Michigan's 2005 season ended with a wacky ending to their Alamo Bowl tilt with Nebraska.

Michigan Was Ranked #3 In The Pre-Season, But Wound Up Out Of The Top 20

Michigan began the 2005 season with high hopes, garnering the number three ranking in the AP's pre-season poll. But losses in rivalry games to Notre Dame, Minnesota and Ohio State left the Wolverines 7-4 and ranked #20 heading into their Alamo Bowl game with Nebraska, then still in the Big 12 conference.

The two teams then staged an epic battle in the Alamodome in San Antonio, with Michigan taking a 28-17 in the fourth quarter. The Cornhuskers then scored back to back touchdowns to go back in front 32-28 with 4:28 left.

The Wolverines failed twice to generate some offense and with seconds remaining, launched a last play hoping to somehow score from 64 yards out. It got a little weird.

2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl: Michigan v Nebraska
Getty Images

The Description Of The Final Play Reads Like A Short Story

So many Michigan players touched the ball on the final play, that to describe it, it reads like a short story, with many characters.

Here it is, from Wikipedia:

Michigan's last-ditch attempt to win the game came on a seven-lateral scramble somewhat reminiscent of the famous Cal-Stanford band play. Henne completed a pass across the middle of the field to Jason Avant, who caught the ball at midfield and immediately lateraled to Steve Breaston.


Breaston threw the ball backwards to Mike Hart, who lateraled back to Avant. Avant then threw the ball across the entire width of the field, where it was caught by Manningham as he was being tackled.


Manningham attempted another backward pass, which hit the ground and bounced two or three times off the hands of two Nebraska defenders, before being picked up by Michigan Center Mark Bihl, who lateraled to Tyler Ecker.

2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl: Michigan v Nebraska
Getty Images

Because the ball had hit the ground, several members of both teams and the media, believing the play was dead, rushed onto the field while Ecker ran downfield.


Controversially, several of the officials began to leave the field, unaware that the play was still occurring. Nebraska players also gave their coach the Gatorade dunk before the play was over, reminiscent of the Bluegrass Miracle.


Ecker dodged several players and coaches and returned the ball approximately 60 yards to the Nebraska 16-yard line, at which point Cornhusker cornerback Zackary


Bowman knocked him out of bounds after time had expired ending the game.


Watch it. It's easier than trying to read it.

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