1945 Michigan Wolverines football team

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1945 Michigan Wolverines football
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
AP #6
1945 record 7–3 (5–1 Big Ten)
Head coach Fritz Crisler (8th year)
Offensive scheme Single-wing formation
MVP Harold Watts
Captain Joseph Ponsetto
Home stadium Michigan Stadium
Seasons
« 1944 1946 »
1945 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 Indiana 5 0 1     9 0 1
#6 Michigan 5 1 0     7 3 0
#12 Ohio State 5 2 0     7 2 0
Northwestern 3 3 1     4 4 1
Purdue 3 3 0     7 3 0
Wisconsin 2 3 1     3 4 2
Illinois 1 4 1     2 6 1
Minnesota 1 5 0     4 5 0
Iowa 1 5 0     2 7 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1945 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 1945 college football season. In their eighth year under head coach was Fritz Crisler, the Wolverines compiled a 7-3 record (5-1 Big Ten) and finished the season ranked #6 in the final Associated Press Poll. Quarterback Joe Ponsetto was the team captain, and center Harold Watts won the Most Valuable Player award and was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten Conference player.[1]

On October 13, 1945, the Wolverines lost, 28-7, to Army at Yankee Stadium in New York. Outmanned by an Army team that was loaded with talent that included 1945 and 1946 Heisman Trophy winners Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, Crisler unveiled a platoon system in which separate groups played offense and defense.[2][3] According to one account, Crisler developed the two-platoon system "in a bout of desperation." Crisler later recalled, "I reported the plan to the players and told them we might have a lot of fun. At the end of three periods we were tied 7-7 and I knew it couldn't last. I knew sooner or later Army would overpower us. And that's what happened. We lost 28 to 7—but we had a lot of fun."[4]

Michigan's three losses during the 1945 season came against teams ranked in the top four in the final AP Poll: #1 Army (28-7 loss at Yankee Stadium), #2 Navy (33-7 loss at Baltimore Stadium), and #4 Indiana (13-7 loss at Michigan Stadium). The Wolverines also defeated three ranked opponents in Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio State. In their seven victories, the team registered three shutouts and outscored the teams 166 to 25, including margins of 40-0 and 26-0 in rivalry games against Michigan State and Minnesota.[1]

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 15, 1945 Great Lakes Naval Team* Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI W 27–2   26,076
September 22, 1945 Indiana Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI L 7–13   27,536
September 29, 1945 Michigan State* Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 40–0   37,694
October 6, 1945 at Northwestern Dyche StadiumEvanston, IL W 20–7   32,772
October 13, 1945 vs. #1 Army* #9 Yankee StadiumBronx, NY L 7–28   62,878
October 27, 1945 at Illinois #16 Memorial StadiumChampaign, Il W 19–0   54,085
November 3, 1945 #16 Minnesota #10 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 26–0   84,472
November 10, 1945 at #4 Navy #7 Baltimore StadiumBaltimore, MD L 7–33   56,880
November 17, 1945 #11 Purdue #14 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 27–13   48,528
November 24, 1945 #7 Ohio State #8 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI W 7–3   85,200
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Players[edit]

Varsity letter winners[edit]

The following 29 players received varsity letters for their participation on the 1945 Michigan football team.[5] For players who were starters, the list also includes the number of games started by position.[1]

Non-varsity letter winners[edit]

The following players appeared on the roster of the 1945 Michigan football team but did not receive varsity letters.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "1945 Football Team". Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 
  2. ^ "Football Platoon System Originator Fritz Crisler Dies". Tyrone Daily Herald (UPI story). 1982-08-21. 
  3. ^ "Fritz Crisler Hall of Fame profile". College Football Hall of Fame. 
  4. ^ James David Dickson (July 14, 2010). "The Innovator: How U-M coach Fritz Crisler and World War Two created modern football". Michigan Today. 
  5. ^ a b "University of Michigan Football Rosters: 1945". Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. 
  6. ^ Donovan P. Hershberger, born August 26, 1927, died June 24, 2002, SSN issued Illinois, last address Cincinnati, Ohio
  7. ^ John Lintol, born December 21, 1924, died September 1973, SSN issued Michigan
  8. ^ Edward D. McNeill, born October 13, 1927, died September 7, 1999, SSN issued Ohio, last address Swanton, Ohio

External links[edit]