With 6-foot 2-inch stature and lime-green shoes, you'd think Khalil Bailey would be difficult for a defense to forget. Yet there he was, streaking across the field with no one in his zip code.
“They went all blitz,” Bailey said of the game's key play, a 3rd and 6 from midfield with the clock winding down and Lansing hanging on to a 29-26 lead.
Krystian Abbott's pass sailed towards the end zone, almost too far. But Bailey reached his destination just in time for the winning 48-yard score to give Lansing a 36-26 win.
“This was a good win,” said head coach Bill Pekarek. “The offense was pretty good, the defense did some things. Bailey's pretty good.”
Bailey's definitive score was set up by a second half in which the senior wide out had only seen one pass thrown his way (a touchdown early in the fourth quarter).
Lansing was able to lull Turner's corners to sleep by coming out of halftime with an adjusted look on offense.
Instead of the rollout passes to Bailey, Abbott threw quick dump-offs to running back Colin McQuillan, handed it off to McQuillan, or tucked it under and kept it himself.
As the half progressed, the double teams on Bailey became less frequent, and by the time the Golden Bears had to get a stop, they gambled on Lansing going short, leaving the deep post wide open.
“We want to diversify the offense and be able to do different things and go to different people,” Pekarek said.
Bailey finished with eight catches for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
Abbott was 19-for-31 for 312 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Colin McQuillan had 57 receiving yards and 39 yards rushing.
The Lansing offense has scored at least 30 points in all three games this year. They scored 30 only once in 2012.
But it was the defense finally holding an opposing offense that allowed the Lions to get the Homecoming win.
After getting thrashed by opposing running backs and fleet-of-foot quarterbacks in weeks 1 and 2, the Lions contained Turner's running attack for long stretches Friday.
Down 17 early in the fourth, Turner abandoned the run for quick passes to the wide outs and were able to get two scores to bring it to a three-point game.
Lansing started what would be their final drive at their own 10-yard line and needing to kill over four minutes. It was mostly ground-and-pound to McQuillan with occasional keepers by Abbott.
And then, the lime-green shoes one more time.