The Wolverine

November 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 146 of 161

BY JOHN BORTON D on Eaton and his freshman team- mates weren't eligible to partici- pate in the monumental showdown between Michigan and Ohio State on Nov. 22, 1969. They still helped clear the path for the Wolverines' upset of the Buckeyes. They did so quite literally, in fact. The freshmen of '69 entered a dif- ferent world. Eaton — a defensive end out of Lancaster, Ohio — could not have possibly foreseen what lay ahead. He and his buddies stood on the leading edge of the hurricane, the transition from classy gentleman Bump Elliott to volcanic, demanding perfectionist Bo Schembechler. There wasn't anything easy about it — espe- cially that surreal week in November 1969. "In all my years at Michigan, I've never seen a set of practices that were that intense, with the players being, without question, self-motivated to win that game," Eaton observed. As self-motivated as they were, Schembechler took no chances. He wasn't around the previous au- tumn, when the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines 50-14 in Columbus. He only heard stories of OSU head coach Woody Hayes saying he went for two following a touchdown late in the game because "I couldn't go for three." But Schembechler knew how to motivate. The freshmen of '69 never questioned it. "Monday, we came in and in our lockers, there were jerseys that had '50' on them," Eaton recalled. "Of   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Don Eaton Witnessed History In The Making Eaton played defensive end at Michigan, where he was part of teams that won three Big Ten championships and lost just three conference games in four years. PHOTO COURTESY DON EATON

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2014