and talk about who wins today’s game and why.

(Note - Tom Harmon (#98) picked off two Iowa Hawkeye passes in 1939 in Ann Arbor. He returned one of them for a record-setting 95-yard “pick-six.” Iowa scored first in this game, but Harmon scored the last 27 points. Final Score: Michigan (Harmon) 27 and Iowa 7.)

Calendar History:

Today’s game is the nineteenth game that Michigan has played on the 5th day of October. So far, the Wolverines own a record of 15 wins, 3 losses and 0 ties on this day. That works out to a winning percentage of just under eighty-nine percent (.889). Wow-that is a very impressive record for any day, don’t you think?

Michigan has a stellar record of 11 wins, 2 loss and 0 ties for all home games played on this day. The Wolverines are 2-1-0 on this day for all road games on this day. Of course, the good news is that today’s game is at home in the friendly confines of the Big House! The numbers displayed below summarize Michigan’s overall performance on this day. Yes, October 5th is definitely a very good day to play football at Michigan.

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 13 11 2 0 .923
Conference 5 4 1 0 .800
All Games 18 15 3 0 .889

Here is a little more history about Michigan Football on the fifth day of October.

  • 1895 - Michigan’s first game on this date resulted in a 34-0 win over the Michigan Military Academy in Ann Arbor.
  • 1901 – The biggest win on this day took place against Case at Ferry Field. Fielding Yost’s team rolled up a 57-0 victory.
  • 1946 - Michigan’s first ever game against Iowa on October 5th took place in Ann Arbor. Yes, it was also the first conference game played against Iowa on this day. Fritz Crisler’s footballers defeated the Hawkeyes 14-7.
  • 1991 - Michigan and Iowa met again on October 5th and Gary Moeller’s Wolverines came out on top with a 43-24 win.
  • 2013 – Michigan’s last game on this day was also a Michigan Homecoming game. The Wolverines defeated the Gophers by a score of 42-13.

Today’s game will be the third one that Michigan and Iowa have ever played on October 5th. 

Quarterback Jim Harbaugh tossed three touchdown passes and led Michigan to a 33-6 win over Wisconsin on October 5, 1985. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Michigan vs Iowa Program Summaries:

Here is a quick look at the “Tale of the Tape” for these two conference rivals:

Program Area Iowa Michigan
First Football Season 1889 1879
Total Wins 654 955
Total Losses 557 343
Total Ties 39 36
Winning % .539 .730
National Championships 5 11
Heisman Winner(s) 1 3
All-Americans (Consensus) 3 83
Big Ten Championships 11 42

Michigan vs Iowa Series History:

Both Iowa and Michigan have long histories and tons of tradition. They have competed on the football field since 1900, but they do not play each other every season. Once again, today’s game is the sixty-first game in the Michigan vs Iowa football series. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 33 24 6 3 .772
UM Away 25 16 8 1 .660
Neutral 2 1 1 0 .500
Series Total 60 41 15 4 .717

Here’s a quick look at some of the history of the Iowa vs Michigan football series.

  • 1900. Iowa defeated Michigan and Iowa by a score of 5-28 in the first ever game between these two Midwest teams.
  • 1901. Michigan earned their first series win by a score of 50-0.
  • 1933-1956. Michigan owns the longest series win streak – eleven games.
  • 2009-2011. Iowa’s longest win streak lasted for three games.

Michigan Homecoming Game History:

The University of Michigan has a long and successful history when playing in front of their alumni. They have an overall record of 92 wins, 28 losses and 2 ties. This stellar accomplishment includes a record of 1-1-2 in four games against some former football players in the early years. None of those games count towards Michigan’s official program record.

Michigan and Iowa have played a total of nine Homecoming Games so far. The Wolverines have the advantage with 5 wins and 4 losses. Michigan’s biggest Homecoming victory came in 1901 against Iowa. Yes, Fielding Yost’s boys blasted the Hawkeyes by a score of 107-0 – ouch! Jim Harbaugh has a perfect record of 4 wins and 0 losses in his Homecoming Games.

Rookie Michigan Coach Fielding Yost unleashed his Wolverines in Ann Arbor. They destroyed Iowa in the first Homecoming encounter between the two teams. Final score 107-0 - wow! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Wolverines vs Hawkeyes - Today:

The calendar history for October 5th is definitely on Michigan’s side. The plain fact is that the Iowa vs Michigan series has not been kind to the Hawkeyes. Michigan is not a heavy favorite today because of their inconsistent play to start the season. However, they are still favored by 4-6 points because it is a home/Homecoming game.

Yes, both teams appear to be primed for their best performances of the year. Michigan and Iowa have plenty of experienced players on both sides of the ball. It promises to be a classic “Big Boy” football game in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes and Wolverines will be moving fast and hitting hard from start to finish. This game will not be for the faint of heart!

Michigan vs Iowa 2019 - My Prediction:

Michigan will win today, but it will be a nail biter. The average score of a Coach Harbaugh Homecoming Game is 39-10. I don’t think Michigan will be that good today because the Hawkeyes are the real deal. However, Michigan will play their best game of the season and defeat Iowa by a score of 27-17.

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