The Wolverine

November 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 65 of 161

Michigan Football Program, to give their best every day. Got it? Mostly though, he spent a lot of time getting to know his players and getting these poor young men ready for the toughest football season of their lives. They had no idea who they were dealing with — not a clue! They had heard he was a disciplinar- ian and they heard he was tough. But, an Army Drill Sergeant with a whistle and a yardstick? Wow, where did this crazy guy come from? THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-TWO DAYS LATER Bo's 1969 Wolverines actually had fewer wins than Bump Elliott's team had the previous year heading into the ohio state game. Elliott's team lost their first game to California and then reeled off eight straight victories before the bottom fell out at columbus. Bo's team had seven wins and two losses (Missouri and Michigan State) before "The Game" so it was hard to argue that the Wol- verines had improved that much un- der their new coach. The "experts" didn't give Bo and his 17-point un- derdogs a chance. The really "smart" football people even doubted if the Minnesota Viking professionals could beat the buckeyes. Still, Bo knew something that nobody else knew. He knew the high price his team paid to be in position to gain revenge against the buckeyes for the 50-14 defeat in 1968. In the end, the 1969 Wolverines won eight games, just like the 1968 team. However, one of those victories was against Athletics director Don Canham (center) hired Bo Schembechler (left) in December 1968 to replace outgoing head coach Bump Elliott (right). PHOTO COURTESY BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY

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