...the 1983 squad went in to the game with a 9-2 record and #8 ranking. If not for a 25-24 loss to Washington in Seattle on the final play, they would have been ranked in the top 5. What's interesting about that squad was that there wasn't many legacy players on it. It was the year after Anthony Carter graduated and the year before Jim Harbaugh and Jamie Morris would start their UM careers. Senior running back was Rick Rogers and our best receiver was Triando Markray. Quarterback (#16) was Steve Smith. Like Denard, he was shifty, very mobile and ran for a ton of touchdowns. But he was about as popular with fans as John Navarre would later become. Notable wins from that year were a 42-0 win over Sparty in East Lansing and a season ending 24-21 win over the Bucks at the big house. Bob Bergeron also kicked a game winning field goal over Iowa in the final seconds to win 16-13.
Auburn had the great Bo Jackson on their offense and he laughed at the mere thought of us being any kind of a threat. I guess it was a moral victory that we kept him out of the end zone all night. The Tigers, ranked #3, gave up on their passing game but did run the ball on us in the second half. They kicked a field goal with 27 seconds left to beat us 9-7.
Here's our touchdown drive from that night. The only touchdown scored in the game.
It's only a rumor on yardbarker, but the vest has been spotted in LA hanging with Guerrero the UCLA AD. Good time to open up a TAT parlor in LA.
Assuming we handle the Hokies on January 3rd we will cruise into the 2012 season higher than a flying squirrel in a giant redwood tree. If you think it was difficult waiting for Coach Hoke and company to maketheir debut in September 2011 then you'll find the wait for the 2012 season exceptionally excruciating. Of course we will face some challenges as the DL, OL, and skilled areas will lose some outstanding big time players. The question is what can we expect from team #133? Can this season (team #132) be topped in 2012, or is this as good as it gets for 2 or 3 years?
Brady Hoke was named one of 10 finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award. Fan vote comprises 20% of the selection process so go vote. You can vote once a day and voting ends Dec. 22nd.
So with Molk and Huyge departing after this year what will next years line look like?
Departure of Molk -
Most would expect that Koury would be the starting center next year. We will probably run an offense similar to what we ran this year as it will be still be the Denard show. Koury was recruited to play in the spread system and got a ton of reps last Spring when Molk was still recovering from injury.
Departure of Huyge -
First of all I think Huyge has been one of the most plaeasant surprises of the entire year. No one has really said anything about him the entire year which is usually the barometer that we judge line play on. Not bad for a last second MAC pickup that we took because of depth. I would figure that Schofield would move outside to RT and Barnum would take over at LG.
After this we have Miller, Mealer, and Bryant filling out the scholarship players. Any idea as to the development of Miller needing size or Bryant needing to lose size? Will Kalis play as a Freshman?
I'm curious what the board thinks of some of our seniors' draft potential, but specifically RVB. I know it seems that Molk is highly rated, even though he is a little undersized, and Martin is a beast, although a bit on the small side for a DT as well. But what about Van Bergen? I feel like he could be a very solid NFL defensive lineman. He's got the size (6'6", 288), I think it's apparent he's got the smarts (as evidenced by him talking about the decisions he and Mike make on the field), yet CBS Sports has him ranked as the #25 DE in this class (LINK). I'm just curious why. Compared to other, more highly-rated prospects on their list, he's definitely not under-sized. His 40-time is a little slower than some of the fastest guys there, but those guys don't have the size that he does, and does one-tenth of a second really make that much of a difference? I haven't read a scouting report on him, so I don't know much more than what I've observed the last few years, but I feel like he could be a Kyle Vanden Bosch-type defensive end (and not just because they both have Van in their last name). What say the rest of you?