1998-2007 : The Top Individual Offensive Performances From Each Year
Michigan football has seen it's share of great athletes in the years. I am going to pick one game from each year from 1998-2007, and share a player who took over a game and helped the Wolverines to a victory. I have gone deep into the archive for this, so get ready for some vintage Wolverines. The games I picked, were games that were close in score. They were games that count. I hope you enjoy my picks, and I hope to hear from everyone who they would have picked from each year.
1998 - Anthony Thomas
For the 1998 season, I chose Anthony Thomas's game against Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl. A-Train had three touchdowns, and 132 yards on 21 attempts. The game was back and forth the whole time. Thomas had a 1, 2, and a 5-yard touchdown.
His yards in between also took a lot of time of the clock, which also helped Michigan to victory. Even though Thomas only had short yard TD, they came at the right times. His first TD was for 1-yard, but it gave Michigan a 10-7 lead in the first quarter.
That drive had a total of 56-yards and took 2:57 off the clock. The second TD came right before the first half, leaving 1:06 on the clock. That TD took the Wolverines up 24-10 at the half.
The third TD came as Michigan was down 31-24 with 5:49 left in the game. This was the biggest drive for the whole game. Thomas's 1-yard TD tied the score 31-31. Michigan eventually went on to win the game 45-31. If it wasn't for A-Train, this game would have turned out a lot different. Thomas went on to be the Citrus Bowl MVP.
1999 - Tom Brady
Tom Brady had a lot of good games in 1999. I picked the Orange Bowl against Alabama. I know this is the second bowl game in a row, but he went off in this game. Brady went 33-45 with 344 yards and three TD.
Brady took control of the game and stepped up big. His first touchdown was with 58 seconds left in the half. He hit David Terrell for a 27-yard TD pass. This was important because Alabama and a guy named Shaun Alexander scored on two strait drives.
After the TD the score was Alabama 14 - Michigan 7 at the half. Brady was 5-5 with 44 yards on that drive. He was 12-15 for 77 yards and 1 TD in the half. His second TD came after Alabama's first possession of the half. Brady hit Terrell for a 57 yard bomb. That TD tied the score 14-14. Alabama would go on to score two more TD's, making it 28-14. Brady's third TD came with 5:42 left in the third quarter. Brady, again hit David Terrell for a 27-yard TD.
Brady hit Terrell five times for 57 yards on that drive. The score was 28-21 after the TD. Michigan scored one more time to make it 28-28. Michigan had the game winning kick blocked. In overtime Brady and the Wolverines scored on the first play of overtime.
It was a 25-yard pass from Brady to Shawn Thompson. Michigan went on to win the game 35-34. Brady was basically unstopable in this game. One of his best games ever in college.
2000 - Drew Henson
I picked the game against Ohio State, for the 2000 season. Henson was 14-25 with 303 yards, and three passing and one rushing TD's. Ohio State started the game with a 9-0 lead, scoring on there first two possessions.
Henson's first TD came as he threw a screen pass to Anthony Thomas, which he went for 70 yards on the TD. Henson went on to throw his second TD to David Terrell in the left corner of the endzone for 21 yards. That took the score to 14-9. Henson came out throwing in the second half. After a fake field goal, Henson hit Terrell in the left corner of the endzone(AGAIN) for a 32 yard TD. The Buckeyes came back, and made the score 31-26.
After both teams couldn't convert in the next couple of drive, Henson scored the game winning points on a one yard keeper, on fourth down. Henson was one of the last QB's to beat the Buckeyes. And he did a heck of a job doing it. The final score was Michigan 38 - Ohio State 26.
2001 - Marquise Walker
Marquise Walker had a breakout game vs. Purdue in 2001. He accounted for 249 all purpose yards. He had seven catches for 134 yards and one TD, and he also had seven punt returns for 112 yards. He was an animal during this game.
Walker had a 42-yard punt return in the first that set up Michigan's first TD, and tied the game 7-7. In the secon quarter, Walker caught a 43 yard TD pass from Navarre.
He was almost untouched the whole way to the endzone. That TD took Michigan up 14-7. Although Walker did not score again. He came up big for the Wolverine's on some important possessions. He was a venue fly trap during this game.
His punt returns also helped Michigan get great field position. His total performance helped lead Michigan past Purdue 24-10.
2002 - Chris Perry
I enjoyed this game Vs. Washington. Chris Perry had 120 yards on 23 carries, with three TD's. Chris Perry alowed Michigan to open up there passing attack with Perry's dominance on the ground. Perry's first TD came withing 1:48 into the game. He busted a 57-yard TD, that put Michigan up early. Perry wouldn't score again until the third quarter.
The score was 20-14, in Washington's favor. Perry scored a two yard TD, on third and inches. The TD gave Michigan a 21-20 lead.
Perry had a three yard TD in the fourth quarter, to make the score 28-23. Perry dominated the ground. He muscled all 120 yards out. Michigan went on to win 31-29.
2003 - Braylon Edwards
I choose the game Vs. Ohio State for this one. This was the last time we beat the Buckeyes. Braylon had 7 catches for 130 yards and two TD. Edwards first TD didn't come until the second quarter.
With 13:33 left in the half, Braylon caught and shredded throw two Buckeyes for a 64-yard TD. That gave Michigan a 14-0 lead. About six minutes later, Michigan had a third down on the OSU 23 yard line.
Braylon ran a post route to the left, caught a very high pass, and proceeded to score his second TD. He beat Chris Gamble on the catch. That made the score 21-0.
At half, Edwards had four catches for 103 yards, and two TD. Edwards went on to score one more TD. Edwards was amazing in this win. The catches he made were crazy. Nobody could stop this guy on that day.
2004 - Braylon Edwards
Braylon's performance against Michigan State in 2004 is historical. One of the greatest performances ever by a WR. Braylon had 11 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns.
Edwards first TD didn't come until the fourth quarter. With 6:12 left in the game, it became the Braylon Edwards show. He caught a 36 yard TD pass. That made the game 27-20 in Michigan States favor. His next TD came with 2:59 left in the game.It was a 21 yard bullet from Henne.
That TD tied the game 27-27, which took the game into OT. In the third OT is when Edwards had the game winning catch that put Michigan State away.
He caught a 24-yard pass for a TD. If you seen the game, you know how Edwards took control of the game. HE was superman on that night. He caught everything thrown his way. He was the hero of the game.
2005 - Mike Hart
2005 was a tough year for the Wolverines. Everyone remembers the "little brother" comments. This was a game the Wolverines needed to help give them a boost. Mike Hart had 36 carries with 218 yards and one TD.
Hart backed up everything he said he wanted to do. He helped control the pace of the game with his yards. On the first possession of the game, Hart had a 45-yard run that helped set the Wolverines up for a TD.
It was a hard fought game. The score was 24-21, Michigan's lead at halftime. Hart scored his only TD at 11:29 left in the fourth quarter. On that drive, Hart had a 64-yard run. That was the longest of his career at the time.
The TD took the score to 31-24, Michigan's lead. Michigan eventually won the game 34-31 in OT. Hart's performance showed he was one of the best RB's in Michigan history. It also showed how much of a game changer he could be.
2006 - Mike Hart
I picked the Ball State game for the 2006 season. I don't care what anyone has to say, Ball State put up a heck of a fight. And yes, Mike Hart was thereason Michigan won this game.
He had 25 carries with 154 yards and one TD. Michigan had a total of 352 rushing yards. Mike Hart helped contol the ball, and the game with his carries. On the opening possession, Hart had 29 yards on four carries.
That also helped set up a TD. Michigan was down 9-7, until Hart broke a 42-yard run, that set up Henne to throw a TD. That made the score 14-9. The score was 24-12 at halftime. With 6:46 left in the third quarter, Hart scored on a one yard TD. The score was 31-12 after the TD.
Hart had 54 yards on five carriers on that drive. Hart came up in a lot of big down plays. He was always getting the yards that we needed. Michigan went on to win 34-26.
I remember watching this game and almost having a heart attack. After the game, I realized how much of a beast Mike Hart was.
2007 - Chad Henne
This game was suppose to be a blow out. They said Michigan was to slow. They were proven to be dead wrong. This could have been a couple of different players, but I decided on one.
I chose Chad Henne's performance against Florida in the Capitol One Bowl. Henne was 25-39 for 373 yards and three touchdowns. The Wolverines received the opening kick off, and took the opening drive 93 yards in 12 plays for a TD.
The TD was a 21 yard bomb from Henne to Manningham. It took the score to 7-0. Henne was 6-6 with 43 yards on that drive. The score was 14-14 with 9:51 left in the half. Even though Michigan didn't score on the drive, Henne hit Carson Butler for a 65-yard pass off of a screen. Michigan went up 21-14 before the half ended. Henne hit Adrian Arrington for a one yard TD in the right corner of the endzone.
Henne was 3-6 for 46 yards during the drive. Michigan went up 28-14 in the third quarter due to a 20 yard slant pass from Henne to Arrington on 3rd-and-10. The game was tied 28-28 in the third. Florida ended up taking a 35-31 lead with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines took over at there own 33 yard line.
In one play the were at Florida's 24 yard line, thanks to a 37 yard completion from Henne to Arrington (the one handed catch). Henne then tossed an 18-yard pass to Arrington for a TD, and a 38-35 lead. Michigan ended up kicking a field goal, and winning the game 41-35.
This game was probably the best game of Henne's career. It showed that he could be consistent and hit receivers. Henne was the biggest factor in this win.