1961 Michigan Wolverines football team

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1961 Michigan Wolverines football
Conference Big Ten Conference
1961 record 6–3 (3–3 Big Ten)
Head coach Bump Elliott (3rd season)
MVP John Walker
Captain George Mans
Home stadium Michigan Stadium
Seasons
← 1960
1962 →
1961 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 2 Ohio State $ 6 0 0     8 0 1
No. 6 Minnesota 6 1 0     8 2 0
No. 8 Michigan State 5 2 0     7 2 0
No. 12 Purdue 4 2 0     6 3 0
Wisconsin 4 3 0     6 3 0
Michigan 3 3 0     6 3 0
Iowa 2 4 0     5 4 0
Northwestern 2 4 0     4 5 0
Indiana 0 6 0     2 7 0
Illinois 0 7 0     0 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1961 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1961 Big Ten Conference football season. In its third year under head coach Bump Elliott, Michigan compiled a 6–3 record (3–3 against conference opponents), finished in sixth place in the Big Ten, and outscored opponents by a combined total of 212 to 163.[1][2]

After opening the season with convincing wins over No. 9 UCLA (29–6) and Army (38–8), Michigan was ranked No. 2 in the Coaches Poll. The team fell from the rankings after being shut out by Michigan State (0–28) the following week.

Right end George Mans was the team captain, and center/guard John Walker received the team's most valuable player award.[2] Left halfback Bennie McRae was selected by both the Associated Press and United Press International (UPI) as a first-team player on the 1961 All-Big Ten Conference football team.[3][4] Fullback Bill Tunicliff also received second-team honors from the UPI.[4]

The team's statistical leaders included Dave Glinka with 588 passing yards, Dave Raimey with 496 rushing yards and 36 points scored, and Bennie McRae with 210 receiving yards.[5]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 30 No. 9/NA UCLA* Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI W 29–6   73,019
October 7 Army* No. 9/8 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 38–8   65,012
October 14 No. 5/6 Michigan State No. 6/2 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI (rivalry) L 0–28   103,198
October 21 Purduedagger Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 16–14   66,805
October 28 at Minnesota Memorial StadiumMinneapolis, MN (Little Brown Jug) L 20–23   63,898
November 4 Duke* Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 28–14   56,488
November 11 at Illinois Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL (series) W 38–6   40,179
November 18 Iowa Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 23–14   61,925
November 25 No. 2/2 Ohio State No. NR/9 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI (rivalry) L 20–50   80,444
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll released prior to game.

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

Season summary[edit]

Preseason[edit]

Michigan's 1961 recruiting class included Mel Anthony, Jim Conley, John Henderson, Arnie Simkus, and Bob Timberlake.[6]

Week 1: UCLA[edit]

1 234Total
UCLA 0 006 6
Michigan 13 3130 29

On September 30, 1961, Michigan opened its season with a 29-6 victory over 1961 AAWU champion UCLA (ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll) before a crowd of 73,019 (including 13,000 high school band members) at Michigan Stadium. Michigan gained 253 yards, including 227 rushing yards, and held UCLA to 172 total yards, the Wolverines took a 16-0 lead at halftime on touchdowns by Bill Tunnicliff (one-yard run) and Dave Raimey (20-yard run) and a 29-yard field goal by Douglas Bickle. Michigan extended its lead to 29 points in the third quarter on a four-yard touchdown run by Bennie McRae and a 92-yard interception return by Ken Tureaud. UCLA scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run by Dimkich.[7]

Week 2: Army[edit]

1 234Total
Army 0 080 8
Michigan 10 7147 38

On October 7, 1961, Michigan defeated Army, 38-8, before a crowd of 65,012 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan's point total was its highest in 39 games, dating back to 1956. Michigan touchdowns were scored by Dave Raimey (13-yard run), Bennie McRae (47-yard run), Bill Tunnicliff (three-yard run), Bruce McLenna (seven-yard run), and Bob Brown (36-yard pass from Bob Chandler). Doug Bickle added a field goal and five extra points.[8]

Week 3: Michigan State[edit]

1 234Total
Michigan State 14 707 28
Michigan 0 000 0

On October 14, 1961, Michigan (ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll) lost to Michigan State (ranked No. 5), 28-0, before a crowd of 103,198 and a national television audience at Michigan Stadium. The Spartans led, 14-0, at the end of the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime. Michigan was held to 92 rushing yards and 84 passing yards.[9]

Week 4: Purdue[edit]

1 234Total
Purdue 0 770 14
Michigan 9 070 16

On October 21, 1961, Michigan defeated Purdue, 16–14, before a crowd of 66,805 at Michigan Stadium. Michigan opened the scoring with a safety in the first quarter, when Purdue fumbled a pitchout in the end zone. Dave Raimey also scored in the opening quarter on a one-yard run. Bennie McRae caught six passes for 144 yards, including a touchdown reception that covered 72 yards in the third quarter.[10]

Week 5: at Minnesota[edit]

1 234Total
Michigan 0 770 14
Minnesota 9 070 16
  • Date: October 28
  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Game attendance: 63,898

On October 28, 1961, Michigan lost to Minnesota, 23–20, at Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. Michigan led, 20-8, through the first three quarters as Tunnicliff ran eight yards for a touchdown and Dave Raimey scored twice on runs of 27 and four yards. Late in the fourth quarter, Michigan stopped a Minnesota drive at the nine-yard line, but Bennie McRae fumbled on the first play after Michigan took over, and Minnesota scored the winning touchdown with one minute and 24 seconds remaining.[11]

Week 6: Duke[edit]

1 234Total
Duke 0 068 14
Michigan 7 1407 28

On November 4, 1961, Michigan defeated 1961 ACC champion Duke, 28–14, before a crowd of 56,488 at Michigan Stadium. Bennie McRae scored three touchdowns on a five-yard run in the first quarter, a 15-yard pass from Dave Glinka in the second quarter, and a 34-yard interception return in the second quarter. Dave Raimey also rushed for 116 yards on 15 carries.[12]

Week 7: at Illinois[edit]

1 234Total
Michigan 7 71014 38
Illinois 0 006 6

On November 11, 1961, Michigan defeated Illinois, 38–6, before a crowd of 40,179 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, the outcome was the second consecutive Michigan victory in the seven-year rivalry between head coaching brothers Bump Elliott and Pete Elliott. Michigan played all 38 players who traveled to Champaign in an effort to keep the score down. Michigan gained 309 rushing yards and held Illinois to 55 rushing yards. Dave Raimey began the scoring on a 54-yard punt return. J. Paul Raeder scored two touchdowns, and George Mans caught a touchdown pass from Dave Glinka.[13]

Week 8: Iowa[edit]

1 234Total
Iowa 7 700 14
Michigan 3 0137 23

On November 18, 1961, Michigan defeated Iowa, 23–14, before a crowd of 61,925 at Michigan Stadium. Iowa was led by first-year head coach Jerry Burns who had played quarterback for Michigan. Michigan lost Bennie McRae with a shoulder separation in the first quarter, and Iowa took a 14-3 lead at halftime. Michigan rallied with three unanswered touchdowns in the second half. Dave Glinka ran 44 yards for his first collegiate touchdown. Dave Raimey totaled 102 rushing yards and scored on a one-yard run (set up by a 54-yard run by Harvey Chapman). Glinka threw a touchdown pass to Bob Brown that covered 20 yards. Iowa was held to two first downs and negative 16 rushing yards in the second half. Michigan outgained Iowa by 266 rushing yards to 97; in the Detroit Free Press, Joe Falls praised the courage of Bump Elliott's team and called the game "Elliott's finest victory of the season."[14]

Week 9: Ohio State[edit]

1 234Total
Ohio State 7 14029 50
Michigan 0 668 20

On November 25, 1961, Michigan lost to Ohio State, 50-20, before a crowd of 80,444 at Michigan Stadium. Ohio State fullback Bob Ferguson scored four touchdowns in the game, the Buckeyes' 50 points was the fourth highest point total allowed by a Michigan team up to that time, with two of the prior occasions occurring in the 1890s. Michigan's three touchdowns were scored on a 90-yard kickoff return by Dave Raimey and one-yard runs by Bruce McLenna and James Ward.[15]

Statistical leaders[edit]

Michigan's individual statistical leaders for the 1961 season include those listed below.[5][16]

Rushing[edit]

Player Attempts Net yards Yards per attempt Touchdowns
Dave Raimey 99 496 5.0 6
Bennie McRae 75 453 6.0 3
Bill Tunnicliff 96 396 4.1 3

Passing[edit]

Player Attempts Completions Interceptions Comp % Yards Yds/Comp TD Long
Dave Glinka 96 46 5 47.9 588 12.8 5 72
Bob Chandler 11 6 0 54.5 100 16.7 1 36

Receiving[edit]

Player Receptions Yards Yds/Recp TD Long
Bennie McRae 10 210 21.0 2 72
George Mans 14 138 9.9 1 16
Robert Brown 5 110 22.0 2 45

Kickoff returns[edit]

Player Returns Yards Yds/Return TD Long
Dave Raimey 10 308 30.8 1 90
Bennie McRae 8 148 18.5 0 29
Ed Hood 1 42 42.0 0 42

Punt returns[edit]

Player Returns Yards Yds/Return TD Long
Dave Raimey 7 92 13.1 1 54
Bennie McRae 10 39 3.9 0 11
Harvey Chapman 4 32 8.0 0 17

Players[edit]

The starting lineup of the 1961 football team was made up of the following players. Players who started at least four games are shown with their names in bold.[2]

  • Douglas Bickle - started 4 games at right tackle, 3 games at left tackle
  • Harvey Chapman - started 1 game at left halfback
  • Dave Glinka - started 2 games at quarterback
  • Todd Grant - started 6 games at center
  • Lee Hall - started 5 games at right guard, 3 games at left guard
  • John Houtman - started 6 games at left tackle
  • Dave Kurtz - started 1 game at right guard
  • Scott Maentz - started 9 games at left end
  • Frank Maloney - started 1 game at right guard
  • George Mans - started 9 games at right end
  • Bennie McRae - started 8 games at left halfback
  • John Minko - started 6 games at left guard
  • Joe O'Donnell - started 1 game at right guard
  • Jim Raeder - started 4 games at fullback
  • Dave Raimey - started 9 games at right halfback
  • Jon Schopf - started 5 games at right tackle
  • John Stamos - started 7 games at quarterback
  • Bill Tunnicliff - started 1 game at fullback
  • Ken Tureaud - started 3 games at fullback
  • John Walker - started 3 games at center, 1 game at right guard

Awards and honors[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "1961 Michigan Wolverines Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "1961 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Stephens Unanimous Choice on Big Ten". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 28, 1961. 
  4. ^ a b c "Saimes and MacRae Selected on All-Big Ten Football Team". The Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel. November 29, 1961. p. 16. 
  5. ^ a b "1961 Michigan Wolverines Statistics". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ "1961 Michigan Football Roster". Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  7. ^ Lyall Smith (October 1, 1961). "U-M, MSU Open with Bang: UCLA Ripped, 29 to 6". Detroit Free Press. pp. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  8. ^ Bob Pille (October 8, 1961). "U-M (38-8) and MSU (31-3) Roll On: Fumbles Kill The Army". Detroit Free Press. pp. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  9. ^ Lyall Smith (October 15, 1961). "It's Michigan State: C-R-U-N-C-H, 28-0: Spartan Defense Ruins U-M". Detroit Free Press. pp. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  10. ^ Joe Falls (October 22, 1961). "Safety First Pays Off for U-M: Purdue Beaten by 2-Pointer". Detroit Free Press. p. D1, D4 – via Newspapers.com. 
  11. ^ "Fumble Wrecks U-M, 23-20". Detroit Free Press. October 29, 1961. p. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  12. ^ "McRae Redeemed: M Wins, 28-14". Detroit Free Press. November 6, 1961. p. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  13. ^ Lyall Smith (November 12, 1961). "Oh Brother! -- M Clobbers Illini, 38-6". Detroit Free Press. pp. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  14. ^ Joe Falls (November 19, 1961). "Big Finishes Win for M, MSU: Wolverines Overhaul Iowa, 23-14". Detroit Free Press. pp. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  15. ^ "Bucks Pour It On M, 50-20". Detroit Free Press. November 26, 1961. p. D1, D3 – via Newspapers.com. 
  16. ^ "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". Mgoblue.com. University of Michigan. Retrieved November 6, 2017. (statistics retrieved by entering "1961" in the box for "Games & Totals by Season" and then, at the next screen, choosing "Display Season Totals")