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Well, it all come down to this. All the questions about Denard
Robinson as a quarterback could be answered. Fitz Toussaint
could define the trajectory of his last two years. The defense
could make a definitive statement. Everything is defined by how
you play against Ohio State. The seniors could leave 0-8 against
Michigan State and Ohio State, or they could complete one of the
most remarkable turnarounds in Michigan history. Ohio awaits.
Michael Florek, Stephen J. Nesbitt, Kevin Raftery, Tim Rohan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preview: The Game will be defined by
its two QBs: Michigan's Denard Robin-
son and Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
From Bo to Brady: How one win against
Ohio State can propel a first-year coach
into Michigan lore.
Column: Michael Florek says Michigan
won't be officially 'back' until the
Wolverines beat Ohio State.
Cover illustration by Arjun Mahanti
Western Michigan (Sept. 3): Good thing the
rain came. And the blitzes, too. Looked like Greg
Robinson was coaching until the second quarter.
Notre Dame (Sept. 10): Nothing to see here.
Michigan rallied with a 28-point fourth quarter
to stun the Fighting Irish and get the victory.
Eastern Michigan (Sept. 17): Another meeting
with another inferior neighbor: may be Michi-
gan's only shot to hang 50-plus points ina game.
San Diego State (Sept. 24): Hoke said it was
hard leaving his players behind at San Diego
State. They were mad he didn't say goodbye.
Minnesota(Oct.1): MarQueis Gray played wide
receiver last year - now he's the quarterback
and the only thing exciting about the Gophers.
Northwestern (Oct. 8): Good thing Kain Colter
didn't play the entire game, because Dan Persa
did Michigan a few favors.
Michigan State (Oct. 15): Edwin Baker and
LeVeon Bell ran over and through Michigan,
and Kirk Cousins ain't too shabby either. Little
Brother's growing up.
Purdue (Oct. 29): It was the Fitz show at the Big
House. Toussaint took over as Michigan's lead
running back, rushing for 170 yards.
Iowa (Nov. 5): An eight-point loss hurts a bit
more when you've got four shots at the end zone
from the three-yard line.
Illinois (Nov. 12): Michigan's got its formula:
a steady defense and a load of Fitz. Toussaint
rumbled for 192 yards in a 31-14 victory.
Nebraska (Nov.19): Denard had 263 total yards.
Fitz ran for 138. The defense suffocated Taylor
Martinez. Welcome back, Michigan football.
Ohio State (Nov. 26): No Tressell? No Pryor?
Ohio State's still deeper than Michigan, and
Boom Herron is one scary back.
painting Michigan slogans and fight songs Anybody who saw a practice that week
throughout. could tell something special was happening
The Buckeyes had won 22 straight games in Ann Arbor.
and were one win away from completing "The practices were insane," Caldarazzo
their second consecutive undefeated sea- said. "We were just hitting and knocking
son. people out. The poor demonstration team,
Michigan was the only roadblock left. they were carrying these guys off because
But in Ann Arbor, confidence never fal- we were drilling them.
tered. Ohio State had beaten the Wolver- "We were blocking and tackling like it
ines 50-14 the previous year on its way to a was game day, and the hits that were going
national title. Coach Woody Hayes elected on were enormous."
to go for two with his team already up by Hanlon recalled telling Schembechler
36 points and the game well out of reach for that they should slow down a little bit so
Michigan. that the players don't peak too soon.
Asked after the game why he went for "And Bo said, 'You let 'em go. You can't
two, Hayes reportedly said, "Because I peak too soon for this team,' " Hanlon said.
couldn't go for three!" "So we just kindalet them go."
"Itwas one of the most humiliating expe- And on game day, they were ready.
riences of my life," Caldarazzo said. "I have
yet to return to Horse Shoe Stadium. I've
never been treated so rudely by fans and There was an electricity that I have never
everybody else." felt in any football game since. It was as if all
Michigan didn't forget. the energy from a season's worth of tackles
On the walls in the locker room, Schem- and body-slams hadjust been released.
bechler put signs that read, "Ohio State 50, -Schembechler, from "Bo."
Michigan 14." He even taped pictures of
Ohio State players to each of his players'
lockers. December 1,1969. No. 12 Michigan vs. No.
In practice, the number "50" was plas- 1 Ohio State.
tered on each scout team member's jersey. Ohio State featured three All Americans,
And it wasn't just on the jerseys. including running back Jim Otis, and five
"It was everywhere," Caldarazzo said. All-Big Ten selections.
"It was on everybody's locker, it was on The Buckeyes were world-beaters. They
the shower curtains - the shower had a hadn't played in a close game in almost two
'50' that was about six feet tall. It was just years. No one gave Michigan a chance.
everywhere. No one except Michigan, that is.
"Bo told us, 'Woody put 50 on you guys "The papers were saying the day of the
last year, and I'm not gonna let you forget game that Michigan had two chances of
it.' " winning: slim and none," said running back
Added Brandstatter: "Believe me, we Billy Taylor.
took notice, and the intensity ratcheted up "And Bo said, 'Bull shit.' And we said the
from Tuesday to Wednesday to Thursday to same thing. We knew we were gonna beat
Friday, 'til we were ready to go on Saturday. them."
"Ohio State was not gonna get that vic- Inside the locker room before the game,
tory." the players were excited - but not too excit-
COUTtyY OF n dTLtYs HISTORICAL LIBRARY
Schewbechler pushed his players harder than anyone. hut he had a special way of uniting them.
The Daily football writers pick
against the spread to predict Michaelph .
scores in the 2011 football season. FlorekN Stephen J.
No.1 LSU(-4)vs No.3 Arkansas
No. 4Stanford (-7.5)vs No. 22 NotreDame
No.7 Boise State (-32.5)vsWyoming
No. 8Houston (-4.5)at Tulsa
No.9Oregon (-29.5)vsOregon State
No. to USC(-18.5)vsUCLA
No. 11 Michigan State (-7) at Northwestern
Go 13 Georgia )-.5 Nat No. 25 Geortia Tech
No.t4 S.Caroiinat(-2.5s. No.t8Ciemtson
No. 15 Winconsint-l8.5)vs No. 20PenrSt.
No.lt1 Baior t-9.5)vs Texas Tech
No. 22 lebraska010.5)vslowa
Purdon I-9.O) at Indiana
"It was an intense room, but it was most-
ly internal," Caldarazzo said. "I don't really
recall a lot of guys shouting and screaming.
We had waited that entire week of practice,
we had waited a season, we couldn't wait
to get this thing done and go out there and
kick their ass.
"It was the perfect storm waiting to
Taylor recalled a short speech given by
Schembechler in the locker room.
"Men, we've had a great week of practice.
I'm not gonna talk much, but I'm gonna tell
you what we're gonna do. We're gonna kick
their ass," Schembechler said.
Schembechler hit the chalkboard with
his fist, and everybody exploded.
"It was so loud and thunderous in the
locker room, and everybody was hittin' and
pushin' out the door," Taylor said. "That's
what he said, and that's what we did."
Added quarterback Don Moorhead:
"Going down the tunnel, it was so much
more intense than going down the tunnel
any other game day. You could sense it.
"We were like a thoroughbred that they
just put in the gate. Everybody wanted to
After three rushing touchdowns - two
by fullback Garnie Craw, one by Moorhead
- and a field goal, Michigan went into half-
time leading 24-12.
No other team had scored more than 21
points on the Buckeyes all year.
"Ohio State was stunned," Schembechler
recalled in 'Bo.' "The crowd was going
crazy. You absolutely could not hear your-
self think! We left the field to an ovation
that was still ringing in our ears when we
poured into the locker room."
In the locker room, the Wolverines could
Defensive coordinator Jim Young's voice
stood out above the rest.
"You guys (the offense) gave us the lead,
and they will not score," he said. "I guaran-
tee, THEY WILL. NOT. SCORE!"
And they didn't.
The Wolverines held the Buckeyes score-
less in the second half and forced a total of
seven turnovers en route to the 24-12 vic-
As the final gun sounded, fans rushed the
"It was mayhem," Caldarazzo said. "We
couldn't wait to celebrate. I remember run-
ning over to the sidelines, and we began
to carry (Schembechler) off the field. And
there was just a rush that came from behind
with the student section and the band.
"Bo goes up, and then at midfield, he just
goes down, because we were just pushed
over. We weren't angry at all. We just got
up, dusted ourselves off and got right back
in there. It was one of those times where
you didn't want to leave the field."
That magical day did finally end, but its
As Schembechler wrote, "Michigan was
back as a national football powerhouse."
It was Schembechler who started the
return back to prominence in 1969.
Now, it's Hoke's turn.
November 21, 2011
You can see it in the weight room and
scattered about Schembechler Hall. You
can hear it at the end of eachteam meet-
ing. And you can sense it in each and every
This team is salivating in anticipation of
noon on Saturday.
In the weight room, a huge sign on the
wall rings loud and clear: "Beat Ohio."
Throughout Schembechler Hall, there
are two special clocks: One counts down
the time until kickoff against the Buckeyes,
and the other reads the number of days it's
been since Michigan's last victory over its
"It's a reminder every time you walk in the
building," said senior tight end Kevin Koger.
"You can't miss it."
But Hoke does more than just visually
remind his players about Ohio. Since his first-
ever team meeting, Hoke began his address
I MIG HT MAKE
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Running back Billy Taylor is eighth on Michigan's all-time rush list and was a key player on the 1969 team.
2 1 FootballSaturday - November 26, 2011
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