The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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46 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW think we should have kicked the extra point?' I said, 'Who gives a damn, Bump?' Let's move on. It's in the past.' We had to win the rest of our games and beat Ohio State, and we would have had to do that one way or the other any- way. "It was just a bump in the road." That was the end of the second guessing. Fifty years later, neither Elliott nor his players question the decision. "I haven't second guessed that at all," Elliott said. "I had to make the call right there — we wanted to go for a win, not a tie. It's too bad because it was a one-point season, the only game we lost. "On the other hand, we don't have any re- grets. We had a great year." Beat The Bucks The Wolverines were mature enough to put the loss behind them quickly, ending a four-game losing streak to Minnesota a week later and capturing the Little Brown Jug with a 19-12 victory. They handled a solid Northwestern team 35-0, before facing All-American linebacker Dick Butkus and Illinois in the last home game of the year Nov. 7. The Wolverines had upset the highly rated Illini in Champaign a year before, and a 4-2 Illinois team was ready to avenge the loss. Butkus had never beaten the Wolverines, and he played with a vengeance. "It was one sideline to the other," Ward recalled. "Here's this guy who is really a nice guy off the field, but on the field … he tackled me quite a few times." And showed no mercy in the process. For Mader, a Chicago native who was fa- miliar with Butkus from his days in the city's Public League, this was one of his biggest games, and he played to it. He recovered a fumble forced by a vicious Nunley hit to set up the winning touchdown, a 24-yard run by Ward. "They had virtually the same team as the year before," Mader recalled. "We knew it was going to be payback for them and knew we had to beat them in order to win a title." They did, 21-6, behind another outstand- ing defensive performance. Afterward, Mader sought out his hometown adversary. "I had never talked to Butkus even though I had heard a lot about him. During the vic- tory formation I ran up to him and a couple other guys on the Illinois team just as the gun sounded," Mader recalled. "He took off his helmet, looked at the score- board and said to no one in particular, 'Damn — you beat us again.'" That made five straight for the Wolverines over the Illini, coached by Elliott's brother and former Michigan teammate Pete Elliott. Iowa provided only a bit of resistance the following week in a 34-20 U-M win, setting up the an- nual showdown with Ohio State. It was No. 6 versus No. 7 when the Wolver- ines arrived in Columbus on a cold and windy November weekend. The hospitality was the same then as it is now, Ward recalled. "You couldn't sleep the night before the game because the fans were out there keeping you up all night," he recalled, laughing. "This is the game that makes or breaks the season, and we're up all night. "The next day we get out there, and it's The Wolverines celebrated in the locker room after blanking Ohio State 10-0 at Columbus in their regular-season finale to clinch the Big Ten title and win a trip to the Rose Bowl. PHOTO COURTESY BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY 1964 Road To The Rose Bowl Overall Record: 9-1 Big Ten Record: 6-1 Big Ten Finish: First place National Ranking: AP No. 4, UPI No. 4 U-M/Opp. Opponent Rank Date Site Result Air Force —/— 9/26/64 H W, 24-7 Navy 8/6 10/3/64 H W, 21-0 Michigan State 7/9 10/10/64 A W, 17-10 Purdue 5/— 10/17/64 H L, 21-20 Minnesota —/— 10/24/64 H W, 19-12 Northwestern —/— 10/31/64 H W, 35-0 Illinois —/— 11/7/64 H W, 21-6 Iowa 6/— 11/14/64 A W, 34-20 Ohio State 6/7 11/21/64 A W, 10-0 Oregon State 4/8 1/1/65 A* W, 34-7 * Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif. 42-47.1964 50th Anniversary.indd 46 6/19/14 4:37 PM

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