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November 20, 2013

Dileo looks back at miracle field goal

Drew Dileo has watched the play over and over, going through everything little thing that had to go exactly right for the Wolverines to pull of one of the most improbable game-ending field goals in college football history.

There was the drive that set it up. After failing to convert a single third down through 58 minutes of football, the Wolverines converted two do-or-die fourth downs to keep their hopes alive.

There was the catch. After suffering a back-breaking sack, redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner found fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon on the sideline to get into fifth-year senior kicker Brendan Gibbons' range.

There was the hurry, as the kick team sprinted onto the field, and the offense hustled off - with 11 seconds to go and the clock ticking.

There was the set up. Everyone got into place with just enough time, including Dileo, who slid into his spot as holder and awaited the snap from fifth-year senior longsnapper Jareth Glanda.

After the game, Michigan coach Brady Hoke called it one of the best "team plays" he has seen in his professional career. And Dileo agrees.

"In the last couple days, I have watched that play over and over and over, and it really is amazing that we did get the ball off," Dileo said. "The whole two-minute drive, and then the throw to Gallon and everyone getting off the field - it really is amazing.

"At first, honestly, no. I really didn't we had enough time. I saw Brendan run onto the field, and I looked at the clock and there were six seconds left. Then I put my head done, ran to his foot and kind of slid. When I looked at the clock again, there were two seconds left, and I was ready for the ball to be snapped."

When Dileo went out for a pass on the third-and-23 play that ended with the catch from Gallon, he really wasn't thinking farther ahead than that snap.

He ran his route - that's all. On the far side of the field, Dileo couldn't hear Hoke barking orders and preparing for the hurry-up field goal attempt. He estimates he was 20 to 30 yards away from where the ball was spotted. When he started running back to his spot at the opposite hash - where the slot receiver would line up - he saw Gibbons run onto the field.

"I saw Brendan and Glanda coming out, so I sprinted out there," Dileo said. "It was a little wet. The snap was perfect. I didn't have to spin it or anything. I put it down, and the laces were facing the field goal, and Brendan put it out."

After the game, the players took to Twitter - and fifth-year senior left tackle Taylor Lewan helped spread the myth of the "Dileo Power Slide."

"We were sitting on the bus," Dileo said. "I don't know if Taylor saw it on Twitter, but he certainly made an emphasis of putting it on Twitter, and of course, he was sitting in the seat right behind me.

"I had a lot of high school friends that I played baseball with that texted me. Some people who didn't know me from my baseball years were saying, 'That was awesome. Great slide.' My baseball friends were texting me, 'You've been doing that your whole life.' They weren't surprised."

In 11 seconds, the Wolverines pulled off a miracle.

"[Special teams coach Dan] Ferrigno kind of sped through it a little bit at film Sunday," Dileo said. "They were trying to move on, but we did watch it a couple times. When Coach Hoke was describing it, saying, 'Everyone did a great job, and Dileo did his little slide into second base,' and everyone laughed."


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