Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Countdown to Kickoff - 17 days

November 4, 2000

Michigan 51 - Northwestern 54

Michigan scoring 50+ points against Northwestern is not all that uncommon. I've seen it two other times. I never would have imagined it wouldn't be enough to win.

This game featured so much offense, I won't even waste the time going through all the scoring. Michigan had no answer for the spread offense. The two teams combines for 1189 yards of total offense. Drew Henson threw for 312 yards and 4 TDs - 3 to David Terrell. Anthony Thomas finished with 199 yards and 3 TDs on the ground. The Wildcats had similar numbers, Zak Kustok, had 322 yards threw the air and matched his 2 passing TDs with 2 more on the ground. Damien Anderson ran for 268 yards and 2 more TDs.

Ultimately the game came down to the final 2 minutes. Michigan was clinging to a 51-46 lead. It was 4th and goal for the Wildcats. Northwestern had just had a TD called back on an illegal man down field call moving the ball back to the 12. Kustok had an uncovered Anderson circling out of the backfield. But Michigan got some pressure on Kustok and he had to throw a high looping pass. No one was within 5 yards of Anderson, but he had to make an over the head/shoulder catch and he couldn't make the catch. My seats were like 5 rows up on the sideline in that corner of the endzone, so that all happened right in front of me.

Incomplete - Michigan just needed to run out the clock, and since there had been very few stops all day, Michigan's hopes were high. On a 2nd and 3, Anthony Thomas sealed the game as he broke through the line, if he had just taken a knee immediately after crossing TVs yellow first down line, Michigan wins. But, just like Anderson, he dropped the ball.
With 0:20 left the Wildcats made Michigan pay for their mistake. A successful 2-point conversion made it 54-51. Henson was able to get Michigan into position to attempt a 57 yard field goal to try to send the game to OT. Hayden Epstein had the leg, he had made a 52 yarder earlier. The snap went through John Navarre's hands right into Epstein's. He completed a pass to Evan Coleman but there was not one last miracle.

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