The Wolverine

February 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 67

FEBRUARY 2024 ❱ THE WOLVERINE 39 ❱ MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Top Five Moments 1. In Goes Corum, Down Goes Mil- roe — Tied 20-20 in overtime of the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl against Alabama, Michigan needed just two plays — both senior run- ning back Blake Corum rushes — to find the end zone, gain a seven-point lead and put the pressure back on the Crim- son Tide. Corum's 17-yard touchdown rush included a ridiculous jump cut and incredible balance to break tackles and stay afoot. The defense got Alabama into a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, when the Wolverines denied quarter- back Jalen Milroe, who ran up the gut, with sophomore edge Derrick Moore, surrounded by a host of teammates, making the stop. At long last, U-M had won a CFP game and was headed to the national championship. 2. Drive Of Their Lives — Michi- gan had 41 yards and 2 first downs in the second half of the Rose Bowl until its drive with 4:41 on the clock, the Wolver- ines facing a seven-point deficit. With three timeouts remaining, head coach Jim Harbaugh rolled the dice on fourth- and-2 from his own 33-yard line, and junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy found Corum for a quick pass to the right, re- sulting in a 27-yard gain. Senior wideout Roman Wilson went up for a great grab on a tipped McCarthy pass, getting the Wolverines down to the 5-yard line, two plays before the duo hooked up again for a walk-in score. The extra point by graduate kicker James Turner tied the score, and U-M won in overtime. 3. Sainristil Seals The Deal — Washington faced its last-gasp attempt on fourth-and-14 from the Michigan 30-yard line, down 14 points with just under five minutes to play in the Jan. 8 national championship game. Quar- terback Michael Penix Jr. overthrew his intended receiver, and graduate defen- sive back Mike Sainristil was there to haul in the interception. The former wideout used his blockers, speed and vision to return it up the right sideline 81 yards down to the Washington 8-yard line. Corum rushed up the middle for a 1-yard score on the second play of the next drive, putting Michigan up 21 points (34-13). A few minutes later, McCarthy kneeled the ball down. The Wolverines stood atop the college football world for the first time since 1997. 4. Rod Moore Calls Game — Michi- gan held a 30-24 lead while on defense for Ohio State's final drive Nov. 25. Needing a touchdown and extra point to win, Ohio State had quickly moved the ball with two chunk plays of 22 and 21 yards, setting up first-and-10 on the U-M 37-yard line with less than a min- ute to go. Quarterback Kyle McCord dropped back and was pressured and hit by senior edge Jaylen Harrell, forcing a pass that was off the mark and picked by a diving junior safety Rod Moore, who sprinted to the sideline and put on the Wolverines' "turnover buffs." The Clay- ton, Ohio, native clinched the victory over the team that never recruited him. 5. 'Let's Go Zak' — After a few sec- onds of cheering following an 18-yard gain deep into Ohio State territory, The Big House crowd went silent. Beloved captain and senior right guard Zak Zinter was down on the turf in great pain, breaking his leg on the play. After a lengthy delay, Zinter was carted off. In a goosebump-inducing moment, the crowd chanted, "Let's go Zak!" which elicited a raised fist from the lineman as he was being transported up the tunnel and eventually to the hospital. On the very next play, Corum dashed 22 yards for a touchdown, found the FOX broad- cast camera and flashed Zinter's jersey numbers 6-5 with his hands. • Honorable Mention: Blake Breaks Free — Michigan had outplayed Penn State all afternoon in Happy Valley Nov. 11 but failed to separate in a one- score game late in the fourth quarter. Corum changed that with a 22-yard touchdown run with 4:15 to go, making it 24-9 before the Nittany Lions scored in garbage time to make the final 24-15. — Clayton Sayfie Superlatives For Michigan's Undefeated 2023 Season Seniors Blake Corum (2) and Roman Wilson (1) played pivotal roles in Michigan's eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive to tie Alabama at 20-20 with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. PHOTO BY DOMINICK SOKOTOFF

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - February 2024