Better Historical Michigan Stadium End Zone: North or South

Submitted by Yostal on November 8th, 2010 at 7:07 PM

My one off in the thread on Brian's column today wherein I referred to the front right corner of the North End Zone as "Desmond's Corner" got me to thinking:

Historically speaking for Michigan football, which end zone of Michigan Stadium, north or south, has been the site of more classic moments?

North has Desmond's 1991 catch against Notre Dame, Braylonfest, Mercury Hayes against Virginia, and many others I forget.

South has Carter's touchdown against Indiana in 1979, Desmond's punt return against Ohio State in 1991, Woodson's punt return against Ohio State in 1997, Manningham against Penn State in 2005, Matthews against Notre Dame in 2009, and many others.

So, what say you, what case do you make, if you were compelled to choose, north or south?



November 8th, 2010 at 7:39 PM ^

Great thread. This is sort of like that MGoBlue "rank the top 10 plays in Michigan history" poll -- it's just so damn hard to choose between some of the great memories of Michigan football that are permanently ingrained in my memory.

If I had to choose, I'd go South endzone. The two punt returns (particularly Woodson's since it helped lead to a national title) and Manningham's catch are among my favorite UM memories, although part of that is because I was a wee lad and didn't comprehend the importance of Michigan football when Desmond was destroying worlds and posing for Heismans.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:13 PM ^

Why? Because there is a wonderful dearth of "omg rr is evil he should be fired" material on the board this week as opposed to last. Thank you. 

That said,


November 8th, 2010 at 7:22 PM ^

My directions may be off, but wasn't Desmond in the south endzone?

Edit: Forgot the ND game, sorry, I would hope my screenname makes up for what I initially thought of when I hear the name Desmond.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:20 PM ^

South.   Of course I sit in section 5 so all the stuff that happens up North is wee bit far away for my 51 year old eyes to follow.  I just know when everybody starts yelling something good must've happened and I join right in.

And from my vantage point PSU 05 is #1.  Thank you Super Mario....thank you!  I saw that one perfectly.

M Fanfare

November 8th, 2010 at 7:21 PM ^

The South endzone also had "Touchdown Billy Taylor!" if I'm not mistaken (1971 vs. OSU). The North endzone has John Kolesar's awesome catch and run from Jim Harbaugh in 1985 also vs. OSU.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:26 PM ^

Yeah, I think the south has it.  Desmond's punt return > Desmond's ND catch, Anthony Carter against Indiana and Braylonfest are probably a push, and Woodson's punt return and Super Mario beating PSU beat out Mercury Hayes and the Great Illinois Blitz of 2010. 

A few to add - Phil Brabbs game winner was the north endzone, but Chris Perry over PSU in overtime was the south endzone.

August West

November 8th, 2010 at 7:27 PM ^

Do plays the other way hurt?  Like the Appalachian State blocked field goal, the Desmond trip up on the 2 point conversion, Kordell Stewart, etc.


Maybe one end zone has a much better good-to-bad memories ratio.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

I have tickets in Sect. 37. I have seen so many great moments, and it always seemed like that was Braylon's endzone.. besides his first td against Washington in 2002. Between the Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State games in 02. The jump ball against Purdue in 03. The Show in 04, and the pluck and score against Iowa were moments I'll always remember.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

What if we just do the game on Saturday vs. Illinois?

North had: First play from scrimmage bomb to Roundtree, huge return/block at end of 2nd quarter, 1st OT and 3rd OT.

South had: Hemingway's bobbled TD catch in 2nd OT and TD burning 4 defenders, game tying TD to Stonum in the 4th, 24 point 2nd quarter.

I'll have to go with the North endzone. That's where I was.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

Being the location of the Colorado Hail Mary is an immediate disqualifier.  Also, the Desmond pose far outweighs the catch against ND, as far as I'm concerned.  It seems like most of the big moments against OSU came in the south end.  Even though I have always sat on the north side of the stadium, I have to give it to the south end zone. 


November 8th, 2010 at 8:01 PM ^

was the south end zone.  i was unfortuneately at that game.  thinking at the time the game was over, because no one can throw the ball 75 yds.  i was at about the 40 yd line.  when the ball was at its apex, i got a huge pit in my stomach.  i thought to myself "oh no, i think that has a chance".  sure did.


November 8th, 2010 at 10:05 PM ^

This was one of the few games I actually got to go to as a young lad, and I just happened to be in row 30 or so in the South endzone.  I will never forget heading toward the exit, with everyone else still stuck in their seats with their mouths wide open.  Sigh.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:51 PM ^

In the south we also had the 1996 (?) Illinois scramble, where the illinois scatback QB scrambled, and scrambled and flung something wild into the endzone and Michigan loses.

In the north, I'll never forget AC having a Wangler ball go off his fingertips in the final possesion and George Rogers' South Carolina squad wins in 1980.

Indiana Blue

November 8th, 2010 at 7:47 PM ^

is also where ND screwed up and never got that last play off in ... in ... shit can't remember the year  -  but certainly joyous.  And just one more ... Thompson's INT return against Wisconsin in '08.

So single best at each end ????   IMHO:

North  -  Desmond's catch v. ND   South  -  1a) Woodson and Howard lock up Heisman 1b) Mario ruins Joe Pa's shot at a NC game.  

Ahhh ... great memories !!!!

Go Blue !


November 8th, 2010 at 7:56 PM ^

My first year of grad school at michigan, they had a graduate/professional student section in the south endzone. I was able to see Manningham's catch happen right in front of me in row B. Ever since then they have included the grad students with undergrads in the north. Last weekend was the most fun I have had since the Henne to Mario game. For me it is a tie. 

Blue Shipper

November 8th, 2010 at 8:00 PM ^

in '71 against Ohio State and AC in '79 give the edge to the South, IMO. Any idea if AC's score was the first final-play, game-winning TD in Michigan Stadium? It just didn't happen in those days and that's part of what makes it special. Seems like Michigan won (or lost) on a field goal about once a season, but rarely did a team score a game-winning TD.


November 8th, 2010 at 8:25 PM ^

South endzone also has the John Thompson Buffalo stampede against Wisky... not quite as historical or elegant as the other plays, but it was certainly a turning point in that game and ignited the largest comeback in Michigan history if I'm not mistaken.


Edit: I think IndianaBlue beat me to it... +1 to you sir... well, just driving the point home I guess. Bringing back good memories and positive thoughts.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:10 PM ^

Got to be the North.  There's nothing like looking out over the North end zone and seeing the Law Quad, Burton Tower, the Union and the Fall colors.  The campus views help make Football Saturday.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:23 PM ^

I have to say, I think there may be a few more exciting things that have happened in the south endzone, but I think it can be a lot more exciting and/or energizing sitting in the north.  I sat in the north endzone as a band member for four years, and have now sat in the south endzone for three games in the last two years, and have to say it's much quieter and less intense where I have been.  Not to say there aren't intense people there, but as a whole it's a very different atmosphere.  I've actually been chastized for yelling too loudly (NOT profanely - just loudly).  That was a damper.


November 8th, 2010 at 9:50 PM ^

Love this topic.  Because I often think about this every time I walk inside the big house and I look at both end zones.  It's pretty even when you get right down to it.


*Desmond Howard's kickoff return for a TD against Michigan State (1990). 

*Desmond Howard's 4th down diving TD catch against Notre Dame (1991).

*Bob Bergeron's game winning field goal against Iowa (1983).

*Mike Gilette's game winning field goal against Iowa (1986).

*Jim Harbaugh to John Kolesar 70 yard TD bomb to put the nail in the coffin against Ohio State (1985).

*Phillip Brabbs game winning field goal against Washington (2002). 

*All of Braylon Edwards' TD catches in the triple overtime game against Michigan State took place in the north end zone (2004). 

*4th down stop against MSU to win in triple overtime (2004).

*Scott Dreisbach to Mercury Hayes on the final play to beat Virginia (1995).

*Drew Henson throws a prayer into traffic and David Terrell catches it in the back of the end zone for the game winning TD against Wisconsin (2000).

*Defense stops Wisconsin on a two point conversion to pull out a 2 point win (2008). 

*Defense stops Illinois on a two point conversion in triple over time for a 67-65 win (2010).

*Steve Breaston's insane punt return for a TD against Illinois (2003).

*Anthony Thomas just breaks the plane to pull out a 4 point win over Notre Dame (1999).

*Tom Brady to Marquise Walker, short pass, game winning TD against Ohio State (1999).

*Peter Elezovick kicks a field goal to tie Illinois - the tie wrapped up the Rose Bowl trip (1992).

*Jerrod Bunch 23 yard TD run to put away Ohio State, wrap up the Rose Bowl, the outright Big Ten title, and this was the final TD scored in Michigan Stadium in the Schembechler era (1989).

*Mike Gillette's fake punt against Michigan State that went 54 yards for a TD (1988).

*The student section tears down the goalposts after beating Purdue to wrap up the Rose Bowl trip (1982).

*The student section tears down the goalposts after beating #1 Ohio State (1969).

*Rob Lytle's 75 yard TD run against Michigan State (1976).



*Billy Taylor's game winning TD run against Ohio State (1971).

*Chris Perry's game winning TD run in overtime to beat Penn State (2002).

*Mario Manningham's game winning catch from Chad Henne to beat Penn State in the final play (2005).

*John Wangler to Anthony Carter game winning TD against Indiana (1979)

*Anthony Carter's final TD catch at the Big House - a 62 yard bomb from Steve Smith against Purdue (1982).

*Brian Griese throws the game winner to Jerame Tuman to beat Iowa (1997).

*Desmond Howard's punt return and Heisman pose against Ohio State (1991).

*Charles Woodson's punt return and almost-Heisman pose against Ohio State (1997).

*Tate Forcier to Greg Mathews to beat Notre Dame (2009).

*John Thompson's pick six against Wisconsin (2008).

*Chad Henne to Tyler Ecker to beat Minnesota (2004).

*Chris Perry's 23 yard TD run to put the nail in the coffin to Ohio State (2003).

*Butch Woolfolk runs for a 92 yard TD - the longest TD run in Michigan football history (1979).

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  Looks like the north end zone has a slight edge. 


November 8th, 2010 at 11:03 PM ^

since 1976. I have been gone awhile, but still have my seats and always make it back for a game or two a year (and usually a road game). I was there for AC 79', Mercury Hayes 95', Penn State 05', ND 91' & 09', Iowa 83', 86' & 97, OSU all of em...I missed the game on Saturday, but I was there in 1981 when UM put 70 on those Illini bastards. As for which endzone has had better highlights, I am taking the south with the Heisman punt returns and the last play TD's from AC and Manningham.


November 8th, 2010 at 11:33 PM ^

After too many years in the student section (including the '04 msu thriller), as well as my first UM game en-vivo (the '95 last second Dreisbach-Hayes td in the northeast corner), I'm partial to the north endzone.  

Also, a buddy of mine and I are both of extraordinarily pale complexion and sunburn easily. We are also elitist snobs. We used to joke:

north endzone: red in the face (screaming students + plus facing the sun)

south endzone: red in the neck (visiting team tix + sun at your back)


(no offense to anyone who sits there and might be jeff foxworthy - just a stupid joke.)


November 9th, 2010 at 12:18 AM ^

The years I had season tix, most of them were spent in Sec 38..  we spent a couple of years in the South endzone, but most of my Michigan memories came from sitting in 38. 

As far as moments go. there have been great moments in both endzones.