Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
1905:November 30, 1905: Michigan @ Chicago
Fielding Yost vs Amos Alonzo Stagg
In the early years of the Western Conference (today's Big Ten), the big game was the annual Thanksgiving Day clash between Michigan and Chicago. The 1905 game at Chi­cago's Marshall Field attracted more interest than any game west of Philadelphia ever had before. Both teams were undefeated. The Maroons of Amos Alonzo Stagg were 9-0. Fielding Yost's Wolverines were not only 11-0 but had not been scored on all season. Their closest games were 12-0 over Wisconsin and 18-0 over Vanderbilt. Furthermore, Michigan had not lost since the last game of the 1900 season when Chicago won 15-6. Yost, who took over for the 1901 season, had never lost in his 65 games as head coach in Ann Arbor. Only a 6-6 tie at Minnesota in 1903 blemished his record. Included in the streak was a 49-0 trouncing of Stanford in the first Rose Bowl on January 1, 1901. Yost's teams had scored 2,746 points to 40 for their opponents!

L-R: Fielding Yost, Amos Alonzo Stagg, William Harper
Chicago enlarged its seating to accommodate 27,000 spectators but could have sold twice that many tickets. 3,000 UM fans journeyed by train to sit in the west stand suppo­sedly reserved for them only to find another 3,000 Chicago fans there too. The crowd included large numbers of women who rooted as enthusiastically as the men.
An estimated $50,000 had been bet on the contest. Scalpers, mostly Chicago students, received upwards of $20 per ducat. Walter Camp, considered the "Father of American Football" and creator of the annual All-American teams, had traveled from Yale for the contest. In a precursor to the rooftop bleachers across the street from Wrigley Field, some fans paid to watch from temporary stands atop houses across Ellis Avenue.
Chicago president William Harper, despite being bedridden with the cancer that would take his life in several months, supervised the preparations for the big clash in detail. How­ever, his plan to watch from his son's room in Hitchcock Hall across the street from the sta­dium didn't materialize because he was too weak that day. Instead, his son described the game to him by telephone.

Chicago-Michigan 1905
The game unfolded on a cold (10 degrees) gray day with light snow falling intermittently. The two finely-tuned machines played as close a game as any two teams could without ty­ing. The first half devolved into a punting duel between Chicago's All-American sophomore QB Walter Eckersall (12 punts) and John Garrels of Michigan (10 boots). The Maroons crossed midfield three times, the Wolverines only once.
At halftime, Harper sent his nurse to the locker room to deliver a personal message en­couraging the team. Stagg added his personal plea to win one for their president.

L-R: Walter Eckersall, John Garrels, William Clark
Early in the third quarter, Chicago was backed up inside its ten by a UM punt and a penalty. Then came the key play of the game, which didn't seem all that important at the time but ultimately led to the only points of the afternoon. Back to punt, Eckersall evaded the rushers and scampered for a first down on the 22. After three more firsts, the drive stalled, and Eckersall punted across the goal line from where William Clark tried to run it out. However, he was hit hard just after crossing the goal line and driven back across it for a safety. (There was as yet no end zone.) This proved to be the only score of the game. Michigan punted nine times in the second half to Chicago's ten. The Maroons gained 139 yards to UM's 128.
After the game, 2,500 Chicago students and alumni formed an impromptu parade. Led by the band, they marched to President Harper's house and sang the Alma Mater. The cele­bration continued the next day with a bonfire accompanied by "a nightshirt parade and dance." On Monday night, the university staged an official celebration of the "Big Nine" championship called the "Monster Football Mass Meeting." Numerous alumni, particularly former players, assembled with the students.
Meanwhile, Wiliam Clark was pilloried as the goat who ended Michigan's streak. Camp himself described the ill-advised attempt to run out the punt as "a rank blunder." One news­paper declared: "Clark of Michigan defeated his own eleven." Clark left the team after the game and was missing for a time. He was quoted as saying, "This is horrible. ... I shall kill myself because I am in disgrace." He didn't do so at the time but finally did shoot himself in the heart seven years later. A suicide note to his wife expressed hope that his "final play" would atone for his blunder that cold Thanksgiving Day at Marshall Field.
The 1905 UM-Chicago game was in many ways the end of an era. Although the game itself did not provide any examples of brutality and serious injury, winds of change soon swept through college football, involving even the president of the United States. Rules changes made the game less hazardous and tried to regulate a spectacle that many univer­sity presidents and faculty believed was threatening the academic integrity of their institu­tions. One of the casualties of the reform movement was the Thanksgiving Day UM-Chica­go clash. The two universities did not meet on the gridiron again until 1918. In that same year, Michigan began playing an annual game with Ohio State.
Reference: Michigan-Chicago 1905: The First Greatest Game of the Century
Thomas Edison video from Michigan-Chicago game of 1904