Spartans Lose Heartbreaker To No. 12 Michigan
Oct. 30, 2004
By LARRY LAGE
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Two for the comeback. One for the win.
Braylon Edwards caught two touchdown passes to help Michigan erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit in just 5:44 and grabbed a third TD in triple overtime to lift the Wolverines to a 45-37 win over Michigan State on Saturday.
After the Spartans gained just 2 yards on their final possession, the game ended with an incomplete pass to the end zone.
No. 12 Michigan (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten) moved a half-game ahead of idle Wisconsin in the conference and kept its hopes alive for a Bowl Championship Series bid.
The Spartans (4-4, 3-2) had a chance to win at Michigan Stadium for the first time since 1990, but could not hold onto a 27-10 lead with 8:43 left.
Edwards caught 11 passes for 189 yards and three TDs. Freshman Chad Henne was 24-of-35 for 273 yards with four TDs.
Michigan's Michael Hart had 33 carries for 224 yards - his third straight 200-yard game - and a TD, but limped off the field during the first overtime.
The Spartans were without their standout quarterback, Drew Stanton, after he hurt his shoulder late in the first half.
Michigan State's DeAndra Cobb scored on a 72-yard run early in the first quarter and again on 64-yard run to put the Spartans ahead by 17 midway through the fourth quarter. Cobb finished with 205 yards on 22 carries.
Damon Dowdell, who replaced Stanton, was 8-of-13 for 72 yards. Stanton accounted for 80 yards rushing and a TD and 95 yards passing.
The Spartans had a chance to win the game in regulation - after pass interference was called with no time left - but Dave Rayner's 50-yard kick into a stiff wind was short.
After both teams kicked field goals in the first overtime, Michigan State's Jason Teague scored on a 3-yard run and Michigan answered with a 5-yard pass to a leaping Jason Avant in the back corner of the end zone.
Michigan State started strong and had its way against the Wolverines for the most part before collapsing late in regulation.
After Cobb's second TD, Michigan stalled at Michigan State's 7 and had to settle for a field goal.
When Michigan's Brian Thompson recovered an onside kick, a comeback seemed possible.
Two plays later, Henne heaved a pass to the end zone and Edwards snatched it away from Jaren Hayes to pull the Wolverines within a TD. On the second play of Michigan's next drive, Henne lofted a 21-yard pass to the end zone and Edwards outjumped Hayes for it to tie the game at 27 with 2:59 to go.
When the comeback was completed, Michigan won its 12th straight game at home dating to its loss against Iowa on Oct. 4, 2003.
The game was nothing like the previous six in the rivalry at Michigan Stadium.
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