The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 11 of 193

N o, you didn't dream it. The final 10 seconds of the Michi- gan State game did not in- volve a "War Of The Worlds" type hoax, designed to cause maximum panic and Spartan Bob-level heartache among Michigan fans. The snap, the drop, the whirl and whiff, the tsunami of white uniforms storming toward Michigan Stadium's north end zone — all too real, all too tragic in the eyes of anyone in maize and blue. Of course, this isn't a natural disaster. It isn't tragedy, except in the narrowly defined sports sense. But if you've put blood, sweat and tears into an effort and see it ripped away so cruelly, it hurts like bamboo chutes under the fingernails. "You go and play with your heart out, against a rival team, for Paul Bu- nyan. To lose on the final seconds out there, it hurts everybody," redshirt junior defensive tackle Willie Henry acknowledged. "No one is walking around in the locker room with a smile on his face. It hurts everybody." But it didn't kill anybody. As badly as they stung following the all-time stunner of an ending in MSU's 27-23 win, nobody expired — not even Michigan's sea- son. Head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke re- peatedly about steel in the Wolverines' spines going forward, the hot poker they'd taken in the gut notwithstand- ing. The ultimate com- petitor will be looking to unleash fury not only for the remain- der of the season, but also for the remainder of his days coaching against Michigan State. Harbaugh's coach, Bo Schembechler, also started his Big Ten coaching career with a gut- grinder of a 23-12 loss to the Spar- tans. Then he hung eight straight victories over them. For the next 20 years, he went 17-3 versus MSU, a stretch that produces venom from otherwise rational adults to this day. Even with an early Christmas gift tucked away, the Spartans know, deep down, the storm is coming. WOLVERINE WATCH   JOHN BORTON U-M Steel Themselves For The Future This year 's stunning loss to Michigan State will likely pro- vide head coach Jim Harbaugh, the ultimate competitor, with plenty of motivation to take d o w n U - M ' s i n - s t a t e r i v a l for the remainder of his days coaching. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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