All the Way!!: Michigan Punt & Kickoff returns for a TD

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on May 8th, 2015 at 10:45 PM

If you feel like it has been a long time since Michigan returned a kickoff for a touchdown, boy are you correct. 

Same goes for a punt that isn't a blocked punt returned by one of the big men.  

I'll preface this beforehand: these are all since 1948, when the NCAA began considering statistics official. It's very likely that Michigan could have returned 3 kickoffs for a TD in one game at the turn of the century because old timey football and Fielding Yost Dominance.

Kickoff Returns for a Touchdown

Record when accomplished: 5-4(!)

Date

Player

Yards

Opponent

Result

10/1/1960

Dennis Fitzgerald

99

at Michigan State 

L 17-24

10/21/1972

Gil Chapman

73

at Illinois

W 31-7

11/4/1989

Tony Boles

85

vs Purdue

W 42-27

10/13/1990

Desmond Howard

95

vs Michigan State

L 27-28

9/7/1991

Desmond Howard

93

at Boston College

W 35-13

9/26/1992

Tyrone Wheatley, Sr.

99

vs Houston 

W 61-7

10/29/1994

Seth Smith

100

vs Wisconsin  

L 19-31

10/8/2005

Steve Breaston

95

vs Minnesota

L 20-23

9/12/2009

Darryl Stonum

94

vs #18 Notre Dame

W 38-34

 

 
 
 
Punt Returns for a Touchdown 
Record when accomplished: 41-5-1
 
Italics indicates punt return was a blocked punt return
 

Date

Player

Yards

Opponent

Result

11/18/1950

Harry Allis

23

vs Northwestern

W 34-23

11/25/1950

Anton Momsen

0

at #8 Ohio State

W 9-3

10/27/1951

Lowell Perry

75

vs Minnesota

W 54-27

11/6/1954

Dave Raimey

54

vs Illinois

W 14-7

11/13/1954

Tom Hendricks

67

vs Michigan State

W 33-7

11/13/1954

Ron Kramer

26

vs Michigan State

W 33-7

10/8/1955

Terry Barr

82

vs #6 Army

W 26-2

11/2/1957

Jim Pace

65

vs #3 Iowa

T 21-21

10/24/1959

Darrell Harper

83

at Minnesota

W 14-7

11/5/1966

Dick Sygar

64

vs Illinois

L 21-28

11/11/1967

George Hoey

60

at Illinois

W 21-14

9/20/1969

Marty Huff

31

vs Vanderbilt

W 42-14

11/1/1969

Barry Pierson

51

vs Wisconsin

W 35-7

9/18/1971

Dave Elliott

10

vs Virginia

W 56-0

9/30/1972

Gil Chapman

49

vs #18 Tulane

W 41-7

10/7/1972

Dave Brown

83

vs Navy

W 35-7

10/6/1973

Gil Chapman

83

vs Oregon

W 24-0

10/13/1973

Dave Brown

53

at Michigan State

W 31-0

9/21/1974

Dave Brown

88

vs Colorado

W 31-0

9/8/1979

Anthony Carter

78

vs Northwestern

W 49-7

9/18/1982

Anthony Carter

72

at #20 Notre Dame

L 17-23

10/12/1985

Edward Hood

2

at Michigan State

W 31-0

11/16/1985

Gilvanni Johnson

84

at Minnesota

W 48-7

10/20/1990

Dwayne Ware

7

vs #22 Iowa

L 23-24

11/3/1990

Dwayne Ware

17

at Purdue

W 38-13

11/23/1991

Desmond Howard

93

vs #18 Ohio State

W 31-3

10/10/1992

Derrick Alexander

80

vs Michigan State

W 35-10

10/17/1992

Derrick Alexander

70

at Indiana

W 31-3

10/16/1993

Derrick Alexander

48

at #7 Penn State

W 21-13

1/1/1994

Derrick Alexander

79

NC State

W 42-7

10/22/1994

Amani Toomer

72

at Illinois

W 19-14

9/2/1995

Anthony Williams

28

at #25 Illinois

W 38-14

10/21/1995

Amani Toomer

56

at Indiana

W 34-17

11/22/1997

Charles Woodson

78

vs #4 Ohio State

W 20-14

10/14/2000

Marquise Walker

41

vs Indiana

W 58-0

10/17/2001

Roy Manning

0

at Iowa

W 32-26

11/17/2001

Marlin Jackson

43

at Wisconsin

W 20-17

10/10/2003

Steve Breaston

69

at #17 Minnesota

W 38-35

10/18/2003

Steve Breaston

74

vs Illinois

W 56-14

10/2/2004

Leon Hall

76

at Indiana

W 35-14

11/13/2004

Steve Breaston

67

vs Northwestern

W 42-20

11/11/2006

Steve Breaston

83

at Indiana

W 34-3

11/1/2008

Martavious Odoms

73

at Purdue

L 42-48

11/15/2008

Ricky Reyes

3

vs Northwestern

L 14-21

10/17/2009

Brandon Graham

2

vs Delaware State

W 63-6

8/31/2013

Joe Reynolds

30

vs Central Michigan

W 59-9

8/30/2014

Ben Gedeon

32

vs Appalachian State

W 52-14

 
 
 
 
So to recap, 
 
Michigan's last kickoff return for a touchdown was by Stonum in the 2009 game vs Notre Dame when Forcier won it with under 15 seconds to play.
 
Last punt return for a TD that was not a blocked punt was in the 2008 shootout on the road by Tae Odoms.
 
This will probably change soon. 
 
I'll be doing another one of these soon, posting the history of Fumble and Interception returns for a TD. 

Comments

jcorqian

May 8th, 2015 at 10:52 PM ^

Thanks for compiling - interesting data.  Maybe Michigan isn't unique in this regard, but it seems to me at first glance that these lists are rather... short.  I guess I would have thought we would have had way more fumble returns for a touchdown in our school history, for example.  Same with kickoff returns for a touchdown.

Darker Blue

May 9th, 2015 at 7:39 AM ^

The Stonum kickoff return, that game man. That game was so much fun. There was so much excitement at what a finely tuned Rodriguez offense could do. All of that excitement would turn into so much pain.

HARBAUGH

thank god that's over. 

1974

May 9th, 2015 at 10:33 AM ^

Derrick Alexander was called underrated in another thread. I very much agree.

Breaston's punt return against Illinois is the most awesome return I've ever seen at UMich.

befuggled

May 9th, 2015 at 3:03 PM ^

It's not that surprising. The more opportunities you have to return a kickoff, the more points your opponent is scoring. Take Tyrone Wheatley's return against Houston in 1992. Houston scored exactly once, so Michigan presumably had only two opportunities to return kickoffs.

The 41-5-1 record in games with punts returned for a TD is unsurprising for a similar reason. Every opportunity you have to return a punt is an opportunity your opponent didn't score.

CoachW

May 12th, 2015 at 12:22 PM ^

I can't believe I'm actually going to correct YOU on a stat, but the score of that Houston game in '92 was 61-7.  That was a fun game to watch!

CoachBP6

May 23rd, 2015 at 4:48 AM ^

I wouldn't of thought the desparity between the two would be so vast. I am excited about special teams again, finally! I really think the coaching in that area is going to see vast improvement in many areas. I hope we see at least one or two this year.