Sept. 5, 1999
By HARRY ATKINS
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jarious Jackson was giving Lloyd Carr that uneasy feeling coaches often get in the fourth quarter. All the Michigan coach could do was hope for the clock to tick faster.
Jackson was driving No. 16 Notre Dame downfield for what would have been the winning touchdown. The Irish, starting with 1:38 remaining, drove from their own 20 to Michigan’s 12 before time expired Saturday.
The No. 7 Wolverines escaped with a 26-22 victory, and Carr felt every bit of it.
“It was a sick feeling,” he said. “I was here for the Colorado game. I’ve seen a lot of bad things happen.”
In that 1994 game, Kordell Stewart threw a 64-yard pass that Michael Westbrook hauled in for a touchdown as time expired and the Buffaloes upset Michigan 27-26. With a quarterback as dangerous as Jackson, Carr could see it perhaps happening again.
The fact that the Irish were heading through the growing shadows toward the very same end zone – at the south end of Michigan Stadium – made it even more painful for Carr to watch.
“I told the defense, `They’ve got one timeout left. Keep them in bounds,”‘ Carr recalled. “But in college football, the clock stops for every first down. It seemed to last forever. I wouldn’t want to go through that again.”
Jackson, of course, would like to have a situation like that every Saturday. He thrives on such challenges.
Michigan had taken the lead on the second touchdown of the day by Anthony Thomas, the bruising tailback who rushed for 138 yards on 32 carries in intense heat before an NCAA-record crowd of 111,523.
The Irish quickly spent their last timeout, yet Jackson was unfazed, even when things appeared to go against him. His first pass was incomplete and the option magician was stopped for no gain on second down. No problem.
Jackson rifled consecutive strikes of 36, eight and 15 yards to put the Irish on Michigan’s 21-yard line.
“Jarious Jackson has the heart of a lion,” Carr said. “He’s some kind of great football player. There’s no quit in him.”
But Jackson was now fighting the clock as well as the Wolverines. He threw incomple on first down, then was sacked for a 10-yard loss by Dhani Jones to the 31. No problem.
Jackson sent the ball over the middle that Raki Nelson caught on a slant pattern. But safety Tommy Hendricks slammed Nelson to the ground.
Before the crowd could get to its feet, the clock read 0:00 and the celebration was on.
“I thought we could score,” Jackson said. “We had two minutes left and that’s an eternity with two great teams like Michigan and Notre Dame.”
Jackson completed 18 of 28 passes for 302 yards with one interception. He had a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jabari Holloway and he also rushed for 47 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown romp, but a series of sacks caused Jackson to finish with negative yardage in that department.
Joey Getherall got Notre Dame’s other TD on a 4-yard run.
“Momentum changes in a game, and you have to roll with the punches,” Jackson said. “In the end, time just ran out.”
Tom Brady, the fifth-year senior who guided Michigan to a 10-3 record and a share of the Big Ten title a year ago, was almost as cool as Jackson – especially in the fourth quarter when the Wolverines needed a touchdown. Brady was 17 of 24 for 197 yards.
Drew Henson, the sophomore who pressed Brady for the starting job, played only the second quarter and completed 3 of 8 for 40 yards.
Jeff Del Verne kicked field goals of 21, 35, 37 and 27 yards for Michigan.