UM 26 - - OSU 24
Ann Arbor, Nov. 22, 1986
Wolverines hold off Buckeyes, 26-24
By Jeff Nussell
Special to the Daily
Ohio State kicker Matt Frantz may have missed the game-winning field goal with a minute left yesterday, but to the Big Ten champion Michigan Wolverines, the kick was good, very good.
It gave "Bo" Schembechler and his boys a clutch 26-24 victory over the vaunted Buckeyes and a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. to meet Arizona State.
"It was a heck of a game and I am pleased that we won it," said a grinning Schembechler, who became the winningest coach in Michigan history with 166 wins. "And I am particular happy because it will be the first time for any of these players to go to the Rose Bowl."
"This is one of the finest squads I've ever had."
Buckeye head coach Earl Bruce will now take his team (7-1, 9-3) to the Cotton Bowl. It will be OSU's first appearance there. "We're pleased to play in a New Year's Day game," he said. "But when you are the Big Ten co-champs, and have the championship game in your grasp, it's a letdown when you don't win. It's going to take a while to get over this one."
Michigan (7-1 Big Ten, 10-1 overall) had the game under control with 5:26 left, moving the ball to OSU's 44, but with 3:30 left, Thomas Wilcher fumbled and roverback Sonny Gordon covered it on the 41. The Buck's moved the ball to Michigan's 36 and then failed to move on two straight plays.
On third and 10, quarterback Jim Karsatos went short to his favorite target, Chris Carter, who was hauled out of bounds two yards short of the first down by Erik Campbell. Bruce then decided to go with Frantz on the 45-yard attempt, which went just left of the mark.
"It was a tough decision, but you have to take that chance," Bruce said.
"I thought it was good," a tearful Frantz said. "I just hooked it a little to the left. I just can't believe it."
Unlike the Ohio State-Michigan games of old, yesterday's clash before an Ohio stadium record crowd of 90,674 was an offensive explosion.
Jamie Morris keyed the offense with a career high 210 yards, 150 in the second half. He also scored a pair of touchdowns. Jim Harbaugh made good on his "guaranteed victory," hitting 19-of-29 passes for 261 yards.
"Morris did a great job," said Schembechler. "When was the last time any back got more than 200 yards against Ohio State?"
After Ohio State scored a touchdown on its initial possession, Michigan struck back with a drive down to OSU's 10-yard line, but Michigan had to settle for a Mike Gillette field goal.
The bad new continued on the next Buckeye series. Vince Workman (126 yards) cut back against the grain and broke open for a 46-yard touchdown run.
The Wolverines exploded on their first possession of the third quarter, going 83 yards on 14 plays. Fullback Bob Perryman made the key play when he caught a bobbled pass at the 12 and rumbled to the seven. A play later Morris went into the endzone from four yards out, tightening the margin to 14-13.
But OSU came right back with a drive to Michigan's 10, but settled for a 27-yard Frantz field goal.
Then the Jamie show cranked up. Morris took off for a 52-yard dash to OSU's 24 to set up his 8-yard touchdown a play later. The Wolverines failed on a two-point conversion when Chris Spielman (29 tackles on the day) knocked down intended receiver Jeff Brown.
The Wolverine offense could not be stopped as it took the ball from their own 15 in eight plays to go up 26-17 on a 7-yard Thomas Wilcher grind.
It rubbed off on the defense as it stuffed the Buckeyes on the next drive when linebacker Andre McIntyre nabbed an interception at the OSU 35. Michigan tried a 47-yard field goal, but OSU tackle Darrryl Lee blocked it, giving the Buckeyes the ball on their own 46 yard line.
Three plays later Karsatos hit Carter for 17-yards out for another touchdown, making it 26-24, but that was all.
And to Michigan it was good, very good.
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