SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One game is all the seniors have left. One game to win. One game to the end their careers at Michigan singing the “Victors” and wearing the famed winged helmet. One game – that’s it.
And while this season hasn’t gone the way the Michigan (7-5) senior class envisioned, a win against Kansas State (7-5) in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday could be the right formula to end their careers on a high note.
“It would be huge,” said fifth-year left tackle Taylor Lewan. “It would be awesome. You want to win every game. Obviously that didn't happen. You want to be successful, do all these things. Going out with a win would feel phenomenal.”
Yes it would. After all, the Wolverines were considered front runners in the Big Ten before the season began and had hopes of heading to Pasadena, Califi., not Tempe, Ariz. But despite the disappointing season, Lewan says he wants “team 134” to be remembered for their fighting spirit in the end.
“No matter what, no matter the circumstance. No matter what game, whether it was a blowout or win, we fought till the end,” said Lewan, who is the single offensive captain for Michigan.
With 47 yards receiving, fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon will break Michigan’s single-season receiving yards record held by Braylon Edwards in2003, with 1,330 yards. But the breaking the record isn’t what drives Gallon as he heads into his final game with the Maize and Blue.
“Winning,” Gallon said. “It's our last game together as seniors. Winning to us is our motivation, is what drives us every day to come out and work hard and practice the way we do, give everything we got for each other.”
Michigan coach Brady Hoke is the first to admit his team has struggled this season. But a win, he says, can mean a lot to his seniors and the future of Michigan football.
“You know, they've meant a lot,” Hoke said on his seniors. “I think they've struggled a little more than we'd like for them to. But I think they've persevered a lot at the same time. They've set some good examples and they've set some lessons up that I believe will be built on by the other classes.”
“These guys, I tell them to just keep fighting, keep doing those things,” Lewan said. “Team 134 won’t be one of those legendary teams that will be remembered, that’s just how it is. But hopefully we can go out with a win and put team 135 in the position to be one of those legendary teams.”