10 year-anniversary of "Miracle at the Metrodome"

Submitted by The Geek on October 1st, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Hoping to spark some friendly conversation reflecting on the incredible comeback in 2003 at Minnesota. Chris Perry, Braylon Edwards, John Navarre and Marion Barber, this game was a classic. 

Thanks to WolverineHistorian for the video. I remember myself capitulating to Minnesota (out loud) several times that afternoon...


Tim in Huntsville

October 1st, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I remember that game well..  I was watching in a hotel room in Key West and was bumming big time until the 4th quarter.  The rest of that vacation was great but tiring (partying until all hours of the morning followed by a couple hours sleep and then 8 am activities with our kids).

BTW, why don't we throw out patterns like that anymore?



October 1st, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

Here's the ESPN box score for that very game:





1st Downs 27 21
3rd down efficiency
7 of 15 7 of 12
4th down efficiency
2 of 3 0-0
Total Yards 483 495
Passing 389 71
34-48 8 of 19
Yards per pass
7.9 3.7
Rushing 94 424
Rushing Attempts
31 53
Yards per rush
3 8
Penalties 5 for 49 yds. 7 for 65 yds.
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles lost
0 0
Interceptions thrown
1 2
Possession 28:50:00 31:10:00



October 2nd, 2013 at 7:09 AM ^

Minnesota went 10-3 that year. Only one team (IU) gave up more yards on the ground than Michigan:

Tulsa (W): 254
Troy (W): 292
Ohio (W): 269
LA-Lafayette (W): 356
Penn State (W): 226
Northwestern (W): 241
UMich (L): 424
MSU (L): 148
Illinois (W): 106
Indiana (W): 435
Wisconsin (W): 336
Iowa (L): 175
Oregon (W): 241

Of course, that doesn't tell the whole story (as there's no mention of total yards), but it should give some idea of how well they ran the ball (and how shaky Michigan's defense was that year, GERG or not).

Why, again, did they fire Mason?


October 2nd, 2013 at 7:15 PM ^

Michigan only gave up 495 total yards--nobody held Minnesota to fewer the rest of the season (five conference games) until their bowl game against Oregon.

The week before against Northwestern Abdul-Khaliq had gone 12 for 17 for 331 yards; against Michigan he was 8 for 19 for 71. I'm guessing there was a conscious choice by the defensive staff here.


October 1st, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

I remember following this game online (!!!) on gamecast and on the radio.  Our family didn't have cable back then, and there weren't sketchy internet sites streaming everything yet.  So it was WTKA and ESPN gamecast.  Its the first sports game I remember frantically refreshing my browser for.


October 1st, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

Ill never forget that night. Stayed up with my mom and dad till midnight. One of the best comebacks ever. When John navarre caught that td pass I knew we were gonna comeback


October 2nd, 2013 at 7:45 AM ^

Interesting because we continued to get pummeled for sometime after that. I thought for a minute we were going to comeback then but that quickly turned back to despair. It was not until our pick six that I really had hope. Then it turned into death by Chris perry and I knew there was something memorable going on.


October 1st, 2013 at 8:05 PM ^

got a look at some of the crazy of my fanliness.  We had been dating for about 3 months at the time.  

She was wearing a too-small-for-me Michigan shirt I had given her.  I was wearing a newer shirt.  Early in the third quarter I demanded that we switch shirts, and the Wolverines won (you're all welcome).  Good times.  

Benoit Balls

October 1st, 2013 at 8:21 PM ^

in Akron that night. It was a Friday wedding because the participants were Buckeye alums and they didn't want the wedding on a Buckeye gameday. All during dinner people kept "stopping by" my table to let me know things were not going so well for Michigan.  By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, most of us were in the bar (smoking) area and I gave the bartender $20 to keep the game on, over the protests of a handful of OSU fans.  

Such a great night.


October 1st, 2013 at 8:22 PM ^

John Navarre had a very slow touchdown haha. We only watched the 2nd half live because we were taking a ballroom dance class with friends on Fridays, never thought it would interfere with UM football when we signed up!


October 1st, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

I was in the Dome, in the Michigan section, which was behind the team, at midfield.  My buddy and I drove all night from Ann Arbor the night before, for a last minute trip, that started (I believe) at Ashley's, at around 10 or 11 PM, with a phone call to a friend in M-St.P. 

The thing about the Dome, that you can't really see from the ESPN broadcast but you really should understand, is that there are beer sales, and this on top of tailgating that started in the early afternoon for a friday evening kickoff.  Michigan was coming off a loss to Iowa on the road, and the Gopher fans were confident.  The game was sort of like the Gopher Superbowl, and those varmits were salty.  Michigan did not stop the run until late in the third quarter, and for weeks I had the P.A. announcer's lame "that's another Golden Gopher First Down" chant echoing in my head.

At halftime when Michigan was down 14-0 I recall my group deciding to just get ripped ("win or lose, we still booze"), the second half was then a beery maize and blue blur that ended with the team coming up and celebrating with us near our seats, with the Jug out.  For a long time I considered that the closest thing to a religious experience I ever had. 

[Edited for some shit I forgot]


October 1st, 2013 at 8:35 PM ^

that morning (a few time zones to the right of Minnesota), only able to pull up line-by-line updates on a computer. Happy to see the video a few years later - an excellent game.


October 1st, 2013 at 9:01 PM ^

I just remember thinking to my then 15 year old self, "Wow, Michigan sure looks good on offense when they just go shotgun, 3-4 wide receivers every play, we should do that every game."  I didn't know at the time that this would be the national trend for the next 10 years.    


October 1st, 2013 at 9:14 PM ^

game because I was playing freshmen HS football I found out after the game about Michigan was down big and cameback to win it last seconds. but saw the replays later what I remember about it was Navarres reception and how it took him score that td. 


October 1st, 2013 at 9:18 PM ^

I was in my party days during this game. I remember being down several TD's and saying fuck it bc the beer was flowing and I had just eaten some mushrooms for the 1st and last time.

A friend of mine burst I to the room and said Michigan looked like they were coming back.

The rest I don't remember lol


October 1st, 2013 at 9:50 PM ^

Wow.  How has it been ten years? 

I do remember the weirdness of watching the team play on a Friday night because of the Twins game the following day.  Minnesota originally asked us if we would reschedule the game to Thursday but Bill Martin said, "no."

As negative as I can be when we're down in a game, I didn't give up hope despite how bad that game started.  I knew we would come back.  But I felt the same way as the media and the fans about the inconsistency of how this team was playing.  One fan at the game held this up...

Besides being a huge comeback, this game was special to me because it got the team back on track and they played A+ football for the last 7 weeks of the season, including that win over Tressel in November.  Unfortunately the final game was in the Rose Bowl against another one of Pete Carrol's pay for play squads, but that season was pretty sweet.  

And a random fact about the day of the Minnesota game that I remember for some reason, I bought the 3rd season of the Simpsons on DVD since it was released that morning.  Football and the Simpsons.  It was a good day. 


October 1st, 2013 at 9:50 PM ^

and we'd come in from a great day in the field.  my hunting buddies were big college football fans and one was partial to michigan.  we had dinner and adult beverages and watched that miraculous second half.  go blue!


October 1st, 2013 at 10:02 PM ^

I remember staying up watching this game as a kid. Felt so weird seeing College Football on friday night. It was live on ESPN Classic IIRC.

Wolverine Pride

October 1st, 2013 at 10:14 PM ^

Was at dome that day, 4 rows behind M bench.  One of the greatest experiences at a M game outside of 2010 and 2011 Notre Dame games.  One thing that still baffles me is how many times Minny ran out of bounds to stop the clock in the 4th quarter. The way they were running the ball they could have used up a lot more clock.   Thank you Minnesota!


October 1st, 2013 at 10:50 PM ^

I was in high school and I remember turning the game off to play SOCOM. I don't necessarily totally regret that decision because SOCOM was super awesome, but is kind of regret it. It's weird that they never replay that game as a B1G classic.


October 1st, 2013 at 10:53 PM ^

A few interesting/fun facts around that game:

- If Minnesota had won that game (and the rest of the season played out as it did), they would have gone to the Rose Bowl by way of a 4 way tie atop the standings (M, OSU, Purdue and Minnesota all would have had 2 losses in conference).

The Gophers didn't play OSU and Purdue that year and by way of the fact that they hadn't been to the Rose Bowl the longest, they would have gone.

- Although the game was moved to Friday to accommodate the Twins potential ALCS games, the Twins were eliminated earlier in the week in the ALDS, but of course, tv and travel had already been set, so the dome would have been available on Saturday after all.

- I believe MVictors had this a few years back, but Bill Martin was so upset that they had to move the game to Friday night that he wrote the Minnesota AD a check for them to build an on-campus stadium.


October 1st, 2013 at 11:05 PM ^

I was 11 years old and this was my first year to really get into Michigan football. My family did not not have cable so we were listening to the game when my neighbor friend asked me to spend the night at his house. I told him I would on one condition, we could watch the end of the game. Michigan was down two scores I think when I went to his house.

He broke his promise. We didn't watch one minute of the game and I was furious. The next morning I left his house quite early, raced to my house, and and soon as I got home, got the sports section out of the paper to see the results. Later that day, my dad and brother explained how Michigan had come back. I don't know this for sure but I'm pretty sure I swore to myself that day that I would never spend the night at a friends house again if it got in the way of Michigan football.