1953 Michigan Wolverines football team

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1953 Michigan Wolverines football
1953 Michigan Football Team.jpg
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 19
AP No. 20
1953 record 6–3 (3–3 Big Ten)
Head coach Bennie Oosterbaan (6th season)
MVP Tony Branoff
Captain Dick O'Shaughnessy
Home stadium Michigan Stadium
Seasons
← 1952
1954 →
1953 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 3 Michigan State + 5 1 0     9 1 0
No. 7 Illinois + 5 1 0     7 1 1
No. 15 Wisconsin 4 1 1     6 2 1
Ohio State 4 3 0     6 3 0
Minnesota 3 3 1     4 4 1
No. 20 Michigan 3 3 0     6 3 0
No. 9 Iowa 3 3 0     5 3 1
Purdue 2 4 0     2 7 0
Indiana 1 5 0     2 7 0
Northwestern 0 6 0     3 6 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1953 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1953 Big Ten Conference football season. In its sixth year under head coach Bennie Oosterbaan, Michigan compiled a 6–3 record (3–3 against conference opponents), tied for fifth place in the Big Ten, outscored opponents by a combined total of 163 to 101, and was ranked No. 20 in the final AP Poll and No. 19 in the Coaches Polls.[1][2]

Center Dick O'Shaughnessy was the team captain, and right halfback Tony Branoff received the team's most valuable player award.[2] Two Michigan players received All-Big Ten honors: left end Bob Topp was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team player, and left halfback Ted Kress.[2][3]

The team's statistical leaders included quarterback Duncan McDonald with 293 passing yards, Tony Branoff with 501 rushing yards, and Bob Topp with 331 receiving yards.[4]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 26 Washington* Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI W 50–0   44,086
October 3 Tulane* No. 4/NA Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 26–7   51,960
October 10 Iowa No. 5/7 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 14–13   49,551
October 17 Northwestern No. 5/6 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 20–12   64,420
October 24 at Minnesota No. 5/5 Memorial StadiumMinneapolis (Little Brown Jug) L 0–22   62,795
October 31 Penn*dagger No. 16/13 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 24–14   56,795
November 7 at No. 4/4 Illinois No. 17/NR Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL (series) L 3–19   69,507
November 14 at No. 4/4 Michigan State Macklin StadiumEast Lansing, MI (rivalry) L 6–14   51,421
November 21 No. NR/17 Ohio State Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI (rivalry) W 20–0   87,048
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll released prior to game.

Sources: SR/College Football,[1] Bentley Historical Library[2]

Statistical leaders[edit]

Michigan's individual statistical leaders for the 1953 season include those listed below.[4][5]

Rushing[edit]

Player Attempts Net yards Yards per attempt Touchdowns
Tony Branoff 100 501 5.0 5
Ted Kress 101 339 3.4 5
Bob Hurley 47 282 6.0 1

Passing[edit]

Player Attempts Completions Interceptions Comp % Yards Yds/Comp TD Long
Duncan McDonald 46 20 3 43.5 293 14.7 4 49
Lou Baldacci 51 21 6 41.2 285 13.6 1 36
Ted Kress 43 19 7 44.2 238 12.5 1 44

Receiving[edit]

Player Receptions Yards Yds/Recp TD Long
Gene Topp 23 331 14.4 2 66
Gene Knutson 11 201 18.3 1 33
Tony Branoff 11 151 13.7 1 44

Kickoff returns[edit]

Player Returns Yards Yds/Return TD Long
Ted Kress 10 203 20.3 0 33
Tony Branoff 6 130 21.7 0 28

Punt returns[edit]

Player Returns Yards Yds/Return TD Long
Tony Branoff 8 90 11.3 0 18
Ted Kress 12 63 5.3 0 16

Players[edit]

Dick O'Shaughnessy, captain of the 1953 team

The starting lineup of the 1953 football team was made up of the following players. Players who started at least four games are shown with their names in bold.[2]

  • Lou Baldacci - started 9 games at quarterback
  • James Balog - started 9 games at left tackle
  • Richard Balzhiser[6] - started 9 games at fullback
  • Richard Beison - started 9 games at right guard
  • Tony Branoff - started 9 games at right halfback
  • Donald Dugger - started 9 games at left end
  • Gene Knutson - started 8 games at right end
  • Ted Kress - started 9 games at left halfback
  • John Morrow - started 4 games at center
  • Dick O'Shaughnessy - started 5 games at center
  • Dick Strozewski - started 9 games at left tackle
  • Bob Topp - started 8 games at left end, 1 game at right end
  • Jerry Williams - started 1 game at left end

Awards and honors[edit]

Honors and awards for the 1953 season went to the following individuals.[2]

Coaching staff[edit]

Michigan's 1953 coaching, training, and support staff included the following persons.[2]

Oosterbaan lifted to players' shoulders after 20-0 win over Ohio State

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "1953 Michigan Wolverines Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "1953 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Coaches Pick Gopher's Giel". Ludington Daily News. November 24, 1953. p. 6. 
  4. ^ a b "1953 Michigan Wolverines Statistics". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan. Retrieved November 6, 2017. (statistics retrieved by entering "1953" in the box for "Games & Totals by Season" and then, at the next screen, choosing "Display Season Totals")
  6. ^ Balzhiser was the first University of Michigan athlete to be inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.