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Sherrone Moore details calling the final drive vs. Alabama in the Rose Bowl

Was it the most important drive in Michigan football history? If you ask the current Wolverines head coach, he would say it was — at least that was his thought at the time.

Now Sherrone Moore is the head coach of the maize and blue but when the Wolverines were down, 20-13, to Alabama late in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl, Moore was the offensive coordinator. Thus, he had the most nerve-wracking job of just about anyone in the world at that specific time on Jan. 1. He had to engineer a drive to ensure that his team had an opportunity to win and thus make it to the national championship game.

Easier said than done, to be sure.

Moore went in detail with Joel Klatt what it was like calling the plays for that final drive in regulation against the Crimson Tide, what was going through his mind, and how he made his decisions on each of the plays, starting with the fourth-and-2 pass from J.J. McCarthy to running back Blake Corum, keeping Michigan’s title hopes alive.

“I’m never really nervous to call a drive, never really anxious. That drive, I was looking around. I looked at the clock, I looked at the time, I said, ‘This is like the most important drive in Michigan football history,” Moore told Joel Klatt. “That’s how I thought of it and looked up to the sky and asked my grandpa like, ‘Hey, Pops, need some help here. Help me out. Love you.’

“And I’ll never forget, I was walking and all the linemen strapping their helmets on and J.J. comes up to me and said, ‘Hey, Pops, we got you.’ And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re about to go score on this drive!’ And we’d been moving the ball a little bit but not as much. And that drive, we went down and scored on a fourth-and-2 call, so we ran it, had a play action on third-and-2 with Orji in the game. It didn’t work out, they had it covered. And it was fourth-and-2 and I knew coach (Harbaugh) was gonna say go for it.

“Fourth-and-2, I already knew what call we were gonna do. I knew the pick route, I knew what we were gonna do, knew how it had set up because we’d shifted in motion and made it look the same the whole game when we ran duo. And then they were calling out, ‘run!’ Yeah. And then Blake pops open and we go down the field and Roman gets the block in the back so guys are like, ‘Oh, no! We’re coming back!’ Like no, I think we still got the first down.

“And we got the first down, called the run option with J.J. we hadn’t run all game. It was set up — I was like, ‘OK, this is the time then.’ Came back to a play action that we actually called earlier in the game but the route spacing wasn’t right. We fixed it on the sideline and then Roman popped open and made an incredible catch, made the guy miss as he landed.

“And then the play that I called second I was actually going to call first. But I got a little closer and then all of a sudden called the play-action to Roman and slipped out and it was a touchdown.

“So that drive will hold true forever in my mind of how it went down at the time and what happened as a result.”

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire