Michigan Football: 5 most memorable Wolverine Bowl Games

5 of 6

January 1, 1998
Michigan 21, Washington State 16

84th Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

As Michigan reeled off one victory after another, thoughts of its first national title since 1948 began occupying conversations throughout the Michigan fanbase.

The Wolverines knocked off rivals Notre Dame (21-14) and Michigan State (23-7) before locking horns with the always-tough Ohio State Buckeyes.

Thanks to eventual Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson‘s 77-yard punt return, Michigan held on to a 20-14 victory. The (11-0, 8-0) Wolverines would go into the Rose Bowl ranked No. 1, awaiting a challenge from No. 8 Washington State. The Cougars (10-1, 7-1) shared the Pac-10 crown with UCLA.

While Michigan depended on its No. 1 ranked defense throughout the season, it was Brian Griese‘s accurate arm that produced all three touchdowns in the 21-16 win over highly-regarded Cougar quarterback Ryan Leaf.

Griese hit wide receiver Tai Streets with scoring strikes of 53 and 58 yards, then connected with tight end Jerame Tuman on a 21-yarder for the final margin.

In the game’s final moments, Leaf began a drive from his seven yard line with :16 on the clock. Leaf and the Cougars marched to Michigan’s 26 with two seconds left. The clock stopped to move the chains, but as Leaf tried to spike the ball, time ran out.

Next: 66th Orange Bowl Game