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Posted on Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

After practicing all season, Michigan football team unveils special celebration following Ohio State win

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan coach Brady Hoke was soaked after being doused by players after the Wolverines beat Ohio State.

Jeff Sainlar |

There was little mistaking it, the Michigan football team's 40-34 victory over Ohio State on Saturday was a special occasion.

So, why not end it with a celebration?

Following sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery's game-clinching interception and Michigan's final kneel down, the entire team rushed to midfield, gathered in a circle and participated in a routine they'd been practicing every week throughout the season.

"That's something we've done every Friday," Michigan senior center David Molk said. "Every Friday we have a short practice, and at the end of practice we do our (victory) formation, we take a knee, we all get together, (junior quarterback Denard Robinson) throws the ball up to the ceiling (of the Al Glick Fieldhouse) and once it hits, we all fall."

In the routine, the ball acted as "grenade," and when it hits the ground, the entire group collapsed to the turf.

"We do that every Friday," Michigan senior receiver Junior Hemingway said. "We throw the ball up, everybody falls down.


Michigan fans left the stands and celebrated on the field after Michigan beat Ohio State.

Jeff Sainlar |

"It's just a little something."

The planned celebration set off a wild scene, the likes of which Michigan Stadium hasn't seen in years.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke was splashed with water by junior guard Ricky Barnum, an ecstatic Mike Martin shouted a nearly indiscernible interview with the Michigan Radio Network and plenty of the 114,132 in attendance made their way from the stands onto the field.

Hemingway said he could only stand numb, not sure how to react after earning his first victory over Ohio State as a Michigan player.

Senior tight end Kevin Koger's first reaction was to find a current teammate to embrace before lending his own thoughts to former teammates who never had a chance to beat the Buckeyes.

"First and foremost, I just wanted to find a teammate to celebrate with," he said. "I found a lot of those guys running around crazy like chickens with their heads cut off.

"(You think of) the Martell Webb's of the world and the John Ferrara's of the world, guys that didn't get a chance to beat Ohio State. Hopefully they can live through us, because we definitely did it for them."

Hoke said the entire celebration was an outpouring of emotion following a long journey that began in January.

"You saw them on the field, how happy (they were)," he said. "It's been a struggle. They went to work in January, and it wasn't easy.

"It's fun as a coach to see them and see how they responded."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

you no longer have to hang you head boys....I have to laugh. Even though Spanky is playing for the Big10,11,12 championship. A certain radio jabbering head was livid because Blue received all the atteniton over the weekend.......I JUST LOVE IT......Go Baggers

Larry Weisenthal

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

I really liked the classy comments from the OSU faithful. I always root for tOSU, when they don't play Michigan. The more worthy the opponent, the greater the glory, for the Victors valiant!


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Congrats to Blue. You won, fair and square. It was exciting... right to the end. A completed pass on our final drive and there might have been a different outcome. However life is full of "would-da, could-da, should-da..." Just returned from Thansgiving visiting my son out of state. Saw the game on TV. Wasn't sure what the collapsing Michigan players meant. Thanks for the clarification. Strange metaphor for a tradition (gernade blows up the team) but, hey, this is college FB and strange traditions are part of the fun. Now its time for B1G to come together and have a productive bowl season. I'm sick and tired of hearing about how great the SEC is. Let's see their style of FB played on a day with freezing rain in November. Anyway, good luck you guys. Hope the strange forces that control the BCS grant you a slot. You had a great regular season and deserve it (esp your seniors).


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

Ohio State has had a very tough year. Sure we hate 'em, but I do hope they get back on their feet so the rivalry can be between two highly respected teams again. It's no fun being down, right?

james Kurtz

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Todays victory lifted a load off the shoulders of millions of UM's faithful followers. I haven't been this happy over a football game in a long time. Next year we will beat MSU, ND and OSU in the horseshoe and start our own winning streak. Congratulations to Coach Hoke and the entire UM football team and staff. The last 4 years have been a heart attack.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Gotta go win the bowl game now!!!!! We will likely head into the bowl as a top 10 team. 11 wins with a BCS bowl win and we will finish in the top 5 this year. GO BLUE!!


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

great game. great team. great coaching. great effort. great season. thanks much. enjoy that bowl victory too.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:48 a.m.

The Defense will improve, its a given, but if DR plays like he played these last two weeks sans today's fumble...lookout B1G there is a new sheriff in town. Who knows, if Al isn't too arrogant about it, he might have a new type of spread/proset offense that he can call his own brand moving forward. It showed today what the a true "DUAL" threat quarterback can do to a defense. I don't have the goggles on, need to watch out because Ohio has their own dual threat QB coming and with UM as his coach will end up making those passes in the future. Coach Mattison, please fix that safety play on the defense.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:37 a.m.

Great win UM! Almost cried. That and ND game were the best I've seen in a long time. GO BLUE!


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 3:56 a.m.

Beating Ohio State is always great fun. And yeah, after a highly unusual drought, I feel happy for kids getting that off their backs. But what I truly love is... We covered significant ground this year towards getting back to the level the program, the players, and all us fans are accustom to. And we got to take that threshold step by crushing our main rival (like a tiny, insignificant nut) under our collective boot heels. That's what people on the outside (Buckeye fans especially) don't understand: it's not JUST that we are happy to win this game. It's not JUST putting salt in the wound of a sorry OSU season. It's more that... we got to do those things, AND finish 10-2, AND be nationally relevant again - not because we beat sorry OSU, but because we beat them and get to move on to something (hopefully) much greater. It's the TOTAL PACKAGE of the season. For a school with our legacy, it's not even close to being one of the greatest seasons - especially if you look at it on paper. But as far as what a year meant to a specific time? It's been a while since Michigan TRULY felt like Michigan. The effort is coming back. The unity and family is coming back. Doing things the right way is coming back. And most importantly... the results are coming back. It's a work in progress, but... seeing the work producing results already? THAT'S why everyone is feeling good again. (The team, the younger fans becoming aware of how it's SUPPOSE to be, EVERYONE having confidence and pride because they GET IT... THAT'S a new era.) So it's not JUST beating OSU. Though that was the final, wonderful piece to the puzzle... don't give yourself THAT much credit, OSU. You're just a small part of a bigger picture year around here. (Maybe when you're nationally relevant again, you will understand...) :-)


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

tohio played the game of their lives today and still weren't good enough to beat the Wolverines. With recruits bailing on them and NCAA sanctions coming up, I can't see that team improving next year. On top of that, they hired a coach that can't beat Michigan. I do hope they can be competitive without cheating in the future.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

I can't tell you how happy I am for the fact that every one of Robinson's TD passes was thrown to a Senior. That is awesome. And to think, those guys, amidst all the emotion of the win, were thinking about guys they played with who didn't get to experience this. While underclassmen say it was for their Seniors, the Seniors said it was for those who came before them. This program is headed to a great place.

Terry Star21

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

Thanks for the article Nick. That player celebration was special. I didn't see the ball go up, but saw all the players fall - like being knocked over by a bowling ball. PS (although he hit it today, please help Kyle on his overall football predictions with you guys....shhhh). MgoBlueForTiM......great celebration, great entertainment for Big House faithful.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

@rightmind, You mean it's not a win unless you win by a certain amount? I missed that part. Of course if the Buckeyes win the next FIFTEEN years in a row, they will finally have a .500 record against the UM. I guess more often than not "UM was very lucky"


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

Hey Righty, in the words of my 5 year old son....."Scoreboard!". Thats all that matters baby, even if it was by one point, "Scoreboard".

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

UM beat a buckeye team today. Only smart thing left to say.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

All the predictions I saw had UM blowing out the bucks. Wishful thinking. UM was very lucky to beat a .500 buckeye team today.

Van Ebert

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:01 a.m.

I believe you're right that there will be a wounded Buckeye waiting and we'll finish the job we started and rip that wound open a little more, Urban or no Urban. I agree with umgoblue47 that you won't see the same D next year that you saw today so bring it Braxton. I'm sure Bo is smiling today but I'm even more sure that Woody found a Clemson player to slug after this loss.

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

I dont think anyone cares what you think someone else thinks. If I were you I would stick to trying to explain what you think, no write. Michigan won. You lost. Probation coming. Urban who?


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

ooooooh, tough words. It won't be the same because you will finally get rid of Woolfolk. Kovacs still won't be able to play pass defense and you can't add some speed to countiss. I don't think Braxton is intimidated one bit.

1st Down

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Koger with such classy comments. Gonna miss that guy.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

next november there will be a much much more energized and experienced DR, OFFENSE and DEFENCE coming to the shoe. . . can't wait! and yes woody and BO are smiling. . . GO BLUE!!!!


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:09 a.m.

@rightmind !4 of the points were scored on short fields. Last season the UM gave up 37 points. This team gave up 372 yards. Last season, 472 yards. This season Ohio had the ball for 24:50 seconds. Last year Ohio had it for 34:16. Any rational person would realize that is an improvement from before. Imagine a coach who can implement his system and have a 42% improvement in wins, a more productive offense, a better defense in less than a year. Imagine a coach who adapts to the talent around him. Instead of forcing square pegs into round holes he actually highlights the talents of the players he has, not the ones he wishes he had. I thing Greg Mattison has forgotten more about defensive football than you will ever know.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:41 a.m.

Maybe with the hiring of UM righty here can go flock his own teams blogs. What there isn't enough happening over there with the Columbus dispatch talking about Jason Biggs, I mean Luke Fickel and UM potential hiring. It is funny though, like Jason Biggs in Loser, Luke Fickel will lose his job to the "prettier" pick. Like the movie though we still don't know if it is the right one, time will tell.

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

250 0 days since Michigan beat O.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

Maybe Mattison can learn how to coach a defense by then. Can you learn something at 60 plus?


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Congratulations to the Wolverines. It's obvious that the past seven seasons have been very painful for UM. Next November there will be a wounded Buckeye waiting for you at the OSU stadium, with a new coach and a more experienced Braxton Miller. Old Woody Hayes and Bo must be smiling.


Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

Very gracious of you **Bucks (sorry, it is impossible for me to type the front part). Folks in other parts of the country have often asked me about the "nasty rivalry" like it was some kind of Oakland Raiders game or something. Always explained it was done with class, respect, and humor. The rude are rare. A friend of mine attended Penn State (no comments on current predicament here). She tells of feeling unsafe and physically threatened in one away game years ago. That was West Virginia - won't go there anymore - wish we didn't either.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.



Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

It was a great game and OSU came in and played a very good game. I think the rivalry will be back to where it was in the coming years - pretty even with both teams winning games. Yesterday's game was just the starting point of the return of Michigan football to the way it should be - great, hard hitting defense and power offense.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:38 a.m.

Utmost Class GoBucks, very nice. True fans "Respect The Rivalry". Hate the bucks, but love the rivalry. Quite ironic isn't it? One can't think of one school without the other....its what makes the schools special. A grown man cried today, because the dark ages are behind us. Go Blue!!! See next year Buck!


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:40 a.m.

7 seasons? Must be worse for you not having beaten Michigan since 1998....


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

Classy comment, GoBucks. It's nice to know the rivalry is back on.