Michigan Football's Greatest Comebacks Countdown: 7. Michigan State (2004)

Michigan Football's Greatest Comebacks Countdown: 7. Michigan State (2004)

Football

Michigan Football's Greatest Comebacks Countdown: 7. Michigan State (2004)


No. 7 on our countdown features the most thrilling victory the Wolverines had over in-state rival MSU.


Michigan Football’s Greatest Comebacks Countdown: 7. Michigan State (2004)

They call it “Braylonfest.”

And our Michigan football “greatest comebacks” series continues with one of the star receiver’s best ever performances.

7.  12 Michigan vs. Michigan State (2004)

  • Final score: Michigan 45 – Michigan State 37 (3 OT)
  • 2004 record: 9-3 Finished: AP – 14th, Coaches – 12th (Big Ten Champions)
  • Why it’s important: Rivalry game, preserve perfect Big Ten record

When Michigan and MSU get together, it’s always a hard-nosed, tough-fought game — and usually low scoring. However, this was not a good example of the latter.

The game that would be come to known by Michigan fans as “Braylonfest” would see the 12th-ranked Wolverines down big to their in-state rivals, but the maize and blue would not be denied that day.

Michigan got the ball first, and, despite some good runs by true freshman running back Mike Hart, it failed to do anything with it. However, the Spartans had different plans, scoring quickly behind a 72 yard draw up the middle by DeAndre Cobb, putting MSU up 7-0.

On the next drive, Michigan would answer. Hart had 42 yards rushing, and a reverse to Braylon Edwards would go for 25 yards. However, it was the 7 yard draw by Hart that would tie the game at 7-all.

MSU quarterback Drew Stanton would start out the next drive with two consecutive passes for first downs, and then would take the ball himself for the bulk of the drive. His 5 yard scamper would go into the endzone to retake the advantage for the Spartans.

The second quarter would be uneventful. Michigan State drove the field to score a field goal with the opening drive, but Michigan would answer, in kind, at the end of the first half, to cut it back to one score, MSU 17 – Michigan 10.

With its first possession of the second half, Michigan had an opportunity to tie or cut the deficit to 4. All the way on the MSU 26, quarterback Chad Henne hit Braylon Edwards on a 5 yard out, but Edwards is hit from behind and fumbles the ball as he turns upfield. MSU recovers, and holds on for the duration of the 3rd quarter.

But, to start the 4th quarter, the Spartans would add to their lead. Dave Rayner put a 19 yard kick through the uprights, giving MSU a 20-10 lead. On the next drive, Michigan went three-and-out, and MSU would make it pay. RB DeAndre Cobb streaked down the far sideline for 64 yards, adding seven to the now-sizable deficit. Michigan State would now be up 27-10 with 8:43 remaining.

Then the magic happened, er, started.

Michigan couldn’t bite into the chunk of points down too quickly, it seems, as a 46 yard reception by Braylon Edwards to put the Wolverines on the MSU 12 yielded only a field goal. 27-13. Michigan would attempt and recover an on-side kick to keep the momentum going. With 6:27 remaining, Mike Hart took a screen for 11 yards, and an MSU facemask penalty would add 15 more, but again, the ball was calling Braylon Edwards’ name. Edwards went up for an under-thrown fade, and pulled the ball in at the goal line for 36 yards to bring Michigan within a touchdown of sending the game to overtime.

The next MSU drive was marred by penalties, with a false start and a holding penalty seeing the Spartans moving in the opposite direction. The Spartans would punt with 3:13 remaining.

And Michigan would make them pay.

Hart would rush for 26 on the first play from scrimmage, and on the very next play, Henne threw deep into the back corner of the endzone, where Braylon Edwards would out-jump and out-muscle the Spartans, tying the game with 2:59 remaining.

Neither team would score with its remaining possession, so the game headed to overtime.

Michigan got the ball first, but only got nine total yards, which set up a Garrett Rivas field goal. Michigan 30 – MSU 27. State would get a first down, but an incomplete pass, a 9 yard completion and a 2 yard loss saw the Spartans answer with a field goal of their own.

2 OT. Michigan State refused to make the Wolverines comeback easy. The Spartans got the ball first, and Jason Teague made sure everyone in Ann Arbor knew his name, carrying the ball three consecutive times, with the last carry being a 3 yard score. 37-30 Michigan State.

But Michigan’s receivers wouldn’t be denied. Jason Avant pulled in a 6 yard catch and Braylon Edwards got the next throw for 11. Plays later, Avant would do his best Braylon impersonation, pulling in a fade in the corner of the endzone to tie the game and send it to 3 OT.

Max Martin would carry for the Wolverines first, but it would be Braylon Edwards who would save the day. Running a skinny post, Edwards catches a strike from Chad Henne at the three yard line and cut toward the pylon to put Michigan up six. Michigan had to go for two, and Henne threw a bullet to the back of the endzone, where TE Tim Massaquoi climbed the ladder to give the maize and blue an 8 point advantage.

MSU would throw four straight incompletions, with an offensive pass interference for good measure, sealing the game for the Wolverines.

Leaders in Blue

Passing

Chad Henne – 24/35, 273 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT

Rushing

Mike Hart – 33 carries, 224 yards, 1 TD

Receiving

Braylon Edwards – 11 rec., 189 yards, 3 TD

Jason Avant – 5 rec., 47 yards, 1 TD

Defense

Scott McClintock – 12 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PBU

Lamarr Woodley – 11 tackles, 2 TFL

Ernest Shazor – 10 tackles, 1 TFL

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