Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
Denard Robinson will beat you silly
“A fundamental vibration is excited when one such quantum of energy is absorbed by the molecule in its ground state. When two quanta are absorbed the first overtone is excited, and so on to higher overtones.”
Wikipedia - Molecular Vibration
Nebraska was the first quanta, then came The Game...
Before getting into the game, let me give my heartfelt thanks to the Buckeye fans that offered to help my cousin jump his dead battery on the golf course, only to take off when the time came to actually help out. For a few horrible seconds I thought I was going to have to reconsider my position towards Ohio. Way to uphold the stereotype, assclowns!
By halftime of The Game yesterday an all too familiar feeling had crept over me. Michigan had looked like they were about to pull away in the first quarter, only to have the game brought back to a neck-and-neck battle when Ohio flipped the narrative in the second. Only there was that one point, the tiny difference between a FG and a safety, and it loomed large in my consciousness. It looked and felt like doom.
Honestly I had little doubt that this team would rally in the second half. It was that the offense would lead the way to victory that caught me by surprise. Denard was an absolute beast, and more in-tune with the flow of the game than at any other point this season. His passes were on the money, whether screen, seams to Koger, or darts into coverage for TDs to Hemingway and Odoms. Then the waggle-like PA to Koger - gods that was nice. But through it all, that single point still weighed heavy on my mind.
After Mattison's defense very uncharacteristically gave up the quick TD to make it 37-34, Denard turned to his legs to sew things up. Following a spectacular pass and catch by Dileo, Denard tag-teamed his way down the field with Toussaint. The added run threat that Toussaint gave Michigan made the read option deadly and Denard again and again gashed the Buckeye defense. Then Toussaint scored the game sealing TD, don't even try to play like he didn't - even Spielman claimed it wasn't incontrovertible. The refs though, they must have decided before the game to keep the finish exciting if at all possible. Turning that TD over was scandalous.
No problem though, Denard has it covered! Around on the bootleg and in for the score! Ballgame! What? A HOLD??? That's not a hold! His hand is on the guys breastplate for crying out loud!!! And a personal foul?????!!! He was just blocking the play! Goddamn zebras! This isn't right you conniving criminals!!! It isn't your goddamn place to try to influence the outcome of the game! Gaaaaaaaaaa!!!
Then, after Gibbons nailed his career long, that point was just sitting there, ready to tear out our hearts again and leave us clutching our dreams as the turned to ashes. It seemed predestined. But the gods had mercy on Michigan fans everywhere, and did not allow the zebras their triumph.
And lo, the highlight package from 2003 was laid to rest for all eternity. May we never be forced to view them again during The Game.
Live for Today…
Several players/coaches should take particular pride in their accomplishments yesterday:
- The Seniors - Van Bergen. Martin. Woolfolk. Koger. Molk. Hemingway. Odoms. Heininger. Huyge. Watson. It was more than could be asked of even Michigan Men to put up with the infighting and general incompetency of the last 4-5 years. May double-digit victories including over Ohio, and (hopefully) a BCS bowl birth serve in place of a Big 10 championship. You guys rock.
- Fitz Toussaint - Denard is light-years more effective with a true home-run threat in the backfield with him. The read option becomes almost impossible to stop if read correctly. Only having 2 negative yards against Ohio in 20 carries is remarkable. It is a crime that the zebras took your TD away, go get 3 next year.
- Denard Robinson - Hands down the best performance of the season on the biggest stage. If Denard can find this level consistently nest year Michigan would have to be the odds-on favorite to win the Big 10. Clutch.
- Martavious Odoms - Odoms made plays. His double-catch for the first down was simply an amazing display of physical prowess. His TD catch after muffing the pitch from Denard was just Odoms being Odoms. This team will miss him as much as anyone.
- Al Borges - When the defense was reeling, Borges came to the rescue in a brilliantly executed second half. Michigan had an answer for every challenge, a response for every score. The final TD that was scandalously taken away was a great call. The Waggle-Like-Substance the TD before was even better. Anyone that wants to question what Borges is doing should be required to re-watch this Game first.
Also of note: Desmond Morgan and Kenny Demens - Linebackers should be leading the team in tackles, Hemingway and Koger and Dileo and Gallon - Cause Denard can only throw it - someone has to catch it, Mike Martin and RVB - Disruptive forces that will be nigh impossible to replace, Kovacs - 2 TFL on nicely timed blitzes and tenacity on the sack, Hagerup - Despite losing us 17 rushing yards and almost costing us the game, this moment will live forever for its hilarity:
Kudos to orobs for the gif.
Hope for Tomorrow
This season is officially awesome and my faith Michigan's coaching staff is sky-high. I hope these guys stick together and retire together, because if that happens I think Michigan will end up with 1-2 more MNCs and rule the Big 10. The pieces are in place for a remarkable run, both with current personnel and through top-notch recruiting. I haven't been this content since 1997 at least.
It's great - to be - A Michigan Wolverine!
Go Blue everyone, and stay safe till bowl season!