Posted: Monday December 4, 2006 5:12PM; Updated: Monday December 4, 2006 5:22PM
Henne and Michigan return, and on 2nd and 8, Henne completed a bomb down the sideline to Mario Manningham. Florida safety Tony Joiner took a miserable angle, and Manningham went free for a 71-yard touchdown. Just like that, folks, we're tied at 7.
Florida gets the ball back, and I tried to establish the run though DeShawn Wynn could get nothing going against Michigan's monster front four. Chris Leak was red hot, and when Michigan tried to bring a nickel back on a blitz, Leak rolled right and hit Jemalle Cornelius on a crossing route. Cornelius scampered 47 yards for a touchdown, giving Florida a 14-7 lead.
After Michigan went three and out (running a bizarre delayed draw play on 3rd and 1), they punted. Florida moved the ball near midfield, and on the last play of the first quarter, I managed to pull of a signature ChrisLeak play: On Florida's 43, Leak takes a snap in the shotgun and rolls left. Then, as a Michigan linebacker started bearing down on Leak/me, I remembered someone was supposed to run an out pattern to the right. I couldn't see anyone on the screen, but I closed my eyes and hit the "Y" button. The ball shot all the way across the screen and landed in the arms of the wide open Wynn, who ran up the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown. Florida held a commanding 21-7.
Michigan finally started riding Mike Hart, putting together a strong drive highlighted by a 20-yard sweep to Hart. On 1st and Goal I guessed they'd pass, so I called a zone blitz. Henne dropped back and threw it directly to Florida DE Jarvis Moss. INT.
After running three times for little gain, Florida punted to the 50. Michigan drove again, with the key play being a 20-yard catch by Adrian Arrington on 3rd and 5. As the clock ticked down, I managed to hold Michigan in the red zone. On 4th and 1, with 42 seconds left, Michigan lined up for a field goal. Blocked! Jermaine McCollum off the left end! Leak managed to move the ball down the field before the half, but the clock ticked out. Florida still led, 21-7.
Florida took the second half kick-off and drove the length of the field, including two long completions to Dallas Baker. Then, on 3rd and Goal from the 6, Leak dropped back, ran all over the field ... and threw a pick in the end zone. Warm it up, Tebow. Michigan went back to Hart for a few short gains, then Henne zipped a slant pass to Manningham, who cut between two DBs and went 61 yards for the TD. Michigan was within striking distance, 21-14.
Florida received the kickoff, and on the first play of the possession, Michigan ran a safety blitz. Leak avoided the rush long enough to allow Andre Caldwell to get past his defender. Caldwell caught a 61-yard bomb that set up a 30 yard field goal, giving Florida a 24-21 lead.
After Michigan went three and out, they punted deep, and Florida's Cornelius (OK, it was my fault) ran backwards and lost about 15 yards trying to make something happen. On the next play, Leak dropped back and was popped as he passed. The ball squirted loose, and LaMarr Woodley picked up the rock and ran 10 yards for the touchdown, bringing Michigan within three, to 24-21. I tried to challenge the play but was told it wasn't reviewable. Crap.