Down 20-6 at halftime, and 17-3 early on, it’d have been pretty easy to lay down and let Florida State seize the Orange Bowl for good. Instead, #6 ranked Michigan gave the audience an all-time game, falling one-point short after the referees missed an obvious call to end the game.
Michigan gave up several uncharacteristic big plays in the opening half to trail by two touchdowns. To their credit, they played without Heisman Trophy-nominated Jabrill Peppers, who messed up his hamstring in pre-game. The loss stifled our run defense, but as the game wore on, we were making the necessary adjustments.
The second half began with the Wolverines marching down for a field goal, 20-9. And they kept pinning FSU in their own red zone, forcing a 3rd down errant pass that was returned for the touchdown! As the 3rd quarter ended, the deficit was down to five.
There were almost as many point scored in the 4th (30) as the 35 up until that point. The Seminoles and their FAIL mascot, who was bucked off the horse at halftime – sensing racism?, quickly scored to answer the INT, busting off another gigantic play. Michigan looked down and out, but put together a nice drive to finally reach the end zone and make it 27-22.
The defense got the stop, and the Wolverines marched down to take the lead with under two minutes to play. We converted a two-point conversion to lead 30-27. However, a strange ensuing kick where a delayed return seemed to push our players out of position led to instant field goal range for Florida State. And on 3rd down, they converted the go-ahead touchdown.
But we refused to surrender. Michigan blocked the extra point and returned it the distance to come withing one, 33-32. And with all three timeouts, here we came. On 4th down, FSU clearly jumped, and our QB threw it deep, as is tradition on a free play. The blatant flag was not thrown, the game ended, and all Michigan fans were left in complete devastation.
I am so proud of this season and the first two under Jim Harbaugh. WE ARE BACK, BLUE, and I am happy to end 2016 with you. ‘Twas a worth performance.