Michigan Wolverines Football: Michigan Football's History vs. Washington, In Night Games
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By The Numbers: Michigan Football's History vs. Washington, In Night Games

Are we in for another Michigan vs. Washington thriller? History says we might be.

Each of the last three meetings between the two schools has been decided by one touchdown or less, including a two-point game (31-29) at The Big House Aug. 31, 2002, when Michigan kicker Phil Brabbs nailed a 44-yard, game-winning field goal attempt as time expired.

The matchup prior, Washington needed some late-game magic to pull out the victory Sept. 8, 2001, in Seattle. Michigan led, 12-6, after three quarters, before the Huskies scored 17 fourth-quarter points to the Wolverines' six, pulling off the 23-18 comeback.

Oddly enough, Washington didn't score an offensive touchdown in that game. Its two six-point scores came on a pick-six and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. The Huskies' offense was able to muster just 268 yards and 4.7 yards per play.

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The 1993 Rose Bowl was another one to remember. The game, which had six lead changes, was all knotted up at 31-31 at the end of the third quarter. Michigan's defense tightened up, shutting out the Huskies in the final stanza, while quarterback Elvis Grbac threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony McGee, which served as the game-winner.

Rose Bowl Player of the Game and running back Tyrone Wheatley scored three touchdowns and rushed for 235 yards on just 15 carries for a whopping average of 15.7 yards per attempt.

Michigan is 7-5 all time against Washington, beginning with four straight triumphs in the series (1953, 1954, 1969, 1970) in which the Maize and Blue outscored the Huskies by a score of 126-10. Washington notched its first-ever win over Michigan in the 1978 Rose Bowl, before the Wolverines answered with a 1981 Rose Bowl victory. Then, the Huskies took three straight in the series (1983, 1984 and 1992).

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Michigan Football's History With Night Games At The Big House

Michigan Wolverines football quarterback Denard Robinson
Denard Robinson led the Wolverines to a comeback win over Notre Dame in Michigan Stadium's first night game Sept. 10, 2011, a 35-31 win over Notre Dame. (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Michigan is set for its 10th-ever night game at The Big House. The program started playing such contests at home in 2011, when the Maize and Blue came back to beat Notre Dame, 35-31, Sept. 10, behind a Denard Robinson touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree with two seconds remaining.

The Wolverines are 7-2 in night games at Michigan Stadium, and 5-2 in such contests under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Michigan's History Of Night Games At The Big House
Opponent Date Result

Notre Dame

Sept. 10, 2011

W, 35-31

Notre Dame

Sept. 7, 2013

W, 41-30

Penn State

Oct. 11, 2014

W, 18-13

Michigan State

Oct. 7, 2017

L, 14-10


Nov. 4, 2017

W, 33-10


Oct. 13, 2018

W, 38-13

Middle Tennessee State

Aug. 31, 2019

W, 40-21

Notre Dame

Oct. 26, 2019

W, 45-14


Nov. 14, 2020

L, 49-11

By The Numbers: Michigan Football vs. Washington

8 Huskies made their starting debuts last week against Montana, meaning 37 members of the team have opened at least one game. However, Washington is still a young squad, with 77 players currently holding freshman eligibility (meaning they are first- or second-year players, since 2020 did not count against one's eligibility).

13 Is how many contests Michigan has been unranked for during Harbaugh's tenure (ranked in 60 of 73 games), including last week's win over Western Michigan.

20 Is where Washington ranked in the Associated Press' preseason poll, before the Huskies fell out of the rankings this week after losing to FCS program Montana in their opener.

36-27 Is Michigan's record in night games. The first came Sept. 23, 1944, when the Maize and Blue beat Milwaukee, Wisc., 14-0, and the latest was Nov. 21, 2020, a 48-42, triple-overtime win at Rutgers.

48-46-2 Is Washington's all-time record against Big Ten opponents, with the latest contest being a loss to Ohio State in the 2019 Rose Bowl. The Huskies have won four straight regular-season tilts against Big Ten foes.

67 Percent of Michigan redshirt freshman quarterback Cade McNamara's drives directing the Wolverines' offense have led to scores (11 touchdowns, three field goals) — not including overtime at Rutgers.

76 Games in a row for Washington without allowing an opponent to score more than 35 points, which is the longest such streak in the nation. Teams facing the Huskies have scored 30 or more points just 12 times during that stretch. The Huskies gave up 25 points per game in 2020 (39th nationally), 19.4 points per clash in 2019 (tied for 15th) and 16.4 points per tilt in 2018 (fifth).

1901 Was the first time the Maize and Blue faced a team from the Pac-12, with the Wolverines destroying Stanford in the Rose Bowl, 49-0.

2016 Was the last time Michigan faced an opponent from the Pac-12, with the Wolverines beating Colorado, 45-28. U-M's all-time record against the Pac-12 is 50-26-1.


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