Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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J By Michael Spath ohn Kinahan has had season tickets since 2001 and has sat in section 38 of the northeast corner since 2003. He is a passionate fan that refuses to leave the stadium early no matter how big of a margin Michigan has over its foe or, in some cases, trails by. Yet, on the eve of the Michigan State game in 2004, he considered not attending, deciding between an annual Halloween party in Chicago and the game. Kinahan convinced his sister they would go to the party late and was largely regretting that decision when the Spartans took a 27-10 lead with 8:43 remaining. He contemplated leaving, but opted to stay. U-M would reward his patience and dedication, scoring a field goal and two touchdowns in 5:44 to tie the game at 27-27, and then adding a field goal, a touchdown, and a touchdown and two-point conversion in three overtimes for a dramatic 45-37 win over its in-state rivals. "After State's fourth-quarter touchdown run, I was about done, and said so to my father, suggesting we should get back," Kinahan said. "We compromised and decided to wait until Michigan's next drive. "Then we decided to wait to see if we got the onside kick after Garrett Rivas' field goal. Brian Thompson got it. And then we waited to see if we'd score, and Braylon Edwards did. "It was already clear that we weren't going anywhere when Braylon scored again. And it all happened right in front of us." Laurel Hammond sits just two sections over from Kinahan, but back in 1979 she occupied a south-end zone seat and watched Michigan's last-gasp attempt to avoid tying unranked Indiana in its homecoming contest. What unfolded, Hammond will never forget. "I had just about given up actually winning that game after Indiana tied it at 21 late in the fourth quarter," Hammond said. "But I thought, 'You never know what might happen.' "As Johnny Wangler took his seven-step drop, I saw Anthony Carter breaking free down the field toward my end zone. It looked like three Indiana defenders had a chance to tackle A.C., but they all just kind of dropped away from him In 2004, Braylon Edwards hauled in three touchdowns versus Michigan State, as he scampered into the end zone. helping the Wolverines complete the monumental 45-37, triple-overtime, come"There was pure pandemonium in section 10 of the south from-behind win. photo courtesy getty images end zone, and A.C. was surrounded by about 100 of his teammates. In all of the hullabaloo, I dropped a little silver Sony radio on the stadium floor for what seemed like the 100th time." Throughout Michigan Stadium's incredible 86-year run at the corner of Stadium and Main, its fans have been treated to delirious moments of joy. For the fans that reside in sections 27-41 in the north end zone and 5-19 in the south end zone, those rare instances of magic have been even more poetic, occurring so close to them they feel capable of reaching out and touching the Maize and Blue. "It is one thing to think a comeback is possible, another to believe it and yet another to witness it unfold," said Kenn Smith, who had a perched view in the south end zone for Michigan's last-minute win over Notre Dame in 2011. Smith's memories of south end-zone triumphs were echoed by more than a dozen fans that responded to requests to recall their vivid recollections of the very best Michigan plays to take place in the two end zones. Here is a countdown of the 10 best of the last 50 years, dating back only that far due to difficulty of attaining archived information from the decades preceding the 1960s. ❏ (Michigan historian Bob Rosiek contributed to this feature.) Had To See It To Believe It Fans Sitting In The North And South End Zones Have Experienced Their Share Of Dramatic Michigan Moments 50  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview

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