Friday, August 20, 2010

Countdown to Kickoff - 15 days

October 19, 1985

Michigan 10 - Iowa 12

After Michigan had beaten Michigan State the week before (see countdown - day 34, jiMpossible, WACDave and I decided we should try to head to Iowas City the next weekend to see our now #2 Wolverines take on #1 Iowa.

WACDave knew some people at Iowa so we had two tickets, we just needed to pick up a 3rd. We drove out Friday after class and tracked down WACDave's friends. We weaseled our way into staying the night on the floor in WACDave's friends apartment. After the long drive as we went to sleep we enjoyed the cool breeze coming in the balcony screen. It got really cold that night, so cold that none of us dared get out from under our sleeping bags to close the door. It must have been 50 degrees in the apartment when we woke up to a cold rainy Iowa City morning.

We got to the stadium early to look for the 3rd ticket. I think the 3 of us spent just over $100 TOTAL on tickets for the #1-#2 match-up - times have changed! When it came time to go in, WACDave and I used the tickets from his friends - student tickets and jiMpossible used the 3rd ticket. Now the student tickets for the season were all on one ticket and you had to show a second document as a student to get in. We had the second document, unfortunately, mine was for a female - and the usher would let me in because obviously I wasn't she. I was in full panic mode - driving 8 hours to be stuck standing outside Kinnick Stadium while the game went on.... I went to a second gate, they didn't even look at the names and I was in. Crisis averted.

the 3 of us crammed into the 2 student seats we had in the endzone. A couple memories of the crowd. Michigan had a long kickoff return at one point and when the 3 of us stood up to cheer it became obvious we were the enemy. I think WACDave got shoved by someone - but it ended there. There was also an older Iowa fan sitting near us that kept standing up, slapping his palm with the back of his other hand screaming "Where the hell is the tight end over the middle?"

Iowa dominated the game statistically, but not on the scoreboard. Michigan's D was able to keep the Hawkeyes out of the endzone. Michigan scored the games only TD on a play I've still never really seen. Jim Harbaugh hit Gerald White on a broken play shovel pass at the far endzone putting M up 7-6 at the half. A trade of FGs gave M a 10-9 lead early in the 4th. Rob Houghtlin missed his first attempt to put Iowa back into the lead on their next drive, but he missed badly.

Michigan trying to close out the game on the ground had a 3rd and short. Jamie Morris got knocked backwards (which was different because he really did almost always manage for fall forward) by Larry Station. Iowa got the ball back. Michigan had several chances to end their hopes. Chuck Long converted several 3rd downs to keep the drive alive. Brad Cochran - Michigan's All-American cornerback - let a game sealing interception bounce off his fingers. Finally, the Hawkeyes got the ball down to Michigan's 12 giving Houghtlin a chance at redemption. After several time outs - he nailed it as time expired. Hawkeye fans poured onto the field and we meandered back to the car.

I had never been to a Michigan loss before. We spent Saturday night at my sister Sue's in Chicago (not too far from Rob Houghtlin's hometown) before making the rest of the trip home Sunday. WACDave's clutch failed somewhere on the way back - the car kept popping out of 5th gear.

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