It’s summer, the time when bloggers rack their brains for something — anything — to write about and college football fans count down the seconds until foot meets pigskin. So, welcome to my latest gimmick: The Michigan Football YouTube Bracket. I’m looking high and low for the best Michigan football moments ever captured on YouTube — divided into two categories: Game Performances/Game Winners and Spectacular Plays — and for you, the readers, to vote on the moment that stands out above the rest.
Yesterday we had Woodson vs. Woodson, so it’s only fitting that the other quarterfinal in the “Spectacular Plays” category features Desmond Howard and… Desmond Howard. Which play will it be — the diving fourth-down catch, or the iconic punt return that originated “striking the pose”? You make the call:
(2) Desmond Howard’s “Hello Heisman” vs. Ohio State, 1991
They say you should never field a punt inside your 10-yard line.
The rules, apparently, do not apply to Desmond Howard.
With 19 receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and a kick return for a score already in the books entering the Ohio State game, Howard has already made a very strong case for the Heisman Trophy before the regular season’s final game. With the Wolverines holding on to a comfortable 17-3 lead late in the second quarter, he would secure his spot in college football history. Awaiting an Ohio State punt at his 10-yard line, Howard would be forced to backpedal to his own seven to field the kick, and upon catching the ball, it appeared that Desmond was launched forward by an invisible slingshot as he dusted the Ohio State punt coverage. A 93-yard dash down the sideline later (still the longest punt return in school history), and Desmond appropriately struck the famous Heisman pose as legendary announcer Keith Jackson proclaimed, “Hello, Heisman!” Indeed, Keith Jackson. Indeed.
(3) Desmond Howard’s fourth down catch seals it vs. Notre Dame, 1991
In the second game of the 1991 season, #3 Michigan took on #7 Notre Dame in a battle of marquee teams, and — at least for the Wolverine faithful — the game would not disappoint. Up 17-14 in the fourth quarter, Michigan was faced with a fourth down from just inside the Notre Dame 25-yard line, needing just a foot to get a fresh set of downs. Instead of sending a back plunging into the line, Gary Moeller and his staff decided to go for the jugular — you can hear the shock in Brent Musberger’s voice as Elvis Grbac takes a quick three-step drop and lobs a pass to the corner of the end zone. With the ball seemingly hanging in the air forever, Desmond Howard torches two Irish defenders, lays out, and makes a spectacular touchdown catch, giving Michigan a two-score lead that would stand as the final score and launch his 1991 Heisman campaign in earnest.
Click here for all Michigan Football YouTube Bracket posts, and make sure to keep checking back as the tournament moves on.