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1991 Michigan Wolverines football team


1991 Michigan Wolverines football team

Conference Big Ten Conference
Coaches #6
AP #6
1991 record 10–2 (8–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Gary Moeller (2nd year)
Defensive coordinator Lloyd Carr (5th year)
MVP Desmond Howard
Captain Erick Anderson
Captain Greg Skrepenak
Home stadium Michigan Stadium
(Capacity: 101,701)

The 1991 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head coach was Gary Moeller. The Wolverines played their home games at Michigan Stadium. The team was undefeated in the Big Ten Conference and was led by Heisman Trophy-winner Desmond Howard, Butkus Award-winner Erick Anderson and national statistical champion Elvis Grbac. The team won the fourth of five consecutive Big Ten championships.[1] The team lost to national champion Washington Huskies in the 1992 Rose Bowl.[2]


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 7, 1991 3:30 PM at Boston College* #2/NA Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA ABC W 35–13   32,071
September 14, 1991 3:30 PM #7/NA Notre Dame* #3/NA Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI (Rivalry) ABC W 24–14   106,138
September 28, 1991 12:00 PM #1/1 Florida State* #3/3 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ABC L 31–51   106,145
October 5, 1991 3:30 PM at #9/7 Iowa #7/8 Kinnick StadiumIowa City, IA ABC W 43–24   70,220
October 12, 1991 3:30 PM at Michigan State #5/6 Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI (Paul Bunyan Trophy) ABC W 45–28   80,157
October 19, 1991 12:30 PM Indiana #4/4 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN W 24–16   106,097
October 25, 1991 8:00 PM at Minnesota #4/4 Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, MN (Little Brown Jug) W 52–6   32,577
November 2, 1991 12:30 PM Purdue #4/4 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN W 42–0   105,401
November 9, 1991 1:00 PM Northwestern #4/4 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 59–14   102,087
November 16, 1991 3:30 PM at #25/25 Illinois #4/4 Memorial StadiumChampaign, Il ABC W 20–0   66,757
November 23, 1991 12:00 PM #18/18 Ohio State #4/4 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI (The Game) ABC W 31–3   106,156
January 1, 1992 4:30 PM vs. #2/1 Washington* #4/3 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC L 14–34   103,566
*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Statistical achievements

Desmond Howard surpassed Anthony Carter's 11-year old conference single-season record of 14 touchdown receptions by totaling 19, which continues to be the conference record.[3] During the season, he extended his consecutive games with a touchdown reception streak to 13 games, surpassing Carter's 9, set in 1980, a record that still stands.[4] J. D. Carlson established the current Big Ten record for consecutive successful point after touchdown conversions at 126.[5]

Grbac won the first of his back-to-back passing efficiency NCAA Division I FBS championships.[6] He also won his second of three consecutive Big Ten passing statistical championships (177.8 passing efficiency in conference games and 161.7 in all games).[7] Desmond Howard was the repeat Big Ten receiving yardage champion for all games with 82.1 yards per game and he won his only conference games yardage championship with a 90.1 average.[8] Howard was also the scoring champion with a 11.3 points per game average in conference games and an 11.5 average overall.[9]

The team led the Big Ten in rushing offense both in conference games (264.6 yards per game) and all games (231.9 yards per game).[10] They also led in passing efficiency for both conference games (166.5) and all games (154.7).[10] They were the conference leader in total offense both for conference games (453.6 yards per game) and all games (419.8 yards per game).[11] They were also the Big Ten scoring statistical champions for conference games (39.5 points per game) and all games (35.0 points per game).[11]

The team earned the second of four consecutive and six 1990s Big Ten rushing defense statistical championships for all games by holding opponents to 105.4 yards per game.[11] The team also earned the first of five consecutive and six 1990s Big Ten rushing defense statistical championships for conference games by holding opponents to 102.0 yards per game.[11] The team led the Big Ten Conference in scoring defense for conference games (11.4 points per game), while Iowa led for all games.[12] They led the conference in turnover margin (+1.13) in conference games and (+0.92) in all games.[12] They led the conference in punt return average in conference games (16.3 yards per return) and all games (14.7).[13]

Grbac posted his second (a school record that he would later extend) and the school's fifth 4-touchdown performance against Florida State on August 28. His season total of 25 touchdown passes surpassed his own school record of 21 set the prior year. His junior year total of 54 touchdown passes set a new school record, eclipsing Rick Leach's total of 48 set in 1978. He also tied Jim Harbaugh's 1986 single-season completion percentage record of 65.0, which was surpassed the following year by Todd Collins. On September 14, his 20–22 performance against Notre Dame established the current single-game completion percentage, ecplising his own September 16, 1989 17–21 performance against Notre Dame.[14] On September 7, Howard became the third Michigan receiver to post a 3-touchdown reception performance and on October 19, he became the first two do so twice (a feat later matched by David Terrell and Braylon Edwards). The following season Derrick Alexander would become the only Wolverine to post a 4-touchdown reception performance. Howard also tied Carter's record of three consecutive 100-yard receiving games, a record tied by Marcus Knight in 1999 and eclipsed by Edwards in 2003 who posted four.[4]

Game notes

Notre Dame

1 234Total
Notre Dame 0 770 14
Michigan 3 1407 24

1991 team players in the NFL

The following players were claimed in the 1992 NFL Draft.

Player Position Round Pick NFL Team
Desmond Howard Wide Receiver 1 4 Washington Redskins
Greg Skrepenak Tackle 2 32 Los Angeles Raiders
Mike Evans DE 4 101 Kansas City Chiefs
Erick Anderson Linebacker 7 186 Kansas City Chiefs
Brian Townsend Linebacker 11 181 Los Angeles Rams
Matt Elliott Center 12 336 Washington Redskins

Awards and honors

The individuals in the sections below earned recognition for meritorious performances.[17][18]



Main article: Big Ten Conference football individual honors


  • Captain: Erick Anderson, Greg Skrepenak
  • Most Valuable Player: Desmond Howard
  • Meyer Morton Award: Desmond Howard
  • John Maulbetsch Award: Steve Morrison
  • Frederick Matthei Award: Steve Morrison
  • Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award: David Ritter
  • Dick Katcher Award: Mike Evans
  • Hugh Rader Jr. Award: Greg Skrepenak
  • Robert P. Ufer Award: Matt Elliot
  • Roger Zatkoff Award: Erick Anderson

Coaching staff


External links

  • 1991 Football Team -- Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan Athletics History
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