Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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The North End Zone's 10 Greatest Plays 1. 1995, Mercury Hayes vs. Virginia: A sweltering afternoon in late August began unmercifully for interim head coach Lloyd Carr, with the Wolverines falling behind Virginia 17-0. Michigan fans began exiting The Big House, perhaps knowing that U-M had never rallied from a deficit so large, but those that stayed put watched a miraculous comeback. The Maize and Blue scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, capped by Hayes' 15-yard snag in the northeast corner of the end zone as the clock struck 0:00. "I was in row 88 in that corner, and the ball was coming toward our seats," Mike Davidson remembered. "I recall I was surprised that [quarterback] Scott Dreisbach made a full wind up throw for a relatively short distance. It looked like the ball was going to be too deep, and watching it live I thought Hayes was out of bounds. "As the referee runs over and points down at the turf, I was sure he was marking the spot on the line where In 1995, Mercury Hayes hauled in this 15-yard touchdown to defeat Virginia, 18-17, comHayes' foot must have touched out. Then the referee pleting what at the time was the biggest comeback in Michigan history. stands back up and raises his hands. photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations "The reaction in our area was insane — everyone was hugging everyone. There were no replays, and I figured we caught a looking at each other and the people around us in disbelief each time break. I was surprised to hear on the radio driving home that it was in Chad Henne threw it up to that corner. I remember saying a couple times, fact a good call." 'Did he catch that?'" 2. 1991, Desmond Howard vs. Notre Dame: Ranked third nationally, 5. 2012, Brendan Gibbons vs. Michigan State: Michigan led 6-0, Michigan appeared capable of blowing out No. 7 Notre Dame, jumping trailed 7-6, led 9-7 and fell behind 10-9 with 5:48 remaining. After each out to a 17-0 lead before the Irish punched it in the end zone just prior team had a series fail, U-M took possession at its own 38-yard, driving to halftime. ND scored in the third quarter to inch closer, putting victory towards the north end zone with only two minutes left in the game. in peril and the home fans on the edge of their seats. Quarterback Denard Robinson directed the Wolverines 41 yards, setting When the offense stalled at Notre Dame's 25-yard line, head coach Gary up placekicker Brendan Gibbons' 38-yarder for the win. Moeller contemplated a field goal but decided to go for it on fourth-and"I was a nervous wreck," Ahrens said. "I could not handle another loss one. Quarterback Elvis Grbac lofted a pass into the back of the end zone, to Sparty. Not like this. I actually left my seat on the last drive. I was just into the outstretched arms of receiver Desmond Howard. too nervous. A few plays, things are looking better. I thought, 'Man they "I couldn't believe they were going to go for it," fan Brad Ahrens noted. might do this.' After Drew Dileo's catch [put Michigan in range], I peek my "Then when Grbac dropped back to pass, I was in shock. However, there head back in. I was standing at the stairs next to an 80-year-old couple was such a cushion on Desmond, and I said, 'Throw it!' that must have done the same thing as me. The kick is up, it's good. We "It seemed like an eternity. There was no way he was going to catch up hugged, and we jumped around." to that ball. Then pure awesomeness … dive, catch and legend." 6. 1979, Anthony Carter vs. Northwestern: The man that made the 3. 1973, Dennis Franklin vs. Ohio State: When Michigan lined up on No. 1 jersey famous would set all sorts of receiving records at Michigan, Ohio State's 10-yard line, facing fourth-and-inches and trailing the topand would eclipse marks for returning punts and kickoffs. In his first ranked Buckeyes 10-3 late in the fourth quarter, the 105,223 spectators career game, he wasted little time showing the 100,790 fans gathered in Ann Arbor probably expected quarterback Dennis Franklin to hand off at The Big House what he was capable of, returning a punt 78 yards for a to fullback Ed Shuttlesworth. touchdown the very first time he touched the ball. Instead, he pulled the ball back, squeezed through a pair of surprised "In those days, there were no recruiting sites but there was some buzz OSU defenders and sprinted into the end zone, securing the 10-10 tie in the newspapers about this kid. I remember paying attention when and spoiling a possible national championship for Ohio State. he went out on the field for that punt return," Andy Timmons wrote. "He "I assumed we would run a QB sneak, and then when Franklin took the did a little dancing to split a few of their coverage guys, and like all great snap I was convinced he handed it off to Shuttlesworth, who got through return men he got up field in a hurry. the OSU defensive line fairly easily," Wally Anderson said. "You still didn't know he was going to go on to have the career he did, "When it became clear that Franklin had it, he was already slipping past but just like that you knew he was going to be pretty special." the only guys that could have stopped him, and I'll never forget seeming 7. 1983, Bob Bergeron vs. Iowa: Playing in the slop due to an unrehim throw his hands up in the air because that's exactly what we all did. lenting rain that blanketed Ann Arbor all afternoon, Michigan and Iowa He was so unbelievably excited, and we went nuts." settled in for what looked to be a likely 13-13 tie. The Wolverines had one 4. 2004, Braylon Edwards vs. Michigan State: The unranked Spartans last series in them but when they stalled at the Hawkeyes' 28-yard line, a came to play in 2004, running down the Wolverines' throats in finishing tie seemed inevitable. Kicker Bob Bergeron, who sits first all time at U-M with 368 yards on 57 carries (6.5 yards per rush). Their success on the in career field goal accuracy (82.9 percent), was undeterred, booting the ground helped the Green and White build a 27-10 fourth-quarter lead. ball 45 yards for the game-winning score. Over the final eight minutes of regulation and three overtimes, fans in "I remember it was pouring rain and just an ugly day," Davidson said. the north end zone were treated to one big play after another, including "The AstroTurf had a ton of puddles and a 'sheen' glare. When Bergeron Edwards' TD receptions of 36, 21 and 24 yards, the first two jump balls in hit the ball, it was really low and didn't look like it was even going to the northeast corner that were responsible for tying the game at 27-27, make it to the 10-yard line. But it turned out to be a well-hit, low line and the third in the third overtime. drive that crawled over the cross bar." "My wife was pregnant with our twins, and she was a trooper, wanting 8. 1985, John Kolesar vs. Ohio State: Quarterback Jim Harbaugh to stay for the whole game," Tim Svitkovich said. "We were in section 42, threw for 230 yards, hooking up with tailback Gerald White in the second so most of the Braylon plays came to our side of the field. We just kept quarter and tight end Eric Kattus in the third quarter for touchdowns and The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview  ■ 51

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