What are your top 5 games in Michigan football history since you've been a fan?
5. 1997 Michigan Wolverines v Iowa Hawkeyes
- Anyone that remembers watching this game knows how good of a game it was. Iowa return man Tim Dwight took a punt return to the house right before halftime to put Iowa up 21-7 in the Big House. I smashed my hand through my mothers glass coffee table when that happened and thought the dream season was in serious jeopardy.
After halftime Michigan's defense returned to its stellar form and quickly caught up to Iowa before entering the fourth quarter down 24-21. Some seriously clutch passes by Griese to Jerame Tuman, including a picture perfect game winner, eventually put us on top late in the fourth and the defense sealed the victory. I remember feeling at that moment like we had something really special. It's a game I'll never forget.
4. 1995 Michigan Wolverines v Virginia Cavaliers
- This was the first Michigan game that I watched in depth. Afterward, I never looked back. The first game of the Lloyd Carr era couldn't have been any more dramatic. I remember watching Tiki and Ronde' Barber dominating us in the first half. I remember thinking that headed into the fourth quarter down 17-0 that we had no chance with freshman qb Scott Driesbach.
Michigan scored quickly in the fourth with a touchdown plunge from Ed Davis after some huge catches from Mercury Hayes on the drive. The next drive Hayes struck again with a nice run after the catch touchdown to cut the Cavs lead to 17-12 with a little less then half the fourth quarter to go. And then of course what would happen on the last play of the game would live on in Michigan folklore forever as Driesbach tossed one to the back corner of the endzone and a gravity defying Mercury Hayes brought it in and kept his feet in bounds giving the wolverines a 18-17 win at the end of regulation. This game solidified Mercury Hayes as my favorite Wolverine for a long time. And I'm sure many of you guys still have him as your all time favorite Wolverine.
3. 2007 Capital One Bowl: Michigan v Florida
- This game will always live on for me as one of the great ones because it was the the last game of a Michigan regime that will never be forgotten. Coach Lloyd Carr was coaching his last game. The beloved and highly touted seniors were putting on the glorious winged helmet for the last time.
I remember having so many raw emotions before this game. I remember an espn poll where 92 percent of the nation picked Florida over Michigan as the most safe bet of the entire bowl season. We looked outmatched. We had injuries all season to key players and the defense couldn't stop the spread if they're lives depended on it. Things did not look good.
When kickoff finally came I remember how methodical our first drive was. 94 yards virtually all of which coming from playing out of the shotgun. I remember thinking to myself, "where the fuck was this all year"? Florida quickly came back and before long was up 14-7, but the entire time I loved what we were doing on offense. Debord was calling a fabulous game. Three straight Michigan touchdowns put us up 28-14. Again, the play-calling was incredible. One play in particular that I remember was a fake RB screen that they turned into a sideline TE screen that put us on the goal line. Being up 28-14 I still was not confident because we were having a hell of a time stopping Percy Harvin.
The Gators stormed back eventually nodding things up at 28-28. At this point I really thought we had a shot. A K.C. Lopata field goal put us up 31-28 but was quickly taken away as Harvin and the Gators got in the end zone quickly putting us down 4 with half the fourth remaining. I was drunk at this point and began praying profusely to anything holy that Lloyd and the Seniors go out properly for all they had done for Michigan football. Debord called another brilliant drive that ended with a strike from Henne to Arrington. A K.C. Lopata field goal later put us up 41-35 with enough time for Florida to have one last drive. I thought we would get our hearts ripped out of our chest like we did so many times that year but man am I fucking glad I was wrong.
The defense never played so beautiful and never looked so in sync as they did on that last drive. They beat Tebow up and forced a jump ball on fourth down that was batted down as the Wolverines began to celebrate.
Now I will admit I teared up quite a bit and sobbed for awhile in happiness over how much adversity we were able to overcome to win a football game. One thing that always sticks with me is how we were able to beat such a great team while turning the ball over 4 times including 2 inside the 5 yard line. The game was capped off for me watching Lloyd Carr hoisted above the players shoulders and whisked away into the sunset.
2. 2004 Michigan State @ Michigan
- Seeking their first win in the Big house since 1990 the Spartans came ready to play. I remember being at work that day bar tending and closely following the action. I remember being frustrated almost the whole game. It was like our defense never turned their power on. The Spartans were able to run at will on us the entire game. It seemed like it was just one of those days where nothing really goes right.
Realistically I started to lose faith when DeAndre Cobb scored again to put Sparty up 27-10 with around 8 to play. The regular patrons at the bar started getting in my ear about it. I was in the process of taking my verbal assault when it struck: Braylon Edwards. It was a godly comeback of epic proportions that started with an onside kick recovery. It was everything I dreamed of. Edwards was a man amongst boys, and single handedly put Michigan on his back getting them to overtime. The stadium looked so incredibly electric on t.v.
The game was so prolific that most of the bar was silent, locked in on the television when overtime began. Back and forth it went until Braylon took a crossing route to the house which eventually put Michigan up for good 45-37. Truly one of the best games in any sport that I've ever watched.
1. 1997 Ohio State @ Michigan
- I could play this game over in my mind for eternity, and I would grin from ear to ear each time. This game was brutally physical on both sides of the ball. Both teams were fighting for the rights to the Rose Bowl and a chance to win a national championship.
Charles Woodson was all over the field offensively and defensively. Woodson effectively got inside the head of OSU's best receiver David Boston and limited him substantially. The defensive line was throwing the OSU offensive line around like rag dolls, generating constant pressure, and disrupting timing. Up a score in the second the defense forced OSU to punt deep in their own territory. The result: Maybe the greatest punt/kick return in Michigan football history. A 78 yard thing of beauty. I thought my T.V. would explode from how loud the Michigan crowd was.
At halftime I thought things were in the bag with the fact that our defense only allowed something ridiculous like 8.9ppg or something like that. Michigan came out of the locker room still firing on all cylinders, and continued to get in the backfield early and often. One such occasion led to the epic INT for a touchdown by Andre Weathers that virtually sealed the deal. But true to the best rivalry in sports OSU fought back and closed within 6 points late in the fourth quarter. I'll admit I started getting a little nervous about things but I knew all we needed to do was what we had done all year. And thanks to a complete team effort we did indeed seal the deal.
I'll never forget screaming The Victors at the top of my lungs, and watching all of the players collect their roses and celebrate with family and friends. After that game everything fell into place. Charles Woodson overcomes all odds and becomes the first defensive player to win the Heisman trophy. And then of course who can forget going on to defeat Washington State in the Rose Bowl earning our beloved Wolverines their first national championship since 1948!!
Thanks to the MgoBlog community for checking out my first diary. I hope these 5 games I've listed has brought back some memories for you guys. Hit me up with your top 5 lists!