Michigan wins Fifth Straight Overtime
Michigan Takes Down Hawkeyes, Fifth Straight game decided in final seconds
SALINE, MICHIGAN OCTOBER 22, 2005 Once again it seems we are watching the same game over and over again this year. Michigan gets a lead, surrenders it, and then it’s a crap shoot up and to the final seconds. Michigan decided to give the ball to fourth string running back Jerome Jackson on third and goal from the Iowa 1 yard line, and he didn’t waste the opportunity. This will set up a classic Big Ten showdown in Chicago next weekend.
To this game, here are some notes:
– These Nailbiters. It is worth recapping these ridiculously tight battles that make up Michigan’s Big Ten schedule this year:
- 9/24/2005 Wisconsin – Loss, Wisconsin TD with :24 left
- 10/1/2005 MSU – Win, Field Goal on last play of game in OT
- 10/8/2005 Minnesota – Loss, Field Goal with :01 left
- 10/15/2005 – Penn State – Win, TD on last play of game
- 10/22/2005 – Iowa Win, TD on last play of game in OT
Michigan surrendered leads in all of these games. This was a little different, in that Michigan was actually down most of the game until 8:51 in the fourth quarter when Chad Henne hit Steve Breaston on a screen. Breaston broke 1 tackle and took it 51 yards to the house.
– Streak Extended. Michigan is now 5-0 all time in overtime, with three of the wins coming within the past 2 seasons. Here are the teams they’ve taken down:
– Iowa today
– Michigan State three weeks ago
– The Spartans again in the triple-overtime classic in 2004
– Penn State in 2002
– Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl after the ‘Tide missed their extra point.
– Streaks Ended. Michigan had lost 2 straight in Iowa City as part of the Hawkeye’s 22 straight home game win streak. Michigan won consecutive games for the first time since defeating Northwestern in November 2004. More importantly, the webmaster’s unique distinction of being in attendance at each Michigan overtime games ended as I was seated on K’s basement couch. Lew and I actually discussed the chances of this streak staying alive for a while this week. Lew calculated a 95% probability that the streak would fall at some point in the next 3 years on the road in the Big Ten. Per Lew’s email this week, “… chances are high that we’ll have a Big-10 road OT within 3 years and this Saturday in Iowa City is a definite possibility.” Well done Lew.
– 100th Win. This was Lloyd Carr’s 100th win all time in 11 seasons (all with Michigan) and this brings his all-time record to 100-32. The players presented the game ball to him to commemorate the occasion. Carr promptly ran with the ball three times in a circle and then punted it into the pink Iowa locker room ceiling.
– The “Black-Out”. Memo to all the Iowa Hawkeye fans that wore black clothing to the game Saturday. If you are going to mix those shirts with other colors, make sure you set your washer to the cold cycle. The “[insert team color]-out”s are kind of tired, the weakest of which was definitely the Michigan attempt at a stadium-wide “Maize out” against Penn State. I’d bet more people ended up wearing Blue. Let the students do their thing, but don’t ask the rest of the stadium to join, because it just doesn’t work. Another weak attempt: someone told me Michigan State tried to have one side of the stadium wear White, another wear Green during a game (Michigan?) this year. Good luck with that.
– You Saw What? Someone needs to clarify the replay that reversed the call on the field and ruled that Antonio Bass fumbled. He appeared to clearly have the ball in his possession, he was up-ended by at least one Iowa defender, then his elbow, then arm, hit the ground before the ball popped out. I was stunned when they ruled that Iowa had the ball. On top of that, I swear I heard a bunch of whistles blowing the play dead. I really look forward to further explanation of this one. Mike Tirico, who was calling the game on ABC, was dumbfounded as well. During the next play that was replayed (an Iowa reception), Tirico refused to predict what the refs would come back with given the inexplicable ruling on the Bass play.
– Tough Season for Falk. Michigan’s longtime equipment manager, Jon Falk, was carted off the field after being hit by an Iowa player that was trying to tackle Carl Tabb. It’s been a tough year in general for Falk, who had to hand over the Little Brown Jug to the Minnesota team. He also got an earful from Coach Carr during the Penn State game after the Blue received a sideline warning for having players too close to the field: It’s Falk’s responsibility to keep the sideline clear!
– Stevie B. the MVP? Quietly again, WR Jason Avant is doing some great things. He made an acrobatic 18 yard reception in overtime to set up the winning run. He ended up with 7 catches for 105 yards, one being a great TD grab. ABC gave Steve Breaston the player of the game award, presumably because the big touchdown, but they missed the mark. While no one really stood out for Michigan, it should have gone to Avant who not only made these big plays, he called the crucial OT coin toss. Also, Chevrolet keeps giving $1000 to each school’s general scholarship fund in the name of the player of the game. That’s great, but isn’t it time to start moving that a bit higher? Can’t we tie that figure to a cost of living index or something?
– No Coin Toss Issues. There were no coin toss blunders this week, but some Michigan did do something interesting upon winning the opening toss: they took the ball. This allowed Michigan to take the wind in the fourth quarter, which they thankfully did. Iowa has had a lot of success this year on opening drives and Michigan wanted to set the tone. Michigan won another huge overtime coin toss, choosing “tails” again. Like in the Michigan State game, Michigan’s D really stepped up in the first series and set-up the offense to win the game.
– Key Injuries. The leader of the team is probably Mike Hart. The best player on defense is Lamarr Woodley. Michigan was basically without both players this game but the Wolverines recovered. Hearing Coach Carr after the game, it looks like Woodley’s injury was kind of a fluke ding he took in a practice drill, and Hart rolled his ankle. He was optimistic about both players returning for Northwestern. ** Update: It looks like Woodley might be ok, based on this photo of him after the Iowa game.
– Fool me twice. Just like in the Penn State game, Michigan had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to salt away the game. Just like in that game, Michigan played conservative by running the ball, and failed to keep the ball moving down field. Just as Penn State did, Iowa marched easily down the field with a chance to win, fortunately they only managed a field goal. Coach Carr admitted this week he was wrong about the Penn State game: “If we’d have lost this game, I would have second-guessed myself on that possession. We were trying to make Penn State run the ball and use all of their timeouts, and we didn’t get a first down and we didn’t kick the ball very well so we left our defense out there to win the game.” Well, sure enough the same situation presented itself and Michigan played too conservative and ended up having to punt it away again. Come on Coach Carr, this is poor. Michigan should have attacked. Iowa didn’t even need to use all of its timeouts to get into field goal range. The other teams’ timeouts are just not a factor with 4 minutes to go.
– Turd in the Punch Bowl. Callers to 1050AM we’re considerably brutal after the game once again. The hosts of the show tried to keep the talk upbeat and praise Coach Carr on his big victory, but critics dumped on the play calling, the Coach, Chad Henne, and more.
– Chicago Bound. It should be a dandy in Evanston next weekend as long as Michigan can contain the Wildcat offense. Northwestern embarrassed the Spartans on homecoming, and looked pretty darn tough. A win next week with a win over Indiana will set-up another huge match-up against the hated Buckeyes. gregdooley.com will be there!