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Go Blue Game Day November 16, 2019 - Michigan vs Michigan State Football

Posted on November 15, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Go Blue Game Day November 16, 2019 - Michigan vs Michigan State Football

Hello again, it’s time for another edition of Michigan vs Michigan State football. That’s all I have to say. This rivalry goes all the way back to 1898 and it is one of the nastiest events on the college football calendar. Bottom line -these teams just don’t like each other and most of the fans don’t either! In addition to all the bad feelings between the two teams, there is also a trophy to contend for. Although both teams appear to be out of the running for a shot at the Big Ten Championship, there is still plenty to play for in this game.

(Note - Tom Harmon (#98), pictured above, led the Wolverines to three straight wins over Michigan State from 1938 to 1940. Notice that both teams are wearing a version of a winged helmet. Photo courtesy of he Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Before I get into my predictions about Saturday’s game, let’s take a closer look at what has happened so far when Michigan plays football on the sixteenth day of November. Then, we will take a closer look at this feisty rivalry that seems to get nastier every year!

Calendar History:

So far, Michigan has played a total of eighteen games on November 16th. The Wolverine record on this date is very good with 14 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. This works out to a winning percentage of just over eighty-percent (.806). Michigan has played fourteen home games on this date and their record is 10 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. The Wolverines have played four road games on the sixteenth day of November. They own a perfect record of 4-0-0 when playing away from Ann Arbor on this day. Today’s game is the first time that they have ever played the Spartans on November 16th.

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %



3 1 0 .750







All Games






Once again, it appears that history is on Michigan’s side when they play on the sixteenth day of November.

Here is a little more history about Wolverine Football on this date.

  • 1895. Yes, Michigan’s first game on this date took place in 1895. The Wolverines hosted the Purdue Boilermakers and defeated them by a score of 12-10.
  • 1907. The Wolverines lost their first game on this day to Pennsylvania by a 0-6 score.
  • 1935. Minnesota administered the biggest Wolverine loss on this day – a 40-0 shutout in Ann Arbor – double ouch!
  • 1974. Bo Schembechler’s 3rd ranked Wolverines posted the biggest win on this date. It was a dominating win (51-0) over Purdue.
  • 2013. Michigan won the last game they played on this date. Yes, it was an exciting 27-19 victory that took three overtimes – yikes! I was at that game – it was rainy and wet, but the Wolverines managed to pull it out.

Gordon Bell rushed for 166-yards and one touchdown to lead Michigan to a BIG win over Purdue in 1974. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Michigan vs Michigan State Series History:

Yes, it’s Michigan State week which is also called Hate Week by many MSU and UM fans. This game continues to be one of the most intensely played game of any college football season. There is always a lot of intensity in college football, but this game also tops the charts in the level of “nasty” that is displayed by both teams.

Today’s game is the 112th meeting between the bitter Mitten State opponents. Both teams are headed in different directions. Michigan (7 wins and 2 losses) is on a coming off of two BIG wins, but this game is even BIGGER! Meanwhile, Sparty (4 wins and 5 losses) is wounded after blowing a BIG lead in last week’s loss to Illinois. College football doesn’t get any better or BIGGER than this! Yes, the first ever series game on November 16th promises to be another one for the ages!

Michigan vs Michigan State Program Summaries

Here is a quick look at the “Tale of the Tape” for two of college football’s nastiest rivals:

Program Area Michigan State Michigan
First Football Season



Total Wins



Total Losses



Total Ties



Winning %



National Championships



Heisman Winners



All-Americans (Consensus)



Big Ten Championships



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

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home






UM Away






Series Total






The advantage in the Michigan vs Michigan State football series absolutely belongs to the Wolverines - just not lately! All of the numbers really favor the Wolverines at home and on the road. However, recent history has not been kind to the Maize and Blue footballers, especially at home. The Spartans have won the last two games in the Big House and 4 of the last 5 games played in Ann Arbor. Coach Harbaugh’s footballers need to get this fixed – today!

Lets take a quick look at some of the “history” of this series.

1898.The first game between Michigan and Michigan State took place on October 12, 1898 at Regents Field in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines defeated the Aggies from Michigan Agricultural College (MAC) by a score of 39-0.

1902. Michigan dominated MAC to the tune of 119-0. It is the largest margin of victory for a series game – ever!

1967. Bump Elliott’s Wolverines suffered the worst loss in series history 0-34. To make matters worse, it was in Ann Arbor – ugh!

1983. Bo’s Wolverines earned the biggest Big Ten win over Sparty in Ann Arbor. Final Score: Michigan 42 Michigan State 0!

2017. The last Big House game between these two Big Ten rivals was October 7, 2017. Michigan lost that game by a score of 10-14.

Notable Wolverine Victories vs MSU in Ann Arbor:

Overall, Michigan owns seventy wins over the Spartans and forty-nine of them were earned in the Tree City. Here are some of the most memorable Wolverine efforts against Michigan State when these hated rivals square off in Ann Arbor:

October 9, 1926. Fielding Yost posted his final win over Michigan State by a score of 55-3. I am sure that the fine folks from East Lansing were glad to see Yost give up coaching.

September 27, 1947. This turned out to be the last series game for Michigan Coach Fritz Crisler. He had no mercy on his former assistant, Biggie Munn, who was leading the Spartans on this day. Quarterback Bob Chappuis led the rout with three rushing touchdowns and one passing score. Michigan scored in every quarter and outgained Sparty by a margin of 504 total yards to just 56 – ouch!

October 12, 1968. Ron Johnson and his teammates avenged a tough loss (0-34) in 1967 with a solid 28-14 over Sparty. Johnson rushed for 153-yards and one touchdown. Garvie Craw added 35-yards and ran for another score. Quarterback Dennis Brown passed for 177-yards and two touchdowns. It was Bump Elliott’s last win over the Spartans.

Captain Ron Johnson (#40) helped lead his team to a solid win over MSU in 1968. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

October 8, 1988. Running back Tony Boles (23 carries for 81-yards) ran for a touchdown and punter Mike Gillette kicked a field goal and scored on a 40-yard fake punt. J.J. Grant (9 tackles) and David Key (8 tackles) and Mark Messner (7 tackles) kept MSU’s offense under control for most of the day. Yes, this was also Bo’s final home win over the Spartans.

October 20, 2012. Brady Hoke earned his first, and last, win over MSU in a hard-fought game in the Big House. There were five lead changes in the game. Brandon Gibbons kicked the Wolverines to their 900th program win with a 38-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the game. Whew, Michigan won by a score of 12-10. Denard Robinson ran for 96-net yards and threw for 163-yards, but he couldn’t get his offense into the end zone. However, Michigan got the win and D-Rob is the last Wolverine quarterback to lead Michigan to a win in Ann Arbor.

Yes, there are some great Michigan memories when the Wolverines play the Spartans in Ann Arbor. I think something magical happens against the Green and White today as well!

Today - Michigan vs Michigan State: 

At this point in the 2019 season, Michigan and Michigan State are having very different seasons. Both teams are also coming off HUGE wins. Michigan’s record of 7-2 has them sitting as the fourteenth-ranked team in the country. They are 4-2 in conference play and hoping for some miracles to get them back in the hunt for a tie for a division championship and a shot at the Big Ten Championship game. Sparty, at 4 wins and 5 losses, needs a big winning streak to get them in position for a bowl game at the end of the season.

As of this writing, Michigan is a seven-point favorite. Historically, the winner of this game is the team that wins the rushing battle. The Spartan defense has usually been pretty stout against the run this season, but some teams have found ways to wear down the Green and White defense and gain some big yards. The real weakness of the Spartan defense has been their secondary. I think that Shea Patterson can set up the running game with an aggressive passing attack early in the game. On paper, Michigan’s offense is definitely better than MSU’s defense.

Of course, you can throw out the record books in this game. The weather could be a factor and it’s hard to say what will happen once the game begins. However, it’s Michigan’s game to lose - they are the better team today! Yes, Don Brown’s defense will be ready for Dantonio’s trick plays and Michigan will keep MSU’s offense out of the end zone.

The average score of Michigan football game on this day is 21.7 to 11.1. And, Michigan is favored to win today by he “experts.” Hmmmm, I think the Wolverines will do quite well today. Yes, Coach Harbaugh will finally defeat Sparty in the Big House!

My Prediction:

Michigan owns forty-nine series wins in Ann Arbor dating back to 1898. I think today’s result will increase that total to an even fifty victories. Again, Michigan has won just over eighty-percent of all games played on this day. I think the Wolverines prevails by a score of 31-12. At the end of the day Michigan posts program win #961, Big Ten win #516, and series win #71. The best news is that Paul Bunyan get’s to stay in Schembechler Hall for another year! Go Blue!


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