The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 48 of 119

������ michigan football has rambled off more than 15 straight against three Big Ten teams, including 19 straight over Northwestern from 1966-95. To put that in perspective, a Northwestern fan born the day the NFLAFL merger was approved by the government in 1966 would not have celebrated a Wildcats victory over the Wolverines until two weeks before his 28th birthday. While the despondence created by a seven-game drought to the Buckeyes may seem miniscule compared to what NU fans dealt with over the course of four separate decades, Ohio State���s recent dominance over the Wolverines is something the Michigan fan base isn���t used to ��� and for good reason. The longest losing streak suffered at the hands of a conference rival was nine to Minnesota, which was a national powerhouse under the direction of College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Bierman from 1934-42. During the nine years in which Minnesota retained the Little Brown Jug, the Gophers posted a 59-13-1 record and won five national championships. ��� Michigan Win/Loss Streaks Against Big Ten Foes Opponent Illinois Indiana Iowa Michigan State Minnesota Nebraska Northwestern Ohio State Penn State Purdue Wisconsin Longest Winning Streak 16 (1967-82) 17 (1988-2010*) 11 (1933-56) 14 (1916-29) 16 (1987-2004) N/A 19 (1966-95) 9 (1901-09) 9 (1997-2007) 9 (1985-95) 13 (1966-80) But in the 62 years that followed that streak and preceded Michigan���s current dearth of success against the Buckeyes, only one Big Ten program was able to manage five consecutive wins over the Maize and Blue ��� Purdue from 1962-66. In that same time span, the Wolverines were able reel off 19 consecutive wins over Northwestern (1966-95), 17 in a row over Indiana (1988-present), 16 straight over both Illinois (1967-82) and Minnesota (1987-2004), 13 uninterrupted against Wisconsin (1966- Longest Losing Streak 4 (1950-53) 2 (1958-59) 2 (1984-85, 2002-03, 2009-present*) 4 (1934-37, 1950-53, 2008-present) 9 (1934-42) N/A 3 (1934-37) 7 (2004-present) 3 (1994-96, 2008-present) 5 (1962-66) 3 (1959-62) 80), and nine in a row over Purdue (1985-95). But since Michigan���s last victory in ���The Game,��� the Wolverines have not only struggled to sustain continued domination against Big Ten foes, but find themselves on the wrong end of four historically long losing streaks. Aside from the seven straight losses to the Buckeyes, the Wolverines are currently in the midst of three other all-time losing skids: Michigan State (four), Penn State (three) and Iowa (two). ��� Handicapping The Davey O���Brien Semifinalists Michigan junior quarterback Denard Robinson has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O���Brien National Quarterback Award. Three finalists will be named Nov. 21 and the winner will be announced Dec. 8. Fans may vote to help determine the finalists every day through Nov. 20 at Though Boise State���s Kellen Moore, Arkansas��� Tyler Wilson, Houston���s Case Keenum, Texas A&M���s Ryan Tannehill and Texas Tech���s Set Doege are the early favorites per the fan voting, they are not the likely top five of the selection committee. Here is a look at the five favorites based on midseason All-America teams from,, and Andrew Luck ��� Stanford: The consensus favorite to win this year���s Heisman Trophy, the polished pro-style quarterback is also a lock to be the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck has led Stanford to a perfect 8-0 record, completing 71.9 percent of his pass attempts for 277.3 yards per game with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He ranked fifth nationally though Oct. 31 with a pass efficiency rating of 176.95. If The Cardinal run the table, beating Oregon Nov. 12 and Notre Dame Nov. 26, Luck will be hard to beat because the hype surrounding the senior is considerable. Tajh Boyd ��� Clemson: The redshirt sophomore has come out of nowhere this season to lead the Tigers to a 8-1 mark through nine games. A one-time Michigan recruit ��� U-M landed Robinson instead ��� Boyd has thrown for 25 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions while completing 61.3 percent of his passes and averaging 297.1 yards per game. The dual-threat signal-caller has also rushed for four scores this season. Robert Griffin III ��� Baylor: The junior, a three-year starter for the Bears, was an early challenger to upset Luck and take the Heisman, but the shine has come off Griffin once Baylor (4-3) started losing games. For many college football pundits, Griffin has overtaken Robinson as the best passer/ runner nationally, and he does rank third, 13 spots ahead of Robinson, in total offense with 385.3 yards per game. Griffin ranks third nationally in pass efficiency with a 190.69 rating, completing 75.4 percent of his attempts for 2,375 yards with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season. Kellen Moore ��� Boise State: The one-time overlooked Bronco is now a household name thanks to four successful seasons directing the Boise State attack. Moore has completed almost 70.0 percent (69.5) of his 1,447 career pass attempts and this season has even taken it up a notch, hitting 76.3 percent of his 228 pass attempts while leading Boise to a perfect 7-0 mark. Moore ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency with a 180.72 rating, has thrown 24 touchdowns with just five picks and is averaging 287.1 yards per game. Brandon Weeden ��� Oklahoma State: The nation���s most surprising team may be Oklahoma State, which enters November ranked third in the country following an 8-0 start. The fifth-year senior quarterback is in the middle of that amazing ascension, directing an offense that ranks fourth in total yards per game (555.1) and second in scoring (49.9). Weeden is completing 71.3 percent of his pass attempts for 338.8 yards per game with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. ��� Michael Spath November 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 49

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