Rub your eyes. Shake your head. Rub your eyes again. You will never see a play like that again and you will never see an end like that again and there may never be a game in this storied Michigan-Michigan State rivalry like that again, not one that ends more strangely or turns more fortunes than the final seconds of this chilled Saturday evening.
Michigan had its biggest victory in years all but tucked away, fourth down, a two-point lead, 23-21, the clock ticking off the final 10 seconds. All it needed to do was punt the ball. Or for that matter, run around with it. Throw it high into the air. Toss it from guy to guy like a hot potato. Do anything to eat the final seconds — anything — but something stupid, the only thing you can’t do, turn it over.
But that’s what happened. The punter, Blake O’Neill, a graduate transfer student from Australia who may feel like returning there this morning, dropped the low snap, seemed to panic, and with his back to the oncoming rush, tried to kick it away, which resulted in a Keystone Cop swinging of the ball into the arms of someone named Jalen Watts-Jackson, a redshirt freshman backup on the Spartans’ roster.
And next thing you knew, Watts-Jackson was lumbering in a scrum toward the end zone, a sea of teammates protecting him, to grab MSU’s only lead of the day — as the clock turned to zeroes. You could hear 111,740 jaws dropping at the same time.
You know what sound that makes?
For the full article, see Mitch Albom, “MSU wins on craziest play ever in rivalry with U-M”, Detroit Free Press, October 17, 2015.