Memorable Michigan football moments online: Bo's opening salvo in Ten Year War, Brady's adieu

John Niyo
The Detroit News

In the absence of live sports, TV networks are filling airtime by replaying classic games from the past, some involving our local teams. But if you need a stronger dose of Detroit-area sports to tide you over until the games begin again, we’ve come up with a list you can find online.

Coach Bo Schembechler celebrates with his Michigan players after the Wolverines upset No. 1 Ohio State 24-12 at Michigan Stadium in 1969.

The NFL just made things easier for fans by making a decade’s worth of games available for free on Gamepass via NFL.com. Recent Major League Baseball games are relatively easy to find on YouTube. But same goes for other sports, and we’ve compiled a list of 10 memorable games from each of our four major pro franchises, as well as Michigan and Michigan State football and basketball.

In the final installment of the series, it’s Michigan football, from Bo's beginnings to some crazy endings at the Big House:

►Nov. 22, 1969 – Michigan 24, Ohio State 12: The game that sparked “The Ten Year War” and stoked one of the great rivalries in sports. Bo Schembechler’s Wolverines wanted revenge for an embarrassing loss the year before, and beating what was arguably Woody Hayes’ best-ever team was just the way to do it.

►Jan. 1, 1981 – Michigan 23, Washington 6: After more than a decade at Michigan, Bo Schembechler was still winless in bowl games – 0-7, including five Rose Bowls – before this return date in Pasadena. John Wangler, Anthony Carter and the rest made sure this time he’d leave a winner, carried off on his players’ shoulders. 

►Sept. 14, 1991 – Michigan 24, Notre Dame 14: Gary Moeller was second-guessing himself on the sideline. But Desmond Howard made sure it was the right call — and so did Brent Musberger on the TV broadcast — hauling in Michigan’s version of “The Catch” on a gutsy fourth-and-1 call to put away the Irish in a matchup of top-10 teams in Ann Arbor. Immortalized on a Sports Illustrated cover, Howard’s diving grab was a signature play in his Heisman Trophy season.

Nov. 25, 1995 – Michigan 31, Ohio State 23: Eddie George was the Heisman Trophy winner-to-be on the other sideline. And the Buckeyes were the undefeated national championship contenders. But Tshimanga Biakabutuka was ready to make a name for himself against Michigan’s archrival, rushing for a whopping 313 yards and carrying the Wolverines past No. 2 Ohio State in Ann Arbor.

Michigan's Charles Woodson returns a punt 78 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State in 1997.

Nov. 22, 1997 – Michigan 20, Ohio State 14: Charles Woodson made plenty of big plays on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy in 1997. But none were quite as sweet as his punt return for a touchdown against the Buckeyes to cap an undefeated regular season and send the Wolverines back to the Rose Bowl.

Jan. 1, 1998 – Michigan 21, Washington State 16: The Wolverines staked their claim to a national title, but not without a little controversy and a near-collapse in the Rose Bowl. Michigan rallied from behind twice in the game, thanks to bombs from Brian Griese to Tai Streets. But Ryan Leaf was driving late with a chance to win when the clock expired just before the Cougars could run one final play.

Jan. 1, 2000 – Michigan 35, Alabama 34 (OT): The last game of Tom Brady’s Michigan career was the first overtime game in program history. And it won’t be forgotten, as Michigan erased a pair of 14-point deficits — led by Brady’s 369-yard passing day — but blew a couple chances to win the game in regulation. before ultimately winning it when Alabama's Ryan Pflugner missed an extra-point attempt in OT.

Michigan's Braylon Edwards (1) catches a TD passes while being defended by Jaren Hayes (31) of Michigan State Oct. 30, 2004.

Oct. 30, 2004 – Michigan 45, Michigan State 37 (3OT): If you left early, you missed a lot. Michigan erased a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and Braylon Edwards playing a starring role, with three touchdown catches — two during the late rally and another in triple-overtime — to win a game that stunned the Spartans and left Michigan State coach John L. Smith saying, “I'm just sick.”

Oct. 15, 2005 – Michigan 27, Penn State 25: Steve Breaston gave Michigan a chance. And then Chad Henne gave the fans a thrill, hitting Mario Manningham for the winning touchdown as time expired on the Wolverines’ wild upset of Joe Paterno’s unbeaten Penn State team. The first half didn’t provide many highlights, but the second half more than made up for it.

Sept. 10, 2011 – Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31: The first-ever night game at Michigan Stadium didn’t disappoint. There were three lead changes in the final 72 seconds, but the last moment belonged to Denard Robinson and Roy Roundtree as they connected on a 16-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to set off a wild celebration in Ann Arbor.

john.niyo@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @JohnNiyo

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