Near the close of the third quarter in the night game against Notre Dame, a cadre of Fighting Irish fans chanted, "It-sucks, to-be, a Mich-i-gan Wolv-er-ine." And just then, it did suck: up to that point the Irish had outplayed U-M, dominating the game and building a seemingly unassailable 24-7 lead.
I thought Notre Dame fans viewed taunting as a bit declasse, but, let's face it, after two years of last-second wins by Michigan it was hard to begrudge their exaltations. Goes around. Comes around.
As the hour neared midnight a furious U-M comeback wrested the game back. Michigan took the lead with 1:12 remaining when Michigan running back Vincent Smith took a screen pass and eluded five defenders on his way to a twenty-one-yard TD scamper. Seemed good, but not so fast, my friend: Notre Dame needed but forty-two seconds to traverse the field and score their own TD.
Absurdly, they'd left too much time on the clock. Down by three, Michigan took the ball at their own twenty. On second and ten with twenty-three seconds left, somehow, the Notre Dame defense left slot receiver Jeremy Gallon open along the right sidelines at midfield. After dodging a furious rush, Robinson found Gallon, and the diminutive receiver cut back, sprinted to the opposite sideline, and ran out of bounds at the seventeen. Expecting a field goal, a Notre Dame fan near me muttered something about "overtime." But Hoke had other ideas, and Denard's last-gasp toss was snagged in the southwest corner of the end zone by Roy Roundtree.