If you think your Halloween was scary, wait ’til you hear this tale from Michigan’s clash against Minnesota.
The Gophers struck first, but the Wolverines limited them to a field goal in the red zone. From there, Michigan punched in two touchdowns to take a commanding 14-3 lead. However, Minnesota chipped away with another field goal (albeit again near the goal line), then came within one on a busted play.
For some reason, the Wolverines had trouble guarding the big play all night long. With the clock winding to halftime, we went for it near midfield and turned it over. The Gophers kicked another one in to take the lead, 16-14.
Michigan took the second half kickoff and marched all the way down the field, putting together a strong touchdown drive. 21-16. Unfortunately, that was the last for our quarterback. On an ensuing possession, he slid to declare himself down (a little late) and one defender hit him – and that was fine – but then another leveled the opposite side of his helmet.
We’ve had players kicked out in back-to-back games for measlier hits than that. Instead, no flag was thrown, and Jake Rudock never re-entered the game. We scrambled to score, and the Gophers took advantage with a 4th quarter touchdown. And snarfed another field goal. 26-21.
It took our backup some time, but he finally found his rhythm thanks to solid field position from our defense. It needs to be noted how amazing they played all game, holding Minnesota to field goals instead of TDs and coming up with huge plays down the stretch. On third and long, we found our guy in the end zone to re-take the lead. Another big catch on the conversion made it 29-26.
There was still over four minutes for Minnesota on the clock. We had them on 3rd-and-17, but they converted. Finally, near midfield, we held them to fourth down. They seemed to drop the catch as it collided with the ground. But, they ruled it complete, and the Gophers were pretty much in field goal range.
I can’t believe it, but with under a minute to go, we surrendered another big play down the sideline. The receiver dove into the end zone, and the referee signaled touchdown. HOWEVER, upon further review, his knee touched down within the one-yard line, shy of the goal line. Life. Still, though, they had a timeout and twenty seconds left.
On first down, they didn’t realize the clock had started back up and shuffled their offensive line around. By the time they snapped it, rolled their quarterback out, and threw it incomplete, two seconds were left.
I like to think I’d have kicked it. At home, Michigan’s starting QB out. But their interim coach lived up to his fat ass and indulged, going for it. THE WOLVERINES PUT UP A WALL, DENYING THE QUARTERBACK SNEAK, PLOWING THROUGH THE LINE AND SHUTTING THE GOPHERS DOWN!
GAME OVER!! GO HOME!!!!!!!!