An earlier post (about LaTerryal Savoy) made me think this might be a fun exercise for the Sunday after a big win.
Best "Drops" in U-M Football History (in no particular order):
T. Butterfield, Virginia, 1995
3rd down on the UVa 15, 0:08 left, no timeouts, U-M down 17-12. S. Dreisbach hits Butterfield, blanketed by a defender, in the hands at the 11; the ball bounces straight over his head (and the defender) to the turf, 0:04 left. Three other defenders immediately arrive on the scene. Butterfield would surely have been tackled after a catch, and the clock runs out. Instead, on the next play, Dreisbach hits M. Hayes in the back corner of the endzone, without an inch of green to spare between Merc's toe and the white paint of the sideline, for the 18-17 win as the clock expires.
(Side note: has it ever perplexed anyone, like it has me, that Butterfield wore the #1 jersey? Carter, G. McMurtry, D. Alexander...then Butterfield?)
S. Breaston, Penn State, 2005
3rd and 4 at the PSU 10, 0:06 left, no timeouts, U-M down 25-21. C. Henne checks down to Breaston near the sideline at the 5, blanketed by PSU CB J. King, but the ball glances off Breaston's hands and incomplete as the defender swarms and Breaston goes to a knee; 0:01 left. PSU LB P. Posluszny closing in as the play ends. Even if Breaston doesn't go a knee, he very likely wouldn't have broken the tackle and reached the endzone, and the clock likely runs out (if not for a quick-reacting clock official). Instead, on the next play, Henne hits M. Manningham on a slant in the endzone for the 27-25 win as the clock expires.
L. Reed, Indiana, 1979
3rd and 1 at the U-M 44, ~0:12 left, score tied 21-21, no timeouts. J. Wangler hits Reed on a screen, and Reed "fumbles" (laterals) the ball 18 yards to the sideline as he's going down, directly in front of IU HC L. Corso; clock stops with 0:06 left. Corso is livid. On the next play, Wangler hits A. Carter on a crossing route at the IU 20, Carter breaks a tackle and hi-steps into the endzone for the 27-21 win as the clock expires.
L. Savoy, ND, 2009
1st and goal at the ND 4, 0:22 left, no timeouts, U-M down 34-31. T. Forcier scrambles through the chaos of the ND DL, eludes sack, and flips to Savoy near the endzone sideline. Pass is ever-so-slightly tipped by a defender, causing Savoy to mishandle it upon arrival; 0:16 left. On the next play, Forcier hits G. Mathews at the goal line for the go-ahead TD. Savoy's drop isn't of the "would've gotten tackled and the clock would've run out" variety, but chews up 0:06 that could've given J. Clausen and his all-world WRs one more chance at a Hail Mary (how appropriate?). Instead, Jimmah hits G. Tate on a crossing route, and he's tackled in-bounds at the ND 46 by J. Floyd as the ball bounces out of bounds and the clock expires. U-M wins, 38-34.
Anyone like to add some other notable and fortunate "drops" to the list?