“Judgment Day” | U-M 34, PSU 8 (11/8/1997)
By a fluke of scheduling and fate, November 8, 1997 saw four of the top five teams face off against each other, dubbed “Judgment Day” by ESPN. #4 Michigan traveled to #3 Penn State, and #2 Florida State traveled to Chapel Hill to face Mack Brown’s #5 North Carolina squad. While Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles smashed UNC 20-3, a first play sack by Glen Steele set the tone for the day as Michigan raced out to 24-0 halftime lead, the largest home halftime deficit faced by Joe Paterno during his tenure in Happy Valley. Michigan would go up 34-0 before a late touchdown by Curtis Enis became the only points given up in the fourth quarter by the Michigan defense all season.
Michigan would move into the #1 slot thanks to their dominant performance and a controversial finish for previous #1 Nebraska, who needed overtime and an illegally kicked pass to beat Missouri 45-38.