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October 13, 2018 Go Blue Game Day – Michigan vs Wisconsin Football

Posted on October 12, 2018 by Barry Gallagher

Hello again Wolverine fans – it’s time for Michigan vs Wisconsin on Go Blue Game Day. We are exactly halfway through the regular season and so far, so good. Michigan is on a five-game winning streak and it’s time for the “fun” part of the schedule. The bad news is that every game for the rest of the season will have championship significance. The good news is that they will only play them one at a time!

Today’s Michigan vs Wisconsin game marks the sixty-seventh contest between these two conference rivals. Jim Harbaugh’s 12th ranked Wolverines are off to a solid start with a record of  5 wins and 1 loss. Michigan has shown some improvement each week after the disappointing loss to Notre Dame. However, this is the biggest test that Michigan has faced so far this season in the Big House. Wisconsin arrives in Ann Arbor as the 15th ranked team in the country. They also have the leading rusher in the country in Jonathan Taylor. Tonight’s game promises to be another BIG test for Harbaugh’s Wolverines.

Before I get into my predictions about tonight’s game, let’s take a closer look at what has happened so far when Michigan plays on October 13th. Then, we will shift our attention to the history of Michigan vs Wisconsin.

Calendar History-October 13th:

Michigan has played a total of eighteen games on the thirteenth day of October so far. The Wolverine record on this date is so far 13 wins, 5 losses and 0 ties which works out to a winning percentage of just over seventy-two percent (.722). As you can see from the chart below, they have been outstanding in non-conference games, but less impressive in conference play.

Type Game # of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
Non-Conference 7 6 1 0 .857
Conference 11 7 4 0 .636
All Games 18 13 5 0 .722

The Wolverines have played fourteen home games on this date and four road games. Their home record is 12 wins, 2 losses and 0 ties. Michigan’s road record on October 13th is not as good (1-3-0), but that doesn’t matter today. Clearly, the numbers on this page absolutely make October 13th an excellent day for Michigan football – especially in Ann Arbor. Here is a little more history about Michigan football on this date.

  • Michigan’s first game on this date took place in 1894. The Wolverines hosted Albion College and sent them home to ponder a 26-10 defeat.
  • Michigan’s biggest win on this date was a 69-0 victory over Mount Union College in 1917.
  • The biggest Wolverine loss was a 0-28 loss in East Lansing in 1962 – ugh!
  • Michigan won the last game they played on this date against Illinois in 2012. The Wolverines clobbered the Illini in The Big House by a score of 45-0.

Notable Wolverine Performances on October 13th:

  • 1951 – Lowell Perry grabbed 5 passes for 165-yards in a 33-14 win over Indiana.
  • 1979 – Butch Woolfolk rushed for 194-yards and Lawrence Reed totaled 179-yards in a 31-21 win over Minnesota.
  • 1984 – Rick Rogers totals 139-yards on 27 carries in a 31-0 win over Northwestern.
  • 1990 – Desmond Howard returns a kickoff for a 95-yard touchdown and Jon Vaughn runs for 162-yards in a tough loss to MSU (27-28).
  • 2007 – Chad Henne connects on 21 of 28 passes for 264 yards in a 48-21 win over Purdue. Mario Manningham grabs 8 of Henne’s passes for 147-yards.
  • 2012 – Denard Robinson runs 11 times for 128-yards in a 45-0 win over Illinois.

Michigan vs Wisconsin Football Series History:

Once again, this is game number sixty-seven in the Michigan vs Wisconsin football series. This will be the first time that these Big Ten rivals have ever played on the thirteenth day of October.  It will also be the first Ann Arbor night game between the Badgers and Wolverines. The first game between Michigan and Wisconsin was played in Madison in 1892. The Wolverines defeated the Badgers by a score of 10-6.

The biggest series win belongs to Michigan. Bo Schembechler showed no mercy in a 56-0 victory in 1977.

Wisconsin’s biggest series win took place in 2009 – a 45-24 blasting of Rich Rod’s Wolverines.

The last game between these two Big Ten rivals was played at Madison in 2017. Final Score: Wisconsin 24 Michigan 10!

Michigan’s longest series win streak is 14 games (1965-1980) while the Badgers won 3 straight against the Wolverines from 1959-1962.

Although the trend line definitely favors Michigan, the Badgers have won three of the last four games. However, Harbaugh’s Wolverines won the last game played in Ann Arbor by a score of 14-7. History is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, especially when the game is played in Ann Arbor.

Ron Johnson Michigan Football 1968 | gobluefootballhistory.com

Ron Johnson set the all-time Michigan rushing record against the Badgers in 1968. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Notable Performances Michigan vs Wisconsin Football:

In addition to fifty wins over the Badgers, Michigan players have had some record setting performances against the Red and White. Here some of the most notable Wolverine performances against Wisconsin:

  • November 16, 1968. Ron Johnson, set the Michigan record when he rushed for five touchdowns against the Badgers.
  • November 16, 1968. Ron Johnson also set a single game rushing record when he steamrolled the Badgers for 347 yards in The Big House. .
  • November 3, 1979. Butch Woolfolk set a Michigan record for the longest run from scrimmage when he bolted 92 yards and a touchdown against Wisconsin.
  • October 29, 1994. Seth Smith set the Michigan record for longest kickoff return for a touchdown against the Cheeseheads (100-yards).
  • November 10, 2007. Ryan Mallett and Mario Manningham combined for the Michigan’s longest pass play (97-yards) ever against the Badgers.

So, some of the greatest plays and milestones in Michigan Football history have occurred against the Wisconsin Badgers. Let’s hope something magical happens against the Cheeseheads tonight.


The last time Michigan hosted Wisconsin they left the field with a hard-fought 14-7 victory. Wisconsin has been on a 10-game road winning streak since they last played in The Big House. Tonight’s game promises to be another bruising battle against some very BIG men on both sides of the ball. Wisconsin has plenty of good players on their roster, but not all of them will be playing tonight.  The Badgers will be a little thin in the defensive backfield and that should really help Shea Patterson and the Michigan passing game.

Michigan’s game plan is focused on the “Ts” as in Jonathan Taylor and the Tight End. Taylor leads the nation in rushing with just under 170-yards per game. Michigan’s defense gives up about 95-rushing yards per game. Yes, something has to give. Hopefully, Michigan will take away Taylor and the running game and force the Badgers into a passing game. If, Michigan’s linebackers can cover the Badger tight ends and keep them in check, it will be a long night for Wisconsin.

Michigan (5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten) and Wisconsin (4-1 and 2-0) are almost mirror images of each other.  Both teams have stingy, hard-hitting defenses that will make it hard for the offenses to score. Of course, both Michigan and Wisconsin take great pride in their power run games. Simply put, they like to punish their opponents and run the ball down the opposing team’s throat! I think Michigan has the advantage in the passing game. This should be the most physical game of the season – so far.

My Prediction:

As of this writing, Michigan is about a nine-point favorite to win tonight. This is one of the biggest games in the history of the Michigan vs Wisconsin football rivalry. I think the Wolverines will come out strong and play their best game of the season. The Wolverine defenders will shut down Wisconsin’s run game and force them to throw the ball more than planned. Michigan’s offense will take care of the ball and minimize the penalties. The Maize and Blue run game will total at least 200-yards, but not one of those yards will come easy. There will be some ferocious battles in the trenches – that’s’ for sure! Shea Patterson will continue to make plays and spread the ball around to 6-8 different receivers. He will take what the defense gives him and lead the team to five or six scores. Quinn Nordin will be wearing his “iron jock” and should convert at least three field goals.  In the end, I think Michigan ends Wisconsin’s road win streak and finally wins a game against a ranked team. Final Score: Michigan 30-14. Go Blue!


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