I don’t really know if I like what just happened on that final play call or not. No, take that back. I absolutely don’t! I don’t like at all that this classic game was decided on a two-point attempt after our kids played with such heart and fire and did almost the impossible.
My initial reaction was also to go for two instead of kicking the extra point on Michigan’s final score. It was truly an emotional decision. That was until I actually realized that, yes, Brady Hoke was just about to do just that. At that point, I felt a sudden emptiness begin to overtake me of which I could not describe.
I realized what that feeling was only a few moments later.
Some of us make decisions that we will stand behind till the end even though many believe we were incorrect in making them. Sometimes we make decisions we believe in but are not really required to given the circumstances. Time and place. I’m not sure it was the time to sacrifice all the determination displayed by our Maize and Blue with a gamble of a conversion attempt at that point of the game.
The men on the sidelines are paid to make the best choices. I’ll leave that to you to decide if they did.
Things could not have started any better for the home Wolverines in Ann Arbor when they faced the undefeated and national title contending Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday. But a dominate third quarter by the Buckeyes sealed their fate and had the Wolverines playing catch-up the remainder of the game. Ultimately, a big, soon-to-be-considered, historic decision by head coach Brady Hoke that cost his team the game decided an outcome for the ages.
Michigan held the lead or was tied the entire first half. It wasn’t until early in the second half when Blue fell behind by a touchdown after Wolverine quarterback Devin Gardner apparently fumbled the ball near midfield. Replays looked to have confirmed Gardner as down, but the refs didn’t see it that way.
The Buckeyes then waisted no time and took their first lead of the day on a five-play, 56-yard drive capped off by a Braxton Miller three-yard TD run.
Michigan though answered back with a nice drive of their own that stalled on the Buckeye 14 yard line and resulted in a Matt Wile field goal attempt. But, before the kick could be made, the Wolverines called timeout and Brady Hoke elected to go for it on fourth down. That attempt failed and the Michigan turned the ball over on downs.
The Buckeys then marched down the field and scored on another quick, lengthy drive of 6 plays with 86 yards that ended on a 22-yard Miller to Jeff Heuerman completion. The score was not 35-21 and things started to look like they were slipping away.
But the Wolverines would not go so easy as Michigan finally responded in the second half with a nice long 11-play, 83-yard drive finished off with a 11-yard TD pass from Gardner to Dileo that cut the OSU lead to 35-28.
On the next drive, the Buckeyes gave Michigan the break they needed when OSU running back Carols Hyde took a handoff and while fighting for extra yards and a first down was stripped of the ball and fumbled back to the Wolverines on the Buckeye 41 yard line.
Michigan drove down the field and scored in return converting on a key fourth down play close to the goal line to keep the drive going and finished with a Jake Butt two-yard TD reception. The score was now tied 35-35 with 5:01 to go in the fourth.
Who saw this coming? What a game it was.
But as quickly as Michigan tied the game, Urban Meyer’s team untied it as OSU once again just marched down the field on the following possession scored utilizing the ground attack and opened up a 7-point lead and ultimately left the Wolverines with only 2:20 seconds on the clock, down by 7.
Things did look good, but a hobbled Devin Gardner led his team on an 11-play, 84-yard drive completing seven passes and finishing the drive with a nice two-yard TD pass to Devin Funchess. Sans the extra point attempt, the score was 42-41 OSU.
Almost without hesitation though, Brady Hoke put up the “two finger” gesture and indicated to all that Michigan would be going for the win in regulation instead of playing for the tie and overtime.
This action caused Urban Meyer to call OSU’s final timeout and gave the Hoke an opportunity to think it over. Apparently he did and was resolute in his decisions and once again sent his regular offense back on the field for the shot at history.
Unfortunately, the play called in or the execution left much to be desired and the Devin Gardner pass attempt for the win into the end zone fell incomplete.
The historic match-up ended a few plays later and there will sure to be much discussion to follow.
What a game in Ann Arbor. It was in all, a proud day to be a Michigan Wolverine.
With the loss, the Wolverines fall to 7-5 in the regular season and 3-5 in the Big Ten. Another season. Another year without a Big Ten title.
But things are on the right path and given time, once again, those that stay will be champions!
That’s all I got right now. I’m spent.
The Original Hokeamaniac