1902 Michigan Wolverines football
National Champions
Big Ten Champions
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
1902 record11–0 (5–0 Big Ten)
Head coachFielding H. Yost (2nd season)
CaptainBoss Weeks
Home stadiumRegents Field
← 1901
1903 →
1902 Big 9 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Michigan 5 0 0     11 0 0
Chicago 5 1 0     14 1 0
Minnesota 3 1 0     9 2 1
Illinois 4 2 0     10 2 1
Purdue 2 2 0     7 2 1
Wisconsin 1 3 0     6 3 0
Iowa 0 3 0     5 4 0
Northwestern 0 4 0     6 6 0
Indiana 0 4 0     3 5 1
† – Conference champion

The 1902 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1902 college football season. In their second year under head coach Fielding H. Yost, Michigan finished the season undefeated with an 11–0 record, outscored their opponents by a combined score of 644 to 12, and became known as the second of Yost's famed "Point-a-Minute" teams. With a conference record of 5–0, Michigan won the Big Nine Conference championship. The 1902 Michigan Wolverines have also been recognized as national champions by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, National Championship Foundation and Parke H. Davis.

Quarterback Boss Weeks was the team's captain and the leader of the Wolverines' offense that twice scored more than 100 points against opponents and averaged 58.6 points per game. Right halfback Albert E. Herrnstein was the team's leading scorer with 135 points on 27 touchdowns (valued at five points under 1902 rules). Fullback James E. Lawrence was the second-leading scorer with 113 points on 12 touchdowns and 53 extra point kicks (then known as "goals from touchdown"). Willie Heston, Joe Maddock and Paul J. Jones added 15, 12 and 11 touchdowns, respectively.


Date Time Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 27, 1902* Albion Regents FieldAnn Arbor, MI W 88–0   2,000
October 4, 1902* Case Scientific School Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 48–6    
October 8, 1902* Michigan Agricultural Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 119–0    
October 11, 1902 Indiana Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 60–0    
October 18, 1902* vs. Notre Dame Armory ParkToledo, OH W 23–0   1,700
October 25, 1902* Ohio State Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 86–0   6,000
November 1, 1902 2:40 p.m. vs. Wisconsin Marshall FieldChicago, IL W 6–0   20,000
November 8, 1902 Iowa Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 107–0   3,000
November 15, 1902 2:15 p.m. at Chicago Marshall Field • Chicago, IL W 21–0   14,000
November 22, 1902* Oberlin Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 63–0    
November 27, 1902† 2:15 p.m. Minnesota Regents Field • Ann Arbor, MI W 23–6   9,000
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. All times are in Eastern Time.


File:Fielding Yost 1902.png

The 1902 Michigan football team won Michigan's second consecutive western football championship. Although there was no mechanism in place at the time for the selection of a national champion, the 1902 Wolveirnes have been recognized as the national championship team by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, National Championship Foundation and Parke H. Davis.[1] The team finished the season undefeated and untied, having prevailed in all eleven of their games by a combined score of 644 to 12.[2] The 1902 squad was the second of five consecutive high-scoring teams that came to be known as Coach Yost's "Point-a-Minute" teams.[3] 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.[3]

Team captain and quarterback Boss Weeks wrote a review of the 1902 season for the 1903 yearbook, the Michiganensian. Weeks opened his review as follows: "The story of the football season of 1902 is easily told. Champions of the West, with no one to dispute it."[4] In the same publication, Fielding Yost published a 15-point essay entitled, "Why Michigan Is Great." Some of Yost's points included the following:

"First. Speed. Both as a team and in the individual players, Michigan was speedy. ...
Second. Knowledge of the Game. All of the Michigan players were well versed in the fundamental principles of the game in every department. ...
Third. Endurance. the men are of wonderful endurance. This is much due to their fine training ...
Fourth. Spirit. Among the players there is the finest of fellow-feeling. The men's love of the game had helped give them the proper spirit. They have the desire to win -- the spirit of fighters.
Fifth. Team Work. Michigan's team work has been wonderful. ...
Seventh. Weight. Michigan had a well-balanced team. The average was 182 pounds very equally distributed. But one man weighed over 200 pounds (Carter) and but one less than 170 pounds (Weeks at quarterback).
Eighth. Style of Attack. Michigan varied her onslaughts very much, depending largely upon the style of defense used by the team opposing it. Every man on the team was used to carry the ball, thus distributing the work.
Ninth. Generalship. Captain Weeks deserves great credit for Michigan's success. As a leader of forces and strategist I believe he has no equal on the gridiron today. ...
Tenth. Punting. In Sweeley, Michigan has one of the greatest kickers in the country. Never has he had a kick blocked in his four years' play at Michigan. ...
Twelfth. Defense. Michigan's defensive playing has been wonderful. No team was able to cross Michigan's goal on straight football in the last two years ...
Fifteenth. Met All Teams. Michigan's schedule was far harder than that usually arranged for a team. She played five state universities and all the strong Western teams."[5]

Popularity of football on campusEdit

With the success of Yost's football team, football enjoyed a surge of popularity on Michigan's campus in 1902. Even the student literary magazine, The Inlander, which usually filled its pages with poems, short stories, and essays by students, gave its entire December 1902 issue to a celebration of the football team. The special issue featured a photograph of Yost on the cover and included all manner of facts and figures on the popular team.[6] Noting the popularity of the sport with Michigan's female students, Detroit Free Press in November 1902 wrote about the spectators in attendance at Michigan's home game against Minnesota:

"But the dominant note of the gathering was the girl. She was there in every type and style, in every section of the stands and on every row. There was the college girl and the town girl, sweater girl and gown girl. And whatever type of girl she was elsewhere, she was always the Michigan girl."[7]

Game summariesEdit

Michigan 88, Albion 0Edit

Michigan opened the 1902 season with an 88–0 victory over Albion College.[8] Michigan completed all but one drive with touchdowns. The Wolverines starters scored eight touchdowns and 45 points in the first 20-minute half, and the substitutes added seven touchdowns and a safety in the second half.[9] On defense, Michigan allowed only a single first down by Albion.[9]

The game was played in halves of 20 minutes each. Rinehart of Lafayette was the umpire, and Thomas of Michigan was the referee. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Johnson (left tackle), Baker (left guard), Gregory (center), Lawrence (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Cole (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).[9]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsSafetiesPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes400020
Willie HestonHalfbackYes300015
Ross KidstonHalfbackNo300015
Paul JonesFullfbackYes200010
James E. LawrenceGuardYes06006
Harold BakerGuardYes10005
James ForrestTackleNo10005
Joe MaddockTackleYes10005
William ColeEndYes05005
No player credit ----00012
Total -- --15 11 0188

Michigan 48, Case 6Edit

In its second game of the 1902, Michigan played the Case Scientific School (later Case Western Reserve University) of Cleveland. The October 4 game was the fifth meeting between the schools. Although Michigan scored eight touchdowns and easily defeated Case by a score of 48 to 6, the big story of the game was a 30-yard touchdown run by Case's left halfback, Davidson.[10] Michigan had not allowed any points to be scored in the first 12 games under Fielding Yost. The headline in the Detroit Free Press referred not to Michigan's victory but instead read, "MICHIGAN'S GOAL LINE CROSSED."[11] The Michigan Alumnus wrote that the touchdown by Case "caused consternation among coach, team, and students" as "it had been their fondest hope that the goal line should remain uncrossed another year."[10]

The game was played in halves of 20 minutes each. Rinehart of Lafayette was the umpire, and Gaston of Cleveland was the referee. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Lawrence (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Cole (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Kidston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).[10]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes30015
James LawrenceTackleYes18013
Paul JonesFullbackYes20010
William PalmerTackle No20010
Total -- --88048

Michigan 119, Michigan Agricultural 0Edit

Albert Herrnstein

Albert E. Herrnstein led all Michigan scorers with 27 touchdowns, including seven against Michigan Agricultural College.

Michigan played a mid-week game against Michigan Agricultural College (now known as Michigan State University) on Wednesday, October 8, 1902, four days after the win against Case. Michigan attained its highest point total of the year, defeating the Aggies by a score of 119-0. The Wolverines scored 71 points in the first half of 20 minutes and 48 in the second half of 18 minutes.[12] The Michigan Alumnus called it "the greatest fusillade of touchdowns ever known to the football world," excluding Michigan's 128–0 win over Buffalo in 1901.[13] Michigan was held on downs only once in the game, and the Aggies made only three first downs.[12] Right halfback Albert Herrnstein ran back a kickoff the length of the field and scored seven touchdowns in the game. Willie Heston and Everett Sweeley did not play in the game, and the Detroit Free Press noted: "The opinion is quite general that if Heston and Sweeley had been in the game the Buffalo record would have been beaten, but, as it was, Michigan was simply fagged out running down the field for touchdowns."[12]

The game was played in two halves of 20 minutes and 18 minutes. Demonstrating the understatement of the "Point-a-Minute" name given to the team, the Wolverines scored 119 points in 38 minutes of play, an average of 3.1 points per minute. After the game, The Newark Advocate wrote:

"Michigan has undoubtedly the fastest scoring team in the world, and the Ann Arbor boys play Yosts' 'hurry up' formations like clock work. It requires a fast team to take the ball, line up and score 119 points, even if they have no opponents in two 20 minute halves."[14]

Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Lawrence (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Cole (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Kidston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback). Richardson of Michigan was the umpire, and Thomas of Michigan was the referee.[13]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes70035
James LawrenceTackleYes019019
Herb GraverHalfbackYes30015
Paul DickeyHalfbackNo30015
Curtis ReddenEndYes20010
William ColeEndYes20010
Paul JonesFullbackYes1005
Charles CarterGuardYes1005
Ross KidstonHalfbackYes1005
Total -- --20190119

Michigan 60, Indiana 0Edit

File:James E. Lawrence (1902).jpg

Michigan defeated Indiana 60-0 in the fourth game of the season.[15] The Indiana team was led by College Football Hall of Famer Zora G. Clevenger.

James Lawrence was the star of the game for Michigan. In his first game after Fielding Yost moved him to the fullback position, Lawrence scored four touchdowns and kicked nine goals after touchdown, accounting for 29 of Michigan's 60 points. The Michigan Alumnus wrote that Lawrence "was called upon repeatedly to take the ball and would always advance it eight or ten yards" with big holes being opened by guards Carter and McGugin.[16] Michigan's "most spectacular play" of the game was a 75-yard touchdown run by Maddock.[16] The Alumnus gave particular praise to the defense: "Only once was Indiana able to make an impression on her impregnable wall and that on a very short run by Clevenger."[16]

At the invitation of Michigan's graduate manager Charles A. Baird, more than 2,000 school children accompanied by their teachers attended the game. University of Michigan president James B. Angell also attended the game for the first time of the year. Wisconsin Badgers football coach Phil King also attended the game with his fullback Earl "Keg" Driver to scout the Michigan team in preparation for the upcoming game between the two teams.[16][17]

The game was played in halves of 25 and 20 minutes. Through the first four games of the season, Yost's "Point-a-Minute" team had scored 315 points in 163 minutes of play, an average of almost two points per minute.[15]

Michigan's starting lineup was Graver (left end), Baker (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Cole (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Lawrence (fullback).[16]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
James LawrenceFullbackYes49029
Willie HestonHalfbackYes20010
Joe MaddockTackleYes20010
Herb GraverEndYes20010
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes0101
Total -- --1010060

Michigan 23, Notre Dame 0Edit

File:Curtis Redden.jpg

After four home games to open the season, Michigan played Notre Dame at a neutral site in Toledo, Ohio on October 18, 1902. The game was played on a slippery white clay field at Armory Park following a night of rain. Michigan had been heavily favored to win, and betting on the game was 2 to 1 that Notre Dame would not score.[18] Though favored to run up a high score, Michigan scored only one touchdown and led 5-0 at the end of the first half. The Detroit Free Press wrote that the game was "the toughest proposition that the Wolverines have had, either this season or last year."[18]

Michigan tackle Joe Maddock was the leading scorer with three touchdowns. The game also marked the debut of right end Everett Sweeley, who punted several times for a distance of 60 yards. On the opening kickoff, Sweeley returned the ball with a punt to Notre Dame's 43-yard line.[18]

Although Notre Dame did not score on Michigan, its captain, Louis J. Salmon, demonstrated why he had earned "the reputation of being the hardest line bucker in the west."[18] On one drive, Salmon took the ball to the Michigan 43-yard line in two attempts. After Notre Dame reached Michigan's 20-yard line, "Salmon went at it in the most vicious and determined manner to score. He took the ball eight times in succession but was finally held for downs on the 5-yard line."[18]

In the second half, Michigan's running game wore down the Notre Dame defense. Michigan scored three touchdown in the second half, and Notre Dame did not move into Michigan territory. Michigan end Curtis Redden was ejected from the game after an altercation with Lonnegan of Notre Dame, though Redden claimed Lonnegan had been the instigator.[18] After the game, Yost said, "I am satisfied. The score is just about what I though it would be after I had taken a look at the field."[18]

The game was played in halves of 25 minutes. Hinkey of Yale was the umpire, and Jackson of Lake Forest was the referee. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Cole (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Graver (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Joe MaddockTackleYes30015
Paul JonesFullbackYes1005
William ColeTackleYes0303
Total -- --43023

Michigan 86, Ohio State 0Edit

File:Willie Heston (bentley image).jpg

In the sixth game of the season, Michigan defeated Ohio State 86-0 in Ann Arbor on October 25, 1902. The game was played in front of a crowd of 6,000 (including 2,000 from Columbus), "the largest crowd ever gathered at Ferry Field." Michigan scored 45 points in the first half and 41 points in the second half.

On offense, the Detroit Free Press wrote that the Wolverines "simply ran the Ohio team off their feet."[19] Willie Heston reportedly returned to "his 1901 form," scoring the game's first points with a 20-yard end run after three minutes of play.[19] Heston scored his second touchdown on a 70-yard run. Albert Herrnstein was credited by the Free Press with the most consistent play for Michigan and with "the star play of the day by cutting inside of end and running 35 yards for a touchdown."[19] The Free Press noted that, despite the coaching of former Yale fullback Perry Hale, the Ohio State players lacked "the first rudiments of tackling" and "failed to hold a man when they got their arms around him."[19]

Michigan's defense was credited with playing a strong game as "Ohio State never got near enough to Michigan's goal line to see what the cross-bars looked like."[19] Ohio State's longest gain was a 15-yard run around Michigan's right end for a 15-yard gain in the second half. Everett Sweeley made the tackle to stop a touchdown.[19] Herb Graver also blocked a punt for Michigan.

The day before the Ohio State game, a reserve player for Michigan, Max Fleischer, died of injuries sustained while participating in a football practice session.[20]

The game was played in halves of 35 and 25 minutes. Hinkey of Yale was the umpire, and Hoagland of Princeton was the referee. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Palmer (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Lawrence (fullback).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes50025
James LawrenceFullbackYes27017
Willie HestonHalfbackYes20010
Dan McGuginGuardYes20010
Paul JonesFullbackNo1005
Joe MaddockTackleYes1005
Everett SweeleyEndYes0404
Total -- --1511086

Michigan 6, Wisconsin 0Edit

File:Joe Maddock.jpg

In the seventh game of the season, Michigan faced its toughest opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers. The game matched the two western teams that had finished the 1901 season with undefeated records and was played at Marshall Field in Chicago in front of a crowd estimated variously at between 20,000 and 22,000, the largest number ever to watch a college football game in the west.[21]

The game began at 2:40 p.m., and Michigan scored the game's only points at the end of a 65-yard drive seven minutes into the first half. Willie Heston had the longest run (20 yards) on the drive, and Joe Maddock scored the touchdown on a run through the tackle from the two-yard line.[22] Despite the close score, Wisconsin only once had the ball in Michigan's territory. The Michigan Alumnus wrote:

"The play was in Wisconsin's territory practically the whole time. They never got within striking distance of Michigan's goal, while Michigan was held at one time with the ball less than a yard from Wisconsin's goal line, at another time was held inside the 15-yard line, and still again lost the ball on a fumble on the 7-yard line."
The Detroit Free Press opened its coverage of the game as follows: "In what is conceded to be the greatest football game ever played on a western gridiron, Michigan decisively defeated Wisconsin on Marshall field this afternoon and undoubtedly won at the same time the championship of the west, though a later game must be won before that honor can be claimed."[22] Four times Michigan moved the ball deep into Wisconsin territory, and all four times Michigan's field goal attempts by Lawrence and Sweeley were unsuccessful.[22]

In the middle of the first half, a temporary bleacher at the northeast corner of the field collapsed, "carrying with it a mass of struggling people."[22] Several hundred people were thrown to the ground in the accident.[23][24] The Detroit Free Press described the scene following the collapse: "A shudder went through the grand stands, and the game was stopped. A score of men were injured, but no one were killed. The immense crowd about the gridiron took advantage of the confusion to break down the wire fence surrounding it, and hundreds swarmed onto the field. The few police were powerless to force them out, but the scrubs from both teams lined up against the crowd and shoved them away from the side lines so the game could be played."[22] The game was resumed after a 15-minute delay.

The inadequate seating capacity of Marshall Field was blamed for the accident. The bleacher was designed to hold 400 but was crowded beyond its capacity. The facilities were insufficient for the crowd that showed for the game, and there were reports of spectators offering $20 for a ticket.[22]

The game was played in equal halves of 35 minutes.[22] Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Palmer (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).

Approximately 2,000 students accompanied the team to Chicago,[21] and an account from Chicago was relayed to Ann Arbor's Athens theater which was "packed with students and citizens."[25] When the final score was announced, the crowd of 1,500 voices sung, "Oh! What have we done? Oh! What have we done? We have put Wisconsin on the bum. That's what we have done."[25] When the Michigan team returned to Ann Arbor late in the evening, they were met by a big delegation that marched behind the bus singing."[25]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Joe MaddockTackleYes1005
Everett SweeleyEndYes0101
Total -- --1106

Michigan 107, Iowa 0Edit

File:Everett Sweeley.jpg

The Wolverines improved their record to 8-0 with a 107-0 win over Iowa. Michigan scored 17 touchdowns in the game, and its point total was the largest score ever registered against a Big Ten Conference team,[26] and "the largest number ever chalked up by one big university against another."[27] Fielding Yost was absent from the game, choosing to travel to Minnesota to watch the Golden Gophers play in preparation for the upcoming game between the two schools. The Detroit Free Press wrote after the game that "Yost's smile can be seen all the way from Minneapolis."[27]

Michigan scored 65 points in the first half, and its offense dominated the game. The Michigan Alumnus reported:

"[T]he versatility of Michigan's play so disconcerted the Iowa team within the first ten minutes that she seemed wholly bewildered. Delayed passes, fake kicks, double passes, end runs, line-bucks off tackle and into the line followed each other like kaleidoscopic transitions. Gains were made at every point and in every conceivable manner."
The Detroit Free Press also noted the innovative nature of Michigan's offensive game plan:
"Michigan to-day mixed up her plays so completely that Iowa was completely bewildered. Delayed passes, double passes, ends skirting ends, halves dodging in between end and tackle after their opponents had been boxed out and in, tackles and full back hitting the line like trip hammers made the giant Hawkeyes look like a weak scrub team."[27]

Everett Sweeley was singled out as the star of the Iowa game for Michigan. He converted 10 goals from touchdown, punted for an average of 50 yards, kicked a field goal from the 35-yard line, and returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown.[27]

File:Keene Fitpatrick.jpg

After the game, the umpire, Hoagland of Princeton, praised Michigan's blocking (then known as interference): "If you can tell me how you are going to break such a perfect interference, four men running ahead of the man with the ball on end runs without allowing Michigan to make a score, I would like to know how it is done."[27] Michigan's trainer, Keene Fitzpatrick, filled in for Yost as the on-field coach against Iowa. After the game, Fitzpatrick noted:

"I think our team-work today was fine. The men certainly have the right spirit. Coach Yost hated to go away. ... The last thing he said to me was, 'Keene, just before they go into the game, give them a good talk.' Well, I guess they did, and I am proud of them."[28]
One of the Iowa team members reported receiving a message from Iowa City: "Oh, My. Isn't it awful. Box the remains and send them home."[28]

In the first eight games of the season, Michigan had scored 537 points (67.1 points per game), more than the 506 points Michigan's 1901 team had scored in the entire regular season.

The game was played in halves of 35 and 30 minutes. Michigan's starting lineup was Graver (left end), Palmer (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes40020
Everett SweeleyEndYes110120
James LawrenceFullbackNo34019
Paul JonesFullbackYes30015
Joe MaddockTackleYes30015
Willie HestonHalfbackYes30015
Herb GraverEndYes0303
Total -- --17171107

Michigan 21, Chicago 0Edit

File:Paul Jones (1902).jpg

Michigan returned to Marshall Field in Chicago to play Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago Maroons on November 15, 1902. Michigan won the game 21–0 in front of a crowd of 14,000. The game began at 2:15 p.m. Before the game started, the Michigan fans in attendance released toy red balloons marked "Chicago" into the "somewhat murky and frosty atmosphere." One Michigan fan, described as "a long-haired collegian wearing a yellow and blue streamer, told a reporter, "That is the way we will toss Chicago up in the air."[29]

Everett Sweeley gave Michigan a 5–0 lead with a field goal from a difficult angle at the 25-yard line. Later in the first half, Heston took the ball on a delayed pass and ran 71 yards for a touchdown.[29] Michigan led 10–0 at halftime. In the second half, Sweeley extended Michigan's lead to 15-0 with a field goal from the 17-yard line. With approximately 10 minutes remaining in the game, left tackle William Palmer ran for a touchdown, and Sweeley converted the goal from touchdown to give Michigan its final total of 21 points.[29]

The game was the second match between the two legendary coaches, Yost and Stagg. Michigan had defeated Chicago 22–0 in 1901. Despite the successive defeats, Stagg was credited with developing a "magnificent defense to hold Yost's 'hurry up' offense to 21 points in 70 minutes of play."[29]

The game was played in halves of 35 minutes. Joseph Beacham of Cornell was the referee, and Raymond Starbuck of Cornell the umpire. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Palmer (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Everett SweeleyEndYes01211
Willie HestonHalfbackYes1005
Total -- --21221

Michigan 63, Oberlin 0Edit

File:Boss Weeks.jpg

Michigan defeated Oberlin 63–0 in the ninth game of the season. Michigan scored 28 points in the first half and 33 in the second. The speed of Michigan's "hurry up" offense was demonstrated by a three-play drive in which Herb Graver returned a kickoff 60 yards and Willie Heston ran the remaining 40 yards for a touchdown.[30]

Early in the second half, Herb Graver fumbled the ball at Michigan's 10-yard line, and the ball was recovered by Oberlin. On a fake field goal, Oberlin took the ball to the four-yard line but was unable to advance the ball further and missed a field goal attempt.[30] Michigan's Herrnstein and Sweeley were both taken out of the game with injuries to their knees.

With Minnesota's head coach Henry L. Williams and five of his players attending the game to scout the Wolverines, Michigan's quarterback Boss Weeks did not open up the great variety of Michigan's plays and "did not pull much down out of his sleeve for their edification."[30] Only once did Michigan run one of its renowned trick plays, a double pass to Everett Sweeley that was good for 15 yards.[30]

After the game, the umpire, Allen of Chicago, was asked what he thought of the Michigan team and responded: "Why, it goes without saying that Michigan is a wonder. It is the greatest team I ever saw, and I have watched a lot of them."[30]

The game was a benchmark game in which Michigan could be compared to the best teams in the east. Cornell had defeated Oberlin 57–0 earlier in the year, and the Detroit Free Press suggested that Michigan's victory by a greater margin "may give the easterners an eye-opener."[30]

With the popularity of the "Point-a-Minute" tradition at Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported: "The score is one of particularly gratification to Michigan's enhusiasts as it makes Yost's whirlwinds secure a record that never was equalled before, and probably never will be again. Michigan started out the season with as tough a schedule apparently as any team in the west, and if anybody had made a break that this aggregation would be a 'point to the minute' team the man who made the assertion would have been the guy of the town. Yet now, having played 540 minutes, this scoring machine has piled up 621 points, and even if Michigan is shut out by Minnesota in seventy minutes of play the Wolverines will have obtained an average that is the greatest feat in gridiron history."[30]

The game was played in halves of 30 minutes. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Cole (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Jones (fullback).

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Albert HerrnsteinHalfbackYes30015
William ColeTackleYes25015
Willie HestonHalfbackYes20010
James LawrenceFullbackNo20010
Joe MaddockTackleYes1005
Everett SweeleyEndYes0303
Paul JonesFullbackYes1005
Total -- --118163

Michigan 23, Minnesota 6Edit

File:Fielding Yost-1902.jpg

In the final game of the 1902 season, Michigan defeated Minnesota 23–6 on Thanksgiving Day.[31] The game got under way at 2:15 p.m. on a brisk afternoon in Ann Arbor. Michigan took the opening kickoff and sustained a 90-yard, seven-minute drive ending with a touchdown by Joe Maddock and a goal after touchdown by Everett Sweeley. The Detroit Free Press reported that, during the opening drive, "the Minnesota line was hurled back, again and again, like that of a minor college eleven."[7] Michigan's second touchdown came on an end run by Heston from the 35-yard line, with Sweeley again kicking the goal to give Michigan a 12–0 lead at halftime. At halftime, South Bend, Indiana resident Louis Elbel conducted the Michigan band as it played a song Elbel had composed four years earlier which was then known as "The Champions of the West" (now known as "The Victors").[7]

In the second half, the Golden Gophers scored after Boss Weeks missed the catch on a punt. The ball contacted Weeks and bounded past him. Flynn of Minnesota recovered the ball and ran for a touchdown, only the second touchdown scored against Michigan since Fielding Yost took over as head coach in 1901. Michigan's leading scorer, Albert Herrnstein, was pulled from the game in the second half due to an injury. The Detroit Free Press described Herrnstein's removal from his final game for Michigan as follows: "He had been laid out a number of times, but refused to quit the game until he was unable to stand. Then, crying, he was dragged off the field by trainer Keene Fitzpatrick."[7] On its next drive, Michigan was stopped at Minnesota's 25-yard line, and Sweeley kicked a field goal for five points to give the Wolverines a 17–6 lead. Sweeley's field goal was converted from a difficult angle, and its success "set the rooters wild."[7] Later in the game, Heston scored the game's final touchdown on a run from the 35-yard line, as he hurdled over a Minnesota tackler. Sweeley added the goal after touchdown to give Michigan the win at 23–6. With the win, Michigan completed its second consecutive perfect season under Fielding Yost.

The game was played in equal halves of 35 minutes. Michigan's starting lineup was Redden (left end), Cole (left tackle), McGugin (left guard), Gregory (center), Carter (right guard), Maddock (right tackle), Sweeley (right end), Weeks (quarterback), Heston (left halfback), Herrnstein (right halfback) and Graver (fullback).[7]

Player Position Starter Touchdowns Extra points Field goalsPoints
Willie HestonHalfbackYes20010
Everett SweeleyEndYes0318
Joe MaddockTackleYes1005
Total -- --33123


Varsity letter winnersEdit

The following 14 players received varsity "M" letters for their participation on the 1902 football team:[32]

Player Position Games
Hometown HeightWeightClassPrevious experience
Charles B. Carter Right guard10Auburn, Maine 6' 0"231Law '05Brown Varsity (2 years)
William C. "King" Cole Right end
Left tackle
Chicago, Illinois 5' 10½"178Law '05Marietta College (2 years)
Herbert S. Graver Left end
Left halfback
Chicago, Illinois5' 8¼"162Eng '04Varsity (1 year)
George W. Gregory Center 11Redding, California 5' 10-8/10"190Law '04Varsity (1 year)
Albert E. Herrnstein Right halfback 11Chillicothe, Ohio 5' 10"168Lit '03Varsity (1 year)
Willie Heston Left halfback 9Grants Pass, Oregon 5' 8"180Law '04Varsity (1 year)
Paul J. Jones Fullback 7Youngstown, Ohio 6' 0"170Law '04Reserves (1 year)
James E. LawrenceFullback
Left tackle
Right guard
Ypsilanti, Michigan 6' 1/2"187Lit '06Ypsilanti H.S.
Joseph Maddock Right tackle 11East Jordan, Michigan 5' 11"187Spec. Lit.Albion (2 years)
Dan McGugin Left guard 10Tingley, Iowa 5' 11"184Law '04Varsity (1 year)
William S. Palmer Left tackle4Chester, Massachusetts 5' 8"189Law '05Chester H.S.
Curtis Redden Left end 9Rossville, Illinois 5' 11"180Law '03Varsity (2 years)
Everett Sweeley Right end7Sioux City, Iowa 5' 10"172Lit '03Varsity (3 years)
Harrison "Boss" Weeks Quarterback10Allegan, Michigan 5' 7"158Lit '06Varsity (2 years)

Varsity substitutes and reservesEdit

Player Position Games
Hometown HeightWeightClassPrevious experience
Harold Hill Baker Left guard
Left tackle
Rochester, New York 6' 0"185Homeop '05Rochester Univ.
Reserves (1 year)
Burt E. Barlow Tackle0Coldwater, MichiganMed '04
Rolla Bigelow Tackle0Owosso, MichiganEng '05
Earl Cooley Left halfback0Trinidad, ColoradoLaw '03
Paul Bert Dickey Halfback0Chicago, Illinois5' 10"156Lit '06S. Division H.S. (Chicago)
Frank Doty Halfback0Pontiac, MichiganLit '05
Ralph Lovejoy Drake Fullback0Ann Arbor, MichiganEng '05
David L. Dunlap Halfback0Hopkinton, Iowa 5' 11¾"170Med '04Reserves (1 year)
Robert Ferris Tackle0Greenville, MichiganEng '05
James Forrest Left tackle1Ann Arbor, Michigan6' 2½"188P.G. LawReserves (1 year)
Cecil Gooding Center0Ann Arbor, Michigan6' 1½"188Eng '051905 All-Freshman
John Henry JamesQuarterback0Detroit, MichiganEng '05
Moses M. Johnson Left tackle1Wichita, Kansas
Lorin H. Jones Center0Union City, Michigan'05
Ross Howland Kidston Left halfback1LaGrange, Illinois5' 10½"170Lit '051905 All-Freshman
John F. Lewis Guard0Covington, Indiana'05
Kennedy L. Potter Guard0Jackson, MichiganLaw '04
Samuel Jefferson Sackett Halfback0Ann Arbor, MichiganLit '03
Norman Sterry Halfback/End0Los Angeles, California5' 9¼"160Law '03Reserves (1 year)
James TurnerLeft guard0Lansing, MichiganLaw '04
William Rawle Weeks Guard0Allegan, MichiganLaw '05

1902 players who became coachesEdit

File:Dan McGugin.jpg

Fielding Yost earned a reputation as an innovator of the sport. His "Point-a-Minute" teams at Michigan compiled an overall record of 43-0-1 from 1901 to 1905 and outscored their opponents 2,326 to 40. The unprecedented performance of these teams created a demand for Yost's players, known as the "Yost-men", to serve as head coaches at other schools. Ten of the 14 lettermen on Yost's 1902 team became college football head coaches. Dan McGugin, who played left guard for the 1902 team, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as head coach at Vanderbilt from 1904 to 1934.[33] And end/tackle William C. "King" Cole led the Nebraska Cornhuskers to two Missouri Valley Conference championships.[34] The 1902 Michigan players who went on to head coaching positions are:

Scoring summaryEdit

The following chart accounts for the 644 points scored by the 1902 football team and is based on the box scores published in 1902 by the Detroit Free Press" and The Michigan Alumnus.

Player Touchdowns
(5 points)
Extra points
1 point
Field goals
(5 points)
(2 points)
Albert Herrnstein26100131
James Lawrence 125300113
Willie Heston 1500075
Joe Maddock 1300065
Paul Jones 1100055
Everett Sweeley 1224047
William Cole 4130033
William Palmer 500025
Herb Graver 530023
Ross Kidston 400020
Paul Dickey 300010
Dan McGugin 200010
Curtis Redden 200010
Harold Baker 10005
Charles Carter 10005
James Forrest 10005
na 00012
Total 1069241644

Awards and honorsEdit

  • Captain: Harrison "Boss" Weeks
  • All-Americans: Joseph Maddock (Newark Advocate), Willie Heston (Newark Advocate), Boss Weeks (Newark Advocate; Casper Whitney 2nd team)
  • All-Western: Joseph Maddock (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Record-Herald), Boss Weeks (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Record-Herald), Willie Heston (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Record-Herald), Everett Sweeley (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Record-Herald), Paul J. Jones (Chicago Tribune), Curtis Redden (Chicago Daily News), Dan McGugin (Chicago Record-Herald)

Coaching staffEdit


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  3. 3.0 3.1 Allison Danzig (1956). "10: An Era of Yost, Stagg, and Thorpe". The History of American Football. Prentice-Hall, Inc.. p. 153=154.
  4. Michiganensian. 1903. p. 130.;cc=moa;q1=michiganensian;rgn=full%20text;view=toc;idno=AAG4364.1903.001.
  5. 1903 Michiganensian, pp. 132-133.
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  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "Michigan victorious over sturdy Minnesota: The Eyes of enthusiasts the Country Over Were on Ann Arbor--A Great Contest Stubbornly Fought and Gallantly Won--Splendid Crowd Out to See the Struggle--Complete Story of Michigan's Glory". Detroit Free Press: p. 1. November 28, 1902.,+1902&author=A+Staff+Correspondent&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=1&desc=MICHIGAN+VICTORIOUS+OVER+STURDY+MINNESOTA.
  8. "Avalanche of Tallies: Michigan scorted 88 points in game with Albion; Three touchdowns made inside of five minutes". Detroit Free Press: p. 9. September 28, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=9&desc=AVALANCHE+OF+TALLIES.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "The Albion Game". The Michigan Alumnus: p. 20. October 1902.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "The Case Game". The Michigan Alumnus: p. 62. November 1902.
  11. "Michigan goal line crossed". Detroit Free Press: p. 10. October 5, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=10&desc=MICHIGAN+GOAL+LINE+CROSSED.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Michigan made 119 points: Almost equaled phenomenal score against Buffalo simply rushed ball over the Aggie's line at Will made touchdown oftener than once in two minutes". Detroit Free Press. October 9, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=11&desc=MICHIGAN+MADE+119+POINTS.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "The M.A.C. Game". The Michigan Alumnus: p. 63. November 1902.
  14. "Wednesday's Football Results". The Newark Advocate. October 9, 1902.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Michigan is by the mark: Added sicty points to totals in game with Indiana; Hoosters proved rather ease after first few minutes; Started out by holding Ann Arborites for Downs". Detroit Free Press. October 12, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=8&desc=MICHIGAN+IS+BY+THE+360+MARK.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 "The Indiana Game". The Michigan Alumnus: p. 63. November 1902.
  17. "Michigan keeps up Gait: Rolls up sixty points against Horne's Indiana team; President Angell Seen Rapid Work of Yost's Pupils, Whom Opposition Coach Calls Better than Last Year--Touchdowns Equally Divided Between Halves and All Ten Goals Are Kicked--Lawrence Proves Star of the Day--Long Runs Frequent. Lawrence Proves a Star". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 12, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune+(1872-1922)&edition=&startpage=9&desc=MICHIGAN+KEEPS+UP+GAIT..
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 "Notre Dame fought hard: But Michigan ran up 23 points on Hoosters; Salmon came near scoring for the losing side; Toughest proposition for Wolverines in two years". Detroit Free Press. October 19, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=7&desc=NOTRE+DAME+FOUGHT+HARD.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 "Michigan crowding record: Passed 400 Mark in game with Ohio State University; made fifteen touchdowns, for total score of 86; Yost's men played all around Perry Hal's proteges". Detroit Free Press. October 26, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=8&desc=MICHIGAN+CROWDING+RECORD.
  20. "Michigan Football Candidate Dead". Detroit Free Press. October 25, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=10&desc=MICHIGAN+FOOTBALL+CANDIDATE+DEAD.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Hall and Campus". The Inlander: p. 49. November 2000.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 "Michigan's one score enough: Gave Her Victory Over Wisconsin and Bright Hope of Championship' Superb defense of Badgers denied two other promised touchdowns' Only Points Made Were Made in First Seven Minutes, in Opening Onward Rush". Detroit Free Press: p. 1. November 2, 1902.,+1902&author=A+Staff+Correspondent&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=1&desc=MICHIGAN'S+ONE+SCORE+ENOUGH.
  23. "Three Badly Hurt in Grand Stand Wreck". Detroit Free Press. November 2, 2010.
  24. "Stand fall on football field; Forty injured. Bleachers Collapse at Wisconsin-Michigan Game and Hundreds Are Thrown to Ground". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 1. November 2, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune+(1872-1922)&edition=&startpage=1&desc=STAND+FALLS+ON+FOOTBALL+FIELD;+FORTY+INJURED..
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Victory Brought Joy to Ann Arbor". Detroit Free Press. November 2, 1902.
  26. "Yost's men make record: Michigan simply toys with the Haweke Eleven; Total Score of 107 to 0 Is the First Time Over 100 Points Have Been Scored Against a Member of "Big Nine" in the West--Game Is a Constant Succession of Touchdowns, the First Being Scored Two Minutes After the Kickoff; Wolverines Never Let Up". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 9, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune+(1872-1922)&edition=&startpage=9&desc=YOST'S+MEN+MAKE+RECORD.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 "Michigan again made century: Seventeen Touchdowns and Field Goal, 107 Points, Against Iowa; Used speed and tricks on visitors, and, scored almost at Will; Ann Arborites Now Lack But Thirteen Points of Number Made During Last Season". Detroit Free Press: p. 1. November 9, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=1&desc=MICHIGAN+AGAIN+MADE+CENTURY.
  28. 28.0 28.1 "Iowa Sorely Disappointed". Detroit Free Press. November 8, 1902.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 "Michigan must beat Gophers: Downed Chicago, 21 to 0, Outplaying Stagg's Men in All Lines; Minnesota at same time put Wisconsin in class with Midway outfit; Winners of Yesterday Must Now Settle Western Championship in Their Contest Here; Chicago's defense was a stron one Yost, however, proved equal to Stagg in craft". Detroit Free Press: p. 1. November 16, 1902.,+1902&author=&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=1&desc=MICHIGAN+MUST+BEAT+GOPHERS.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 "Michigan and Yale happy: Ann Arbor Eleven is Now Assured of "Point a Minute" Average; Blue of New Haven waves in triumph over historic Cambridge Foemen; One Championship Settled, Holders-Expectant of Another Show Old-Time Speed; Yost's men scored more than Cornell; Oberlin defense good, but speed told on team". Detroit Free Press: p. 1. November 23, 1902.
  31. "Michigan Team is best in West: Football Championship Won by Ann Arbor Defeating Minnesota 23 to 6; Visitors score by Fluke; Fighting Game Marked by Brilliant Plays and Many Flaws--Graver Hero of the Victors". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 28, 1902.,+1902&author=A+STAFF+CORRESPONDENT&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune+(1872-1922)&edition=&startpage=4&desc=MICHIGAN+TEAM+IS+BEST+IN+WEST..
  32. ""M" Men". The Michigan Alumnus. December 1902. p. 126.'s%22&f=false.
  33. 33.0 33.1 "Dan McGugin Hall of Fame profile". College Football Hall of Fame.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Nebraska Head Coach, 1907-10".
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  38. Charles Baird (1908-10-11). "Ann Arbor Giants Ready for the Football Season". Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.(""Herrnstein was a former Michigan star who is thoroughly acquainted with the Yost system and by several years of coaching at the Haskell Indian school, Purdue and Ohio State, has developed into a great teacher of football." )
  39. "William M. "Willie" Heston Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse.
  40. "Federal Judge Dies Today In Shaker Heights". Marysville Journal-Tribune. 1965-08-04.(after graduating from Michigan, he was hired as the head football coach at Western Reserve University in Cleveland)
  41. "Joe Maddock Chosen Coach By Oregon U". Oakland Tribune. 1924-02-08.
  42. "Oregon Football Coach Quits Job". Sunday State Journal. 1925-01-18.
  43. "Former Utah Mentor Dies At 66: Joe Maddock Directed Indians in Early Grid Games". Ogden Standard-Examiner. 1943-11-12.
  44. "Kentucky vs. Northwestern". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. 1905-10-21.
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  46. John Kryk. Natural enemies, p. 293.
  47. College Football Reference Washington State University Football Records
  48. Miami Herald Washington State University all-time football records
  49. Washington State Cougars coaching records
  50. "To Coach The Drake Team". Tri-City Star. 1905-01-16.
  51. "Kansas Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse.

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