The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 21, 1988 - Page 11
After failing to catch this pass, John Kolesar redeemed himself by accounting for all 100
yards on Michigna's final drive which provided the six points needed to defeat Ohio State,
Continued from Page 1
Fullback Bill Matlock took the
hand off and was dropped for a two-
yard loss by Wolverine defensive
tackle Mark Messner. On third down
Ohio State tailback Carlos Snow
went off right tackle and was stacked
up for a one-yard loss. Messner,
again, got credit for the tackle.
The goal-line stand forced the
Buckeyes to settle for a field goal,
making the score 24-20.
THE DEFENSE whooped it
up and the offense responded. Brown
led the Wolverines 76 yards to
recapture the lead with 4:20 left in the
game. The key play of the drive was a
18 yard screen pass to Boles on a
third-and-five, executed perfectly by
Brown under blitz pressure.
Ohio State preceded to move 92
yards on six plays to regain the lead.
"The best thing to happen to us was
that they scored quickly."
So quickly that the Wolverines
had two minutes to try to score. But
they almost scored too quickly
themselves. Kolesar returned the
kickoff 59 yards and then hauled in
his touchdown pass, still with over a
minute and a half remaining.
The Buckeyes then moved to the
Michigan 39 but Frey was intercepted
by Marc Spencer to seal the victory.
"I couldn't take the sack," said
Frey, whose team had just taken its
last time out. "I was just trying to
throw it away."
"We were thinking about last
year," said strong safety David
Arnold. Last year the Buckeyes came
back from a 13-0 deficit to win 23-20.
"We were not going to let this be a
EARLY ON, it didn't look like
Michigan was going to have to worry
about swings in momentum. In the
first quarter the visiting Wolverines
scored on a 57-yard connection
between Demetrius Brown and Greg
McMurtry and a 18-yard run by Leroy
Hoard in the second.
Mike Gillette added field goals in
each quarter. His second boot was a
Michigan record 56-yarder to end the
"I always felt that the only way
they could stop us was if we stopped
ourselves" Schembechler said after the
game. "In the second half we
In that second half, the Buckeyes
grabbed the momentum right away,
marching 70 yards in under three
minutes for their first score.
MICHIGAN failed to score on
its first three drives. Gillette failed on
a 51-yard field goal attempt, hitting
the cross bar. Brown was sacked on a
third down play, stalling the second
drive. And then came Boles' fumble
on the first play of the next series.
What did Ohio State head coach
John Copper tell his defense at the
intermission? "The only thing I knew
to do was challenge them. I
challenged their pride," Cooper said.
"We just tried to get them fired up."
Buckeye nose guard Mike
Sullivan said, "We relaxed in the
second (half) and things got going.
We stoned them. The crowd was
Meanwhile the Ohio State
offense was going nuts after drawing
the goose egg in the first half.
SNOW, Ohio State's junior
running back, gained 101 yards on the
first three series of the half.
"It was like last year," Snow
said. "I came out very emotional (after
halftime. I wanted the ball."
The change in quarterback Greg
Frey was even more dramatic. The
sophomore signal-caller, 4-of-14 in
the first half, was 10-of-15 in the
"I just tried to settle down at
halftime," said Frey, who admitted to
being nervous at the start of the
game. "I thought to myself, 'we got
nothing to lose.' I might as well go
out and have some fun."
F R E Y, who threw too short,
too long, too early or too late all first
half, started zipping balls to his
receivers while moving around in the
"Our defense kind of fell apart,"
Schembechler said. "I couldn't believe
what was happening out there."
The Buckeye offense moved at
will, scoring twice more to take a 21-
20 lead. With each score, the cheers
from the over 90,000 in attendance
got louder and louder, the momentum
became stronger and stronger.
Although the Michigan defense
came up with the stand and the
interception, both offenses dominated
the defenses.. The Buckeyes and
Wolverines piled up 968 yards in total
The Schef's Specialty
BY ADAM SCHEFTER
COLUMBUS - It was happening again. Shades of
last year's Michigan Ohio-State game.
In that game, wide receiver John Kolesar dropped two
potential touchdown passes. One would have put
Michigan up 20-7 at the half, another would have been a
45-yard touchdown pass. He admitted, "I messed up."
Now, with Ohio State striking for its first points in
the second half to make it 20-7, the Buckeyes were
kicking off. Kolesar waited at the goal line. The kick
I came Kolesar's way. He wondered whether to field it.
His indecisiveness showed. The ball bounced off
Kolesar's thigh and out of bounds at the 13. Miscue
"THAT GAVE them the momentum they needed,"
With a chance to redeem himself with Michigan
trailing 24-20 in the fourth quarter, Kolesar botched up
again. Quarterback Demetrius Brown faked a handoff and
threw deep over the middle. The ball went over Kolesar's
left shoulder, into his arms, and back out. No 44-yard
touchdown pass. No celebrations. Miscue number two.
. Could this be the same John Kolesar, a Westlake
Ohio native, who earlier in the week said he was so
excited to play in Ohio Stadium for the first time in a
Michigan uniform? Could this be the Kolesar who had
been known throughout his Michigan career as the big
play man? Could this really be happening?
_ "I was having a terrible game," Kolesar said.
But winners don't quit, and Kolesar is simply a
When Michigan fell behind 31-27, as Bill Matlock
scored his second touchdown, this time from 16 yards
out, Kolesar fought back with a vengeance.
HE TOOK the ensuing kickoff and raced up field.
He got outside. He broke a tackle. He had one man, the
kicker O'Morrow, between him and a new page of
history in one of the oldest rivalries. "(Kolesar) was
running possessed on that kickoff return," said Michigan
coach Bo Schembechler.
But the 5-foot-11 O'Morrow got in the way. "When I
saw him come through the hole, my eyes lit up,"
'Morrow said. "I dove at him and sacrificed myself and
Thanks to Kolesar, Michigan had 41 yards to go for
the outright Big Ten title. The first play was an
incomplete pass. On the second, Brown rolled out. He
thought about running. He thought about throwing to
Chris Calloway. But when he saw Kolesar in the corner
of the endzone, he let go.
And Kolesar went up against Ohio State's David
Brown and Zack Dumas for the ball.
WHAT WAS Michigan even doing in this come
from behind situation? In the first half, Leroy Hoard
decided he didn't like being tackled and gained 116 yards.
Wide receiver Greg McMurtry ran past the Buckeye
defense for a 57-yard touchdown pass. And after a Mike
Gillette record-breaking 56 yard field goal, on the last
play of the half, Michigan led 20-0.
But there's something about a Michigan-Ohio St.
to hero's role
game. Neither team is supposed to be blown out,
especially in its own stadium. The game isn't supposedt
to be a sleeper. But weren't those yawns I was hearing at
t the end of the first half?
"Let's face it. We've got to do everything we can forl
TV and I'm sure they didn't like the first half, "
The second half did all it could to help out the Nielsen
ratings. Ohio State marched up and down the field
against the Michigan defense, like no other team since
f the Miami (Fla). They ran. They passed. They scored.
And they scored again.
"I COULDN'T believe what they were doing," said
Michigan defensive lineman Mark Messner.
When Buckeye quarterback Greg Frey hit wide receiver
Bobby Olive on a crossing pattern, the Michigan lead
which had seemed insurmountable, had been surmounted.
Each time Ohio State scored, the Buckeye special
teams players would take the field and cheer on the
crowd. They did jumping jacks. They waved their arms.
The noise level became louder. The players were
pumped. The fans were pumped. This was a 4-5-1 team
trying to salvage their season in one afternoon.
But this was a Michigan team that was trying to win
the Big Ten title outright.
The Wolverines had a chance to win the game. They
had the ball on the Ohio State 41-yard line.
They had Kolesar.
KOLESAR SAW the ball released. He thought it
was a matter of who wanted the ball more. Playing in
front of his home state, in his last regular season game,
having the memories of last year, and already having
messed up twice during the game, you can imagine
Kolesar wanted it pretty badly.
He braced his knees, and went up for the pass. He had
the ball. He had the moment. Touchdown. Hero. 100
yards in 25 seconds - all Kolesar.
"I almost had a heart attack," Brown said.
Kolesar called the play the "jump ball" play where he
and the defender both go up for the ball. He practices it
1with wide receiver coach Cam Cameron. But usually the
play is with one defender. This time, Kolesar had double
the fun, with two Buckeyes trying to win the tap.
"I was sure glad we spent time on that play in
practice, "Kolesar said.
HIS TEAMMATES mobbed him, a scene very
familiar to Kolesar. Big plays are his trademark. Last
season, he caught a game-winning 20-yard touchdown
pass against Alabama in the Hall of Fame Bowl. In his
first year, he caught a 77-yard touchdown pass against
Ohio St. to send the Wolverines to the Rose Bowl.
He was back in the spotlight.
It was happening again.
"This is the biggest play of my career," Kolesar said.
"This just tops everything because it's the culmination
of four years. It's my senior year. Playing against Ohio
State. It seems like a fairytale."
And who could have written a nicer ending?
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