Indiana snapped a more than 30-year losing streak to Michigan in 2020, but there’s a much longer run of suffering against the Wolverines that remains.
You’d have to be older than 60 to remember the last time IU won at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
There was a long stretch in the series when the only way to beat Michigan was to do so in Ann Arbor. 24 of the first 25 meetings (from 1900 to 1958) between the Hoosiers and Wolverines took place at Michigan. Things have balanced out since, but in total, of the 71 all-time meetings, only 24 were played in Bloomington.
From 1936 to 1945, IU experienced sustained success in Ann Arbor, winning three of four at the Big House over that span all under the direction of coach Bo McMillin.
Buoyed by Michigan’s second ever trip to Bloomington in 1959, IU won three of four for a second time in the series from 1958 to 1967. The last game in that stretch marked IU’s last win in Ann Arbor. They’ve lost 21 straight there since.
There have been some close calls at Michigan Stadium over the last 56 years. Two of the more recent instances include a 2013 IU loss despite their scoring 47 points in regulation. And in 2009 a furious Bill Lynch threw his gum in anger after a botched replay review effectively stole IU’s chance for a final scoring drive in a 36-33 loss.
Indiana’s two most memorable wins in Ann Arbor came in connection with their two most memorable seasons.
After IU blitzed Michigan 20-0 in 1944, the 1945 Big Ten title would be effectively decided by the season-opening game in Ann Arbor.
IU freshman phenom George Taliaferro rushed for 96 yards, completed three passes and handled IU’s punting duties in the Hoosiers 13-7 win.
Future Major League Baseball All-Star Ted Kluszewski caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Raimondi in the first quarter. In the second quarter, future Detroit Lion Mel Groomes caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Raimondi to give IU a 13-0 advantage. IU held off a Michigan second half rally to claim a second consecutive win at the Big House.
The 1945 Hoosiers would go on to claim the Big Ten title.
IU opened the 1967 season with a 4-0 record that they took to Ann Arbor on Oct. 21. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 20-0 lead but again had to hold on late.
Indiana halfback John Isenbarger had a big game for the Hoosiers, running for a pair of touchdowns and throwing for another. But it was his gaffe on an attempted punt in the second quarter that allowed the Wolverines to get on the board.
When he received the snap for a punt, Isenbarger instead took off running and was tackled deep in Michigan territory. The Wolverines took over on downs inside the 20 and scored a touchdown to get on the board.
After Michigan came all the way back to tie the game at 20, Isenbarger made amends for the botched punt with the game-winning score in the final minutes.
Those 1967 Hoosiers entered the top-10 after the Michigan win, and would go on to the Rose Bowl.
While the early approach to scheduling created an imbalance with almost every game at Michigan, overall IU has had more success at Michigan in the series. The Hoosiers are 7-40 (.149) in games played at Michigan, and 3-21 (.125) at Indiana.
Here are all seven of IU’s wins at Michigan:
- 1928, Indiana 6 Michigan 0
- 1936, Indiana 14 Michigan 3
- 1944, Indiana 20 Michigan 0
- 1945, Indiana 13 Michigan 7
- 1954, Indiana 13 Michigan 9
- 1958, Indiana 8 Michigan 6
- 1967, Indiana 27 Michigan 20
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