As usual with the start of the season, it’s tough to go too far back because heck, Michigan didn’t even start the season until October back in the day. So we’ll delve a little deeper as the season progresses, unless I can pull a rabbit out of my hat like I’ll do for September 9th.
Second, on Illinois. I noted in this clip that our friends from Champaign can’t stand us – why is that? Anyone?
DREISBACH + HAYES = First Class ticket to MEEECHIGAN football's Val Halla good bless your cotton pickin' heartsPlay Now | Play in Popup | Download
TWIMFbH can heard on the Keybank Countdown to Kickoff which starts 4 hours prior to kickoff on 1050AM in Ann Arbor on on wtka.com around the world. It’s a must listen if you have the means – Sam, Steve and Ira never disappoint. You can hear the archive of This Week in Michigan Football History clips here. If you have suggestions for future games hit me on Twitter @MVictors. Go Blue!
/script …after the jump
Before we open yet another glorious season of MEEECHIGAN football, we roll back to the second game of 1995 as your beloved Victors Valiant traveled to Champaign to take on the Illini on September 2nd. Now, for reasons that aren’t clear to Wolverine fans, our orange friends from Illinois CAN’T STAND us, and the game held 22 years ago today didn’t help that change that odd puzzling perspective.
Despite getting beaten in rushing yards, passing yards and nearly half of the first downs, U of M destroyed Illinois in the only statistical category that counts – the scoreboard – and rolled to a 38-0 lead before eventually calling off the dogs in the 38-14 victory. The game could have been a major let down, because everyone was still catching their collective breath from what happened a week earlier when Virginia visited the Big House on August 26 to open the college football season.
With interim coach Lloyd Carr patrolling the western sideline Fans started to get restless in the brutally hot summer sun when Carr found himself down 17-0 to the Cavaliers into the fourth quarter. Thankfully the men in blue remained calm, most notably 19-year old quarterback Scott Dreisbach, and he methodically brought the Wolverines back to life.
The first score was set up by a 43 yard toss to receiver Mercury Hayes, who wrestled the ball away from Virginia’s Ronde’ Barber to get Michigan inside the 5 yard line with just under 12 minutes to play. An Ed Davis touchdown plunge shortly after cut it to 17-6. After a stop, Dreisbach again marched down the field, eventually delivering a short dump pass to Hayes who broke two tackles and dashed down the west sideline to make it 17-12. Following another stop, Michigan needed to go 80 yards with just and a half minutes left. Driesbach spread the ball around and got your beloved Wolverines into the red zone with just 15 ticks to go. From there, the seconds turned to hours.
After back to back incompletions, with just 5 seconds left Driesbach hit Tyrone Butterfield square in the hands on the 11 yard line – But Thankfully, very thankfully, the ball slipped right through Butterfield’s hands and landed harmlessly on the turf, leaving 4 seconds left and one final chance. Had he caught it he certainly would have been tackled and the game – and Michigan football history – would be altered forever.
So Dreisbach had one final shot. He took a short drop, looked right and tossed the ball up for the man he had connected with all day: Mercury Hayes. Hayes grabbed the pigskin over he shoulder, got a foot down and put the capacity crowd into a frenzy.
The 18-17 victory was the biggest comeback in the team’s history but fans left with Big House that day with more than a win. Scott Driesbach to Mercury Hayes secured a permanent place in Meeechigan football’s Val halla. Above all, Lloyd Carr had put the Football Program back on its proper place and the seeds were sown for the national championship that was just two seasons away.
Go Blue – Beat the Gators – And For more, checkout WTKA.com and MVictors.com – for the Keybank Countdown to kickoff this is Greg Dooley.