While Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech have been meeting on the gridiron since 1920, the traveling trophy known as the Miner’s Cup was created in 2002.
The trophy consists of an antique miner’s helmet mounted on a wooden base, and the trophy goes to the winning team when the Huskies and Wildcats meet up on the football field. But since the inception of the trophy, it has had a near-permanent residence in Houghton, while occasionally vacationing in Marquette. The Huskies have won 17 of the 20 games involving the Miner’s Cup, including all of the last 12. But this year, both sideline’s feature a head coach looking to win it for the first time while leading their programs.
Dan Mettlach is in his first year as head coach of the Huskies, and has his team out to a winning record at 3-2. The Huskies won their first three games of the year, but have dropped their last two, including a heartbreaking two-point loss at Wayne State last week. Michigan tech comes in with a balanced offensive attack, featuring two of the best skill players in the conference. William Marano sits 3rd in the GLIAC in rush yards per game averaging 75.2, while receiver Ethan Champney leads the conference in yards with 488 to go along with 5 touchdowns.
For Northern Michigan first year head coach Shane Richardson, the season has gotten off to a difficult start. The Wildcats are 0-6, and have been outscored by an average of 43-13. One bright spot for the Wildcats is running back Tyquan Cox, who leads the GLIAC in all-purpose yards with 718.
And as the old cliche goes, when these rivals get together, you can throw out the records. In the last 8 matchups between these two, seven were decided by a touchdown or less.
So who will bring home the Miner’s Cup this year? We will find out Saturday night at the Superior Dome, with kickoff at 7 p.m.