Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Countdown to Kickoff - 31 days
October 13, 1990
Michigan 27 - MSU 28
I was living at 921 S. Main one block from the stadium. My brother-in-law Andy had tickets to the game as well, with some of his co-workers. We played a touch football game in the apartment parking lot before the game. If you've ever seen one of our family football games there are always a few questionable plays that bend the rules. This one included a few of the classics - the off-the-building catch, the throw it to a tailgater who didn't appear to be playing, but the play I remember most Andy's friend made a tough catch spun upfield right into the rear end of a Volvo station wagon. He hit it so hard it set off the alarm. That play is stuck in my memory, most people associate the real game on this day with one other particular play.
Michigan came into this game ranked number 1 in the country. I hadn't seem M play as the #1 team since the first game I'd attended in 1976. Michigan was 3-1 (has there been a #1 ranked team with a loss that early since?) and MSU was a disappointing 1-2-1. Both teams had lost tight games to Notre Dame. This was Gary Moeller's first game against the Spartans as M's head coach.
Michigan just couldn't stop the MSU ground game. Enos scrambled well and Hickson and Duckett ripped through M's defense. But the game still ended up coming down to one play. MSU scored with about 2 minutes to go to go up 28-21. Elvis Grbac lead M down the field and hit Derrick Alexander for a TD with 0:06 left. Moeller made a fateful decision to go for two. Desmond Howard made a quick inside move on Eddie Brown. He was going to be wide open for the 2 points. Brown tripped him, Howard still had the ball in his hands but he dropped it when he hit the ground. There was no interference call to save Michigan on this day. Most people think this was the last play, but Michigan actually executed a perfect onside kick. Grbac had one last throw but it didn't connect.