1901 Michigan Wolverines football
National Champions
Big Ten Co-Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Rose Bowl, W 49–0 vs. Stanford
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
1901 record11–0 (4–0 Big Ten)
Head coachFielding H. Yost (1st season)
CaptainHugh White
Home stadiumRegents Field
← 1900
1902 →
1901 Big 9 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Michigan § 4 0 0     11 0 0
Wisconsin § 2 0 0     9 0 0
Minnesota 3 1 0     9 1 1
Illinois 4 2 0     8 2 0
Northwestern 3 2 0     8 2 1
Indiana 1 2 0     6 3 0
Purdue 0 3 1     4 4 1
Chicago 0 4 1     8 6 2
Iowa 0 3 0     6 3 0
§ – Conference co-champions

The 1901 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1901 college football season. In their first year under new head coach Fielding H. Yost, Michigan finished the season undefeated with an 11–0 record, outscored their opponents by the unprecedented total of 550 to 0, and became known as the first of Yost's famed "Point-a-Minute" teams. With a conference record of 4–0, Michigan shared the Big Ten title with Wisconsin, a team they did not face in 1901. The Wolverines concluded their season on January 1, 1902 by defeating Stanford, 49–0, in the 1902 Rose Bowl, the first college football bowl game ever played. The 1901 Michigan Wolverines have been recognized as national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation, the Houlgate System, and the National Championship Foundation.

The 1901 Michigan team featured two future College Football Hall of Fame inductees, Neil Snow and Willie Heston. Snow was selected as an All-American by Caspar Whitney for Outing magazine, and four Wolverines were selected for the All-Western team: Snow (fullback/end), Heston (halfback), Boss Weeks (quarterback), and Bruce Shorts (right tackle). The team's captain was left tackle, Hugh White.


Date Time Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 28, 1901* Albion Regents FieldAnn Arbor, MI W 55–0    
October 5, 1901* Case Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 57–0    
October 12, 1901 Indiana Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 33–0   2,000
October 19, 1901 Northwestern Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 29–0    
October 26, 1901* Buffalo Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 128–0    
November 2, 1901* vs. Carlisle Bennett ParkDetroit, MI W 22–0   8,000
November 9, 1901* at Ohio State University ParkColumbus, OH W 21–0   33,000
November 16, 1901† Chicago Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 22–0   3,500
November 23, 1901* Beloit Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 89–0   3,500
November 28, 1901 vs. Iowa National League Baseball ParkChicago, IL W 50–0   10,000
January 1, 1902* vs. Stanford Tournament ParkPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) W 49–0   8,000
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. All times are in Eastern Time.

Season summaryEdit


File:Fielding Yost 1902.png
File:Willie Heston (bentley image).jpg

The 1901 season was the first in which the Michigan football team won a national championship. The team finished the season undefeated, untied, and unscored upon, having prevailed in all eleven of their games by a combined score of 550 to 0.[1] The 1901 squad was the first of five consecutive high-scoring teams that came to be known as Coach Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams.[2] From 1901 to 1905, Yost's teams compiled a record of 55–1–1 and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 2,821 to 42.[2]

At the end of the 1901 season, team captain Hugh White wrote: "The fall of 1901 will go down in the history of Michigan athletics, not only as the most successful football season the University has ever had, but also as establishing the most wonderful and unique record in the history of the game."[3] A summary of the accomplishments of the 1901 Michigan team was published in the 1902 University of Michigan yearbook under the title "Yost's Soliloquy."[4] The accomplishments of the 1901 team included the following:

  • Highest number of points ever scored in a single season by a recognized team.
  • Ten men, all but the center, carried the ball in turns.
  • Speed of play. Michigan ran 219 plays in the Iowa game, compared to 149 run by Harvard in the Harvard–Yale game of 1901. The fast pace of Michigan's play on offense earned Yost the nickname "Hurry Up." Yost described the 1901 team as a speedy group "composed of muscular, wiry men who had no superfluous weight."[5]
  • Punting. The punting of Everett Sweeley was an important element in Michigan's success in 1901. Sweeley was regarded as "the best punter in the country."[4]
  • The strength of Michigan's line on defense. Michigan's fullback was called upon to make a tackle only once in the entire season. In the final three games of the season, Michigan's defense allowed only seven first downs. Four of Michigan's opponents (Albion, Case, Beloit, and Indiana) never had possession of the ball in Michigan's territory. Only Northwestern and Buffalo moved the ball inside Michigan's 30-yard line, and those two instances came on penalties against Michigan for forward passes.
  • Lack of injuries. Only one player was taken out of a game for injury, and he returned to practice the Monday after the Saturday game.[4] The injury was to Curtis Redden during the Carlisle game, and, according to Yost, Redden "was ready and anxious to play ten minutes after the injury."[5]

Whitmore LakeEdit

File:Hugh White.jpg

Fielding Yost was hired as the new coach at Michigan in the spring of 1901. He traveled to Ann Arbor in the spring to evaluate the talent pool with which he would be working. After sizing up the players, Yost asked for early practice in the fall. On September 9, 1901, Yost and 1901 team captain Hugh White gathered a small squad of men at Whitmore Lake; the squad grew over the next two weeks to nearly 20 players.[6] Training continued for nearly two weeks, and "cold baths in the lake soon toughened the men."[6] Yost worked with the players on the rudiments of the game and later recalled that, by the time they returned to Ann Arbor, "we had worked the men down into fairly good training for football work."[5]

In addition to training, Yost spent time at Whitmore Lake evaluating his talent to fit particular positions. He soon shifted players around. He moved the team's only All-American, Neil Snow, from end to fullback on offense, keeping him at right end on defense. Yost moved Arthur Redner from center to right guard and George W. Gregory to center.[7] He also brought Willie Heston with him from California at the halfback position. In a 1952 letter, Heston later recalled: "He brought to Michigan an entirely new brand of football, not known in the Big Ten nor to the Middle West. Particularly, that was true of his offense. Speed and more speed was continually emphasized. Boss Weeks was instructed to call his signal for the next play while the team was getting up from the last play."[7]

Team captain White recalled the time at Whitmore Lake as follows:

"The work at the Lake was a review in the first principles of the game, a thorough study and quiz upon the rules – something which had been sadly neglected in former years. It was also the first step in the conditioning of the team.[3]

A new freshman, David Banks, wrote a letter to his mother about his experience in trying out for the football team in the fall of 1901:

"I am not sure whether I ought to play football or not. ... I put on Tom's suit one night and went down to the field to meet Yost and a few other men. They made me run around the track a couple times to try my wind. Then they rolled me around the ground and sat on me a while. I did not understand the necessity of all they did to me, but the boys say every great player must begin that way."[8]
On September 24, 1901, the Michigan Daily-News predicted that "Hurry up" would become the future title of Michigan's new coach, Fielding Yost.[9]

Michigan 55, Albion 0Edit

File:Herb Graver.jpg

Michigan opened the 1901 season with a 55–0 win against Albion College. The game was played in 20-minute halves at Regents Field in Ann Arbor on September 28. Willie Heston appeared in his first game for the Wolverines as a substitute for Shaw at left halfback. In its account of the game, the Michigan Alumnus described Heston as a "stocky Californian" who "proved a whirlwind in bucking the line."[10] Heston's first touchdown as a Wolverine came on a defensive take-away described as follows: "Once when Albion had the ball on her 25-yard line, Heston broke through between guard and center, got possession of the ball before it left the quarter back's hands, and made a touchdown."[10]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Shaw Left halfback Yes23013
Sweeley Right halfback Yes1106
Snow Fullback Yes1005
White Left tackleYes1005
Heston Left halfbackNo1005
Shorts Right tackleYes1005
Graver QuarterbackNo0101
Total -- --75038[11]

Michigan 57, Case 0Edit

File:Walter W. Shaw.jpg

On October 5, Michigan played its second game of the season against Case Scientific School from Cleveland, Ohio. In a short game of 20-minute halves, Michigan won by a score of 57–0. Heston scored four touchdowns in the game, and he and Sweeley were singled out for praise in the account of the game published in the Michigan Alumnus:

"Two men, Sweeley and Heston, constantly won the plaudits of the rooters by their long gains around the ends. Sweeley is fleet, and he kept his feet in a way that reminded the wise ones of McLean's remarkable performances. Heston proved himself the ground gainer that he has given evidence of being during the daily practices."[12]
In its coverage of the game, the Alumnus also noted that Michigan's new coach Yost "refuses to have a man on the field who [is] 'yellow' or who is not willing to work and to take his fair share of knocks."[12] The Alumnus concluded: "If Michigan has a winning team, it will be because some of the enthusiasm of her coach has been transferred to the men."[12]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Heston Right halfbackNo40020
Sweeley Left halfbackYes21011
Snow FullbackYes20010
White Left tackle Yes1005
Woodward Right tackle Yes1005
Shaw Right halfbackYes0404
Graver QuarterbackNo0202
Total -- --107057

Michigan 33, Indiana 0Edit

On October 12, Michigan defeated Indiana, 33–0, at Regents Field. The game was played in a light rain on a "wet, heavy" playing field.[13] Michigan scored its points "by straight line bucking."[14] A newspaper account reported that, "From the first there was no doubt of the result, as Michigan scored a touchdown within four minutes."[13][15] Indiana managed to gain five yards for a first down only once in the game, and Michigan turned to a kicking game in the second half.[13] The longest gain of the game was a 70-yard kickoff return by Boss Weeks.[16]

Following the win over Indiana, the student newspaper, The Wolverine noted: "The 'Varsity showing was most satisfactory. Against a heavier team, on a slippery field which was all in favor of the visitors and directly opposed to our style of play, the 'Varsity was not found wanting and turned victory into a fight for big scores. Even the most optimistic did not look for such a large score, with the elements against us. The smiling, yet earnest face of Coach Yost has become a favorite feature at the games. His success as a coach has already been demonstrated, and every Michigan man is proud of him as an athlete, as a coach and as a man."[17]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Shorts Right tackleYes23013
Heston Left halfbackYes20010
Snow FullbackYes1005
Shaw Left halfbackNo1005
Total -- --63033

Michigan 29, Northwestern 0Edit

File:Boss Weeks.jpg

On October 19, Michigan defeated Northwestern by a score of 29–0 at Regents Field. In a game of two 25-minute halves, Heston scored three touchdowns and had runs of 55 and 45 yards.[18] Northwestern's longest gain was six yards.[18] The only threat to Michigan's goal came in the second half when Heston threw and incomplete pass to Sweeley. Northwestern took over at the ten-yard line and moved it by the "tandem play" to the two-yard line.[18] Yost later recalled the impressive play of his team in preventing Northwestern to score: "The defense at this point was as good as I have ever seen. Northwestern could not advance a foot. When the ball was held for downs and Michigan had again obtained possession, our goal line had passed its only danger of the season."[5] The Pittsburgh Press described the game as follows: "Just to show her superiority during the last few minutes of play, Michigan put in an all substitute line. The Michigan defence was impregnable and her offensive work grand."[19]

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Sweeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[19]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Heston Left halfbackYes30015
Shaw Left halfbackNo1005
Snow FullbackYes1005
Shorts Right tackleYes0404
Total -- --54029

Michigan 128, Buffalo 0Edit

Albert Herrnstein

Albert Herrnstein scored six touchdowns against Buffalo, six touchdowns against Beloit, and later coached the Ohio State football team.

On October 26, Michigan defeated the University of Buffalo by a score of 128–0 at Ann Arbor. Albert Herrnstein led the scoring with six touchdowns, and additional touchdowns were added by Neil Snow (4 touchdowns), Willie Heston (3), Arthur Redner (3), Curtis Redden (2) and Bruce Shorts (1).[20] Shorts was also successful on 18 of 22 extra point kicks in the game.[21] A newspaper account reported that "the most spectacular" play of the game came on a 90-yard touchdown run by Herrnstein.[22] The victory was so dominant that the Buffalo team quit fifteen minutes before the game should have ended.[23] The New York Times reported that the Wolverines' margin of victory was the third largest in the history of the sport:

"[T]he score of to-day's game was one of the most remarkable ever made in the history of football in the important colleges. Only two scores are recorded in American where a victory was won in more decided style. These occasions were when Stevens Institute beat the College of the City of New York by 162 to 0 at Hoboken, N.J., in 1885, and when Harvard beat Exeter by 158 to 0 at Exeter, Mass., in 1886."[20]

After the game, Buffalo's Coach Brown said Michigan was "one of the most wonderful teams he ever saw,"[22] and added, "Michigan can defeat any team in the East."[20] Buffalo had defeated the team from Columbia University, one of the stronger teams in the east, by a score of 5–0 earlier in the season. The 1901 Columbia team defeated Eastern "Big Four" power Penn, 11–0, and narrowly lost a game to Yale, 10–5. Several newspapers used the Buffalo game as a point of reference in assessing the strength of Michigan's 1901 team. The Pittsburgh Press reported that Michigan's big victory over a "fairly strong" Buffalo team "shows that Michigan has a remarkable team."[24] The Daily Review from Decatur, Illinois observed: "Considering the fact that Buffalo trimmed Columbia rather easily, making a larger score against the college than did Harvard or Yale, there seems some justice in" Coach Brown's comments that Michigan could defeat Harvard, Yale or Princeton.[22] The Adrian Daily Telegram opined: "Michigan defeated Buffalo 128 to 0, which clearly demonstrates that she can bump the big eastern four without much fear of disaster."[25]

In 1916, Coach Yost shared his recollections of the Buffalo game with Big Bill Edwards: "Buffalo University came to Michigan with a much-heralded team. They were coached by a Dartmouth man and had not been scored upon. Buffalo papers referred to Michigan as the Woolly Westerners, and the Buffalo enthusiasts placed bets that Michigan would not score."[23] The score at the end of the first half was 65 to 0. About fifteen minutes after the second half had started, Yost discovered a Buffalo player, Simpson, "on Michigan's side of the field, covered up in a blanket."[23] Yost was curious and asked, "Simpson, what are you doing over here? You are on the wrong side." To which, Simpson replied, "Don't say anything. I know where I am at. The coach has put me in three times already and I'm not going in there again. Enough is enough for any one. I've had mine."[23]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Herrnstein Right endYes50025
Shorts Right tackleYes118023
Snow FullbackYes40020
Redner Left halfbackNo40020
Heston Left halfbackYes30015
Redden Left endYes20010
Sweeley Right halfbackYes30015
Total -- --22180128

Michigan 22, Carlisle 0Edit

File:Everett Sweeley.jpg

The Wolverines defeated the Carlisle Indian School, 22–0, in a game played at Bennett Park in Detroit on November 2. The game was watched by a crowd of 8,000 spectators that included China's Minister to the United States, Wu Ting-Fan, occupying a box with former United States Secretary of War, Russell A. Alger. Michigan's 22 points came on three touchdowns (worth five points each), a field goal from Bruce Shorts (worth five points) and two extra points kicked by Shorts. At the end of the game, former Secretary of War Alger addressed the crowd and congratulated the Wolverines on their victory.[26]

The New York Times pointed to the Carlisle game as evidence that Michigan's remarkable season was not limited to small institutions. Harvard and Cornell beat Carlisle in 1901 by scores of 29–0 and 17–0, and Penn narrowly beat Carlisle by a score of 16–14. Coach Yost later wrote that he believed Michigan would have won by an even larger score if Curtis Redden had not been injured.[5] Michigan's convincing win over Carlisle, and its wins over Buffalo and Chicago, led the Times to conclude that a game between Michigan and one of the "Big Four" teams of the East "would be a conflict well worth seeing and productive of interesting and possibly startling results."[27]

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Seeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[26]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Shorts Right tackleYes12112
Wilson Right guardYes1005
Heston Left halfbackYes1005
Total -- --32122

Michigan 21, Ohio State 0Edit

Michigan defeated Ohio State, 21–0, in Columbus, Ohio on November 9. Ohio State held the Wolverines scoreless for 20 minutes and limited them to their lowest point total of the 1901 season. Fullback Neil Snow and left halfback Willie Heston scored two touchdowns each for Michigan (worth five points each), and Bruce Shorts added one extra point kick.[28] At the end of the season, Coach Yost wrote of the Ohio State game: "The Ohio State game proved to be a hard one. We could score but 21 points against them, although there was no doubt in the minds of all who saw the game that Michigan's team was vastly superior in all departments of the game. Costly fumbles and short halves combined to make this score the lowest of the season."[5]

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Seeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[28]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Snow FullbackYes20010
White Left tackleYes1005
Heston Right halfbackYes1005
Shorts Right tackleYes0101
Total -- --41021

Michigan 22, Chicago 0Edit

File:Curtis Redden.jpg

On November 16, Michigan faced its traditional rival in Amos Alonzo Stagg's University of Chicago Maroons football team. Coach Yost noted, "I knew long before I came to Michigan of the great rivalry existing between this University and the University of Chicago. It was my desire to win this game above all others."[5] The game was played at Regents Field in front of one of the largest crowds that ever attended a game up to that time in Ann Arbor. Michigan won the game 22–0 on two touchdowns by left tackle Hugh White and one touchdown each by fullback Neil Snow and right tackle Bruce Shorts. Michigan's defense held the Chicago offense to two first downs, and Chicago only once had possession of the ball in Michigan territory.[29] Despite the win, Coach Yost was disappointed with the low point total accumulated by his team and publicly stated that "we would have scored many more points on Chicago if the field had been dry."[5] Yost described the impact of the weather on his team as follows: "Much to our disappointment the game was played on a muddy field in a snowstorm, and the work of our backs was seriously handicapped. The Chicago team was not to the same extent handicapped by reason of the fact that it did not rely upon speed to advance the ball. ... End-running was impossible, and we were compelled to make our gains by line-bucking which is a slow process ..."[5]

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Seeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[29]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
White Left tackleYes20010
Shorts Right tackleYes1207
Snow FullbackYes1005
Total -- --42022

Michigan 89, Beloit 0Edit

File:Bruce Shorts.jpg

Michigan played its final home game on November 23 and won, 89–0, over Beloit College. The game was played on a wet field that was "practically a pond in the centre, filled in with sawdust before the game started."[30] Because of the field conditions, Michigan was not able to execute its end runs and relied principally on "line bucking."[30] Right end Albert Herrnstein scored six touchdowns for 30 points, including two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the second half.[30] Coach Yost later recalled the scene on the field after one of Herrnstein's runs: "Once when Herrnstein made a long run for a touchdown I remember of seeing four Beloit players stretched on the ground in a line where they had made useless efforts to stop him."[5] Right tackle Bruce Shorts scored a touchdown and kicked 14 extra points for 19 points. Fullback Neil Snow added three touchdowns for 15 points, and single touchdowns were scored by Heston, White, Graver, Sweeley and Redden.[30] The Beloit team managed to gain the five yards required for a first down on only one drive late in the game.[30] Beloit's one first down came on a fake kick followed by a run of 15 yards—the largest gain made by any team against Michigan in 1901.[5] The New York Times reported: "The strong team from Beloit was unable to do anything against the Ann Arbor men."[30]

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Seeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[30]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Herrnstein Right halfbackYes60030
Shorts Right tackleYes314029
Snow FullbackYes1005
Heston Left halfbackYes1005
White Left tackleYes1005
Graver QuarterbackNo1005
Sweeley Right endYes1005
Redner Left halfbackNo1005
Total -- --1514089

Michigan 50, Iowa 0Edit

Michigan closed its regular season schedule on November 28 with a 50–0 win over the University of Iowa at the National League Baseball Park in Chicago. The New York Times reported that "Michigan scored almost at will" and "outclassed" a "sturdy, plucky" Iowa team.[31] Willie Heston and Bruce Shorts scored four touchdowns each for Michigan and "played a spectacular part for the Wolverines."[31] Shorts added five successful extra point kicks giving him 25 points in the game.

Michigan's starters in the game were Curtis Redden (left end), Hugh White (left tackle), Dan McGugin (left guard), George Gregory (center), Ebin Wilson (right guard), Bruce Shorts (right tackle), Albert Herrnstein (right end), Boss Weeks (quarterback), Willie Heston (left halfback), Everett Seeley (right halfback), and Neil Snow (fullback).[31]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Shorts Right tackleYes45025
Heston Left halfbackYes40020
Snow FullbackYes1005
Total -- --95050

Rose Bowl: Michigan 49, Stanford 0Edit

File:Neil Snow.jpg

After the conclusion of the 1901 football season, Michigan was invited to play against Stanford in the first Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California. Michigan won the game on New Year's Day 1902 by the score of 49–0.[32][33]

The players that traveled to California were starters, Hugh White, Curtis Redden, Dan McGugin, George Gregory, Bruce Shorts, Albert Herrnstein, Boss Weeks, Everett Sweeley, Willie Heston, and Neil Snow, and substitutes Arthur Redner (back), Benjamin Harrison Southworth (guard), James E. Forrest (tackle), and Paul J. Jones (back).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Snow FullbackYes50025
Redden Left endYes20010
Sweeley Right endYes0015
Herrnstein Right halfbackYes1005
Shorts Right guardYes0404
Total -- --84149


At the conclusion of the 1901 season, team captain Hugh White gave head coach Fielding Yost and trainer Keene Fitzpatrick substantial credit for the performance of the 1901 team. He credited the coach with "inoculating into the men some of Mr. Yost's own spirit, impulsiveness and optimism," and with having the "faculty of adapting his plays to the material at hand so that he got the best there was out of every one of the eleven men."[34] With respect to the trainer, White noted:

"An equally strong element, and one many are apt to overlook, was the work of Keene Fitzpatrick. Consider a team training nearly four months, without a man going stale, and but one injured so that he had to be taken out of the game! Then in addition a trip of nearly 3000 miles, from a climate where the thermometer registered 10 degrees below zero, into one of summer weather, and eleven men playing through an entire game and finishing it with faster and stronger play than at the beginning! Such were the results achieved by our trainer. ... Too much praise cannot be given him."[34]

For its impressive average of 50 points per game on offense and eleven games of scoreless defense, the 1901 team has been recognized as one of the greatest college football teams of all time.[35][36][37][38][39]


Varsity letter winnersEdit

The following 13 players received varsity "M" letters for their participation on the 1901 football team:[40]

Player Position Games
Hometown HeightWeightClassPrior
Herbert S. Graver Left end 1Chicago, Illinois5' 9"157Eng '04Englewood H.S.
George W. Gregory Center 11Redding, California 6' 1/2"188Law '04Shasta H.S.
Albert E. Herrnstein Right end
Right halfback
Chillicothe, Ohio5' 11"168Lit. '03Sub
Willie Heston Left halfback
Right halfback
Grants Pass, Oregon5' 10"175Law '04San Jose Normal
Dan McGugin Left guard 10Tingley, Iowa 5' 11"175Law '04Drake University
Curtis Redden Left end10Rossville, Illinois6' 3/4"166Law '03Varsity (1 yr)
Arthur Redner Halfback0Bessemer, Michigan5' 9"156Eng. '04Varsity (1 yr)
Bruce Shorts Right tackle11Mt. Pleasant, Michigan6' 1"190Law '01
Varsity (1 yr)
Neil Snow Fullback 11Detroit, Michigan6' 2"185Lit. '02Varsity (3 yrs)
Everett Sweeley Right halfback
Left halfback
Right end
Sioux City, Iowa6' 1/4"167Lit. '03Varsity (2 yrs)
Boss Weeks Quarterback11Allegan, Michigan5' 7"150Law '02Varsity (1 yr)
Hugh White Left tackle11Lapeer, Michigan5' 11" 180Law '02Varsity (3 yrs)
Ebin Wilson Right guard11Merrill, Michigan5' 6" 185Law '02Sub

Varsity substitutesEdit

File:Dan McGugin.jpg
  • Edward W. "John" Dickey, Weiser, Idaho, Law '02. "He has been a candidate for the center position. His work has been consistent. He is a hard fighter and a valuable man."[21]
  • James E. Forest, 6 feet, 4 inches, 200 pounds, Ann Arbor, Michigan (started 1 game at left guard): "He is very heavy and has displayed good form at tackle."[21]
  • Benjamin H. Southworth, 5 feet, 9 inches, 187 pounds, Reading, Michigan, Med '03. He appeared as a substitute in three games—at center in the Albion game, left tackle in the Buffalo game, and left guard in the Beloit game. "Southworth, the big guard, is a junior medic. He has the weight, and with an increase of speed will develop into a 'Varsity player."[21]
  • Walter W. Shaw, 5 feet, 9 inches, 156 pounds, Kansas City, Missouri, Law '02. Shaw was a starting halfback in the first two games of the 1901 season, with Willie Heston as his backup. In the third and fourth games of the season against Indiana and Northwestern, Heston got the start at left halfback, and Shaw substituted for Heston late in the games. Shaw did not appear in any games for Michigan after the Northwestern game. According to a newspaper account at the end of the 1901 season, he was "kept out of the game most of the year by an injured knee."[21]
  • Paul J. Jones, Youngstown, Ohio: "His work at fullback has been exceptionally good, and he is regarded as the most available man for that position next year."[21]
  • James C. Knight - Norway, Michigan, 5 feet 11, inches, 165 pounds, Law '03. Knight played for Princeton as an undergraduate and subsequently appeared in five games for the 1901 Michigan team while studying law there. He was Michigan's starting right end in the first two games of 1901 season. He was a substitute in the Indiana game, but returned to the starting lineup against Northwestern. He appeared as a substitute in the Carlisle game, but did not appear in any further games during the 1901 season.
  • Norman Sterry
  • Daniel Wallace Woodward - Clinton, Wisconsin (started 1 game at right tackle)[41]

Scoring leadersEdit

Player Touchdowns
(5 points)
Extra points
1 point
Field goals
(5 points)
Bruce Shorts 13531123
Willie Heston 2000100
Neil Snow 190095
Albert Herrnstein 120060
Everett Sweeley 72142
Hugh White60030
Walter Shaw47027
Arthur Redner50025
Curtis Redden40020
Herb Graver1308


File:Keene Fitpatrick.jpg
  • Albert Preussman, 158 pounds, Chicago, IL: "Preussman, the quarterback, has been the whole life of the reserve team. He runs the plays off fast and handles the ball well."[21]
  • Arthur G. Urquhart, 167 pounds, Ironwood, Michigan: "His work at halfback has shown great improvement this year. He is aggressive and fearless and has been a faithful worker."[21]
  • John F. Hincks, 167 pounds, Manistee, Michigan: "Hincks has been on the reserves two years. He is a halfback and has done some good end running this year. He is also a fine punter."[21]
  • Andrew G. Reid, 158 pounds, Indianola, Iowa (Simpson College): "Reid is a first year student in the law department. He has developed rapidly in the fullback position."[21]
  • David L. Dunlap, Hopkinton, Iowa: "Dunlap, '05 medic, has played a good game at end. He is fast and with more experience will develop into a valuable man."[21]
  • Norman Sterry, Los Angeles, California: "Sterry, '03 law, is a good man in any of the line positions. He knows the game thoroughly and is a hard, earnest player."[21]
  • Cecil Gooding, 192 pounds, Ann Arbor, Michigan: "Gooding, '05 engineer, played on the Ann Arbor High School team last year. He played center on the all-fresh team this year and has shown up well on the reserves."[21]
  • David E. Beardsley, Kalamazoo, Michigan: "Beardsley, '02 lit, formerly played tackle on his class team. He has been used at the end on the reserves where he played a good, consistent game."[21]
  • William Edward Snushall, Traverse City, Michigan: "Snushall, the guard, is a sophomore engineer. He is a hard worker and has shown good form."[21]
  • George Mark Davidson, Wichita, Kansas: "Davidson, '03 engineer, has shown up well at halfback. He runs well and fights hard on the defensive."[21]
  • Joseph C. Horgan, 175 pounds, Victor, Colorado: "Horgan, '03 law, has been used at tackle and guard. He plays a good defensive game and has been a reliable reserve."[21]
  • Moses Johnson, Wichita, Kansas: "Johnson, '05 lit, has shown fine form at tackle. He is well built for a line position and is undoubtedly good 'varsity material."[21]
  • Samuel J. Sackett, Ann Arbor, MI: "Sackett, '03 law, has played halfback on the reserves. He played quarterback last year on the reserves, and the same position on the '03 lit team in 1899."[21]
  • Harold Baker, Rochester, New York, 185 pounds (N.Y. Military Academy): "Baker, '05 homeop., formerly played on the University of Rochester team. He is heavy and active and should make a good guard or center."[21]
  • Claude C. Frazer, Flint, Michigan: "Frazier, '02 law, although light, has done good work at end."[21]

Coaching staffEdit

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. "1901 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Archived from the original on 14 December, 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Allison Danzig (1956). "10: An Era of Yost, Stagg, and Thorpe". The History of American Football. Prentice-Hall, Inc.. p. 153=154.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hugh White (1902). Review of the Season. Michiganensian 1902. p. 130.;cc=moa;idno=aag4364.1902.001;q1=ebin;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=136. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Yost's Soliloquy. Michiganensian 1902. 1902. p. 132.;cc=moa;idno=aag4364.1902.001;q1=ebin;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=138;page=root;view=image. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Jesse J. Ricks (1901). "Introductory Review". Michigan Daily-News Football Year-Book. Ann Arbor Printing Company. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Athletics". Michigan Alumnus. October 1901. p. 23. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Allison Danzig, The History of American Football, p. 154 (quoting a May 13, 1942 letter from Willie Heston to the author).
  8. "Letters of David Banks '05". The Wolverine. 1901-10-18. p. 8. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  9. 1902 Michiganensian, p. 173.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "The Albion Game". Michigan Alumnus. October 1901. p. 24. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  11. There appears to be a discrepancy in the historic record as to Michigan's point total in the Albion game. The Bentley Historical Library lists the game score as 55-0. The Michigan Alumnus in October 1901 reflected a game score of 50-0. The box score published in the same issue of the Michigan Alumnus reflects the scoring of seven touchdowns and five goals after touchdown, which would result in a point total of 40.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "The Case Game". Michigan Alumnus. October 1901. pp. 24–25. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Easy for Michigan". The Daily Review (Decatur, IL). 1901-10-13.
  14. "Michigan 33; Indiana 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-10-13. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  15. "Touchdown in Four Minutes: Michigan Defeats Indiana Score By Smashes". Cedar Rapids Republican. 1901-10-13.
  16. "The Indiana Game". Michigan Alumnus. November 1901. p. 78. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  17. Walter T. Fishleigh (1901-10-18). "Athletics". The Wolverine: p. 5. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "The Northwestern Game". Michigan Alumnus. November 1901. pp. 79–80. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Preachers Beaten: Michigan University Battered Northwestern's Football Team". The Pittsburgh Press. 1901-10-21.,7593395&dq=michigan+northwestern&hl=en. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "MICHIGAN MADE HUGE SCORE; Buffalo Football Team, Conquerors of Columbia, Shut Out by Score of 128 to 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-10-27. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 21.12 21.13 21.14 21.15 21.16 21.17 21.18 21.19 21.20 Jesse J. Ricks (1901). The Michigan Daily-News Football Year-Book. Ann Arbor Printing Company. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "Gridiron Gossip". The Daily Review (Decatur, IL). 1901-10-28.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 William Hanford Edwards (1916). Football Days: Memories of the Game and of the Men behind the Ball. p. 292. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  24. "Coach Yost Known Here: Handler of Michigan's Great Team Lives at Morgantown". The Pittsburgh Press. 1901-10-29.,1305231&dq=michigan+football&hl=en. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  25. "Football". Adrian Daily Telegram. 1901-10-28.
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Michigan 22, Carlisle 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-03. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  27. "COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES; Records of the Principal Contests Played This Season. U. OF MICHIGAN'S HIGH TOTAL Western Team's Goal Line Not Crossed Once During the Year – Harvard the Champion" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-24. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Michigan 21, Ohio State 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-10. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Michigan 22, Chicago 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-17. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 "Michigan 89, Beloit 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-24. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 "Michigan 50, Iowa 0" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-11-29. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  32. "1902 Rose Bowl". University of Michigan. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  33. "Rose Bowl Game". Tournament of Roses. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Hugh White, Review of the Season, p. 131.
  35. "The 50 Most Bad Ass College Football Teams". Retrieved 16 March 2010.(ranking the 1901 Wolverines as the #5 team in college football history)
  36. "Greatest College Football Team of All-Time (Season)". Rankopedia. Retrieved 16 March 2010. (ranking the 1901 Wolverines #14)
  37. "Best College Football Teams". The Top Tens. Archived from the original on 30 March, 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010. (ranking the 1901 Wolverines #25)
  38. David Schoenfeld (2009-04-14). "Connecticut women join list of perfect teams". (picking 1901 Wolverines as 28th greatest perfect season across all sports)
  39. "Readers: Best college football team". Retrieved 16 March 2010. (1901 Wolverines among top 19 teams of all-time in votes by espn readers)
  40. "Football M's for 1901". The Michigan Alumnus. December 1901. p. 133.'s%22&f=false. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  41. Birth 25 Sep 1878 in Allens Grove, Walworth Co., Wisconsin; Death 03 Jul 1904 in Delavan Lake, Walworth Co., Wisconsin.
  42. Harry Kent Crafts was the son of Clayton Crafts, the speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. He attended Northwestern University law school after graduating from Michigan in 1901. He became a lawyer in Chicago. He was married to Verna Louise Harris, June 18, 1903, at Ann Arbor. He was employed for 20 years as the assistant general counsel for Armour & Company. He died December 16, 1939. See obituary.
  43. Caspar Whitney (1902). "The Sportsman's View-Point". The Outing Magazine. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  44. "The Middle Western Football Season". The Outing Magazine. 1902. p. 501. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  45. "Walter Camp's All-Western Team". Michigan Alumnus. January 1902. p. 179. Retrieved 20 March 2010.

External linksEdit

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