Mike Lantry, 1972
Down 5 points with 2:10 to go and two timeouts remaining, Jimmy Clauson throws what is ruled an incomplete pass when a defensive lineman gets a hand on the ball at the beginning of the throwing motion. As it is 4th and 15, Weis calls timeout because he didn't have a good play set up for the situation. About 15-20 seconds after the timeout is called, the booth reviews the play, overturns the ruling of an incomplete pass, and rewards Pitt with the ball. Pitt runs out the clock.
Weis can at least be consoled that his relatively brief tenure at Notre Dame will be remembered.
I've seen speculation at a couple of sites that 1) Weis is gone after Notre Dame's latest debacle; and 2) Brian Kelly is the leading candidate to replace him. Anyone with some insight as to whether this is a real possibility? As a Michigan fan, I'm not sure I like the idea of Notre Dame hiring Kelly.
So I was watching the Pats on Monday Night Football to see the Return of Tom. NE was down 24-13 and the graphic noted that the last time the Pats trailed 24-13 in the fourth quarter was 2002 against the Dolphins; they won 27-24 in overtime.
My mind flashed back to that game. New England scored to make it a three-point affair, but the Dolphins had pre-dope Ricky Williams, who was dominating the league, and less than three minutes to go, so their chances to run out the clock and make the playoffs were very high...
Nope. Miami threw the ball three times (!!!) and punted to New England, which promptly went down the field and kicked an overtime-forcing field goal. From there it was just a formality, although the Packers' epic meltdown against the Jets prevented the Patriots from defending their Super Bowl title in the playoffs.
Anyway, now for the Michigan connection...I thought of this fateful game when Charlie Weis pulled that boneheaded pass-pass-punt routine on Saturday and gave Michigan the ball and more than zero timeouts. None other than Charlie Weis was calling plays for the Patriots during that 2002 comeback. Weird!
I'm not experienced as a coach, but every game I watch or coach in I try to determine the inflection point at which a coach's dumb call swung the ballgame. Avoiding these moments is a large part of not losing winnable games.
Weis actually made some serious allegations about Michigan players punching ND players in the face during the game. Has anyone who has re-watched the game seen if this is true?
Throwing punches at opposing players would certainly be a mark of a team without family values.
Developing a "refgate" is ND's way of illegitimating Michigan's win, which is intended to soften another uncle Charlie loss to Big Blue.
To the ND alumni, however, a loss to Michigan is a loss to Michigan, especially knowing that they blew their chance in their second to last possession when they had the lead with the opportunity to run out the clock.
[Edit: Perhaps uncle Charlie is ND's version of John Cooper. I love the smell of a 10 year winning streak in the morning.]