Memories from 1969: A Friday Fight in the Tunnel

Nov. 18, 2009

Saturday's meeting with Ohio State marks the 40th anniversary of Michigan's 1969 win over the top-ranked Buckeyes in Bo Schembechler's first season as head coach. All week on, former players and Bo himself share memories of that season and the memorable November upset, leading up to Michigan's pivotal regular-season finale with the Buckeyes in the Big House.

"A Friday Fight in the Tunnel"
Jim Betts / 1968-70 Letterman

Being a Michigan Wolverine is something that is very special. Obviously, the biggest moment of my time at Michigan was beating Ohio State in '69. It was when Bo sold his vision to everyone on the team and taught us all to believe.

If you read the papers that year about the Buckeyes, they were billed as the team to beat in the nation and were all but handed the national championship. In fact, some papers wrote about Ohio State possibly beating professional teams. But when the Buckeyes rolled into Ann Arbor that day, they ended up limping out.

There was already tension before the game even started. On Friday, the Buckeyes were on the field first, doing their walk-through drills. Before they left, they lined up in the tunnel on both sides. As we made our way to the field, some Buckeye made a nasty comment and all hell broke loose. Woody and Bo were trying to separate guys as we were all fighting like cats and dogs. One of us yelled that we'd beat 'em tomorrow. And we did!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the gameday program at Michigan Stadium, featuring a commemorative section on Michigan's unforgettable win 40 years ago.

• Previous Entries: The Den of Mellow Men, View from the Sideline (11/17/09) | Those Who Stayed Were Champions (11/16/09)

»  Learn about ticket packs and individual game tickets for the 2017 Michigan football season.