well that's just, like, your opinion, man
Over at 247 Sports, coach Tyrone Wheatley is now ranked as the #1 recruiter.
Partridge at #9, Drevno at #51, Brown at #86, Mattison at # 98, Fisch #113.
The ranking system doesn't make any sense to me, but it's obvious that OSU recruiting is inferior to UM's. Luke Fickel and Zach Smith both ranked #421 with ZERO points! Chode juggling slackers...
He'll officially be serving his 4 game suspension.
He announced this via twitter just a bit ago.
I was looking through some memorabilia the other day and I came across George Cantor's book that recapped the 1997 championship season. In light of the new allegations from Penn State and our misery over them probably never being kicked out of the conference, I thought the Judgment Day game would be fun to revisit. This game was epic. Please share your own memories from it. Where did you watch it? Who did you watch it with? etc.
(Since these are Cantor's words and not mine, I'm posting this recap here instead of in the diaries section.)
Joe Pa was now seventy years old. He had been at Penn State since 1966, prowling the sidelines with his scowl, his dark glasses, his suit, and white socks. His team had been the preseason number one pick and had beaten Ohio State in a strong come from behind win against a top defense. The Lions had surprisingly struggled against Minnesota and Northwestern, however, but were still ranked second. Moreover, for the first time ever, Paterno would not have a week off to prepare for the Michigan game. That had been a sore point in Ann Arbor, and there was much grumbling over how a supposedly neutral computer could always spit out a schedule giving Paterno that extra week. But not this time.
“We don’t have to prepare for them; they have to prepare for us,” shrugged Penn State fullback Anthony Cleary.
The networks had a field day building it up, in the manner of a bad heavyweight fight. They called it Judgment Day. This Saturday was not only Michigan and Penn State playing for the Rose Bowl and a possible national title. It was also third ranked Florida State playing similarly unbeaten North Carolina for the ACC title and national ranking.
In the Michigan-Penn State game, the experts liked Penn State. Home field. Proven coach. Very confident team.
Quarterback Mike McQueary said that Penn State had played tougher games in the fourth quarter than Michigan and that could mean the difference. As for the self-acknowledged best player in the country, McQueary had no problem with Charles Woodson.
“We’re Penn State and we’re not the kind of team that shies away from any particular player,” said McQueary. “We’ll go right at him. You can’t go around him or hope to avoid him and cut off half the field on yourself. We’ll be careful with the ball and know what he can do. He’s a great athlete and a great corner, but certainly we’re going to challenge him.”
As it turned out, McQueary was not going to be in the position to challenge anybody. Not on this Judgment Day.
By the end of the first quarter you could walk down Church Street in Ann Arbor and hear the screaming coming from every house. Any student who couldn’t make the trip to State College was in front of the television set. And they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Everybody knew the Michigan defense was good. But no one could have dreamed it was this good. It took an offense averaging 465 yards a game and blew it to smithereens. Aside from an occasional burst by its great running back, Curtis Enis, the Nittany Lions were helpless. Everything they tried was demolished.
Michigan had taken the kickoff and moved close enough for a field goal. Penn State then got the ball on its own 25. Offensive Coordinator Fran Ganter tried to do what seemed logical: make Michigan’s defensive aggressiveness work against itself.
His first scripted play was a pass off a fake reverse. Michigan, meanwhile, had shifted just before the snap into a five-man rush, a defensive alignment used with devastating success by the Chicago Bears during their Super Bowl season of 1985. The offensive line, believing it had all rushers accounted for, found itself overwhelmed. Before quarterback McQueary could turn from the fake reverse, Glen Steele was on top of him. He yanked the quarterback to the ground for a 10-yard loss.
All at once, it was very quiet at Happy Valley. And on Church Street, the noise rolled in waves from every open window.
After a running play, McQueary tried again. This was a simple drop back pass, but this time Juaquin Feazell was on top of him at once. Seven-yard loss.
Right there, it was finished. McQueary never seemed able to recover psychologically from this initial onslaught. He would pass for just 68 yards, convert no third downs. He played tentatively, as if he fully expected to have Michigan players dropping on him from the sky every time he moved.
The Michigan offense seemed to feed off what it saw happening on the field. Using the ball control game to perfection, Brian Griese took them down the field one time after another.
First it was Anthony Thomas rushing in from the 12.
Then it was Woodson coming in to grab a 33-yard scoring pass.
Then it was Griese finding his favorite target, Jerame Tuman, from the 8.
By halftime it was 24-0, the biggest lead ever run up against a Paterno team at home.
But it didn’t stop there. Chris Howard burst open on a 29-yard dash. Then another field goal by Kraig Baker. Now it was 34-0. The Michigan offensive line was ripping huge holes in the Lions’ defense. Howard finished with 120 yards and even Griese, not the nimblest runner around, got 46. When he passed, Griese was 14 of 22, picking the secondary apart with his quick, surgical strikes.
Finally, with nothing left to dispute, Penn State scored. It was the first touchdown Michigan had allowed all year in the second half.
“We didn’t like that,” said Marcus Ray. “We really, really didn’t like that. But honestly, this wasn’t easy. It was a matter of preparation. We came in here prepared to dominate.”
“It didn’t get any better than the Penn State game,” says Sam Sword. “We gave them absolutely nothing to cheer about. That was the culmination. All year long, the coaches had been challenging us. They kept talking about the fifty-year reunion of the 1948 Michigan Rose Bowl team. ‘They’re all going to be there,’ Coach Carr kept saying. ‘The question is… are you going to be there?’ At Penn State, it all came together, everything we’d been working for our entire careers.”
As the shocked Penn State crowd filed out, Dhani Jones found his parents in the middle of a few thousand Michigan fans who had made the trip. To acknowledge their support, they were standing along the front row of the stadium, cheering and high fiving the players who had passed in front of them.
“Emotionally, that was the peak for me,” Jones says. “Where I grew up, not far from the Maryland campus, Penn State was always the natural rivalry. We had a fury to win that day. The personal motivation was higher than it’s ever been.
“It was my dad’s fiftieth birthday and my parents came up with a busload of thirty-five people. They were all chanting ‘Dee-fense, D-Jones.’ Unreal.”
Even before the final gun, supposedly blasé Ann Arbor had gone crazy. The crowds were forming on South University Street, the commercial strip closest to most residential areas and a traditional gathering place for celebration. Soon the students had blocked traffic and were on the move to the west. A few blocks away, directly in their path, Lee Bollinger and his wife were watching the final minutes of the game on TV in the president’s house.
“I remember thinking to myself what an exciting moment this was,” Bollinger says. “The team played so much better than anyone had expected. The struggle had proven their fortitude and there was a sense of elation.
“Then the doorbell rang and my wife told me I had better come out and take a look. There was a throng of a few thousand students out there, asking for me to come out and say a few words. I had never anticipated anything like this. It was clear to me that this was a very special moment.
“There had been a physics symposium on campus earlier in the day and from an academic standpoint that was certainly the more significant event. And yet you have to realize that there are moments worthy of respect that really have nothing to do with the scholastic life on campus. These students wanted to share one of those moments with me and I was deeply touched. We had just redecorated the house upon moving in, but there was such a happiness in that group that I impulsively invited all of them to come in.
“I don’t think I’d do that again. But at the time, it was unquestionably the right thing to do.”
Those who remained in front of their TVs saw an equally compelling drama taking place. Nebraska had been played off its feet by unranked and deep underdog Missouri for most of the game and was desperately trying to rally. With time running out, quarterback Scott Frost threw into the end zone, a pass that was about to fall incomplete. But a Cornhusker receiver kicked the ball up just before it hit the ground and on the rebound, a teammate made the catch. Nebraska had tied the score. The kick seemed to have been deliberate and the Nebraska player admitted as much afterward. The proper call should have been a penalty. But the officials never made it and Nebraska won the game in overtime.
Only one thing had marred the perfection of the day. Early in the first quarter, junior defensive back Daydrion Taylor had come racing up field to stop a Penn State screen pass. The hitting had been fierce up to that point. But this collision was frightening. Ball carrier and tackler met helmet to helmet and both players staggered back. Then they fell to the ground, both of them knocked unconscious.
“I have never seen anything close to that kind of hit,” says Sword. “I thought I’d been in some tough football games, but this was unbelievable. It sounded like a cannon shot to me. I had this wild kind of feeling when I saw it, like I wanted to hit somebody myself.
“But then I looked down at Daydrion and my heart just sank.”
“I hated seeing that,” says Carr. “I had visited Daydrion’s family down in Texas when we were recruiting him and I thought about his mother when he was lying there. It was a tremendous set of relief when we heard that he was OK.
“But he had always played the game totally without fear. When I visited him in the hospital after the game, he was afraid. That was hard to take, one of the scariest things I’ve seen. Here we were at one of the greatest points in the season and this kid was fighting through the unknown. Thank GOD, things turned out OK. He won’t play football again but he will finish school.
“I try to tell people that there are more important things than football. This was one of them.”
...days until David Molk sees Michigan take the field to beat the living hell out of Hawaii.
David was a terrific center for the Wolverines. He earned All-American honors, Big Ten offensive lineman of the year, and first-team All-Big Ten in 2011 (he was also first team All-Big Ten in 2010) and won the Rimington Trophy as the best center in the FBS. His NFL career feature time with the Chargers and Eagles. On 4 March 2016, David announced his retirement.
Interesting article on 16 trap games for the 2016 season.
I particularly enjoy the cover photo, as I would love to see Dantonio with that look on his face on October 29, and the Dabo gif in relation to the GA Tech "trap game" is also pretty great.
Just another day for Harbaugh & Jerry Springer at Disneyland