The ball was spotted at the OSU 23-yard line with three seconds left. The wind was wicked but blowing at the Spartans’ backs, and the score was a 14-14 deadlock.
“We thought that with the wind blowing the way it was we had a good shot from 50, 52, you know, coach (Mark) Staten was saying 56 and I thought that was a little over reach, but who knows it was blowing out there, it was a bad weather day,” head coach Mark Dantonio said.
It was junior kicker Michael Geiger’s shot to win the game. The shot he had been waiting for all year — and he drilled it from 41 yards out to win the game, 17-14.
“I’ll say that is the most important kick I have ever made in my entire life,” Geiger said. “I rehearsed as a kid over my swing set ever since I could kick a ball. Saying, ‘this kick is to beat Ohio State this kick is to beat Ohio State,’ and being from Toledo, Ohio, it means the world.”
Geiger explained his childhood kicking in context of an offer he never received from the best college football program in his home state.
“No, Ohio State did not offer me and it is personal,” he said. “Whenever you can knock off a team like Ohio State at their place, I think that is something you’ll hold onto for a very long time.”
Geiger has made 9 of 14 attempts this season, a 64 percent success rate , which is much lower than the 94 percent clip he hit during his freshman season, but as , “you are only as good as your last kick, or your next kick.”
“I had an idea that they had a couple of timeouts, we snapped the first one and I kicked it through and you know after that I knew there was no way I was going to miss,” Geiger said.
Geiger said his confidence has never wavered, which is the number one trait a coach wants to hear from his field goal kicker, and he said he has known all season he would get the chance to prove ice runs through his veins.
“I thought I would have an opportunity against Michigan, I thought I would have an opportunity in this game and even in Nebraska late I thought I had one, so it feels good to actually get one,” Geiger said. “After I hit it I knew it was going through. I watched it for a second as it flew through the air, it was straight, and I don’t even know if I saw it go through the uprights because by then I was gone, I was running.”
Geiger said he received the game ball — senior quarterback Connor Cook gave it to him.
“And I hope he will be back because we got our goals in front of us still,” Geiger said.
Nobody could have guessed that a .
“It is going to come down to the last possession and Geiger gives us the win,” Manny Palazzolo from Canton, Ohio, said before the game. “We haven’t seen him in about a month; he’s due. We need a Geiger appearance.”
The Spartans will play the Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4) at 3:30 p.m. EST this Saturday at Spartan Stadium.