Saturday, June 28, 2008

'70s Flashback: 1977 Game 5- #3 Michigan 24 MSU 14

October 8, 1977: After trouncing the #5 ranked Texas A&M Aggies 41-3 in game four, the resurgent Wolverines traveled to East Lansing to take on the in-state rival Michigan State Spartans. The Wolverines had a seven-game winning streak versus the Spartans heading into the game. The Wolverines relied on a devastating running attack to notch their eighth straight victory over the Green and White. Michigan employed an offensive attack that was a 3:1 ratio in favor of the running game. The Wolverines tallied 302 rushing yards versus 111 passing yards.

The Spartans struck first and took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 19-yard TD pass from QB Ed Smith to WR Kirk Gibson. The Wolverines responded by scoring ten unanswered points to take a halftime lead of 10-7. Michigan's first score was a 12-yard TD pass from QB Rick Leach to WR Richard White. The Wolverines pulled ahead on a booming 50-yard field goal by Gregg Willner.

Early in the second half, OLB Dominic Tedesco recovered a fumble for the Wolverines that led to a 74-yard scoring drive that was capped by a three-yard run by Russell Davis. Wolfman Dwight Hicks (pictured above) then intercepted an Ed Smith pass and the Wolverines scored again two plays later. This time it was a 3-yard TD run by QB Rick Leach. That score gave Michigan a 24-7 lead that it would never relinquish. Michigan's defense yielded a fourth quarter TD to MSU but the Wolverines' "D" also recovered two fumbles in the final quarter to secure the victory. RB Harlan Huckleby and wolfman Dwight Hicks were named Michigan's Champions of the Game. Go Blue!

Scoring
Second Quarter
S-Gibson, 19-yard pass from Smith (Nielson)
M-White, 12-yard pass from Leach (Willner)
M-Willner, 50-yd. FG

Third Quarter
M-R. Davis, 3-yd. run (Willner)
M-Leach, 3-yd. run (Willner)

Fourth Quarter
S-Earley, 11-yd. run (Nielson)

Top Individuals
Rushing: Huckleby (M) 31-146; R. Davis (M) 25-96; Earley (S) 13-76
Passing: Leach (M) 4-10-111; Smith (S) 14-23-147
Receiving: Clayton (M) 3-99; Earley (S) 4-56

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