As is customary every season during this week in college football, we reflect on some of the greatest games and moments in the history of “The Game” between Michigan and Ohio State. For the Wolverines, few will be able to top the 1991 edition of the rivalry.
The 1991 Michigan team was among the better years in the history of their program, most certainly in relatively recent history. A big part of what made it special and successful was the senior year carved out by versatile standout Desmond Howard. And perhaps the most iconic moment for Howard and Michigan came against those hated Buckeyes in the season finale.
Howard had himself a field day in that game on November 23 of 1991. He caught three passes for 96 yards, including a 50-Yard completion. But the big moment came late in the first half with Michigan up 17-3. Punting to the aforementioned All-American Howard was a no-no for teams but OSU did so anyway. Howard proceeded to then do this.
That’s 93 yards for a touchdown to effectively win the hunt for the Heisman Trophy.
Ironically in that game, two of Howards’ current colleagues at ESPN — Kirk Herbstreit and Joey Galloway — were playing on the other side for Ohio State; Herbstreit a junior and Galloway a freshman.
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Michigan went on to blow out the Buckeyes by a final score of 31-3. The Wolverines as a team gashed OSU for 202 yards on 39 carries. Defensively, U-M held Ohio State to just 266 yards of offense. The victory was in the heart of a 10-2-1 record for the Wolverines against OSU that stretched from 1988-2000.
The 28-point victory is tied for the longest margin of victory for Michigan in the series since 1946.
Michigan finished the 1991 season with a 10-2 record; 8-0 in Big Ten play. It earned them a bid in the Rose Bowl against undefeated Washington. The Huskies took down the Wolverines 34-14 and finished No. 1 in the Coaches Poll; Michigan finished 6th in both national polls.