Michigan stood up Michigan State near the end of the game on fourth down to get the ball back and salt away the clock. Three runs later it was 4th down with 10 seconds to go, and all Michigan had to do was punt it away and the Spartans would have had one play to try and win. It was supposed to be a signature win midway through year one of the Jim Harbaugh Era for the Wolverines.
And then this happened:
In what had otherwise been a slow, methodical game (kept in check from being too much fun thanks to the referees, who seemed to review every other play) it looked like Harbaugh’s Michigan team was going to continue its climb to the top with another big win. Both teams played rather conservatively, with Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock only throwing for 168 yards and Michigan State’s Connor Cook throwing for 328, but with only one TD. In fact, neither team had a turnover all game!
Until, again, this:
It’s always tough to lose on a last second mistake, especially for punters and kickers who don’t get too many chances in the season to make up for it. So while it’s great for fans to see such an exciting ending, let’s send some good thoughts to Michigan punter Blake O’Neill, who still has to go to school in Ann Arbor on Monday.
Oh, Michigan. Go Sparty.
UPDATE: According to MSU coach Mark Dantonio, Jalen Watts-Jackson, who scored the game-winning touchdown, suffered a significant hip injury on the game’s final play and was rushed to the hospital. That’s a pretty unfortunate break for the kid.