1892 Michigan Football Team | gobluefootballhistory.com Michigan Football Firsts | Michigan Wolverine Football History

October 29, 2019 Historic Game: Michigan vs Northwestern – 1892

Posted on October 28, 2019 by Barry Gallagher

Today’s post recalls another historic game – the first game of the Michigan vs Northwestern football series in 1892. Yes, the first game between the Wolverines and the Wildcats took place way, way, way back in the Nineteenth Century.

(Note – The 1892 Michigan Football team played the first game in their history against Northwestern on this day in 1892. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)

Part I. Wolverine Football History: Michigan vs Northwestern 1892

Coach Frank Barbour’s First Season – 1892

The “first” edition of the Michigan vs Northwestern football series took place at 25th Street Field in Chicago, Illinois on October 29, 1892. It was the final game of a 15 day “road trip.” Michigan’s record was 4 wins and 2 losses heading into the inaugural game against their future Big Ten rival.

Frank Barbour Michigan Football 1892 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Frank Barbour was the first Michigan Football Coach to win 7 games in 1892. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

The game was played in two 20-minute halves. Northwestern held a 10-4 advantage at the end of the first half. Michigan scored the only points of the half (four), but it wasn’t enough. Northwestern won the game by a final score of 8-10. The loss dropped Michigan’s record to 4 wins and 3 losses.

The Wolverines played five more games in November and won three of them. By the time the season ended, Michigan finished with 7 wins and 5 losses. It was the highest victory total that a Wolverine team had ever achieved in one season.

Michigan Football “Firsts” in 1892

In addition to the start of the Michigan vs Northwestern football series, there were a number of important “firsts” associated with the thirteenth season of Michigan Football.

  • The 1892 season was the first one for Coach Frank Barbour, a Yale graduate, who did the job for the 1892 and 1893 seasons. He left Ann Arbor with a record of 14 wins and 8 losses. Yes, Barbour left town as the winningest coach in Michigan Football history, but the “title” didn’t last long.
  • As I just mentioned, the Wolverines won 7 games in 1892, which was another important first.
  • The 1892 season was the first, and only, season in Michigan Football history with 7 games in October.
  • Michigan also played 5 games in November in 1892 – another first!
  • This season was also the first 12 game season in the history of Wolverine Football.
  • The 1892 team was the first, and only, team to play 9 games away from Ann Arbor in one season (4 away games and 5 neutral site contests.)
  • The Wolverines also played “first” games that season against five schools in 1892: Chicago, DePauw, Michigan Athletic Association, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
  • The 1892 team was also the first team to score over 200 points since they amassed a total of 298 for the season. (Note-they allowed 170 points which was also a “first.”)
  • Finally, the 1892 team was the first team to score over 70 points when they racked up 74 against the Michigan Athletic Association in the first game of the 1892 season.

Yes, the 1892 season was an important time in the history of Michigan Football.



Part II. October 29, 2019 National Day Calendar Update:


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