Michigan vs Ohio State Football – Looking Back – 1989


The third installment of the series looking back at the football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State takes us back to 1989. The Wolverines had a fair number of talented players in the secondary that season, including safeties Vada Murray, Tripp Welborne, and Corwin Brown. But on this day, the defensive star was cornerback Todd Plate.

Don’t go scouring old game programs for information on Plate; you won’t find much. The ’89 iteration of The Game was his signature performance. Plate intercepted two passes that day as the Wolverine defense welcomed Ohio State coach John Cooper to Ann Arbor for the first time.

Of course, Michigan’s 28-18 win wasn’t strictly defense. Michigan used an old-fashioned ball control running game to take control of the game for good, highlighted by a 13-play, 81-yard drive that consisted entirely of running plays, which was only appropriate, since this was the last time that Bo Schembechler would coach in The Game. Allen Jefferson capped the drive with a short touchdown run into the south end zone, giving the Wolverines a 14-0 lead, and Schembechler was an expert when it came to preserving a lead.

With the victory, the team gave Bo the sendoff present that mattered most to him: The Big Ten championship of 1989.

Thanks to ABC Sports and YouTube poster expressfan. As always, I own nothing, and this blog and video are posted strictly for the enjoyment of readers.

About Jeff Cummins

Jeff Cummins has written about football since 1998, including nine years with The Record of Hackensack, N.J. He frequently contributes feature stories to Touchdown Illustrated, an insert in the national college football game program, published by University Sports Publications, and he has also written the official pregame stories for the game programs of the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Gator Bowl, and the BCS National Championship game. He has written the preview story for the official program for the NHL Winter Classic at MIchigan Stadium, and numerous college basketball feature stories for College Hoops Illustrated, another game program insert published by University Sports Publications. In addition, he has written stories about theater, music, physical therapy, and newsletter marketing. He’s an avid Michigan football fan and long-time New York Jets season ticket holder, and he can be reached at jeffcummins@optonline.net.