Kasey Oliver is from Battle Creek, this is probably my favorite video I've seen in a long time. PJ Fleck is the only person who can hold a candle to the insane awesomeness of Jim Harbaugh.
[Ed-M: I confirmed this with Ablauf (see Dear Diary). Here's what he said:
We (Michigan) and the Big Ten will count the stats toward our team records. The NCAA will not because of a rule that states that you must complete three quarters of play for the statistics to count for NCAA purposes.
NCAA will count it as a win, but the stats won't count.]
ESPN reporting that the NCAA ruled the stats for the WMU game are to be vacated due to the shortened game. Not sure about the W, L. Attendance remains in the books.
It was a cold winter. Not just because the mercury in my thermometer froze, but because I felt Jack Frost nipping my aorta. The 2010 season ending in disaster sent me into seclusion in an undisclosed location. For what it’s worth, Dick Cheney is a horrible bunk mate and cheats like hell at Risk. I was lost for months being dissatisfied with the Gator Bowl Massacre, the ensuing drama of Rich Rodriguez firing, and HOKE being hired in his stead. My theory was that if you are going to fire a coach, make sure the next guy is better. HOKE to me at the time fell way below this standard. I thought he’d make a good run at the WWE giving the people’s pointer, but not for head ball coach at the University of Michigan. I dropped away from MGoBlog for the winter/spring/and most of the summer. Although I had many items on my plate such as world domination, running up my phone bill on a suicide hotline, and practicing the French Horn in my hang out to piss off Cheney.
After leaving my bunker and pleasantly surprise that the nuclear radiation was fairly low, I began thawing my icy demeanor to prepare for the upcoming season. I began surfing through the posts of MGoBlog for motivation. Even though the quality of the posts was high, I needed something more. I loaded the canoe, grabbed my closest confidant, dipped into my suitcase of goodies and took to Bearwallow Pond. Bearwallow Pond is home to the most fierce man eating chain pickerel known to man. As I came to peace with myself battling the forces of evil and experiencing a full blown visionquest that would make Jack Kerouac blush, I realized that I must buy into MANBAWW FOOTBAWW or never be a Michigan fan once again. I chose the former because not being a Michigan football fan is forfeiting your soul. If I wasn’t a Michigan football fan, I would be destined to hang out in Columbus being a Blue Hornet’s groupie and bestowing myself a wife that I will only meet in the realm of World of Warcraft named Grundela.
September 3rd, 2011. The long cold offseason is over. I finally get to see the maize and blue streak out onto the feet. Unfortunately, I could not see them due to the heavy haze that settled into Midwest that threatened to pose serious health problems to Gorgeous Borges. It was hotter than a pair of monkey balls in July. The on the field reporter had a gadget that looked similar to a speedometer. She claimed it was to read the temperature on the ground. I then became convinced that it was a speedometer when it read 131. That was definitely Denard just walking by.
The first quarter drive by Western Michigan brought back flashes of beavers, atomic bombs, sad kittens, and death. I witnessed a MAC team slice through the Michigan defense like I had many times before. This time was different though. I did not have razor blades and salt readied for added pain because I held out hope err…HOKE. Thankfully the touchdown by Michigan at the beginning of the second brought me back from the edge.
At the beginning of the second quarter I also noticed that Carder was having difficulties with audibles. I have not attended a game since the finalization of the renovations (soon to change). I was pleasantly surprised that opposing teams may now have to worry about hearing the correct calls before snapping the ball. Lay the largest library bullshit to rest.
Western Michigan again began exacting a slow painful mauling of a defense again in the middle of second quarter. It looked as if the defense once again was helpless as earthworms after a rainstorm before the turning point of the game came in the form of a 94 yard interception return for a TD by Brandon Herron. After I completed a whole rearrangement of my house in a reenactment of the Herron return, much to my roommates chagrin, I had a different feeling in the pit of my large intestine. Something broke in favor of the Wolverines at a time when it was desperately needed. It was a fix that was finally met after a three year withdrawal that put most Wolverine fans in Nirvana.
After the turning point in the game, WMU began to cave. I find myself more empathetic for self destructing behaviors after witnessing a horror show full of them these past three years. This may explain my deep connection to self mutilators, Jersey Shore fans, and ohio citizens.
Gibbons is an animal. Not in the way that separates someone for exceptional accolades, but an animal in that he has instincts for inclement weather. After Michigan’s third TD, Gibbons sensed the Monsoonpocalypse barreling down the I-96 corridor. He missed an extra point. We should have respected his all powerful warning because the series of storms that followed wreaked havoc on the stairs and fabrics that occupied the Big House.
After one restart and another delay, Brandon showed the WMU athletic director his pimp hand and the game was finished. Although the game was a washout win, many fans in and out of the rainpocalypse felt refreshed. There was a new buzz in the air. A buzz filled with HOKE. The defense became aggressive unlike ever before in the A.C. era. (After Carr). Kovacs proved that his blood lust was not a fluke as he single handily made Carder crawl into a fetal position headless, The kicking game was ok?, no beavers were spotted or harmed in the game, and no one feared a Josh Groban rendition. Rainbows, happiness, and FOOTBAWWW had returned to Michigan, or did it?
I can speak for myself and I am sure many others are in agreement when through all the celebrating in the American traditional way of killing brain cells with multiple substances at a single time, there lingered a itching worry that this may be the same feeling of after the UConn 2010 win. Notre Dame will be the next test. They have plenty of talent but a habit of Plaxico Burressing themselves in the foot. The defense will surely get a test and save any other bat shit crazy act from mother nature, this will be the first full game of the season. Which means the first fourth quarter of the season. If Gibbons starts missing extra points, head for the hills. If Brian Kelly has an aneurism and collapses on his face, stick around.
We shall be one step closer to finding out if we have caught some wind in our sails to the promised land, or if we will continue to wallow in our own poop deck.
P.S. Due to insane first week of work, pictures and videos have been excluded. Please don’t hold it against me. I'll find you.
I've made it a habit to check out the box score of UofM's games to see if my eyes agree with the numbers. It took me awhile to find this, but the box score for yesterday's game can be found here:
Obviously, the main story told from the box score is a missing 4th quarter. What I also found interesting was the score of the 2nd quarter, UofM 20, WMU 3. I'm paying more attention to the 2nd quarter this year as a result of last year. This next fact has been little discussed on this board or elsewhere, but I find it fascinating. Last year, UofM outscored it's opposition on a cumulative basis in every quarter but the 2nd. Scroll about 2/3 down this link:
to see the cumulative score by quarters:
UM 122 ... 83 ... 95 ... 104
OPP 64 ... 194 ... 92 ... 88
We were outscored by a whopping 194-83 in the 2nd quarters of games last year. I think it was a reflection of the inexperience of the team and inability of the coaching staff (particularly the defensive side) to adjust during the game. As soon as we made a mistake in the first half, things started going south and it took them until at least after halftime to snap out of it. How much of this was mental? How much was due to the program being under a microscope in RR's 3rd, make-or-break-it year? I guess we'll never know. Growing up, when we had a tough first half, I was also told by my dad to wait for the third quarter because Bo was a master of the mid-game adjustment. And he was usually right. Well, last year, we dug too big a hole in the 2nd quarter for the half-time adjustments to matter.
One good aspect of MANBALL (or scoring more slowly if you will) may be that the defensive staff has a chance to make adjustments while our offense is taking 8:33 off the clock. After WMU's first drive of 7:11, their next longest drive was only 4:32. Clearly, something changed, and for the better.
Other highlights from the box score:
* ONLY 1 PENALTY !!! That is shockingly low for a first game. Congrats to Hoke and company. Perhaps, again, this is just a symptom of the players being a little more experienced.
* 21 players for UofM made at least one tackle, solo or assisted. So, yeah, we were rotating players in pretty frequently. We have DEPTH!!! Maybe. (In contrast, WMU only had 12 guys make tackles.)
* Net yards per kickoff was 49.3 for WMU, and only 34.5 for us. There were 9 kickoffs total, so we gave up ~67 yards of field position just on the kickoffs. That has to improve next week.
* We won the turnover battle 3-0. A combination of more experienced skill-position players and more blitzing on defense. Let's hope that holds up. Regress to the mean, please, please, please, ...
Normally, I look at first downs to see how the teams did on a consistent basis. This basically throws out the big plays and looks at the teams across the rest of the 60 minutes (or in this case, 42 minutes.) We were tied 17-17 in first downs, but I think you throw that out this week because of the 2 defensive scores giving them extra possessions. Instead, just look at the yards per play. We were at 7.4, they were at 5.0. Last year we gave up an average of 6.1 yards per play. So our defense was better than last year statistically, but it's hard to say too much until we see how WMU does in their other games.
Anything else stick out to the MGoBoard?
A good sense of humor from WMU coach Bill Cubit about stopping Denard Robinson this fall.
(Freep link, you've been warned).
I'd say the chances Denard scores a touchdown or two on the ground is still pretty good though.
Slow night here on the board so I figured I'd share a link of some interest seeing how it's about our first opponent. Seems that Western will be sporting a new-ish look against us. I kind of like them (as much as a Central student can something WMU) have a old-school feel to them.