Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Countdown to kickoff - day 4

October 15, 2005

Michigan 27 - Penn State 25

Undefeated Penn State came in to Michigan Stadium to take on the 3-3 Wolverines. Michigan had just found a way to lose to Minnesota, while to Gophers were playing for overtime. The Nittany Lions were ready to end 8 years of frustration against Michigan.

My cousin Mary Ann and her husband Kent had come to the game. Kent was on crutches from what we would later find out was a broken hip. But he hobbled the 9 blocks to the game.

The defenses were the story early. Michigan broke through for 10 2nd quarter points to lead at the half. PSU finally added a field goal just before the end of the 3rd to cut the lead to 10-3. The 4th quarter was very unlike the rest of the game.

Early in the 4th Penn State tied it up on a 3rd down Michael Robinson QB draw (I remember screaming to watch for just that!). On the next snap - Michigan gave up the lead. Chad Henne scrambled for good yardage and as he was being wrapped up - the ball ended up in Alan Zemaitis's hands - he ran it in 35 yards for the score. Henne sure seemed down to me, but the call stood. The PAT only made it worse. The Lions kicker, Kevin Kelly ended up with the ball and ran it in for 2 points. In 20 seconds M went from up 7 to down 8. The fans around us were booing lustily. Although I had been negative - especially with the obvious QB draw TD - I chose to reverse cheer. Whatever the idiots in front of us complained about - I cheered for. Michigan had played pretty well, and although this would become "the year of infinite pain" it wasn't going to be today.

Henne lead a beautiful drive back down the field culminating in a perfectly thrown ball to Mario Manningham for the TD. Mike Hart ran in the 2-point conversion to re-tie the game at 18 with 9:32 left.

Michigan's defense held and the offense produced a long Garrett Rivas field goal putting M back on top 21-18 with under 4 minutes left. Marcus Ray picked off a Robinson pass, but M couldn't do anything with it and Penn State was left with 2:46 on the clock and 81 yards to go.

This time the defense just couldn't stop Penn State and Robinson. His totally unsurprising QB draw put PSU back in front with under a minute left. Things looked bleak. Here's a tip to JoPa - don't kick it to Steve Breaston...

Michigan drove down to the 10. They faced a 4th and 4 with only one of Lloyd Carr's two seconds remaining. Henne found Manningham wide open and insanity reigned!

Mary Ann and Kent enjoyed the outcome very much as well. Someone was nice enough to switch seats so that Kent had a spot right behind a tunnel to be able to spread out a little. Although, IIRC this is the game where Mary Ann had to call someone a "fat ass" to keep enough room on the benches for both she and Kent. When they finally made it back to our place in the darkness, we got to enjoy another great Michigan win (and Penn State's only loss)!

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