The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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32 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY JOHN BORTON C hallenge any fifth-year player from the 1992 Michigan football team about the three-tie taint on their 9-0-3 record, and he'll give you an earful, armed with facts. Those Wolverines capped an incredible five- season span in winged helmets, accomplish- ing the following: • Five consecutive Big Ten champion- ships • Four Rose Bowls, with two wins • Undefeated against Ohio State (4-0-1) • 47 victories, including a school-record 19 straight against Big Ten competition • 17 consecutive Big Ten road wins At the same time, ask about the effects of the ties from 1992, and there's always a wistful, if-only sense that swells up. Thirty years after the fact, the pride and pondering still remain. "The fact that my class was able to be in- volved in five Big Ten championships and 19 straight Big Ten wins — that's such a feat," noted Dr. Chris Hutchinson, a fifth-year senior All-America defensive lineman in '92 (and father of U-M's 2021 consensus All-America defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson). "To be able to keep that momentum, to keep our heads together, it really speaks volumes to the lead- ership. "We were taught by the classes ahead of us how to be leaders. We continued that, and built on that, with the '92 team. That's a big part of it." "The first word that comes to mind is cham- pionships, right?" mused Doug Skene, a fifth- year senior All-Big Ten offensive lineman in a crew that fashioned one of the best lines in Michigan history. "We ac- complished almost all the goals we set, short of winning the na- tional title, because we had three ties, including the last two of the regular season. "Those were the rules at the time, and it was frustrating. We felt pretty strongly we would have won those games had we had the chance to keep playing." Those ties — 17-17 in the opener at Notre Dame, 22-22 versus Illinois at home and 13- 13 at Ohio State — grind the gears of the '92 crew, and astound their progeny. "When I talk to Aidan about my senior year, every time I say it, he still can't wrap his head around the fact that I had three ties," noted the father of the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. "He grew up when there was no such thing as ties. He looks at me and goes, 'How did you tie three times?' "There was nothing. That was it. When the 60 minutes were done, the game was done. He still struggles with that." Overtime? Oh yes, the men from '92 would UNBEATEN UNBEATEN AND UNSATISFIED AND UNSATISFIED The Wolverines Of 1992 Dominated, The Wolverines Of 1992 Dominated, But The Ties Still Haunt Them But The Ties Still Haunt Them Senior quarterback Elvis Grbac directed a potent U-M offense in 1992 that averaged 35.9 points per game. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETICS

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