this may be of some local interest
What's the general feeling about the uniforms we wore on Saturday? I personally favor the traditional Michigan unis with an occasional subtle style upgrade, but if you want to go all WVU/Oregon (to please Adidas?) then stick with simple stuff like the normal road jersey with dark blue pants.
MSU's Nike combat thing was a bit much but at least they looked formidable. We, on the other hand, looked like we were dressed to be the clowns at a girls' sleepover party... weak, weak weak!
When making our sartorial choices we should remember that:
"We Are Michigan"
I'm attending my first away M game this year, as 3 friends and I are hitting the road and going to Illinois to watch us take on the Illini. As I've never been to Champaign, do they have a solid downtown/bar-type area, where 4 M undergrads (but old enough to hit the bars) could enjoy themselves, either before or after the game? Similarly, where would be a good spot to tailgate/park? We are thinking of getting a hotel room, and partying the night away after the game, whether we drink in joy or sorrow, and leaving Sunday morning following the game. Thanks for any help!
My anger is only beginning to subside. Every time I think I am ready to move on, I get another text from some Sparty for the first time in a year, who most assuredly can't even name three of MSU's opponents so far this year, lighting up my phone. Ugh...
I hate to admit it, but we were outcoached on Saturday. The 4th down play was only a small part of it. I don't mind the call, really - it was somewhat reminiscent of the Desmond catch against ND, only with monumentally opposite results. But that's part of the game - you make a risky call and when it works out you're a genius and when it doesn't you're an idiot. That's OK with me.
This game was about the MSU blitz and/or pressure and our inability to do any thing about it.
Conventional wisdom says that with a dilithium quarterback, blitzing is a risky endeavor. You will hit him a few times, but he'll get loose a few times and go for uberyards. That never happened this week, despite Dantonio's obvious decision to blitz and blitz and blitz. And blitz. We did an OK job at times picking it up, but they got through a LOT. And when they did, Denard.... froze. Stayed in there and did his best Ryan Mallet imitation, except without the 6' - 6" frame or flamethrower arm.
Two ways to counter this "strategy" would have been to: (1) have hot routes or (2) turn the man loose, roll him out, sprint him out, and let his legs, in all their glory, work their magic. We did neither, and we didn't seem to do much of anything in response.
And the punt in the 4th quarter in MSU territory. In the name of all that is holy, go for it. m How can you make the ballsy 4th down play call and then punt it from their side of the field in the 4th quarter when you're behind? Doesn't make any sense to me.
And - Yes Ghoul-ston is a thug. And yes, the entire MSU team has a nasty, dirty, thugness about it that should make their alumni repulsed. But it's a man's game for a reason. We didn't respond, and I do NOT mean with similar thugness but some old fashioned toughness, nastiness, within the rules of the game would have been welcome. I never expected Richrod's teams to have that edge, but I hoped Brady's would.
So after reading the board the past couple of days, I have a faint sense that people are unhappy with the loss to State and believe that something (in this case, Denard's passing arm and/or illicit love triangle with both Tacopants and Taquittoshorts) should be blamed. And while I understand the sense of anger with losing to the Spartans for the 4th straight time, I don't understand this patholigical desire to blame a TEAM's failure to win on a single player and, even worse, propose some half-cocked remedies like replacing Denard with Devin Gardner.
I get that it sucks to lose to a rival, especially one as mind-boggling annoying as MSU, and the way the team lost (with all of the personal fouls and rough tactics by the MSU defense) certainly didn't help. But sometimes teams just lose because the other team beat them, because players struggled or failed to perform, and it isn't because one player "cost" them the game. Yes, Denard struggled throwing the ball, but the whole offense failed to perform up to task. The offensive line was unable to open up consistent running lanes or provide a suitable pocket for Denard to work out of, and the RBs were never able to generate consistent positive yardage (a problem we have seen all year). The WRs, while certainly open at times, also dropped a couple of very catchable balls that would have extended drives (the Roundtree one jumps to mind, and I believe Koger also dropped a close one, amongst others). The defensive line was unable to create much of a pass rush against a mediocre State line, and the LBs failed to stop up cutback lanes and tackle MSU's running backs before they could get going. The defensive backfield, while solid at times, were also guilty of poor tackling that allowed MSU WRs to score near the goalline as well as extend drives. And the coaches made a number of questionable decisions on both sides of the ball, sometimes leaving players in positions where they could not succeed.
My point here is that the TEAM lost that game, and that's okay. It happens. Denard is a part of that team, but to lump the blame on his shoulder after what he has done these past two years is offensive. He had a bad game; so did Fitz, Smith, Hemingway, Martin, Demens, Borges, Hoke, etc. The TEAM lost, and hopefully the rest of the year the TEAM will win. But I don't hear people calling for Rawls to get more carries, for Schofield to replace Lewan, or for Campbell to replace Heininger full-time. I want this TEAM to win because it is a fun bunch and they have been through so much these past 4 years. But as a fanbase we need to accept that losses happen sometimes not because a single player "failed", but because the TEAM just didn't perform. And that's okay as long as they get better.
I have notice the incessant obsession with how dirty they MSU was and the malaise it has immediately created escpecially with the Tigers and Lions going down in spectacular fashion adding on top of it.
Enough obsessing over a team that will be demolished next week and next year. They don't deserve the attention we are all giving them. Remember this quote?: "The pride comes before the fall." And this one?: "Live by the sword, die by the sword."
The Michigan State game is over.
Lets take our cue from someone who actually had to LIVE through the Michigan State game and refocus our attentions:
Bring it on Boliermakers.
HOKE > HOPE
Isaiah Lewis said the Slappies are coming out with the same gamestyle against Wisconsin .. and the db's are going to go get it, the lb's are going to go get it, and basically Russell Wilson needs to know he is going to get hurt in this game.
Now, normally I would chalk this up as a figure of speech, saying your defense is going to be all over him. But, in all seriousness, the conference better put the slappies on notice that any players intentionally trying to hurt someone will receive a long term suspension. Russell Wilson will probably end up hurt, because they are going to try to kick him in the throat if he is lying on the ground after the play, punch him in the throat if he standing up after the play .. gouge their fingernails into his eyes if he is at the bottom of the pile after the play. They are going to try to hurt him at all costs, the problem is it will surely come after the whistle. Wouldn't be surprised to see Dantonio and Narduzzi send in a back up player who never sees the field out there for 1 play with the sole intention of hurting him after play.
I especially like Narduzzi's comment of how they play 60 minutes of unneccessary roughness, and he's just gald it doesn't get called on every play.
The problem is ... Wisconsin is the last team in the world that the slappies want to fire up. I could see this one ending in a bloodbath ... literally and figuratively speaking