Today’s post celebrates the birth anniversary (#129) of Neil “Shorty” McMillan who was born on this date in 1890. McMillan came to Ann Arbor from Detroit, Michigan. He played for Fielding Yost during the 1910 and 1911 seasons. I call this time the “Independent Years” since Michigan was out of the Big Ten conference at that point.
According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Neil McMillan came to play quarterback at Michigan in 1909. He promptly led the freshman team to an undefeated season although the season record was not referenced. Neil McMillan won the starting quarterback job for the 1910 season and led the Wolverines to an undefeated season (3-0-3).
Neil McMillan came back to lead the Michigan offense in 1911 and had the Wolverines off to a perfect start (4-0-0) before he sustained a knee injury that ended his career. Michigan was not the same as they finished the 1911 season with a record of 5 wins, 1 loss and 2 ties.
Neil “Shorty” McMillan finished his varsity career with a perfect record of 7-0-3 which makes him one of the very few quarterbacks in Michigan football to never lose a game over the course of two seasons! Today is a great day to appreciate the contributions of Neil McMillan to the great history of Michigan Football. May Neil McMillan continue to Rest in Peace! Go Blue!
Link to Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shorty McMillan
Michigan played their first ever game on September 10th at Illinois in 1977. Yes, Bo took his Wolverines to Champaign and returned home with a 37-9 victory. Bo probably had some mixed emotions going into this game since his good friend, Gary Moeller, was now on the Illinois sideline in year one of a short three year tenure.
The Wolverines scored early and often and punished the Fighting Illini with a devastating running game. Michigan (350-rushing yards) was led by Harlan Huckleby (128-yards and 2 touchdowns), Russell Davis (99-yards and 1 touchdown) and Rick Leach (78-yards). Leach also threw two touchdown passes and John Wangler added one more. Yes, it was a rout, but I think it could have been much worse if Mo wasn’t coaching from the other side of the field.
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