Mike Lantry, 1972
Two games down. Now it's a trip to South Bend to take on the Irish, where Notre Dame does it's talking on the field, without excuses of course.
@ Notre Dame -- Sept. 13, 3:30 PM
Utah is a quality opponent, I don't think many people would say otherwise. Notre Dame, however, is UM's first "big" game. In my opinion, Utah is better, but this is Notre Dame - Michigan, at South Bend, when the Irish should be 1-0. You have the winning percentage battle, Notre Dame trying to bounce back from its horrible season, Michigan trying to avoid a similar fall from grace under a new coach, and Weis's "to hell with Michigan" comments to boot.
It's hard to tell what the progression of Michigan's new offense will be, but with a couple tough defenses to start the year, it could just be in South Bend that they start to click. Notre Dame's rush defense was awful last year, and won't be helped by the departure of Trevor Laws. The secondary is supposed to be good, but without Darrin Walls, and after losing Zbikowski (DYK he is a boxer?!) I'm not sold. Notre Dame was second in the nation in pass defense last year, but I'm not sure how tough it is to defend the pass when most teams only have to throw the ball for the first half to build a big lead, and the rest of the teams are service academies that don't throw the ball. Ever.
Even if Michigan hasn't fallen into rhythm offensively, they should be able to move the ball on the ground. Crum is a good linebacker, but he is the only returning starter at LB and one of only two returning starters in the front seven. The young guys, however, are part of some of these highly touted Weis recruiting classes, so we'll see how they develop.
The offense shouldn't need to put up a whole lot of points to win this game. Last season, the Irish offensive line was just plain horrible, giving up 58 sacks, to lead the nation, and win our hearts. At least they can keep Michigan honest with the run, right? Nah, not so much. 2.1 yards per carry and a cloud of dust was their policy last season, which actually may not be all that bad after 58 sacks.
Perennial Heisman hopeful Jimmah Clausen is back at the helm this year. Expect to see him on his back. A lot. And possibly crying. Again, there is plenty of young talent on the offense, but it will come down to giving Clausen some time, and with the blitzing linebackers, combined with the matadors on the O-line, it just isn't going to happen.
One of these young talents to keep an eye on is wideout Duval Kamara. At 6'5" about 210 lbs, he creates a matchup concern with Trent (6'1") and Warren (6') and could be the prime target for some quick passes from Clausen.
Special teams have not been good to Notre Dame recently, and if this thing comes down to the kicking game, Michigan gets a distinct advantage, as Irish kicker Brandon Walker was 1-7 from 30+ yards out last season. I don't see this one coming down to kicking though, as 21 points will probably be enough to win it.
I was lucky enough to be in South Bend two years ago for Michigan's huge win (I even got a picture with Jarrett Irons!!!) and hope to be back again to watch the Wolverines improve to 3-0!
COACH RODRIGUEZ, I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL AND ANGRY MICHIGAN SAFETY-HATING GOD (named as such by Brian Cook at MGoBlog, which you should read every day there is new content.)
COACH RODRIGUEZ, YOU SHALL OBEY THESE COMMANDMENTS, CONVENIENTLY WRITTEN IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE. IF YOU DO SO, I SHALL MELLOW OUT A BIT AND NOT REDUCE YOUR SAFETIES’ KNEES TO WARM RICOTTA CHEESE.
- THOU SHALT RUN A CLEAN PROGRAM. My people do not like NCAA sanctions one bit. For My sakes, we aren’t Alabama. Thou shalt keep it clean, or thou will be smote down with extreme prejudice, including any Ed Martin-types standing in your smoting radius. My people like to think of our program as being honorable, except in recruiting when My people secretly like to see Wilford Brimley frothing.
- THOU SHALT WIN FOOTBALL GAMES. That is thine calling. Get to it.
- THOU SHALT BE A POSITIVE FORCE IN THE PLAYERS’ LIVES. My players should be better off in life having been through thine program. Though that doesn’t always mean getting a degree, it often does. My people want their heroes to be prosperous and successful. Thou shouldst not even consider winning a Fulmer Cup.
- THOU SHALT KEEP TRADITIONS AND STREAKS ALIVE. My people love streaks and traditions of all kinds. Appearances in bowl games, beating Indiana and Penn State, the #1 jersey, record home crowds, the Go Blue banner, non-losing seasons, the Winged Helmet, thou nameth the streak or tradition and My people loveth it.
- THOU SHALT PREVAIL OVER RIVALS. This means over half the time defeating the hated Buckeyes, two out of three against the current Irish regime, and four out of five against Little Brother.
- THOU SHALT NOT BLOW 4TH QUARTER LEADS. My people liketh safety and security, and are not constitutionally equipped to handle late blown leads well. Play good solid defense, and be better conditioned than thine enemy. Scoring early and often also helps.
- THOU SHALT NEVER COACH WITH ARROGANCE. Arrogance is the job of My people, particularly when bossing around their Spartan brethren at work. Understanding that, no sitting starters against a spunky FCS team. No pretending you have talent that meets what thoust wisheth the gameplan to be. No telling the other team exactly what thoust is going to do, then being shocked when they adapt and it doesn’t work. No assuming that all will be OK if you recruit better than the other guy. Take nothing for granted, or incur my wrathful wrath cupcake, covered with little wrath sprinkles!
- THOU SHALT NEVER INTRODUCE MAIZE JERSEYS IN A GAME. This is an abomination against all that is holy, and a bullshit gimmick to boot. Let Notre Dame keep getting beatdowns while wearing a goofy-colored jersey. My people like to win, but prefer to win with class. A bright yellow jersey does not have class.
- THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY FORM OF MASCOT. A live Wolverine mascot would be acceptable if it could be trained to rip up stuffed animals in the likeness of the opposing team’s mascot, but that’s not very likely. Then again, maybe Barwis can work that miracle. Did you know he raised wolves?
- THOU SHALT RECRUIT PLAYERS WITH FUNNY NAMES. Shavodrick Beaver is an excellent start. Thoust has a standard to live up to, with Elvis Grbac, Zoltan Mesko, Tshimanga Biakabutuka, and the Sword/Irons/Payne/Steele grouping, among many others. “Dingle/Berry” having consecutive jersey numbers so they would be in proper order in a numerical roster leads me to believe thoust understands this Commandment well.
SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE.
(Also, shouldst thou ever run across Reggie Ho in thy travels, please kindly let me know so that I can smite his puppies.)
seems former wolverine and current packer charles woodson has his own purple drank...
but the nfl isn't particularly happy since they have a policy against any endorsement of alchohol by players...http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807190370
guess he's joining the ranks but likely a higher price point than that other "2" Chuck
Hey there...was wondering if anyone has downloaded the rosters to their XBox 360 for NCAA 2009...would love to get them from you if you have. Don't have a memory card/the converter thingy, etc. Anyway, I think this involves being someone's "buddy" or something on there. The gamertag (is that what it's called?) profile name that me and my roommate use is "n00b voracity." (Yes, that is a nod to a certain blog we all know and love). Anyway, it would be great to grab those rosters- especially the U of M one. Oh, and we could obviously square off in a game. Hope someone replies!