[Ed: You know, I was going through my VOAV stuff today and ran across this from Boyz in the Pahokee, which is everything I was going to post, so here's the bump. Still looking for Denard's post-game Sportscenter interview.]
Al Lesar's lede from his column in this morning's South Bend Tribune:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Retro jerseys obviously didn’t fit well. Collars were too tight.
So I made an "Inside the Box Score" post last Sunday and it was reasonably well received, so let's do this again.
First, the link thingy:
Last week, I mentioned that I was going to be paying attention to the 2nd quarter this year, as we routinely lost the 2nd quarter last season. Jamiemac picked up the theme by making the 2nd quarter score one of his prop bets. A quick glance at the box score shows we won the 2nd quarter 7-3, and after the rough first quarter, that was huge in keeping us in the game. Look a little deeper, though, and you'll see that we ended the 1st quarter with Denard's first interception, giving the Irish a short field to start the 2nd quarter. This was a recipe for disaster last year. Instead, with the Irish starting at OUR 39 yard line (you almost don't need a 1st down to get in FG range) our defense stiffened and forced them into a 3 and out. Three plays, 2 yards, after getting 140 yards on 17 plays in the 1st quarter. That stopped their momentum enough to keep us in the game.
Other items of interest:
* Net yards per kickoff: ND 49.3, UofM 45.3. This was much improved over last week when WMU had a 15 yard per kickoff advantage over us. I did go back and watch our first kickoff last week, and it appeared that Woolfolk was playing the deep safety on the kickoff. The guy who is supposed to run down the returner if said returner gets through the first line. If Woolfolk has the best combination of speed and tackling on the team, I can't fault them for playing him there. It really shouldn't be that much of an injury-risk, but this is football, and those things happen. The kickoff disparity COULD HAVE been huge at the end as the Irish started their last drive on their 39, while we started at the 20. I thought it was going to take a miracle to go 80 yards in 23 seconds (after the first incompletion) and that is exactly what Denard and Gallon produced on the 64 yard play. It called to mind the AC play against Indiana. Instead of going Hail Mary, you throw a 20 yarder and get YAC.
* Gallon and Smith, two players who receive more than their fair share of criticism, combined for 4 receptions, 104 yards receiving, and 2 TDs. And they handled the punt and kick returns flawlessly.
* We had 22 players show up on the defensive statistics section, similar to last week. Although a lot of last night's seemed to be special teams or from our turnovers. It was nice to see our leading tackler be a LB, but the next two were safeties. BWC didn't record a tackle, but he showed up in the box score for recovering a fumble, and he showed up in the box score indirectly by forcing an ND holding penalty. Which leads me to this:
* Penalties: ND 9 for 75, UofM 9 for 82. After a 1 penalty game last week, and a good start to last night's game, we started racking up the defensive penalties, some of which were actually earned. I think those refs throwback hats were a size too small, but I'm not one to complain about officials.
* First downs: ND 28, UofM 16. How the F did we win that game? Oh yeah,
* Turnovers: ND 5, UofM 3. Gotta win the TO battle. Apparently, UofM's stat sheet is crediting the Irish with a fumbled kick return on the last play. And,
* Yards per play: ND 7.1, UofM 9.0. I guess you don't need many first downs when you are averaging 30.7 yards per completion. ND was playing break-but-don't-bend. They stuffed our run (except for Denard) and matched up one-on-one with Hemingway, Gallon, and Roundtree. We played a mixture of defenses, sometimes blitzing (ouch on the upcoming RPS numbers) sometimes doubling Floyd, but generally giving different looks. I couldn't keep track of how many times the play clock got down to 1 second for ND. At one point, I screamed at the TV, "Hey REES, you are not Peyton Manning, snap the damn ball." They ended up using a lot of timeouts and I think that helped us out.
* Attendance: 114,804 (yes, they put the attendance in the box score.) I believe that's a record of some sort. While I was watching out here in Southern California, my brother and his wife were rocking with the students in section 29. He reports that the pom-poms sucked, and I'm generally not a fan of the pom-pom, but I think they looked good last night.
* The referee's name (what don't they put in the boxscore?) was T. Tomczyk, the same as my uncle before his last name was Americanized. After last night, I think we can agree, Notre Dame has been Denardized, AGAIN!
[Ed-M: Gord morning. No it wasn't a dream. Read this. Also: AIIIIIIIIIEEE!!!]
I was curious to see what Mattison dialed up on Notre Dame's last score, to see what he was trying to accomplish and what went wrong. Here is what it looked like:
If you count Michigan and ND's players, you get to 10: there must be another WR at the bottom of the screen, covered by Troy Woolfolk. Michigan has everyone near the line of scrimmage, but the call is actually a Cover 3 and they will rush three defensive linemen, leaving 5 players to play the short zones:
I think that Woolfolk's assignment is the deep third at the bottom of the screen, but thanks to ESPN we can't see him. Here is what the defense looks like right after the snap:
You can see the three rushers, four of the five short defenders, and two of the three guys trying to get deep.
Notre Dame is going to run the following play:
Floyd is in the slot, and is presumably Rees's main target since it is third down and they need to convert (although it is obviously four-down territory).
The result of the play we all know.
(The play starts at 2:24)
I don't know anything about football beyond watching and reading mgoblog and smart football, but I think the idea of the call is this: by putting all our defenders close to the line of scrimmage, to bully ND into checking into a play that involves a quick pass (remember it's 3rd and 5). Then you rush 3, flood five players into the short zones, hopefully allowing you to break up the pass or make a tackle before the first down markers. The problem was that Rees didn't force it to Floyd, who was covered by Jake Ryan; instead he threw long, and Woolfolk and Marvin Robinson don't cover Theo Riddick.
I think that Mattison's call was sound; either Woolfolk or Robinson should have had Riddick (although it's hard to be sure since we can't see the whole field on ESPN's feed). The problem is, as Dr Saturday and Chris Brown of Smart Football pointed out,
So what did everybody do tonight? I know what I am not doing. I am not sleeping, that's what. It's too tough to sleep when you cant stop laughing.
Other than, you know, winning did Michigan do anything well tonight? To quote Bob Ufer, 'who gives a damn'
The Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry. Where 14-0 leads go to die. And where Underdogs happen.
Hey, Elno. I quoted Raised On Robbery in my MGoDiary. I think that was appropriate in retrospect. CAW
You know what that was? I'll tell you what that was right now: IT WAS THE MOTHERFUCKING LLOYD CARR GAME MANAGEMENT PLAN THAT RICH RODRIGUEZ NEVER READ BECAUSE KIRK FERENTZ STOLE IT TO BOSS THE BIG 10 FOR A COUPLE YEARS UNTIL BRADY HOKE WON IT BACK DURING THE COACHES WRESTLING TOURNAMENT AT THE BIG 10 MEETINGS THIS SUMMER
Apparently, it still works like a charm. Even the Les Miles section was dusted off.
Ferentz, I guess, is already in trouble without it
Actually, wait a sec, do those points MICH scored in the fourth quarter really count. I mean, they were down 17, I thought we learned a year ago that at that point whatever happens isnt relevant to form. So, Notre Dame won, right? HALOL
The Cubs were World Series Champs last time MICH beat Notre Dame three years in a row. I was not alive then. Fuck The Irish
Denard Robinson is Spanish for 30 seconds is too much time to leave on the clock
Somebody tweet something about Jeremy Gallon right quick
Vincent Smith. Its funny how internet posters hate him, but coaches love him.
OT: The Tigers Magic Number is in single digits
I really dont have anything smart to say. This all just an excuse to create a party diary. The stadium was beautiful tonight. The players fought their asses off. Somehow they won. Go Blue.
Let The Good Times Roll
A comfortable warm start to the first ever Big House night game, looking at 71 degrees for the kick off and a light breeze out of the SSE. Some of you eager tailgaters (or those of you who spent the night camped out to get a spot near ESPN's tent) saw some showers come through the area. We are going to see that rain shift southward, particularly south of I-94, as the remnants of what was tropical storm Lee finally push out towards the northeast. Shower chances will continue to decrease throughout the evening and overnight but the clouds will stick around. For halftime we'll drop just a little into the mid 60s, keeping a very calm wind out of the SE, and unfortunately there is still that slight chance of small shower passing through the area. As you leave the stadium tonight (to celebrate the win of course) temperatures will still be in the low 60s, and stay there through last call. The further North you are, the lesser chance you have of cloud cover and/or rain, but the lower your temperatures will be.
Enjoy the game and Go Blue!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
September 10, 2011. Notre Dame at Michigan. 8:00 pm EST.
We've all had this game circled for months, ever since Brandon's announcement or perhaps the soft unveil of the mash jerseys thanks to 'You're Turning Violet Violet' Brian Kelly's not-so-subtle slip during their own press conference.
Either way, this game is a spectacle, and we're essentially the top story of the college football weekend. Gameday, primetime crew, etc. Been a long time since we've heard Musberger, right?
I spent parts of yesterday watching BTN's replay of the '97 and '99 ND games, and I admit I kind of forgot how enjoyable the late 90's Wolverines were. And not because I knew the outcomes. It was about pride. Swarming defenses. Chuck's intimidating ownership of, well, the entire field. An arrogant confidence in the offense's will to win. A-Train.
It was about pride.
It's been some journey since those days, and not necessarily the best journey. But here we are, back in the spotlight of college football and in an opportunity to announce the close of the misery that has hung over Ann Arbor since, well, the horror.
Let it be about pride tonight. GO BLUE.
The artwork above was created by yours truly this summer in hopes of being granted that most magical of things, an official license by the university and ultimately a t-shirt available for sale. Unfortunately, Adidas (technically, it's adidas) basically swallowed the entire night game and stamped it with the 'Under the Lights' moniker. I really wanted this one to see the light of day, but ah well-- hope you enjoy the glimpse of it. Wear the MGoShirts tonight!!!