June 30th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

I'm puzzled why John Kolesar doesn't seem to get recognition as one of Michigan's finest flankers of all time.  Because he wore No. 40?  All he did was consistently make huge plays in the biggest games.

Section 1

June 30th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

For reasons I can't quite explain on paper, given all of the objective-type career-stat stuff, I'd agree with you, and I'd say that the actual feeling of being there for those late-game Kolesar bombs was incomparable.  As big as anything I had seen, short of Wangler-to-Carter.  Kolesar's catches were more consequential, actually, in bigger games than merely avoiding a mid-season upset to IU.

From another era, I always said that there was never a better Michigan receiver than Jack Clancy; it was of course in no way a putdown of the other greats.  Just a desire to see an underrated guy get his due.


June 30th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

If Wangler to Carter hadn't happened it wouldn't have been a loss, but a tie.  I know, a tie vs IU is essentially a loss, but still.  


Kolesar was money, but for my in stadium experiences, I think nothing tops Wangler to Carter.  Disclaimer - I was a pretty impressionable 10 year old boy.


June 30th, 2012 at 2:17 PM ^

too and agree completely.  Three yards and a cloud of dust over and over again, but when you needed to win - AC in the corner and that was it. That Wangler-AC pass will always be one of Michigan's greatest plays.

Same with Kolesar to a degree - run, run, run then deep to Kolesar.


June 30th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

GREAT MOVE BY FORCIER!  probably on my personal top 10.


It's interesting though, a great accompanying call by the announcer elevates the moment.  "Hello Heisman" must be the most apropos call of all time, and we can't forget Ufer during AC catch.  If only the announcer during Woodson's punt return had delivered a similar narration it would replay more frequently in my mind.


June 30th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

I don't give bonus points to situations just because they happened a long time ago - given that, I think I would only put Carter, Howard, and Manningham above - we lose each of those games without those plays.  Technically, we could have still kicked a field goal and eventually won the ND game

Zone Left

June 30th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

If it's the top moments in stadium history, Michigan winning the 1969 OSU game has to be number one. That was the most important game in Michigan's football history and set the stage for almost forty years of continuous success. Everything else is somewhere far behind.


July 1st, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

I still cry when I see Mandich carried off. The atmosphere was incredible. I was working for ABC that day. The production staff was as excited as the crowd. Before the game began , they were worried about what they'd do when Ohio took a big lead! Instead they had Barry Pierson's returns to show over and over.


June 30th, 2012 at 1:43 PM ^

On second thought, it was just against ND, and the Irish have provided so many feel good games. The Mike Hart guarantee game. The Tate Forcier for Heisman game. Roundtree to Robinson. Even if we keep it just in Michigan stadium.

FWIW I would drop the Wisconsin one and add in Robinson to Roundtree or Forcier to Mathews.


June 30th, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

So i dont have to many memories. Although, my personal top three are

1. Henne to Manningham - Still remember my dad carring me on his shoulders. I was 9
2. Denard to Roundtree - Most amazing finish I've ever witnessed.
3. Michigan vs Wisconsin comeback - Had a game before so had to watch it on dvr not live still amazing.

Sorry for the formating on droid.


June 30th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

"Greatest Moments" should reflect crowd reaction as much as football plays. I've been to lots of games, but the UTL crowd was totally electrifying. Beating Sparty in triple overtime was similar, but a bunch of people took off by the time the game amped up. Carter's catch was also put the crowd in a frenzy, but it was one play and we were mostly nervous and quiet up to that point. Mario's and Desmond's catches lit up the stadium, and almost any Ohio game generates a unique level of intensity, but nothing in my experience, including the '69 Ohio game, approaches UTL for the way the crowd raised the level of excitement.

Personally, I would put Gallon's catch and run ahead of Roundtree's...

Sione's Flow

June 30th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

True Gallon's catch and run were great, but some many other factors attributed to the Roundtree catch being historic.  It wasn't the safe approach, like Herbstreit suggested to kick the field goal and send it to OT.  It was Roundtree's only catch of the game, and the catch itself was nerve racking because Roy was still fighting with defender at the sideline and could have had the ball knocked loose.  

snarling wolverine

July 1st, 2012 at 12:33 AM ^

The Roundtree catch was a TD, and the winner, but to me the Gallon catch is the more memorable play.  We were at our own 20-yard line with 23 seconds to go when that play started.  Think about that - our odds were unbelievably slim.  We had just had a 20-yard pass sail over Gallon's hands on the previous play, which I thought was going to be a backbreaking incompletion.  But then . . . 

Denard dodges a pretty heavy rush, finds an open Gallon (who may or may not have improvised his route) and then Gallon somehow is able to run the width of the field, get out of bounds and put us in FG range!  64 yards in one play. (Altogether, he ran like 100+ yards on that play, counting his sprint across the field.)  Suddenly we were in FG range!  

 To me, that was the miracle.  That we went for the kill - and got it - on the next play was awesome, but kind of the icing on the cake.  The Gallon play set it up.  (Could we lump the two plays together into one "moment"?)


June 30th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

I'd say with so many years of history, it would rate lower than most expect. Especially since it was a desperate heave, and not a beauty of timing and athleticism (Desmond). I'd even rate Manningham 4th down higher.


June 30th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

As many of us will recall, the UTL game was pretty... uneventful until the 4th quarter. In addition to being such an amazing comeback, I think the crowd, knowing as we did that we were the biggest ever, desperately wanted something to cheer about. When it was provided, we obliged in a big way. I think the confluence of events has to put Denard to Roundtree on that list somewhere.


June 30th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

My experiences are a bit biased since I'm partial to games that I attended (I was a student there the last 4 years). In any case, here's how I'd rank em:


1. 1969 vs. OSU

2. Denard to 'tree: The comeback, The last second score, The rivalry and all UTL (the best sports atmosphere I have ever been in)

3. Wangler to Carter

4. Hello Heisman

5. Touchdown Manningham

6. Desmond Howard

7. Woodson vs. OSU

8. 3OT vs. Sparty

9. Forcier to Mathews (my first, live real rivalry win at Michigan Stadium)

10. Kolesar??


June 30th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

Loved hearing the great voices such as Ufer, and Jackson. Also liked seeing Shembechler carried off on the teams shoulders. The Gatorade shower is one hell of a dumb way to honor a coach.

The FannMan

June 30th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

First off, the Desmond highlights need to be flipped.  The ND catch was to beat Notre Dame for the first time in four years.  It also put him on the map.  Finally, it is just an incredible play.  Never mind that he beat the corner like a rented mule, he laid out to catch a ball that was totally over thrown.  If he drops it, I have no doubt that we lose that game.  His punt return against Ohio was in a game that Michigan was already winning and really wasn't all that unique as far as punt returns go.  In my humble opinion, "The Pose" itself isn't worthly of being a top ten moment in the history of Michigan Stadium.

I would say:


1. 1969 beating OSU (The game that made Bo.  This ended up being pretty important.)

2.  Woodson's punt return (Won a Heisman and keep an NC alive)

3.  AC (Because he is an icon.  It just is.)

4.  Desmond's catch v. ND (This may be a generational issue.  If you can remember when ND was ND, and how much it sucked to lose to them, beating them makes this top 4.)

5.  Braylonfest (I took my little brother to the game  He is a State grad.  Yes, really.)

7. Kolesar in '85.  (I think that was a game winner too.  Help?)

8.  UTL - Denard to Roy (I still have no idea how we pulled that out)

9. SuperMario v. PSU (Game winner against undefeated PSU, yes please!)

10. Avery interception this year.  (This may be a reach, but ending the 7 year curse, Hoke's first Ohio game, and the fact that it was a damn good play place it in my top 10.)

Honorable Mention - 1995 Hayes catch to beat UVa.

Timmy against Ohio wasn't a moment.  It was a dominating performance.  The difference with Braylonfest is that there was a final TD which capped it off. 

2008 against Wisconsin.  A great moment, true.  But there are some other issues surrounding that team and that era.  I think that the 2009 game against Notre Dame is a better "Stadium moment" from the Rich Rod years.

Of course, this is all about "feelings, man."  But it is a good football topic in June when the other college football news is PSU related.



June 30th, 2012 at 11:06 PM ^

Your list is better than the original. My thoughts, with the caveat that I don't go back past the 70s too far:

1. 1969 beating Ohio (Beginning of the modern era)

2. Howard's catch vs. ND (A marvelous stadium moment. I remember as if it were this afternoon the celebration, the jumping, the hugging. I remember what I wore, who was sitting on my left, my right, the continuing celebration after the game. I hated ND so much after the previous four years. Fantastic moment.)

3. Hello Heisman pose (If I were going only on national recognition, this would be #2. But to me, it wasn't as electric. Still, impossible to put it lower. It's a moment that has transcended UM fandom and made it into the larger national sports consciousness, if that's even a thing.)

4. AC (Icon status. It's come to symbolize an era and a tradition, and it is a touchstone for UM fans. The play's effects on the game and season aren't as important.)

5. UTL Denard to Roy. (I think this may pass flip with #4 above as time goes on. Crazy final minutes, storied opponent, first night game, this was sheer delirium. Just like #2 above, we were out of our minds with joy. It's hard to know, but I have to think in twenty years this one will be kept out of the top 3 only because there was no Heisman or NC to which it lead.)

6. Woodson's touchdown return vs. Ohio (This did lead to a Heisman and a NC. It was great. But... it wasn't nearly as mind-blowing a moment as 2, 3, 5. It was in the 2nd quarter, if I recall, and we were actually comfortably in the lead at the time (or maybe I just felt that way because we were playing a Cooper team). Anyway, it's arguably not even the most important moment of that game, coming in behind the gasp-worthy, bullet-time, NOOOOOOOOO moment of Katzenmoyer almost getting a pick-six that I think would have won it or close to it for them. So, CW had amazing moments - I'd put the MSU reception near the top - but I just can't put this above any of the 1-5 moments.)

7. Kolesar

8. Braylon Dominates (A series of unforgettable moments, really. I remember thinking, Did that just happen? Can it possibly happen again? Oh, yes, it happened again.)

9. Mercury Hayes catch (The season was fresh, hopes were high, and it provided one of the best pictures in UM history, with 0:00 on the clock and the ball still a long way, a seemingly uncatchably long way, from Hayes's arms.)

10. Avery interception (I agree, I think this one will get remembered for ending seven years of futility). 

The FannMan

July 1st, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

Solid list as well.  Of course, there is no wrong answer.

I have an identical feeling about Desmond's catch.  I was there (as a student) and can literally remember evey second.  I also remember my roommate, who was standing next to me at the game, telling me he taped the game.  He had blown a bunch of his parents' cash and bought a VCR (yes, I know) that had a frame by frame feature.  Very high tech for the time.  After the game, we wathced the play over and over and over and over.  People kept on joining us and no one could watch that play enough. 

Section 1

June 30th, 2012 at 8:24 PM ^

I have always maintained; the best season-ticket in all of Detroit, Michigan-area sports, BY FAR, is Michigan football.  Nothing against the Detroit Red Wings, or the Tigers; but it isn't even a close call.  For my entire life, there has never been a season of Michigan football in which one or more of the Michigan home games (never mind bowls or away games) wasn't one of the handful of premier events of the year in team sports.  Besides, even in their best years, under the best of circumstances, with the most drama hanging on one of their games, no other team's venue is as attractive as Michigan Stadium and Ann Arbor.  To say nothing of the fact that with very few exceptions, Michigan football is routinely contending for a chmpionship, and the games themselves, with historically few exceptions, are either Michigan victories or are at least close.  Often amazing nail-biters.

Even the Michigan losses are among the most intriguing stories in local sports.  (See, e.g., South Carolina/George Rogers; Colorado/Kordell "Slash" Stewart; Appalachian State.)  If you are at a Michigan football game, you are not only part of the largest crowd watching a football game anywhere in America, you are usually witnessing the weekend's biggest story.


June 30th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

I think you guys have to understand, having Indiana tie Michigan back in 1979 would have been pretty much on par to The Horror. 

Indiana was actually a decent team THAT YEAR.   After the Michigan loss they won 3 of 4 including their bowl game and ended up 8-4.  But that was their first winning season since 1968.  They had lost all of their previous games against Bo by a combined score of  242-41.  Michigan was 6-1, with only a 2 point heartbreaker to Notre Dame, so they were expected to win by about 80.

So the Carter catch averted what was a certain season-ending disaster.  The season ended up tanking eventually anyway, but at the time, that play saved the season.



June 30th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

I was just thinking about this topic plays in Michigan Stadium history, what a coincidence.


How come no one is mentioning Mercury Hayes in the endzone from Driesbach vs. VA in 1995?

Victor Hale II

June 30th, 2012 at 3:45 PM ^

Just wanted to throw out the Driesbach to Hayes game winning TD against Virginia. Yeah, I know - nonconference, not a rival, etc. Still an awesome big House moment.

Section 1

June 30th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

It was Lloyd Carr's first game, after a summer in which the Athletic Department was shaken to its foundation over the firing of Gary Moeller.

Lloyd Carr's position in that game was Interim Head Football Coach, and he was supposedly "not a candidate" for the permanent job.

A loss in that game and history might have been quite different.  Even Lloyd Carr says so.

So I would agree; Mercury Hayes' catch was one of the most important, ever.

Sione's Flow

July 1st, 2012 at 1:27 AM ^

Maybe it's time for MGOBlue to take another vote on the Top 10 plays in Michigan Stadium history and when the dust settles, I think most of the truly iconic plays will remain, maybe the Roundtree catch will make the cut, maybe not.  But it's a play that think we can all agree was the first signature play of the Brady Hoke era at UM.