Fake field goal gives Glanda a shot at glory

Marissa McClain/Daily
Redshirt sophomore long snapper Jareth Glanda found his name into a caption, and a box score, for the first time. Buy this photo

By Michael Florek, Daily Sports Editor
Published January 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — Jareth Glanda was to suffer the same fate as nearly every other long snapper in college football. He would be lost to history.

Long snappers don’t have stats or hero moments. Unless they mess up, they are rarely mentioned by announcers or shown on television. The only proof Glanda would've had of him being on Michigan’s now-famed Team 132 would be the redshirt sophomore's name on the roster and his face in the team photo.

Then, at the end of the second quarter, Glanda struck a victory for what may be the sport’s most anonymous position. In what was undoubtedly the strangest play of Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl, Glanda caught a tipped pass off a fake field goal for an 11-yard gain.

“It was the greatest thing ever,” said redshirt sophomore kicker Brendan Gibbons.

Better than his game-winning kick?

“Way better.”

He made it into the box score. Nestled between redshirt sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussiant and senior receiver Kelvin Grady, Glanda finished tied as the team’s third-leading receiver.

Glanda said he doesn’t remember much about the play. Everyone else does.

Michigan had lined up for a field goal with less than a minute to play. Before the snap, sophomore receiver Drew Dileo heard another call from the sideline: Fire Right. It was a fake. Dileo had a run-pass option. If he threw, it was a two-man route, though he was supposed to be looking for senior tight end Kevin Koger running a corner route.

But there was problem. Dileo had to relay the call to his line in the noisy Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Half of the line didn’t hear him.

“I get it, I roll out, and Koger’s blocking,” Dileo said. “Then I see (fifth-year senior backup tight end Steve) Watson and I just throw it up.”

Launching the ball off his back foot just before getting hit, Dileo overthrew Watson. Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller jumped for the interception, but ran into a teammate. The ball bounced off Fuller, over Hokie defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins and into Glanda’s hands.

Gain of 11. First down, Michigan.

“I was trying to make a couple blocks and saw the ball go over my head and get deflected,” Glanda said. “I came down with it. It was pretty cool.

“This is definitely the biggest catch of my life.”

There wasn't much competition. Glanda got a “little bit of time” at tight end as a sophomore — in high school. In college, he hasn’t had much opportunity to make a play. He only took over as the team’s long snapper this season. Glanda was thoroughly unprepared.

“I never do catching drills,” Glanda said. “I snap all the time, that’s what I do.”

The catch didn’t mean much, other than providing Glanda his first catch and Dileo a completion on his first collegiate pass. Michigan stalled at the Virginia Tech goal line and had Gibbons hit a field goal anyway.

But it mattered to Glanda. For a fleeting moment he was living the dream of all offensive linemen. He had the ball, rumbling towards the endzone. When the historians look back at the 2012 Sugar Bowl, they'll see it in the box score. Glanda, J., receptions: one, yards: 11.