...the 1983 squad went in to the game with a 9-2 record and #8 ranking. If not for a 25-24 loss to Washington in Seattle on the final play, they would have been ranked in the top 5. What's interesting about that squad was that there wasn't many legacy players on it. It was the year after Anthony Carter graduated and the year before Jim Harbaugh and Jamie Morris would start their UM careers. Senior running back was Rick Rogers and our best receiver was Triando Markray. Quarterback (#16) was Steve Smith. Like Denard, he was shifty, very mobile and ran for a ton of touchdowns. But he was about as popular with fans as John Navarre would later become. Notable wins from that year were a 42-0 win over Sparty in East Lansing and a season ending 24-21 win over the Bucks at the big house. Bob Bergeron also kicked a game winning field goal over Iowa in the final seconds to win 16-13.
Auburn had the great Bo Jackson on their offense and he laughed at the mere thought of us being any kind of a threat. I guess it was a moral victory that we kept him out of the end zone all night. The Tigers, ranked #3, gave up on their passing game but did run the ball on us in the second half. They kicked a field goal with 27 seconds left to beat us 9-7.
Here's our touchdown drive from that night. The only touchdown scored in the game.
"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."