MGoBlog user the fume suggested in the comments of my last diary that Kovacs' interception in the 2nd quarter came from the same defensive play call that led to Notre Dame's final score, so I thought that I'd satisfy my own curiosity and look at that play too.
It's 3rd and 9 at the 36 yard line, ND 14-UM 0. Michigan brings all of its defensive personnel to within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage, with three down linemen (Black, MM, RVB), three linebackers (Hawthorne, Demens, Ryan) and five defensive backs (Avery, Gordon, Robinson?, Kovacs, Floyd). Here's the look:
Rees checks into a new play. This is the play he checks into:
He's focused in on Floyd at the bottom of the screen. Michigan, however, is going to rush 3 and drop 8 into coverage. It's a 3-deep zone coverage with five players in the short zones:
The pressure on the defense will come at the bottom of the screen, since the slot receiver will run a seam route straight up the hash marks, and Floyd is running a 12 yard curl route. Although the seam route is open, Rees apparently expects man coverage, as he seems to have decided already to throw it to Floyd.
The seam route is open. If Rees sees it, it's probably a touchdown. Note that the safety playing the center of the field is at the 44 yard, on the other hash marks, running like crazy up field. He's the only defender who has a chance at preventing a touchdown if Rees sees the seam.
But Rees is staring at Floyd, and Kovacs is watching Rees' eyes. Here's what it looks like when Rees starts to throw, with Black breathing down his neck. Note how open the slot receiver still is.
Rees compounds his error by making a poor throw too far inside. I suppose he thinks that Kovacs is running with the slot receiver and that Floyd will be wide open.
The result: Kovacs makes the pick.
It's a great play by Kovacs. This defense clearly has a problem, however. The player who plays the center deep third of the field needs to turn at the snap and get deep. He doesn't have time to survey the field and adjust his position. Here it's even worse than on the touchdown in the fourth quarter, as the deep center defender is on the opposite side of the formation from the receiver he needs to cover.
As several people commented, Mattison is not adverse to taking risks with his defensive play-calling to generate turnovers and uncertainty. Sometimes, as here, it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But I think all of us are happier with this approach than the very passive approach taken by the past coaching regime.
Here's the video (1:00 mark):
[Ed: Bump. I am not entirely sure I want to ride again. A nice, relaxing weekend against Eastern sounds pretty good right about now.]
I wanna ride again!
Words can't describe it
So here's a graph:
This is a graph of what I thought our chances of winning were throughout the game. That really erratic part at the end is the reason why my neighbors knew I was watching a sporting event.
I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said, and I don't know where to start. All I know is that it was amazing, and horrifying, and awesome, and I wish I had been there. So I guess I'll just start at the beginning.
Buckle in kids, this is going to be a long ride (warning some NSFW language).
Maybe? I don't know. Home field, under the lights, Brady Hoke's Magical Golden Poop. So what if they got higher rated recruits and have had an extra year of experience in that system. We got Denard and Mattison, so the defense CAN'T POSSIBLY be as bad as last year. With so many unknowns, it might as well be a coin toss, but vegas favored ND. Vegas is almost always wrong in this series.
Three and out on the opening drive, no reason to panic yet.
Desmond Morgan didn't look very good early. He started the game with 2 missed tackles in 2 plays
[Ed-M: We're doing more breaks so you don't have to scroll so much. Much more after the jump]
I posted the diary I Feel Sorry For Those NOT Passionate About Sports on September 13, 2009 after Michigan beat ND 38-34 with just 0:11 seconds left on the clock.
After Saturday's game, it is definitely time for a reprise.
After our final touchdown Saturday as I jumped up and down yelling like a crazy man and giving high fives to everyone in sight, I was overcome by a feeling of complete euphoria (an intense, transcendent happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of well-being).
This, of course, was not the first time I have felt this or the most pervasive feeling of euphoria I have had. It has happened dozens and dozens of times. But, I realize that virtually all of the times I have felt this way, it was because of my passion for sports (primarily U/M sports).
I have friends who question my sanity because I am so passionate about Michigan football. When I tell them every fall I will be gone most weekends for the next 3 months, they look at me in a very strange way. When I explain that I can’t go biking or kayaking or whatever because the M away game is on TV, they roll their eyes.
On Sunday morning as I prepared to drive the 250 miles north to our home in Boyne City, a thought snuck into my mind. How do all the people who are NOT passionate about sports experience life?
I have experienced many moments of joy and euphoria – my wedding(s), the birth of my children, my children's weddings, birth of grandchildren, a beautiful sunset, etc. But, almost every other human being has also experienced those very same things in their own lives.
There are less than 114,000 human beings on the planet that will ever completely lose their minds in happiness and experience the euphoria I felt on Saturday.
Are there really 100’s of millions of Americans (and literally billions in other countries) who have never experienced the overwhelming euphoria that I (and many others) had experienced less than 12 hours ago? Is that really possible? Do they actually go through life without ever totally losing their minds in happiness and joy? How do they survive?
Really, I mean that: How do they survive?
So I am going to need some advice on what to get my wife as this is what she wrote me for my surprise 30th birthday present.
Twas four months and the night before daddy’s birthday and all through the house,
Connor and mommy were stirring, even Mickey Mouse;
Like many of you I couldn't sleep after the crazy comeback win against Notre Dame on Saturday night. I had to do something with all that excess energy so here's your season schedule wallpaper.
Like last year's Heisman Candidate Edition, the Night Game Victors Edition Denard Robinson Action Figure project was an audible. I wasn't planning to create another wallpaper until the Michigan State game (and definitely was NOT going to revisit the action figure since it almost killed me last time) but with the last minute heroics and surprisingly-great-looking-on-the-team-as-apposed-to-at-M-Den legacy uniforms it didn't feel like I had a choice. Seconds after the game ended I raised an eyebrow at my wife and she said, "I figured. Go ahead, I'm heading to bed."
My daughter offered some enthusiastic support as I was wrapping this up on Sunday (she was drawing pictures of Denard at her little desk next to mine) and my wife helped with choices for some of the details like the small parts warning and edition number.
How it was made
I started with my original Denard Robinson action figure and modified it (in Photoshop) to match the Adidas legacy uniforms. The original was based on a Tom Brady action figure and got me into a funny legal situation with some lawyers who thought I was manufacturing them. I wasn't and I don't intend to despite the protestations of my children. "Kids, that would be illegal and besides, our home-based factory is not yet fully operational."
I screen captured the action figure modifications and box creation but it turns out that my usually dependable software has an obscure bug that cost me 75% of what I had recorded. At some time in the future (or in the past if I can get the DeLorean running) I will go back and record the layer build for both versions of the action figure. It won't be as good as seeing the whole process but it will be better than nothing.
The images below are previews only. You can get the widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
This disclaimer works 50% of the time all of the time
There is no actual action figure for sale. The action figure does not exist; it was created digitally. I'm offering free downloads of the artwork for your personal use.
Not a whole lot going on this week on the recruiting front (besides Michigan grabbing Dymonte Thomas, but that doesn't factor in here). The rankings are probably due for an overhaul, but I will tackle that next week when the weekend is hopefully a little less eventful. Action since last rankings:
9-7-11: Purdue gains commitment from Jordan Woods.
9-8-11: Indiana gains commitment from Dante Blackmon.
9-11-11: Minnesota gains commitments from Jamel Harbison and Barrington Morris.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte (Minnesota), Darius Stroud (Indiana), Steffon Martin and Devin Smith (Purdue) are exluded from their respective team averages.
On to the full data, after the jump.
|#1 Michigan - 22 Commits|
No change for the Wolverines.
|#2 Notre Dame - 14 Commits|
No change for the Irish, except the crushing of their souls.
|#3 Penn State - 17 Commits|
No change for the Nittany Lions.
|#4 Ohio State - 12 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#5 Michigan State - 14 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
|#6 Wisconsin - 10 Commits|
No change for the Badgers.
|#7 Indiana - 18 Commits|
The Hoosiers pick up unrated cornerback Dante Blackmon.
|#8 Northwestern - 16 Commits|
Mike McHugh gets a two-star rating from Scout. Joseph Jones gets two stars from ESPN.
|#9 Iowa - 10 Commits|
No change for the Hawkeyes.
|#10 Minnesota - 20 Commits|
The Gophers land Jamel Harbison and Barrington Morris. Isaac Fruechete earns two stars from Rivals.
|#11 Purdue - 16 Commits|
The Boilermakers pick up Ann Arbor Skyline wideout Jordan Woods. Devin Smith, Steffon Martin, and Carlos Carvajal all pick up three stars from Rivals, and Carvajal also gets a three-star ranking from ESPN.
|#12 Nebraska - 6 Commits|
Still no change for the Huskers. This is getting somewhat ridiculous.
|#13 Illinois - 8 Commits|
No new commits for the Illini.