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November 25, 2017 Game Day Michigan vs Ohio State

Posted on November 25, 2017 by Barry Gallagher

Today is another chapter in the Michigan vs Ohio State rivalry. No other rivalry in sports history  is called “The Game.” That’s because Michigan vs Ohio State is special, it is really special. Once again, this year’s game, like so many others before it, has a Big Ten Championship on the line. Let’s take a closer look at the history behind this day and this rivalry. It will be a very BIG game for both teams.

Calendar History:

So far, Michigan has played a total of 16 games on the 25th day of November in their 138-year football history. Of course, today will be game number seventeen. So far, the results on this day have usually been very good. The Wolverines own a winning record of 10 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie on the twentieth-fifth day of November. They are undefeated in non-conference play as they have won three of four games and tied the other. Things have been a little tougher in conference, especially since the Wolverines started playing the Buckeyes at the end of the season. Check out the numbers below:

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 4 3 0 1 1.000
Conference 12 7 5 0 ..583
All Games 16 10 5 1 .583


A Closer Look at November 25th:

Once again, history is on Michigan’s side on the 25th day of November. Here is a little more history about Michigan Football History on this date.

Michigan’s first game on this date took place in Kansas City, Kansas against the Kansas Jayhawks. Michigan won the game by a score of 22-0. Michigan lost their first game on this day in 1897 to Chicago by a score of 12-21.

The Wolverines posted their biggest winning margin on November 25th against Oberlin in 1905. Final Score: Michigan 75 and Oberlin 0.

Michigan posted their biggest conference win on this day in 1933 when they defeated Northwestern (13-0). The Wolverines suffered their biggest conference defeat at the hands of Ohio State in 1961. A guy named Schembechler was on the Buckeye staff and it was ugly! Ohio State won by a score of 50-20 -ugh!

Michigan’s last game on this day took place in 1995 –against, you guessed it – Ohio State. Tim Biakabutuka ran wild and helped Michigan defeat the Buckeyes – 31-23.

The Michigan vs Wisconsin rivalry has been played-out nine times on the twenty-fifth day of November. In fact, 1939 game was the first time that “The Game” was played on November 25th. Michigan has played the Buckeyes nine times on the 25th day of November and they own the advantage on this day, but not by much. The Wolverines have won 5 games and lost 4 on this date.

Tim Biakabutuka ran for 22-yards on his first carry in the 1995 OSU game. Then, he kept on running. He is the first, and only, Michigan running back to rush for over 300 yards against the Buckeyes. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Notable Wolverine Performances on November 25th:

  • 1950 – Michigan defeats the Buckeyes 9-3 in the “Snow Bowl.” Michigan punter Chuck Ortmann punted 24 times for a total of 723-yards. Both marks are still Michigan punting records.
  • 1995 – Superback Tim Biakabutuka rushed 37 times for 313 yards and Michigan won the game 31-23.

Series History:

Today’s game is the one-hundred and fourteenth game in the Michigan vs Ohio State football series.  Michigan’s record vs OSU at the Big House is 23-19-3. Hopefully, they will increase their advantage today!

Today’s game is the one-hundred-thirteenth game in the series between Michigan and Ohio State. This will be the tenth time that these Big Ten rivals have ever played on the twenty-fifth day of November.

The first game Michigan vs Ohio State game was played in Ann Arbor in 1897. The Wolverines won the game, before it was “The Game,” by a score of 34-0.

The biggest series win belongs to Michigan. Fielding Yost’s footballers blasted the Buckeyes by a score of 86-0 in 1902!

Michigan’s biggest loss to the Buckeyes was in 1935. Ohio State beat Michigan in Ann Arbor by a score of 38-0. Ugh!

The last game between these two Big Ten rivals was played in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines had the passion, but not the strength, speed and skill of the Buckeyes. Ohio State won by a score of 42-13.

“The Game’s” history still favors Michigan, but not the recent history. Eleven Wolverine losses in the last twelve games has really narrowed the gap. The last time Michigan won in Ann Arbor was in 2011. Denard Robinson led the Wolverines to a big win (40-34) to break a big Buckeye winning streak. Yes, that is a very long time ago.

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home 57 31 22 4 .579
UM Away 56 27 27 2 .500
M Series Total 113 58 48 6 .539


Some of the greatest plays in Michigan football history have occurred against the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Big plays in “The Game” are just that much BIGGER. Who will do something BIG today for the Wolverines?

My Ten Favorite Big Games and Big Plays from the Big House 1927-2011:

Here are ten of my favorite Big House games and notable Wolverine performances in Michigan Stadium when OSU was in town:

  • 10/22/1927 – Michigan officially “dedicates” Michigan Stadium with a 21-0 win over the Buckeyes. Louis Gilbert caught 3 touchdown passes from Bennie Oosterbaan on a perfect football day in Ann Arbor.
  • 11/20/1943 – I like this game because it is still the biggest rout at Michigan Stadium in the Michigan vs Ohio State series. The Wolverines easily won the game 45-7. Quarterback Bob Wiese led Michigan with 30 carries for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Michigan gained 436-yards on the ground – maybe the most ever against the Buckeyes!
  • 11/22/1969 – Bo’s first game and first win (24-12) over OSU is a thing of beauty. Michigan entered the game as a 17-point underdog, but emerged as 12-point victors. Hail Yes! Garvie Craw crashed for two 1-yard touchdowns and Don Moorhead added another. Barry Pierson picked off 3 Rex Kern passes and added a 60-yard punt return that set up the final Michigan touchdown. Go Blue!
  • 11/19/1977 – This was another classic. It was hard-hitting and low scoring, but Michigan won a really tough game (14-6). Rick Leach and Roosevelt each scored on short runs and the defense did the rest.
  • 11/23/1985 – The Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes in a game that was closer than the final score indicates. Jim Harbaugh played one of his best games at Michigan. He completed 16 of 19 passes for 230-yards and 3 touchdowns. John Kolesar’s 77-yard pass reception sealed the deal late in the game. Gerald White rusheed 29 times for 110 very tough yards. What a game!
  • 11/23/1991 – Michigan won BIG 31-3. Yes, this was the famous “Hello Heisman” game where Desmond Howard returned a punt for 93-yards and struck the pose on cue as Keith Jackson described the play! Desmond also caught 3 passes for 96 yards that day in a dominating Wolverine win!
  • 11/25/1995 - Tim Biakabutuka carried the ball 37 times for 313 yards – the most ever against a Buckeye team. Michigan upset the second-ranked Buckeyes 31-23. It doesn’t get any better than that in the Big House, or anywhere else.
  • 11/22/1997 – In another classic showdown game, top ranked Michigan defeated the Buckeyes 20-14 on the way to a share of the 1997 national Championship. Charles Woodson and Andre Weathers (43-yard pick six) led the way to the hard-fought victory. Woodson set up Michigan’s first touchdown with a 37-yard pass reception. Then, he returned a punt 78-yards to give the Wolverines a 14-0 lead. Finally, he intercepted a pass, made three tackles and broke up another pass to help seal the deal.
  • 11/20/1999 – Michigan won another close one over the Buckeyes by a score of 24-17. Anthony Thomas led the way with 31 carries and 119 rushing yards. He also scored a touchdown.
  • 11/22/2003 – Michigan defeated the Buckeyes by a score of 35-21. Quarterback John Navarre completed 21 of 32 passes for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns. Braylon Edwards caught 7 passes for 130 yards and three scores. Chris Perry rushed 31 times for 154 net yards.
  • 11/26/2011 –After 7 straight losses, Michigan finally defeated Ohio State (40-34). Denard Robinson led the way with 2 rushing touchdowns and 170 yards on 25 carries. He also completed 14 of 17 passes for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns. Fitz Toussaint added 120 more yards on 20 carries. An impressive effort, for sure!

Yes, Michigan has had some great games against the Buckeyes in the Big House since 1927. Let’s hope that today’s game falls into that category.


The last time the Buckeyes visited Ann Arbor, they left with a convincing victory (42-13). Yes, Jim Harbaugh’s first game vs OSU was ugly. Hopefully, Coach Harbaugh will have his team ready for their best game of the season today because that is what it will take to beat the Buckeyes.

Michigan and Ohio State have had some disappointing games this season and some very good ones. Today, there are many tough matchups on both sides of the ball. It is really hard to say if the OSU team that lost to Oklahoma and Iowa will show up, or it the “undefeated” team shows up today. Michigan, definitely needs to play better than they have played in their losses to MSU, Penn State and Wisconsin. Of course, it will be a physical game. Michigan’s ability to handle Mike Weber and J. T. Barrett is the challenge of the day. If those two men play like they have been playing recently, it could be a long day. However, I have faith in Don Brown. I think he will have a plan that holds the “key” Buckeyes in check for most of the game.

My Prediction:

As of this writing, Michigan is a twelve-point underdog for this very BIG game. This is not a big deal since Bo’s team was a 17-point underdog in 1969. We can do this! I think the Wolverines will come out strong and play their best game of the season. They will take care of the ball and minimize the penalties. Michigan’s run game will total at least 200-yards, but nothing will come easy. There will be some ferocious battles in the trenches – that’s’ for sure! The Wolverines can still win the game even if the quarterback is not very strong, However, John O’Korn, or Brandon Peters, must take care of the ball and make some plays. If the defense and special teams come through with strong performances, we can win today. I think the Wolverines are good enough to finish the day with an exciting 26-24 win over the Buckeyes. Go Blue! 

Here is a great post by Jason R. on the last Wolverine win over OSU in the Big House in 2011 - Go Blue!




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