We hope you’re enjoying a look back at the history of the Michigan-Ohio State game, through the Daily’s archived articles. This, uhm, interesting column ran the day after the 1969 Wolverines shocked the college football world by beating Ohio State, which was riding a 22-game winning streak. And, yes, “Suck it up, Fat Boy” was the actual headline of the story, as it ran in print.

All the pain and hurt that was built up over a year has ended. Thanksgiving has come early at Michigan and Stuffed Woody was the order of the day.

True, the score was only 24-12 and true, Michigan lost numerous chances to rack up more points. But still, the Buckeyes humiliation is greater than anything that 50-14 could do. Michigan didn’t have to go for two points to rub salt in wounds, all they did was belt Ohio State all the afternoon.

Offensive guard Dick Caldarazzo put it best when he said, “We went out there and stuck them. We out toughed them. They haven’t been hit like that all year.” And Wayne Woodrow “Fat Boy” Hayes was forced to agree. “We just got outplayed and outpunched,” was one of the few comments that the irascible, insufferable coach would make after his supposedly Number One team was destroyed.

“Fat Boy” immediately retreated into the lockerroom and wouldn’t talk anymore after that, but no one really cared. It had been expected that he would show his typical attitude after the defeat and the real story was Michigan anyway.

The story of yesterday is more than just Ohio State being knocked from its perch and Michigan clinching the Rose Bowl; the real story is a group of proud, inspired Wolverine athletes who crammed a cocky Buckeye team into Tartan Turf.

“We were ready to play and we took it from them,” exulted Wolfman Tom Darden, a native of Sandusky, Ohio. “Nothing in the world could be better than beating Ohio State.” Quarterback Don Moorhead echoed Darden’s statements and typified the attitude of the squad when he said, “We were really high for the game and when you’re playing like that you can do almost anything.”

Moorhead actually was slightly wrong; the Wolverines did everything, not almost anything. The offense stuck to the ground the way Bo Schembechler wanted to and they punched out 24 points.

But the real heroes were the members of the defensive platoon. An inspired group of 11 men continually pounded and hounded Rex Kern and his vaunted offensive teammates. The super secondary stole six passes, missing a Big Ten record by one, and Cecil Pryor recovered a fumble. In addition, the heralded Larry Zelina rolled up a fantastic minus five yards rushing while the Wolverine tacklers kept smashing every Buckeye assault.

Henry Hill demonstrated to Jim Stillwagon just who is the best middle guard in the conference as he made 13 tackles. Pete Newell, Marty Huff, Mike Keller and Pryor also join in the fun as they harried Kern continually, finally drove him out of the game and then proceeded to work over substitute Ron Maciejowski.

And then there were the pass defenders. They were, to say the least, veritably inimitable. Tom Curtis, Barry Pierson, Brian Healy and Tom Darden put on an exhibition of pass coverage that was sensational. Curtis grabbed two errant tosses, Pierson three and Darden one. Curtis returned one interception 26 yards and set an NCAA record for career yardage in interception returns.

But all the details are just mundane matter. It was the feeling of the Wolverines and the attitude tat was conveyed to the 103,588 fans that mattered. Michigan was a team with a mission, a club that wouldn’t be denied.

“We were on fire all day,” said an overjoyed Schembechler in the dressing room. “We were ready to play this one. We were so emotional we would’ve won no matter what. I don’t care what happened on the field, if we had been three touchdowns down we still would’ve won.”

The rookie coach’s attitude was typical of his team. The Wolverines just would not be denied. All week long they approached the game with but a single purpose, winning, and they reached their goal.

Now the Rose Bowl lies ahead but no one really cares at the moment. The only sentiment voiced by the Michigan team is that of Schembechler’s, that of going as champions. “That’s the way we wanted to go,” said Bo. “I guess we saved them the trouble of the vote.”

No longer do Fat Boy’s comments on the best team going to the Bowl matter. Michigan has proved to be the best club and no one can ever take that away. Bo Schembechler will go to Pasadena in his first year as a head coach and Fielding Yost is the only other man who has done so. “It’s unbelievable, really,” commented Schembechler, and most people are inclined to agree with him.

Michigan is in euphoria and everything else besides the game is disjointed. Ann Arbor started on a drunk last night and it may not be over yet. The contents of this story probably prove that, but who gives a damn? I don’t. All I’m going to do is grab another beer and enjoy the hell out of myself.

Good-by Woody, it was fun while it lasted.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.