No, an Iowa at Michigan football game is not being played today. However, the first September 14th game at Michigan took place in 1974. The Iowa Hawkeyes came to town to get rolled by Bo’s sixth-ranked Wolverines. Michigan won the game by a final score of 24-7.
(Note – Mark Elzinga (#16), shown above, filled in nicely as Bo’s quarterback in the season opener in 1974. Chuck Heater (#44) and lineman Kirk Lewis are also in the picture and played well that day. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Mark Elzinga started the season opener in place of an injured Dennis Franklin. Elzinga led the offense with a touchdown pass (24-yards to Gil Chapman) and a short scoring run. Mostly, he just handed the ball to Rob Lytle (86-yards), Gil Chapman (55-yards) and Chuck Heater (62-yards and one touchdown). Michigan ran over, around and through the Hawkeye defense for a total of 315-yards. Mike Lantry, aka “Super Toe” added a field goal. Dan Jilek led the Michigan defense with ten tackles and the Wolverines picked off three passes. Yes, it was a rough day for the visitors from Iowa City, but the 76,802 (Yes, you read it right!) fans in attendance loved it!
Michigan finished the season with a final record of 10 wins and 1 loss. They went 7-1-0 in the Big Ten and earned a share of the championship. Michigan’s only loss was a crushing defeat (10-12) in the Horseshoe. Bo’s Wolverines finished as the Nation’s third best team in the AP poll and fifth best in the UPI ratings. But, oh what might have been.
Actually, it would not be a bad thing if the Wolverines did play today. Their record on September 14th is actually very good. The Iowa at Michigan game in 1974 was the only Big Ten game ever played by the Wolverines on this day. Michigan has won four out of five non-conference games played on this day. The Wolverines own two wins over Notre Dame on this day (1985 and 1991). They also defeated Colorado (1996) and Akron (2013) on the fourteenth day of September. The Colorado game was the first away game that the Wolverines have played on September 14th.
Michigan’s only loss on September 14th came in 2002 at Notre Dame.
So, that’s a quick look at September 14th and Michigan Football.
As you know, the Wolverines are getting ready for a big road trip to Madison, Wisconsin next week. Hopefully, they worked on ball security, penalties and catching the ball. If these things are fixed, or even improved, we could be celebrating another Wolverine victory one week from today. If not, we could be in trouble – yikes. Go Blue, Beat Wisconsin!
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