While it wasn’t a date that I would file away as something to remember, it was brought to my attention today that today is the seven year anniversary of the day Lloyd Carr managed to add time to the game clock…then later used that time to defeat Penn State.
Simply losing to the Wolverines in the mid 2000’s wasn’t a memorable event, in itself. In fact, Michigan had won the last six meetings against Penn State heading into 2005.
But 2005 was going to be different. Michigan was 3-3 and 1-2 in the Big Ten. Penn State, on the other hand, was the hottest team in the country. They had surprised the country, sprinting out to a 6-0 start including a win over a highly ranked Ohio State team the week before. If there was ever a year for Penn State to finally turn the tables on Michigan, this was the year.
The Wolverines had different plans.
Penn State was averaging over 33 points per game coming into the contest, but was shutout in the first half and headed to the locker room, trailing 0-3. However, Michael Robinson and Tony Hunt would find their groove in the 2nd half, scoring 22 fourth quarter points. Unfortunately, Michigan would score 17 of their own in the final period, including the last 7 of the game.
In a quarter that saw Penn State freshman wide receiver Derrick Williams go down with a season-ending arm injury, Michigan freshman wide receiver caught a touchdown pass from Chad Henne as time expired to take the lead and the win. That came just moments after head coach Lloyd Carr successfully convinced the referees to put those very seconds back on the clock.
The pain didn’t end there.
Penn State would go on to win every other game that season, including an Orange Bowl victory over Florida State. With a schedule that included wins over four ranked teams, it’s possible PSU could have unseated Texas at some point as the number 2 team in the country, landing them in the National Championship game. At the very least, they would have ended up ranked 3rd and would have become the sixth undefeated team in Joe Paterno’s career.
Michigan would go on to a 7-5, forgettable season. Forgettable to everyone, except Penn Staters.
For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.
To harass my best friend and Michigan fan who reminded me of this anniversary, follow Lenny Vance on Twitter.
It was his floor that I laid on following the game for however many minutes it took.