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Michigan Wakes Up Against Gophers in ‘03

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In October 2003, the Wolverines were reeling. After starting the season in the Top 5, close losses at Oregon and Iowa — with a win over Indiana sandwiched in between — threatened to derail Michigan’s season. Upon falling behind undefeated Minnesota, 14–0, in Week 7, Michigan looked defeated again.

That’s when the normally conservative Lloyd Carr dialed up a trick play to wake his team up. QB John Navarre threw a quick pass behind the line of scrimmage to WR Steve Breaston. The former high school QB then threw back to Navarre, who followed a convoy of four offensive linemen down the sidelines for a 36-yard touchdown catch-and-run.

Michigan would fall behind 28–7 before rallying for a season-changing, 38–35 win — the largest comeback in school history. The Wolverines would win their remaining five regular season games and the Big Ten title.

Navarre ended his senior season as Michigan’s career leader in completions, attempts and passing yards. He spent four seasons in the NFL (2004–2007) before returning to his home state of Wisconsin, where he works for ALRO Steel Milwaukee Branch.

Nine years after that crazy comeback in the Metrodome, Michigan returns to Minneapolis to battle the Gophers for the Little Brown Jug once again. John Navarre profile

 
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