Throwback Thursday: Big Red Football Shocks the Wolverines
Believe it or not, Cornell has a historic tradition of football excellence, including five national championships. On this Flashback Friday, we look back at one of the most memorable games in Big Red history, the team’s 20-7 victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
On November 10, 1951, Cornell took down the defending Rose Bowl and four-time Big Ten champions with a display of smothering defense. Michigan’s offense, one of the most prolific and dynamic units in the entire country was only able to manage a mere 39 rushing yards and a single touchdown against the Big Red defense. This strong defensive effort forced the Wolverines to employ their weak passing attack, which the Cornell secondary exploited for three interceptions. The Big Red was able to come away with the win despite being down 7-0 at halftime, which was due largely in part to the play of backup quarterback, junior Jack Jaeckel. While the Michigan defense was very prepared for Cornell’s running game, they weren’t properly equipped to stop Jaeckel and his crafty passing plays. Therefore, the Big Red was able to put the game away through a strong second half surge.
To this day, this historic game in 1951 was the largest crowd ever in the 100-year history of Shoellkopf Field with 35,300 people in attendance. Those in stands of the crescent instantly became part of one of the iconic moments in Cornell football history with the squad’s victory over national powerhouse Michigan.