"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
Michigan and Ohio share four mutual opponents. The goal of this diary is to examine our respective performances against these opponents, and in doing so attempt to predict the winner of next Saturday's game.
When we played them:
At MSU. Michigan started with an 80-yard, 10-play touchdown drive and then proceeded to punt on 8 consecutive drives before a second too-little-too-late score. Michigan State's offense wasn't a juggernaut but it was good enough for three scores, and Denard's pick-six sealed the game. MSU 28-14.
When they played them:
At Ohio. By the fourth quarter, the play-by-play announcers were considering ritual suicide in the press box in this abomination of a football game. Ohio managed 178 net yards, 62 of which was on the final drive. While MSU's defense looked dominant, their offense seemed determined to keep Ohio in the game, offering up two interceptions, two turnover-on-downs, and a missed field goal. The 10 points they did manage seemed like an insurmountable lead, even after Ohio managed a desperation touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. MSU 10-7.
Our game was played in a trash tornado. Ohio let Joe Bauserman, the human trash tornado, attempt 14 passes (although he did complete half of them and led their one touchdown drive). Ohio still had all the Tatgate and Related Naughtiness players suspended.
Michigan State made both us and Ohio look bad. Ohio came closer by final outcome but both games were ugly. In Michigan's favor, we had to play on the road. In Ohio's favor, they had to play without players that have since returned. I'm calling this a PUSH.
When we played them:
At Michigan: Ill-advised interceptions were the only thing stopping Michigan's offense as we racked up 535 yards and 34 points (plus a safety for 2 more). Purdue scored on their first drive and then spent a lot of time punting until some 4th quarter drives against Michigan's prevent defense made the score look a bit closer than it actually was. Michigan 36-14.
When they played them:
At Purdue: Purdue had 10 points before Ohio had 10 yards, and then hung on for dear life as Ohio clawed its way back. Ohio was poised to complete the rally and take the lead for the first time when it scored a touchdown with 1:22 remaining, only to see the extra point blocked. In OT, Purdue's touchdown trumped Ohio's field goal. Purdue 26-23.
Ohio had all of their players except for WR DeVier Posey back, and QB Braxton Miller by this time had several games of experience under his belt. Ohio played Purdue on the road while we got them at home.
Home field advantage is not nearly significant enough to detract from the fact that Michigan beat Purdue handily while Ohio seemed evenly matched against the Boilermakers. Advantage, MICHIGAN.
When we played them:
At Illinois. Michigan got about 17 different monkeys off of our collective backs with this convincing win on the road. A bevy of first-half miscues were the only thing that prevented this game from being over by halftime, because Illinois failed to mount a drive of more than 5 plays or 28 yards until late in the third quarter. By the time Illinois found its offense Michigan had found ours as well... and ours was better. Michigan 31-14.
When they played them:
At Illinois. Illinois out-gained Ohio 285 to 228 as Ohio went 1 for 4 passing for the entire game, but Ohio got touchdown drives of 12 and 22 yards thanks to Illinois turnovers. Those scores plus an opening field goal was enough for a victory. Ohio 17-7.
Ohio still had two players suspended, I believe (honestly for Ohio games "suspended players" should be its own category in the box score). If you are the kind of person that believes that Momentum is a mystical force that acts on sporting events rather than the product of mass and velocity, you will put emphasis on the fact that Illinois was on a six-game winning streak when they played Ohio, but a 3-game losing streak when they played us.
Ohio needed a heavy dose of Illinois mistakes to earn a 10-point victory. Illinois needed a heavy dose of Michigan mistakes to stop us from going up by five scores. Advantage, MICHIGAN.
When we played them:
At Michigan. Do I really need to write this paragraph? MURDERED HUSKERS FROM HELL TO BREAKFAST. IF ANYONE FINDS TAYLOR MARTINEZ'S TEETH PLEASE RETURN THEM. I think that about covers it. Michigan 45-17.
When they played them:
At Nebraska. Ohio had a 27-6 lead until Braxton Miller was injured and Joe Bauserman was forced back into action. His 1-for-10 passing explains why Ohio didn't score any more points, but not why Ohio's defense gave up 4 touchdowns and 289 yards in the last quarter and a half. Nebraska 34-27.
Ohio had to deal with home field advantage. They had the Tatgate crew back but were still without the Related Naughtiness guys. Michigan didn't get to play the Michigan Fergodsakes video on the scoreboards until halftime, after which it went from a one score game to a blowout. I think that's Very Telling (TM).
The caveats are legitimate but Ohio's defensive collapse cannot be ignored. I don't think this is as significant of a win for Michigan as it at seems at first, but never the less it's advantage, MICHIGAN.
Three of the four mutual opponent comparisons favor Michigan, and the other is a push. Ohio has been growing stronger as the season goes on and their players have returned from suspension, although this has not translated to better results. Michigan has been growing stronger as well as the coaches learn what the players can and cannot do and the players benefit from the instruction of competent staff, and we have blowout victories in three of our last four games to show for it. I can't promise a victory on Saturday, but if performance against mutual opponents means anything at all, we should be able to win the day.
Ed-Seth: Throwing this up front -- I still need a photographer.
Adopt-a-Shelter is a one-day event at two Detroit homeless shelters where we give the clients a Christmas party and allow the parents to "shop" for donated gifts worth $10 to $20. The shelters are the Booth Evangeline (the larger, for families), and Genesis House II (smaller, for women & children).
Activities for the kids include a pizza party, Santa Claus, a teen game room, face-painting, artwork, dancing, and (at Booth) the opportunity to become one of those people in Metro-Detroit who can opine on the subject of Mitch Albom's height in real life. Most of the activities are a diversion for the kids while their parents…
Shop in a gift room filled with donated, unwrapped gifts. The parents can each select a certain number of gifts for themselves and their family members (this is why they have to be unwrapped). Anything left over goes to the shelters—every year we have a ton left over, and every year they've managed to give it all away in a few months after we leave.
What You Can Do
We're looking for 1) Activity Help, 2) Gift Donations, and 3) Volunteers.
1. Activities Assistance:
Photographer - We have a Santa, but I need a PHOTOGRAPHER for the Booth site, preferably someone who does this professionally. We accept pro bono but if you have pay requirements you can let me know what they are. If you have a way to print the photos, that's key (we tried a photo printer last year but one was way too slow—if you know a better way to do it please share). Between all the middle age Jewish ladies (read: have Bar Mitzvah-age kids) and the local press coverage (Mitch will mention with donors on his radio show), I'm pretty sure you'll get some business out of it. E-mail me.
Teen Game Room Captain – I've done it for years. You organize events for between 8 and 25 teens. There's a table hockey system, and a bunch of board games there but in the past we've organized Jeopardy-like games, or brought in TVs and videogame systems and had an all-out Madden-off.
Other activity leaders: Teen dance group who can teach some kids their moves. Manicure room. Caricatures. Food setup. People who did these last year have been contacted but haven't said yes or no yet.
2. Gift Donations
Gift donations should be unwrapped, tasteful, and between $15-$20. Stuff that needs batteries should come with batteries. No guns, no swords, no violent comic books. Historically we tend to fall short with stuff for young moms.
- AGE RANGE: The age of the children range from Newborn to 17 years old, with most of the children being between the ages of 4-11 years old.
- SIZES: A variety of sizes ranging from newborn to 3X are needed. The larger sizes (2X and 3X are for girls.)
- TOYS: Age-appropriate toys and educational toys are needed.
- TOILETRIES: All types of toiletries are needed, except NOTHING with ALCOHOL in it. Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Body Lotion, Women’s Deodorant, Body Wash, Soap, Washcloths, Towels.
If you would like to donate, I have set up an Amazon wish list for either site. You don't have to order what's on there – they're ideas. Links:
If you can't find something you want, buy something else and ship to that address. Or check back – we're still updating it.
|Infant/Toddler||Child (4-12 years)||Teen||Parent|
|Sleepers||Sweat suits||Sweat suits||Sweat suits|
|$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes||$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes||Coats|
|Board games||Board games||$15 Gift certificates for Payless shoes|
|Stuffed animals||Radio walkman||Resume paper and envelopes|
|Activity books||Jewelry kits||Radio walkman|
The Genesis House site has enough volunteers but we can always use more at the Booth Evangeline site. This site is organized by Mitch Albom's Time to Help program; he and Ken Brown will be there:
- Time: 8:30 – noon
- Date: Dec. 3, 2011
- Location: Booth Evangeline Salvation Army, 20775 Pembroke Ave., Detroit, MI 48219. Same spot as last year. Parking is available at the school next door.
- To sign up: Visit the Time to Help volunteer sign-up page. (Note: it should be up in a few days. You can also e-mail me and I'll remind you when it's up).
Can't I Just Give You Money?
This is not the preferred option for me. Last year I set up a Paypal account and then spent three times as much as I received and I don't like taking your money. If you can't find something on the Amazon list above, donate to S.A.Y. Detroit, the umbrella organization for Detroit charities, and specify in the comments what it's for.
UPDATE:: Changed projected to real BCS standings and corrected analysis after talking heads on ESPN clarified the 3 SEC possibility... it is as most people have written in the comments, a conference can only get 3 if BCS1 and BCS2 are not conference champs... aka the LSU v Ala even though one of the two lost to Georgia in the SEC championship game scenario...
So when last I left you (two weeks ago), LSU had just defeated Alabama in the most underwhelming 1 v 2 matchup in modern times, Boise St was crusing towards a BCS at-large again but likely to get snubbed out of the national championship game, and the B1G was a muddled mess.....
Flash forward to today, and we have utter complete and no-shenanigans chaos erupting in BCS land. Only one more step friends until we have SEC on SEC violence due to one of their beloved conference teams being shut out from a chance at the national championship... or will there be?
First, the official BCS standings as of tonight, via ESPN:
Official BCS Standings: 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Arkansas, 4. Oklahoma State, 5. Va Tech, 6. Stanford, 7. Boise St, 8. Houston, 9. Oklahoma, 10. Oregon, 11. Kansas St, 12. So Carolina, 13. Georgia, 14. MSU, 15. Michigan, 16. Wisconsin, 17. Clemson, 18. Baylor, 19. Penn St, 20. TCU, 21. Nebraska, 22. Notre Dame, 23. Georgia Tech, 24. Auburn, 25. Texas.
Note:: No Big East teams in Top 25, meaning Houston will be a mandatory pick should they win their conference and stay in the Top 16. The BCS selection rules say that a non-AQ gets a mandatory BCS at-large slot if they win their conference and:
A) are in the top 12
B) Are in the top 16 and are higher than a AQ conference champion (i.e. the Big East sucks rule)
Houston's good anyway since they're in the Top 12-- non-AQ's in the top 12 don't have the "we're better than the Big East" clause. If Houston should stumble, TCU is going to have some work to do since they'll have to get in the Top 16 to get a mandatory non-AQ slot.
- The SEC is poised to blow the 2 teams in the BCS from a single conference rule out the window... the BCS bylaws state:
"No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections, unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS Standings ."
This means that should the SEC get two teams in the NCG, they wuold have the possibility of getting a third in the BCS games as an at-large. As we'll see, this is possible.
- Michigan is poised well to get in a BCS game as an at-large.
- The Big12 and ACC crapped their pants and liklely lost their shot at both conferences getting a 2nd team in.
- The biggest benficiaries of the two weeks of chaos are Michigan & Houston.
- The Big East still sucks.
Now the projections.. we'll use the projected standings as our basis. The teams that are GUARANTEED a slot per the BCS rules are LSU (BCS1), Alabama (BCS2), Ok St (B12 chmp), MSU/PSU/Wis (B1G chmp), VaTech (ACC chmp), Louisville (BE chmp per ESPN standings), Houston (non-AQ in top 12 & conf chmp-- Boise is NOT MWC chmp so even though they're higher than Houston, Houston qualifies) :
NCG: LSU v. Alabama
Fiesta: Ok St (B12 champ) v. Stanford (at-large)
Sugar: Houston (non-AQ mandatory) v. Michigan (at-large)
Orange: Va Tech (ACC champ) vs. Lousiville (BE chmp)
Rose: Mich St / Wiscy / Penn St (B1G champ) v. Oregon (Pac12 chmp)
- LSU v. Alabama... I'm going say for simplicity sake, they both win out meaning LSU is the SEC champ, and 'Bama is the #2 team in the BCS.
- The Sugar gets one pick to replace LSU.... they take Houston who as commenter Mat points out, is a 40k member school just hours away from New Orleans.
- Then the regular slotting for 2012 takes over (fiesta, Sugar, Orange).. Fiesta takes a 1-loss Stanford with potential Heisman winner Andrew Luck in a regional play, the Sugar goes again and takes a 10-win Michigan team with three quality wins in a row and a fan base itching to get back to the big time. Orange takes the last at-large and gets Lousiville by default.
Who got screwed:
- Arkansas, a 2-loss SEC team who only lost to the #1 & #2 teams and is in the top 5 of the BCS can't go to a BCS game b/c of LSU & Alabama.
- Oklahoma, Boise St, Clemson... these teams were poised to take an at-large from Michigan.
- 2nd B1G team not named Michigan... Sparty could be in the unenviable spot that even though they beat Michigan in the regular season and got to the conf championship game, if they get spanked by, say Wisconsin on a revenge tour game, they do not look good as an at-large Michigan on awin streak against high profile programs (no, I'm not talking about you, Zooker)
Remaining items for Chaos:
- LSU v Arkansas: this has the most potential for upsetting the NCG, but in reality if Ark does beat LSU, all that means is that the one that emerges from the Ark/LSU/Ala triumverate to the SEC champ game goes to the NCG if they win and the 2-nd team in that threesome likely gets the 2 seed in the BCS standings. The SEC tiebreakers are so screwy (go read http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2011/11/20/2574943/bcs-rankings-standings-projections-predictions-week-13 for detailed explanations), it's going to a lot of backroom talking between voters to see who gets that little bump in BCS standings.
- Iron Bowl: Auburn could throw an even bigger monkey wrench in this if they somehow take down their rivals.... Bama loses and Arkansas wins, its chaos.
- SEC championship: If Georgia somehow beats the SEC West champ, no matter who it is, the entire system crashes into the goddamn mountain- aka the other conference commissioners might band together to change the system so one conference doesn't get 3 slots. This is the 3 SEC team scenario... let's say:
** LSU wins over Arkansas huge and 'Bama mops the floor with Auburn. Going into the SEC championship game, LSU and 'Bama are the undisputed #1 & #2 BCS teams by a wide margin in human polls and computers.
** LSU loses a controversial game in the SEC championship game. Think Spartan Bob type screwing in the Georgia Dome to a Georgia team. Finebaum show is packed for weeks with "Louie from Natchodoches" claiming LSU is still the #1 team in the country and it was a conspiracy by the state of Georgia to screw LSU. Legend and Jim from Crestwood counter with calls taunting LSU fans for losing that game and jumping LSU in the polls because 'Bama has 47 national titles (35 awarded from the Montgomery Free Press & Girl Scout Newsletter).
** Ok St loses to Oklahoma in Bedlam, eliminating the only real 1-loss contender from jumping 'Bama or LSU.
** LSU and Bama in some order come out #1 & #2 in BCS standings after all this, with Georgia the SEC champ. This means the SEC champ gets the automatic Sugar Bowl bid (UGa), LSU & Bama are in the NCG, and like Emeril saying 'BAM' you have 3 SEC teams in BCS bowl games, all played in New Orleans.
** If this happens, the variation to the BCS slots from above would see either Michigan or Houston getting shipped to the Fiesta and the other in the Sugar with Stanford booted out. Since Fiesta goes first with no team that the Sugar has to replace in the NCG, Fiesta picks Michigan over Stanford, and Houston goes to NOLa to play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Even without my maize & blue glasses, I think Michigan is more attractive than Stanford.
- Houston losing: If Houston drops a game, then it will be dogfight between Stanford, a 2nd B12 team, and maybe Va Tech if Clemson upsets Va Tech in the ACC championship for the open at-large slot vacated by Houston. TCU would need help to jump 4 BCS slots to get to #16 and clinch the BigEast sucks clause spot.
Per the sage words from Doc Saturday... rooting interest in the BCS? Chaos... always Chaos.
Besides a few minor individual rating changes, there's very little of note for the teams at the top of the Big Ten rankings this week. A lot of new commits for teams in the bottom half, however, including Illinois picking up four new commits to leap past Nebraska in the battle to stay out of last place. Action since last rankings:
11-6-11: Rivals just got around to posting this one, but Illinois picked up kicker Ryan Frian.
11-13-11: Minnesota picks up Jeremy Baltazar.
11-15-11: Iowa picks up Greg Mabin. Dominic Twitty decommits from Minnesota.
11-16-11: Northwestern picks up Eric Wilson. Indiana adds Shaine Boyle, David Cooper, and Tregg Waters. Iowa adds Daumantas Venckus. Illinois picks up Robbie Bain and Keith Brown.
11-17-11: Illinois picks up Lamar Atkins.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg||Avg Avg^|
*ESPN doesn't rate JuCos, so they are counted as unranked recruits for the sake of consistency (trust me, it makes sense when you look at the spreadsheet).
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (aka the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
On to the full data, after the jump.
“I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me down. It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day!”
Learn from yesterday...
First off I would like to give a shout-out to Nebraska fans everywhere, and sincerely say Welcome to the Big Ten. I had family members at the game yesterday, and between their accounts and what I have read in this space I would hope that Michigan Fans can hope to achieve the level of class that Nebraska fans epitomize.
This gravy is like a drug.
At some point in the third quarter I lost my mind and started calling every Michigan fan I know. It was like pinching myself repeatedly to make sure what I was experiencing was, in fact, real, and not just a defensive construct created by my brain to cope with the last few years. That game was epic and wonderful and tremendous even, but best of all it appeared to be part of a sustainable trend. This team is going to continue to rise, and it will be rising on the backs of the best coaching staff we have had in decades.
If Mattison can take this group of misfit athletes and create a fearsome defense, one can only imagine what he will do with the kind of talent Michigan is recruiting now. Michigan is 6th overall in scoring defense. They are showing sound fundamentals when tackling, wrapping up, forcing fumbles, all while shutting down one of the most potent rushing attacks in the country. Somebody, quick, pinch me again.
Borges deserves some praise here too. He still really, really wants this team to dominate from under center, this is clear. During yesterday's game though, whenever I watched Michigan get stuffed on first down from I-Form or Ace sets and muttered "Moar shotgun plz", the next play would be something from shotgun and would get Michigan's drive back on track more often than not. Borges probably could have gotten a win at Iowa, maybe even against Sparty, if he had gone with more shotgun earlier in the season. It is hard to blame the guy for going with what he knows though, and has the most faith in, when the chips are down. It appears that his faith is now in shotgun.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Brady Hoke. This guy has been the exact right fit from Day 1 on the job. Former players and coaches love him. His values are beyond reproach (seemingly at least, JoPa taught us all that you never can tell for sure). He is humble, doesn't pretend he knows it all, and surrounds himself with a staff that ensures success. He recruits astonishingly well. He has restored Michigan to the level fans are used to, and for that this fan at least is grateful.
Live for Today…
Several players/coaches should take particular pride in their accomplishments yesterday:
- Greg Mattison - The Michigan defense and coverage squads on special teams put on a tackling clinic. All three fumbles were the very definition of forced - putting a hat on the ball or punching it out. The containment was good all day, holding a potent Nebraska running game in check without having to dedicate safeties to do it. The zone blitzing is perhaps most impressive. I had fun trying to figure out who was going to rush and who was going to drop. I was always at least half-wrong.
- Fitz Toussaint - Fitz is making lateral moves that I just haven't seen from any Michigan back in recent memory. Mike Hart had the shiftiness, but lacked the size, acceleration and top-end speed that Toussaint has. Fitz is going to blow up the Big Ten next year - book it.
- Denard Robinson - The best game in a long time for our leader and best. Denard looked completely in control of the offense. He was patient, waiting for plays to develop before zinging a TD pass to Gallon or cutting behind his blockers for a TD on the ground. Best of all, Denard finally hit a receiver perfectly on an endzone bomb. He made some more questionable reads on the read option, but overall it was a great performance.
- Ryan Van Bergen - Only two tackles but one a sack and both were for a loss. RVB also recovered a fumble and was generally a disruptive force in the trenches. We are going to miss this guy.
- Brady Hoke - What I forgot to mention above it that Brady Hoke has huge brass balls. The difference between scoring 3 vs 7 points didn't seem like much to me at the time; either way it would be a 3 score lead. The deflating effect it had on Nebraska though, when that fake FG succeeded, I mean - to some extent that was where Michigan put the game away. Similarly though, if the play had not succeeded, it could have been a shot in the arm for Nebraska and the outcome might have been much different. I don't think I could have made that call in Hoke's shoes.
Also of note: Kovacs!!!, Martavious Odoms adds another TD, Will Campbell no longer looks lost, Linebackers - We Haz Them, Mike Martin is Mike Martin and is Awesome
Hope for Tomorrow
So now we have our 9 wins, a number that should serve to satisfy the expectations of all but the most insane Michigan fans. All of my recent experiences re: The Game force me to keep my feelings guarded. Putting too much emphasis on the outcome of the next tilt does the rest of this season a grave injustice. This is something I understand on a cognative level.
But in my heart I know that this is Michigan's time to shine. The point at which they turn the corner and never look back. The Ohio team Michigan faces is deeply flawed. This Michigan team is close to being among the best I have ever seen. Revenge, legitimacy, pride... so much is on the line that it is impossible to be satisfied. Michigan must protect their house - and show the world that good can indeed triumph over evil.
Let's finish this.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Go Blue and stay safe!
Every week, I like to have an intro paragraph to set the tone before linking to the boxscore. I have to admit, I was worried earlier this week that I wouldn’t have anything to write about due to this being the first time we’ve played Nebraska in a conference game. I was going to go with a story about my Grandma’s neighbor-boy, Nebras, until fate intervened.
During the week, the B1G coaches’ photo was shown and discussed on this here MGoBlog. I made a comment about not wanting to sit next to Brady Hoke on an airplane, because based on the way he was sitting in the photo, he’d take the armrest the whole flight. Wednesday, I took a flight to Colorado. It was a regional jet, with two seats on either side of the aisle. Sitting next to me was a nice lady, and her cat! Well, if there is one thing this blog is known for, it’s tremendous football analysis. If there are two things it’s known for, it’s tremendous football analysis and cat photos. Clearly, our feline overlords were trying to tell me something with this amazing coincidence. And that something, if I’m not mistaken, is that this diary NEEDS MOAR CAT PHOTOS!
Not the cat that sat next to me and took my armrest
Burst of Impetus
- We got out to a 10-0 lead, and I started thinking, maybe we can beat them like they beat MSU. I was thinking of a 17 to 21 point margin of victory. We were the favorites in the game. Sometimes the favorites actually win, that’s why they are called “favorites.” When Neb scored to make it 10-10, I thought, oh well, I guess it’s going to be a barn-burner. Then, Neb fumbled the opening kickoff of the 2ndhalf and we turned it into a woodshed game. It’s pretty great when the outcome exceeds your wildest imagination. 28 points? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
- In the first half, with us up 10-7, Denard threw an INT on a screen pass. I’m starting to think he’s too short to throw middle screens. Anyway, the defense responded with a Kovacs TFL, a Van Bergen pass deflection, and Demens and Martin tackling a WR on a screen for minimal yardage. It wasn’t quite the three-play sequence that bursted impetus against Illinois, but it reminded me of that. Neb had to settle for a 51 yard FG. Our defense basically said, we’ve got our O’s back.
- Denard maintained our momentum several times by scrambling. One such play caused Spielman to say, “We’re seeing burst,” which totally confused me. Does that statement go in this section, the Filthy section, or the Derpan Meyer section?
Trash Cans Full of Dirt
- Jake Ryan made yet another ankle tackle. Jake Ryan hates ankles like Taylor Lewan hates donkeys.
- Neb was 3 for 13 on 3rddown, and 0 for 2 on 4thdown.
- The D held Burkhead to 36 yards net rushing. I thought that guy got 100 on everybody.
- Kovacs lead us in tackles like Brian suggested, but he only got 7 because our defense was never on the field.
- 24 players showed up in the defensive stats. Floyd Simmons was tied for 5thin tackles with 3, because our defense was never on the field. Hollowell also had 3 tackles. If I’m not mistaken, those guys are primarily special teamers. When your special teams players are showing up in your top 7 tacklers, you know your defense was never on the field.
- Six TFLs were spread amongst six defenders, with Van Bergen leading the way with 2.
- Six passes were broken up, including one by J. Van Slyke, who has some wicked eye black.
- Denard was 11 for 18 passing for 180 yards and 2 TDs.
- He ran 23 times for 83 yards and 2 TDs.
- Touss gained 138 yards on 29 carries, and had 2 TDs.
- We scored a lot of TDs and ran a lot of plays.
- First downs were 24 for M, 11 for Neb.
- Total offensive plays were 80 for Michigan to 54 for Neb. This was a dominating performance. WE ARE GOOD!
Big John R. Studd Referee Section
- It was D. Lipski’s crew this week. He seemed a bit talkative, but otherwise they did a nice job.
- We got 4 first downs from penalties to Neb’s zero. Yeah, the refs did a fine job.
- We committed 5 penalties to Neb’s 8, costing us 45 yards and Neb 73.
- In a closer game, the roughing the punter penalty on Neb could give Big Red fans cause to complain, but I’m sure Hagerup’s big toe is going to have one nasty bruise on it tomorrow. Was that Oscar-worthy? It drew a flag, which is fine by me, because I root for Michigan.
- Gallon was again the leading receiver with 3 grabs for 34 yards and a TD.
- Odoms had 2 catches for 47 yards and a TD. For whatever reason, we are a better team with him in there.
- UofM had American flag patches on our jerseys. I don’t recall hearing what the reason for this was. I did miss the last 20 minutes of game commentary because Dad called. It’s nice when you have a 21 point lead and can turn the sound down and talk to Dad about the game and sitting next to a cat lady on a plane.
- It appeared that this was a pom-pom game like the UTL game. The pom-poms seemed much more ferocious at night.
- 7A Brandin Hawthorne had 2 tackles and 2H Matt Cavanaugh had 1.
- Derpan Meyer was asked about the Meyer to OSU rumors. He denied there was an offer, (wink, wink) and denied he had accepted it (wink, wink.) While that may be true, if Luke Fickell shows up next week wearing a black suit and a fedora, I will sh!t myself.
- Lee Corso would like to apologize for the profanity used in the previous bullet.
- While making his pre-game picks, Corso said, Ahhh, F%$* it. Herbie (and I) could only laugh. Midway through the first quarter, Corso interrupted our game to read a hastily written apology. I don’t think ESPN can (or should) get fined for spontaneous verbal gaffes like that, but what happened to the dump button?
- Dave Pasch, Urban Meyer, Chris Spielman and Quint Kessenich did the game for ESPN. At this point, shouldn’t Dave consider getting an apartment in Ann Arbor?
- Early in the game, Neb broke up a pass. One of the announcers said, “this is what Nebraska does best.” The thought that popped into my mind was, “get away with pass interference?” After two such plays (including yet another jersey pull), Roundtree caught a deep ball and Neb complained that he interfered. Can’t have it both ways, guys.
- After Denard threw an interception, Derpan Meyer said he would take him out. Spielman said he would leave him in because of his game-breaking abilities. Denard responded by leading a nice TD drive. Maybe osu should hire Spielman as their next coach instead of Urban.
- The announcers thought Kovacs was acting a little when injured to slow down Neb’s hurry up offense. For the record, he stayed out for the duration of that series, so I don’t think he was faking. Screw you Urban Paschman for suggesting such a thing.
We Haz Special Teams
- Net yards per kickoff were 44.5 for Neb and 44.8 for Michigan. Basically that’s a push, except we didn’t fumble two of our returns.
- Net yards per punt were slightly in Neb’s favor, 40.5 to 34, with 2 Neb punts inside the 20.
- Gibbons made his season long FG of 42 yards, and then missed one of 42 yards after the game had been decided. Needless to say, this is light years improved over last year.
- Dileo picked up a first down on a fake FG.
- Josh Furman blocked a punt. The Neb punter bobbled the snap, but Furman still had to get there and he did.
- Neb TE Jake Long was called for a holding penalty. ~110,000 Michigan fans thought, “TE Jake Long, we cheered for Jake Long, we knew Jake Long, Jake Long was a friend of ours. TE Jake Long, you’re no Jake Long.”
- Neb dropped several passes, just like Brian said they would. Thanks, Brian.
- Even though Neb KR Kenny Bell fumbled a kick return, you have to give him credit for having a tremendous afro.
- Lavonte David had 17 tackles. I could have sworn it was in the 30s. They have 1 special defensive player and 10 meh guys. It was clear they were missing Crick.
Random, as Yet Unnamed, Bullets
- The time of possession was 41:13 for Michigan, and 18:39 for Neb. I’m in the TOP is an effect of playing well, not a cause camp, but whichever camp you’re in, 41 minutes is awesome.
- There were several interesting matchups, including Denard vs. Dennard, Martin vs. Martinez, and Burkhead vs. VanBergenhead (a boy can dream, right?) Nebraska’s defense starts a “Steinkulher” which set up a great “Steinkuhler vs. Pooper Cooler” matchup when they played the buckeyes.
- The scoreboards weren’t working. This lead to a delay of game penalty on our offense that could have been an important momentum changer. Fortunately, we still ended up scoring, but I want to see more working scoreboards and less Dave Brandon on the sidelines. Dave, your job is getting the facilities right. Leave the sideline stuff to the coaches. The fans counted down the play clock several times to help out Denard and the offense.
- While we were beating Neb to hand the Legends Division to MSU, Sparty was playing Indiana for the Old Bronze Spittoon. I finally understand the bronze, green and black unis that sparty broke out as their throw-up jerseys. It’s an homage to their key cross-division rival, Indiana. Going forward, it’s really unfair that they get to beat up on Indiana, the worst team historically in the B1G, while we get to play osu every year.
- UofM and Neb are 1 and 4 in all-time wins, which makes this victory a little bit sweeter.
- Lloyd Brady was shown several times. On a couple occasions, I could swear he was dancing. Yes, it was that kind of day.
- When I think of NU, I think of Northwestern. Since they have B1G seniority over Nebraska, they should get the NU acronym. That leaves either UNL or Neb for Nebraska. UNL makes them sound like University of Michigan – Flint, i.e., not the flagship university of Nebraska. (How did flag ships get associated with universities?) That leaves Neb, which reminds me of the Yiddish word, Nebbish. Merriam-Webster’s definition of nebbish is: “a timid, meek, or ineffectual person.” After a 45-17 spanking at the hands of MEEECHIGAN, that seems appropriate.
- I wrote half of this before I even looked at the boxscore. This game just provided sooooo much material. I haz a happee.