This Saturday the Michigan Wolverines will be looking to bounce back from a devastating loss to Notre Dame when they welcome Miami (OH) to The Big House. Though the series between the Wolverines and RedHawks doesn’t include too many games, it does date all the way back to 1924. Miami is yet to get the best of Michigan in five attempts, most recently in 2008, and it hasn’t exactly been close—well, most of the time.
The 1924 meeting between Michigan and Miami was the most lopsided of them all. The Wolverines, led by quarterback Ferdinand Rockwell and halfback Benny Friedman, knocked out the RedHawks by a score of 55-0 to open the season. 14,000 fans were on hand at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor to watch the shutout. That season would turn out to be a relative success for Michigan. Despite losing two games to Michigan Agricultural and Iowa, the Wolverines outscored their opponents 155-54.
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was in the building in 1995 when Miami traveled back to Ann Arbor. While future star Charles Woodson was only a freshman that 1995 season, running back Tim Biakabtaka was in his junior season (and final season) with the Wolverines. After a long break of 71 years, the RedHawks were unable to turn the tables on Michigan, losing in convincing fashion, 38-19.
In 2001, the 10th-ranked Wolverines hosted Miami again to open the season. 109,676 fans stood on as running back B.J. Askew ran the ball a career-high 20 times for a career-best 94 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Calvin Bell also posted career-high numbers to help lift Michigan past Miami, pulling in five catches for 26 yards. On the field for the RedHawks was quarterback Ben Rothlisberger, who completed 18 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Despite a well fought game on Miami’s end, Michigan used two fourth-quarter touchdowns lift itself past the RedHawks and begin the 2001 season with a victory, 31-13.
Miami was outmatched from the start in the fourth meeting between these two programs in 2004. Behind the powerful legs of David Underwood, and a score from the arm of Chad Henne to the hands of Braylon Edwards, Michigan was off to a 24-0 start before RedHawks kicker Jared Parseghian put one through the uprights from 36 yards out in the dwindling seconds of the third quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, Michigan’s Ernest Shazer stumped what had become a little run from Miami by returning an 88-yard interception for a touchdown. Henne and Edwards connected one more time to put the Wolverines out of reach at 36-10.
The most recent meeting between Michigan and Miami was by far the closest of them all, a 16-6 win for the Wolverines. The RedHawks were held without a touchdown, despite marching the ball twice inside the Michigan 10-yard line. The Wolverines used a 10-point first quarter performance to make it look like this would be another typical game between themselves and Miami, but when two scoreless quarters followed, in which time the RedHawks tacked on six points, it got a little scary. With just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, running back Brandon Minor broke loose for a 15-yard touchdown, permanently putting Michigan ahead.