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Go Blue Game Day November 30, 2019 - Michigan vs Ohio State

Posted on November 30, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Go Blue Game Day November 30, 2019 - Michigan vs Ohio State Football Game

(Note - Tim Biakabutuka ran over, around and through the second-ranked Buckeye defense to lead Michigan to a 31-23 win. He totaled 313 rushing yards and scored one touchdown. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Just in case you didn’t know, today is another chapter in the Michigan vs Ohio State football tradition. In fact, it is Chapter #116 between these two intense rivals. The Michigan vs Ohio State game is so famous that it is now just referred to as The Game. Yes, The Game is the showcase for the greatest rivalry in all of sports – period!

The good news is that the Wolverines still own the overall advantage in the Michigan vs Ohio State football series. The bad news is that they have lost the last seven games. To make matters worse, the Wolverines are in another Big Ten title “drought” that is sitting at fifteen years. It happened once before and Bump Elliott’s team ended that drought in 1964. Unfortunately, the Big Ten Championship is not at stake today. However, it is still the most important game on the schedule for Michigan and Ohio State.

Time to get focused on the 2019 version of The Game. Of course, we need to look at the very short history of Michigan Football on November 30th before we take a closer look at the history of The Game.

Calendar History – November 30th:

So far, the Wolverines have only played seven games on the last day of November. Four have been against the Buckeyes. Michigan’s record on November 30th is 2 wins and 5 losses which works out to a winning percentage of just under thirty-percent (.286). No, this is not the best day to play football at Michigan. Check out the numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 1 1 0 0 1.000
Conference 6 1 5 0 .166
All Games 7 2 5 0 .286

The Wolverines have played a total of three home games on this date and four road games.  Michigan’s home record is really ugly right now at 0-3-0. The Maize and Blue footballers are even on the road at 2-2-0 on the thirtieth day of November..

The numbers on this page absolutely make November 30th a forgettable day for Michigan football, so far. However, a signature win today could make it a memorable event for all Michigan Football fans.

Here is a little more history about Michigan Football on November 30th:

  • 1893 - Michigan’s first game on this date took place in Chicago. The Wolverines defeated the University of Chicago by a score of 28-10. It was also the largest victory margin ever on this day.
  • 1899 – Michigan’s first loss on this day took place in Chicago. The Wolverines came up short against the Wisconsin Badgers – 5-17.
  • 1935 – Ohio State administered the worst defeat on November 30th. Yes, it was ugly, a 38-0 loss in Ann Arbor. Ugh, it doesn’t get any worse than that!
  • 2013 – The Wolverines also lost the last game played on this day. Yes, that 41-42 defeat was a real heartbreaker.

Today’s game is an opportunity for Michigan to change the narrative on this dismal day in Wolverine Football History. That’s all I am going to say about November 30th – got it?

Michigan vs Ohio State Series History:

Today’s game is the one-hundred-sixteenth game in the series between Michigan and Ohio State. Today’s contest is the fifth game between these bitter rivals on November 30th. Let’s take a closer look at some of the historic games in this series.

  • 1897 - The first game between Michigan and Ohio State was played in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines won the game, before it was “The Game,” by a score of 34-0. 
  • 1902 - The biggest series win belongs to Michigan. Fielding Yost’s footballers blasted the Buckeyes by a score of 86-0 in Ann Arbor!
  • 1935 - Michigan’s biggest loss to the Buckeyes took place in Ann Arbor. Ohio State beat Michigan by a score of 38-0. Ugh!
  • 2011 - The last time Michigan won in Ann Arbor. Denard Robinson led the Wolverines to an exciting 40-34 win in the Big House.
  • 2017 - The last game between these two Big Ten rivals in Ann Arbor resulted in Jim Harbaugh’s third straight loss to the Buckeyes. Ohio State won by a score of 31-20.

The Game’s history still favors Michigan, but not the recent history. Michigan has lost seven straight games to the team and fourteen of the last fifteen.

Michigan vs Indiana Program Summaries

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

Program Area Ohio State Michigan
First Football Season 1890 1879
Total Wins 922 961
Total Losses 325 344
Total Ties 53 36
Winning % .730 .730
National Championships 8 11
Heisman Winners 7 3
All-Americans (Consensus) 85 83
Big Ten Championships 37 42

The good news is that Michigan still holds the overall advantage in the series – 58 wins, 51 losses and 6 ties. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 58 31 23 4 .568
UM Away 57 27 28 2 .474
M Series Total 115 58 51 6 .530

Yes, history has been on Michigan’s side in this series. However, Ohio State has really closed the gap in recent years. There have been some blow outs and some very close games. However, the Wolverines have ended up on the short end of the score.

Michigan vs Ohio State – First Coaching Wins Over OSU in The Big House:

In this section, we will take a quick look at every Michigan coach and his first win over Ohio State at Michigan Stadium. Of course, this list will not include Rich Rodriguez or Jim Harbaugh for obvious reasons.    

  • 1927 – Coach Tad Wieman earned his first win over Ohio State in the Michigan Stadium dedication game. All-American Bennie Oosterbaan threw three scoring passes to Louis Gilbert and Louis also kicked three extra points. Final score: Michigan 21 and OSU 0.
  • 1933 – Harry Kipke earned his first home win over the Buckeyes with a 13-0 victory. Bill Renner and Herman Everhardus each scored a touchdown.
  • 1939 – Fritz Crisler’s Wolverines gave him a nice win over the Buckeyes in his first home game against the enemy from the south. Tom Harmon, Fred Trosko and Forest Evashevski each scored and Harmon kicked three extra points.
  • 1951 – Bennie Oooserbaan tied his first game in Michigan Stadium against the Buckeyes (7-7) in 1949. He got his win thanks to a touchdown by running back Bill Peterson and a shutout by his defense. Michigan 7 and OSU 0.
  • 1959 – Coach Bump Elliott’s team defeated the Buckeyes 23-14 to finish a rough season (4-5-0) on a high note.
  • 1969 – Bo Schembechler won the biggest game of his Michigan career with a 24-12 upset of the top-ranked Buckeyes. Garvie Craw scored two touchdowns, Don Morehead ran for one and Tim Killian kicked a field goal. What a game!
  • 1991 – Desmond Howard, Elvis Grbac and team gave Gary Moeller his first home win over his Alma Mater. In one of the biggest blowouts in the history of the series, Michigan won 31-3.
  • 1995 – Lloyd Carr’s first victory over Ohio State was also very sweet. His eighteenth ranked Wolverines humbled the second ranked Buckeyes 31-23. Tim Biakabutuka ran for 313-yards in the greatest rushing performance ever by a Wolverine against the Buckeyes.
  • 2011 – First year coach Brady Hoke won a HUGE game 40-34 in one of the highest scoring games in the series. Denard Robinson led the way with 170-yard on the ground and two touchdowns. He also threw for 167-yards and three more scores. Sadly, that is the last win by a Michigan team over the hated buckeyes.
Denard Robinson led Michigan to a 40-34 win over Ohio State in 2011. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Yes, the first Ohio State win is BIG for any Michigan Football coach, especially a home win. Yes, rival wins count for more and a win over OSU counts the most. Hopefully, Jim Harbaugh can get the Buckeye “monkey” off his back today!

Michigan vs Ohio State 2019.

At this point in the 2019 season, Michigan and Ohio State are in good, but different places. Michigan is still struggling to gain national respect and compete for the Big Ten Championship. Yes, they have a nice record of 9 wins and 2 losses, but they are still chasing the Buckeyes who are undefeated. The Wolverines are competing for a top tier bowl game, while OSU is competing for a national championship.

Statistically, Ohio State has the advantage in just about every category on offense and defense. Michigan started slowly on both sides of the ball, but have been on a roll during the last six weeks of the season. Shea Patterson is on fire and Michigan’s defense is clicking.

At this point in the season, the biggest factor in this game is the schedule difficulty for each team. Ohio State has crushed a lot of weak competition so far. Their schedule is only the twenty-fourth most challenging schedule in college football this season. On the other hand, Michigan’s schedule is rated as the sixth most difficult. The Wolverines lost two road goad games against teams that were rated in the top ten. Michigan is undefeated at home this year and has a positive point differential of twenty-nine points per game in the Big House.

A Look Back to 1969

In addition to the above factors, I like Michigan’s chances for “historical” reasons. Check out the similarities between 1969 and 2019. Yes, it’s the fifty-year anniversary off Bo’s biggest win and a win tomorrow would qualify as Jim Harbaugh’s biggest Michigan victory so far.

Going into the 1969 game, Michigan had a record of 7 wins and 2 losses. Ohio State was perfect at 9-0-0. Michigan was the twelfth ranked team in the country and Ohio State was Number One. The Wolverines started slowly in 1969, losing two of their first five games. Of course, the Buckeyes started fast and kept rolling.

The Maize and Blue had revenge on their mind since they were embarrassed by the Buckeyes (50-14) in 1968 in Columbus. Of course, that thirty-six point loss did not set well with Michigan’s seniors.

The “experts” made the Buckeyes seventeen-point favorites in a rival road game because it looked like such a one-sided game. It was doubtful that many NFL teams could beat OSU, and definitely not Michigan.

Time for a Fifty-Year Repeat Performance

When you fast forward to 2019, it looks like Michigan has Ohio State right where we want them. Once again, Michigan has two losses heading into The Game and two more wins (9-2). Yes, Ohio State is undefeated and looking almost unbeatable.

Michigan lost by 23-points in 2018 at Columbus 39-62 after being the favorite and higher ranked team before the game. And yes, Michigan’s seniors have had a year to think about that game and so has Don Brown!

The experts think that OSU is the favorite by 8-10 points. It looks like the Wolverines are unworthy underdogs once again.

My Prediction:

On paper, Ohio State is definitely the better team. All the key stats favor the invaders from Columbus. However, Michigan’s strength of schedule will prove to be a BIG advantage in this critical game. Don Brown will have his defense ready. Justin Fields will have his worst game of the season. Ohio State will score some points because of their running game, but Michigan will score more. Shea Patterson will be the first, and only, Michigan quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in three straight games.

I think Michigan’s stars will outshine Ohio State’s best today. It will be a great college football game. However, the Wolverines will be just a little bit better on offense, defense and special teams.

I think this game will be a lot like the 2011 game. The defenses will be challenged, but OSU’s defenders will not stand as strong as the Wolverine defenders. Ohio State will give up their highest point total of the season. Josh Gattis will open up the play book and run up a very nice point total. Final score: Michigan 48 and OSU 31. Go Blue, Beat OSU!

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