|Teams||Northern Michigan Wildcats
Michigan Tech Huskies
|Originated||2002 (rivalry since 1920)|
|Trophy Series||Michigan Tech leads 9-3|
|Current Holder||Michigan Tech|
|Northern Michigan (3)
2003 2007 2009
|Michigan Tech (9)
2002 2004 2005
2006 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013
The Miner's Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the college football game between the Northern Michigan University (NMU) Wildcats and the Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech/MTU) Huskies. The rivalry has been around since 1920, but the tradition of a "traveling trophy" between the two schools has only been around since 2002; Tech has won the trophy for nine out of a possible 12 times since the tradition was begun.
The rivalry between the two universities has been around since 1920. Since then, they have met 87 times, with the series record tied at 41-41-5. The tradition of a "traveling trophy" did not begin until 2002, when Michigan Tech’s Athletics Department and its Army ROTC combined to create it. The trophy itself is an antique miner's helmet that is mounted on a wooden base. The helmet was found at an antique store in the Houghton, Michigan area.
In 2007, Northern took the Cup after beating Michigan Tech 34-27. At halftime, the Wildcats led 20-14. The Huskies' scoring came from a 3 yard run by Phil Milbrath and a 14 yard pass from Steve Short, MTU's quarterback, to Keith White, while the Wildcats' scoring came on a 32 yard field goal, a 79 yd pass from Buddy Rivera to Fred Wells, a 35 yard pass from Rivera to Luke Carlson and Anthony Leandri 49 yard field goal. This field goal was the longest of his career, and only 3 yards away from NMU's record.
The Wildcats scored two touchdowns in the 3rd Quarter to lead the game 34-14 by the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Huskies came back to make it 34-27. It came down to the final play of the game: Steve Short, the quarterback for Michigan Tech, took a draw play up the middle from the 4 yard line, but he was tripped up at the 1 yard line and the Wildcats won.
In 2008, the teams met at the Superior Dome on September 18 at 8 p.m. The game was nationally televised by CBS College Sports Network and Fox Sports Detroit, and it put Tech on national TV for the second time in three years. A record 8,672 people attended the game, beating the old record of 8,432, which was set against Ferris State on Oct. 5, 1991.
The game was low-scoring throughout the first half, with the teams combining for only three touchdowns and two field goals in the first half. All three touchdowns were achieved through the air from 18 (NMU), 67 (MTU) and 81 yards (NMU) out, while Tyler Cattelino put through two field goals from 19 and 24 yards through for Tech. The score at the half was 14-13 in favor of Northern.
However, it changed drastically after the intermission for halftime, as Tech opened up a large lead by scoring on its first four possessions of the second half. Phil Milbrath, Tech's running back, scored four touchdowns from 10, 8, 70, and 8 yards out. Sandwiched between the third and fourth possessions was NMU's final score, a 26 yard pass from quarterback Ben Hempel to receiver Zach Nichols. Scoring concluded with an 80-yard interception return for Tech with 1:29 left in the 4th quarter, and Tech won the game 47-21.
Big plays were a major factor in the game. NMU's 81 yard score came with only 1:38 left in the first half, and Tech's 67 and 70 yard scores came on the first plays of their respective drives.
The 2009 contest was fought at Michigan Tech's Sherman Field before a crowd of 4,027. NMU struck first, with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Carter Kopach to Dustin Brancheau with 9:51 left in the first quarter. The second quarter saw more scoring, with NMU scoring two touchdowns on runs from Mark Bossuah and Tech throwing for a touchdown and connecting on a field goal with 58 seconds left in the half. The score was 21–10 at the half, with NMU in the lead. In the second half, however, NMU began to open up their lead, scoring two more touchdowns on a 36-yard pass and an interception which was returned all the back, increasing their lead to 34–10 (an extra point attempt was missed). NMU remained firmly in control for the remainder of the game, scoring twice more in the 4th on 65- and 5-yard runs before Tech scored one last time with 1:34 remaining but missed the extra point. The final score was 48–16.
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- Wellens, Matt (2012-10-07). "Michigan Tech wins third straight Miner’s Cup with aggressive first half attack against Northern Michigan". The Mining Journal. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan Official Box Score". Retrieved 2013-10-12.