“Brunette Girls” | U-M 23, Virginia Tech 20 (OT) (1/3/2012)
Brady Hoke’s first year as head coach saw Michigan compile a 10-2 regular season record, good for a #13 ranking and enough to earn the team a BCS bowl invitation, in this case a trip down to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. They would square off with the Hokies of Virginia Tech for the first time in school history.
A boring game in many respects, Denard Robinson had a tough night throwing the football, but found Junior Hemingway twice for touchdowns. After recovering the ensuing kickoff on after the first Hemingway TD, one of the wackier plays in Michigan history occurred. From ESPN’s recap:
“Unable to get a clean snap and hold, Drew Dileo threw just a moment before being slammed flat on his back by Tech’s Jack Tyler. The ball thrown to no one in particular looked like it was about to be intercepted by the Hokies’ Kyle Fuller when he was bumped by a teammate. Fuller wound up tipping the ball in the air and it was caught by long snapper Jareth Glanda for a first down on the Tech 8.”
The fact that we knew the name of senior long snapper Jareth Glanda, and that it wasn’t a bad thing is perhaps one of the most shocking parts of Team 132′s story.
Heading to overtime, Michigan had a stroke of luck when Hokie receiver Danny Coale was ruled out of bounds on what was an otherwise spectacular catch. Compelled to use his third string kicker (having sent his starter back to Blacksburg for a curfew violation), Frank Beamer watched as Beamerball did not live up to its sterling reputation as Justin Myer missed his only field goal of the night (a 37 yard attempt after four previous makes).
The ball went over to Michigan which ran up the middle three times to set it up for Brendan Gibbons who sailed it clean through the uprights and secured the win and Team 132′s place in history. But Gibbons wasn’t done yet. When asked in the post game press conference what he was thinking about when he was preparing for the kick he replied:
“Brunette girls. Every time we were like struggling in kicking, coach tells me to think about girls on a beach or brunette girls,” Gibbons said. “So that’s what we did. Made the kick.”