The Wolverine

February 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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18 THE WOLVERINE ❱ FEBRUARY 2024 BY CHRIS BALAS F or those of you who have been to the Rose Bowl, it is one of the most beautiful spectacles and most beautiful scenes in this country, sitting down in the canyons of Arroyo Seco with the San Gabriel Moun- tains as a backdrop. The sun will be shining when the game starts. The end zone will be Maize and Blue Michigan … and when we kick that ball off, we begin, on that day, I think the greatest event in our country." Former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr spoke these words at a press con- ference in 2003 when the Wolverines accepted their bid to face USC in the 2004 Rose Bowl game. Those who had already witnessed it themselves would say he captured the scene perfectly. It was the same 20 years later when Jim Harbaugh led Michigan to Pasadena to take on Alabama in a College Football Playoff semifinal … only better. The sky was a perfect blue, the grass perfectly groomed — on the field before the game, some likened it to a fairway at The Masters given how pristine it was. A national championship game berth was on the line, and the stadium was prob- ably 60 percent Michigan fans. "I can feel it," Michigan analyst Fred Jackson said while taking the scene in, talking to nobody in particular while warming up the running backs. "You feel that? This is not our last game." Running back Blake Corum, who had returned for his senior year just for this moment, echoed the sentiments when he came on to the field in pads just a few minutes later and met his coach. Fittingly, it was Corum who would make the difference with a 17-yard touchdown run on the second play of overtime that propelled the Wolverines COMING UP COMING UP ROSES ROSES Michigan's Rose Bowl Win Over Alabama Was One For The Ages "

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