Mario Manningham Michigan Football 2007 | gobluefootballhistory.com Go Blue Game Day 2018 | Michigan Wolverine Football History

Go Blue Game Day November 3, 2018 – Michigan vs Penn State Football

Posted on November 2, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

Today is the twenty-second chapter in the young Michigan vs Penn State football tradition. The teams have not played a lot over the years, but when they do it is usually a battle. However, some of the games have been blow outs and others were much closer. In 007, Mario Manningham (photo above) caught the winning score from Chad Henne on the last play of the game.  (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Once again, this year’s game is HUGE for both teams. Yes, there is a lot on the line today, especially for our Wolverines. It’s time to take a closer look at a Michigan’s football history on this day. Then, we will zero in on the details of this very, very, very BIG Michigan vs Penn State football game.

Calendar History:

The Michigan Wolverines have played a total of eighteen games on the third day of November. So far, Michigan’s record on this date is 12 wins, 6 losses and 0 ties. That works out to a winning percentage of just over sixty-six percent (.666). Check out the numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 3 2 1 0 .666
Conference 15 10 5 0 .666
All Games 18 12 6 0 .666

The Wolverines have played eight home games on this date and ten road games. Their home record is 7 wins, 1 loss and 0 ties. Michigan’s outstanding home record works out to a winning rate of just over eighty-seven percent (.875). So, history and the home field advantage favor the Wolverines today!

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

  • 1894 – Michigan’s first game on this date was a loss to eastern power Cornell. The visitors defeated the Wolverines by a score of 0-22. Ouch!
  • 1900 – The Wolverines won their first game on this day – a 12-0 victory over Indiana.
  • 1917 – Michigan’s biggest win on this date was a 62-0 blasting of Kalamazoo College.
  • 1934 – The biggest loss/conference loss on this date took place at the hands of Minnesota. The Gophers shut out Harry Kipke’s Wolverines – 0-34. That one really hurt!
  • 1979 – Michigan won the last home game they played on this date against Wisconsin. Bo’s Maize and Blue footballers hammered the Badgers – 54-0.

Today’s game will be the first one that Michigan and Penn State have ever played on the third day of November. So far, the average score for a Michigan home game on the third day of November is 28.25 to 6.3. I will take a 22-point victory on Saturday – for sure!

Notable Wolverine Performances in Ann Arbor on November 3rd:

  • 1900 – Halfback Dan Woodard scored one touchdown on a short run and Curtis Redden recovered a fumble in the Indiana end zone. Wolverines defeated the Hoosiers 12-0.
  • 1917 – Quarterback Archie Weston ran for four touchdowns (66, 35, 25 and 25-yards) and Tad Wieman and William Cruse each added two more. Michigan routed Kalamazoo 62-0.
Archie Weston Michigan Football 1917 | gobluefootballhistory.com

Archie Weston is the only Michigan Wolverine to score four touchdowns on November 3rd. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

  • 1945 – Quarterback Howard Yerges led the way with a touchdown run as Michigan blasted Minnesota 26-0.
  • 1973 – Chuck Heater turned 10 carries into 128-yards and two touchdowns (9 and 71-yards). Ed Shuttlesworth also scored twice on short runs. Dennis Franklin, Gordon Bell and Bob Thornbladh also scored for the Wolverines. Kicker Mike Lantry nailed all seven extra-points. Michigan defeated Indiana 49-13.
  • 1979 – Butch Woolfolk rolled up 190 yards on 10 carries in that 54-0 blowout of Wisconsin.

Series History – Michigan vs Penn State:

Today’s game is the twenty-second game in the Michigan vs Penn State football series. Once again, this is the first time that these Big Ten rivals have played on the third day of November. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 10 7 3 0 .700
UM Away 11 6 5 0 .545
Series Total 21 13 8 0 .619

Yes, history is on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in Happy Valley. The good news is that Michigan’s home record against PSU is very good. I like the fact that we have won seventy percent of our home games against the Nittany Lions.

Here is a little more information about the series so far:

  • The first chapter of the Michigan vs Penn State series took place on October 16, 1993. The eighteenth ranked Wolverines traveled to Happy Valley to take on the seventh ranked Nittany Lions. Gary Moeller’s footballers had a great trip home since they won by a score of 21-13.
  • The Wolverines took their first series loss the next year in Ann Arbor. Penn State won by a touchdown (24-31).
  • Michigan’s biggest win came on “Judgement Day” in 1997. Lloyd Carr’s fourth ranked “mountain climbers” came to play #2 Penn State. Wham! Bam! Thud! The Wolverines knocked the Lions off the mountain and gave Joe Paterno his worst loss ever! Michigan’s decisive 34-8 win pushed them to the top spot in the polls the following week. It was a HUGE win for the Wolverines!
  • The biggest loss on this date happened when Rich Rodriguez made his first trip to Penn State. His Wolverines were embarrassed by a score of 17-46. Ouch!
  • Michigan lost the last game they played at Penn State in 2017 (13-42), but Jim Harbaugh’s team crushed the Nittany Lions the last time they played in Ann Arbor – 49-10.

Notable Performances – Michigan vs Penn State at the Big House.

In addition to thirteen wins over the Lions, Michigan players have had some outstanding performances against the Blue and White. Here are some notable Wolverine performances against Penn State in Michigan Stadium:

Derrick Alexander Michigan Football 1998 | gobluefootballhistory.com

Derrick Alexander recorded a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown at Penn State in 1998. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

1)      11-07-1998 – Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes (26-yards to Aaron Shea and 7-yards to Tai Streets). Anthony Thomas scored on a 1-yard run. Kicker Jay Feely kicked two field goals (18 and 49-yards) and also added three extra-points. Wolverines rolled 27-0.

2)      11-11-2000 – Drew Hensen threw two touchdown passes and Anthony Thomas and Chris Perry each ran for a touchdown. UM defeated PSU 33-11.

3)      10-15-2005 – Mike Hart ran for over 100-yards and scored a touchdown. Garrett Rivas kicked two field goals (35 and 47-yards). Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes to Mario Manningham – the second one was the game winner on the last play of the game! Michigan 27 and Penn State 25.

4)      9-22-2007 – Ryan Mallett completed 16 of 29 passes and threw a touchdown pass. Mike Hart ran for 153-yards on 44 carries and scored a touchdown. Michigan won again 14-9.

5)      11-21-2014 – Devin Gardner connected with Devin Funchess for a 43-yard touchdown and Matt Wile kicked three field goals (37, 42, and 45 yards). The defense added a safety. Michigan defeated Penn State 18-13 in the first conference night game at Michigan Stadium.

6)      9-24-2016 – Wilton Speight threw for a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two touchdowns. Michigan also scored four more rushing touchdowns (Hill, Smith, Evans and Isaac) for a total of six. Yes, Harbaugh’s team literally ran the ball down Penn state’s throat! Final score: 49-10 Michigan!

So, some of Michigan’s greatest players have stepped up against Penn State. Obviously, some of our favorite Wolverines will have to play very well if they expect to defeat Penn State today! Who will it be?


According to the betting line, Michigan is a 10.5 point favorite today. I agree that Michigan is the best team, but Penn State will come out hard against the Wolverines today. On paper, Michigan is definitely the better team. The good news for Michigan fans is that Penn State has not faced a defense as good as Michigan’s. I really believe that Trace McSorely will have a difficult day against Don Brown’s defense.

Michigan’s offense will continue to play well and Shea Patterson will make some more BIG plays. I also think that Karan Higdon will have another 100-yard game for the Wolverines.

If the Wolverines can stay away from the “dumb” penalties and get some points off special teams, it could be a rout!

My Prediction Michigan vs Penn State:

Michigan has hosted Penn State ten times so far. The Wolverines have won seven of the ten contests since 1994. Today’s game will provide the stiffest challenge that Michigan has faced this season. The Nittany Lions have a better than average defense and their offense can be dangerous.

I believe that Michigan’s defense will be exceptional today. Trace McSorely will think he’s playing on Halloween because Don Brown’s defenders will be scarry and the offense will be very good! The Wolverines have been preparing for this game for two weeks and should be READY for the Nittnay Lions.

The first half will be close, but Michigan will pull away in the second half. Final score: Michigan 31 and Penn State 10.

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