A confession: before yesterday I had attended one bowl game in my life, that the 2007 Rose Bowl in which Michigan was tied 3-3 with USC at halftime and got their doors blown off in the second half when Pete Carroll told his OC to stop running the ball, period. That was crushing despite the inevitability of the loss once Michigan's severe lack of corner depth was put to the test.
This game was far closer to even—South Carolina was in fact one yard better than M before their final drive, one which almost didn't get off the ground—and yet by the time I exited the stadium I was pretty much over it. This was weird for all sorts of reasons, foremost among them a sense that I would have cared more if I had watched it on TV. As the game reached its frenetic pitch I did reconnect, to my relief. Still, it took a lot to recover from finding out Michigan had been designated Team Coconut Shrimp, or something. There's just not that much difference between four and five losses.
In retrospect this season lost its urgency the moment Denard's elbow banged the Memorial Stadium turf and Michigan's offense died in Lincoln. That game staked the Huskers to a lead they would not relinquish no matter how they tried. Michigan was reduced to playing out the string without Senior Hero at quarterback, without a shot at the Big Ten championship, without the storybook ending every Michigan fan entered the year pining for.
There were moments of vitality when it looked like Nebraska might blow it, but Michigan wasn't playing those games. By the time the bowl rolled around it was exhibition time, with little on the line other than a few spots in a poll that would have Michigan 15th at best. A starting cornerback and the punter confirmed that analysis by violating team rules and being left home.
I went to see Denard for a last time, and ended up squinting to make sure he wasn't Vincent Smith. He ran 23 times, picked up 100 yards, ground out 4.8 yards a carry, and reminded me of that picture of Mike Hart in a Colts uniform Johnny put up in a post, where Hart looked old—erosion old—and like he was doing something as a job. It took about 20 open tabs to find it, but yeah.
I think Johnny was maybe projecting his own thought processes onto Hart a little when he wrote this…
But he’s more mechanical now; he doesn't smile like he used to, he isn’t as self-indulgent. His cuts aren’t as risky – more just graceful, cautious lunges. He’s a professional now, measured and stoic and less eccentric. He looks stronger, and too focused. It used to just be a playful resentment for the institution, but now he seems like he respects it. It’s like the NFL has tranquilized him.
…because I know that Denard hasn't changed much since he made everyone laugh and caused me to bolt upright when he ran through two Ohio State tackles at the end of the first half of The Game.
and I'm a little disoriented. This season was not supposed to end with Peter Pan becoming an accountant.
He was good. He seemed like a plausible NFL running back once he learns how to block. He joins LSU's Jeremy Hill as the only running back not from Wofford's triple option to crack 100 yards against Clowney and company. For him there is still a lot at stake, and yesterday was important. It is a fine career that awaits him.
But I just keep thinking of that throw he made, and what it represented. How those moments where he'd go to the sideline holding his hand built up and finally washed over the levee. If his arm had held up, or Rich Rodriguez had recruited some OL, or Devin Gardner had stayed at quarterback… if.
That's a burden now: what if Denard dot dot dot. Instead of an exclamation point, we end with an ellipses. Unspoken thoughts, trailing off. Re-carving a rock-hard past into something more pleasing. What could have been, etc.
I don't understand why I felt disconnected. I guess it was because this thing I was at was not what I thought it would be, and for once someone managed to keep Denard from obliterating all doubt.
Well okay. No real complaints about Borges this time around, but it was really odd how South Carolina reacted to the Denard plays at QB, all predictable runs save the attempted screen. They still dropped a safety 20-30 yards deep, sometimes two guys at 15 yards, and while they tended to blitz they did not sell out like Ohio State did in the second half, even after Denard's lame duck of a throw.
I'm still a little disappointed that Denard wasn't used more as an attention-grabbing decoy. Despite that Michigan had a solid day on offense that would have verged on excellent if Gardner's accuracy had been better.
Wither Northwestern/Iowa Devin? With five games under his belt I think we can say that Gardner's accuracy leaves a bit to be desired. The Minnesota game was effective but shaky; he blew through Northwestern and Iowa, and now he's had a couple of games where some bad decisions and awkward throws hurt him against quality defenses.
In this one he hit 18 of 36 for 214 yards, 3 TDs, and an interception. 5.9 YPA is poor. There were throws to make there, and he just missed them. He made up for that with a couple scrambles, I guess.
WR corps 2013: not a problem maybe? Jeremy Gallon may be small in stature, but he is his own imaginary 11-foot-tall friend made of dreams. This is not quite the rocket boots touchdown from the Minnesota game, but I mean come on pretty nice:
Meanwhile, his other touchdown came on a post route on which he got open one-on-one a play after he smoked that same corner crispy on a corner route that Gardner actually threw a split second too early, before Gallon had even made his break. The TD:
Gardner trusts the guy to get open, that's clear.
His 9 catches and 145 yards push him up to 49 and 825 on the year, which is impressive production given that he caught a lot of screens that would normally make achieving a 16.8 YPC impossible and that the quarterbacking for much of the year was erratic.
Gallon's season totals are now in a virtual dead heat with Kenny Bell and Jared Abbrederis for second in the league behind thousand-yard-guy Allen Robinson of Penn State, and he made an array of tough catches without more than a drop or two all season.
As a senior is he a quality #1 option? I think the answer there is clearly yes. Take his production in the Gardner era and extrapolate it across as season and you get 81 catches for 1329 yards—ie, one of the top ten receivers in the country.
I'll be interested to see what his yards per target is if Football Study Hall updates those numbers that showed Junior Hemingway was probably the most underrated player at Michigan in a long time. While Gallon's small stature doesn't hurt him in the UFR catch numbers, the simple fact that he's not 6'4" turns balls that Devin Funchess could nab easily into uncatchable zeroes. I think he'll come out well—last year he was top five in yards per target with a per-catch average of 14.6.
Add in Dileo—an excellent underneath option—with a maturing Funchess and you only need one of Darboh/Chesson to step up to have a solid set of options.
Nope, but pretty much anyway. Denard bludgeoned out 100 yards on 23 carries as basically a tailback, which was quite good against a quality run defense behind an offensive line that couldn't get anyone else an inch. It, however, dropped Denard's season YPC to 7.2, a tenth behind Ty Wheatley's 1992 campaign. If we take out sacks Robinson suffered he would pop back above Wheatley, but that's not how it looks in the record book.
Of course if we're going to start poking around at sacks we might as well take a larger view. This line versus to Michigan's 1992 outfit featuring future longtime pro Steve Everitt, three other All Big Ten linemen (Joe Cocozzo, Rob Doherty, and Doug Skene) plus future first-round NFL draft pick Trezelle Jenkins*? There is no comparison. Four of those guys were drafted, two in the first round. Lewan will go high and I bet Schofield works his way into mid-round consideration, but there's no comparison between the interior lines.
Meanwhile, Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges had called a Power run to the left side. Wolverines offensive tackle Taylor Lewan -- whose play against Clowney on Tuesday further solidified his place near the top of the NFL draft if he chooses to turn pro -- noticed something amiss about Clowney's alignment. "The end lined up on me in such a gray area that I had to call a Deuce to the inside," Lewan said. Lewan explained that a Deuce call ties the tackle to the guard, and their responsibilities are the lineman nearest the guard and the backside linebacker. By making the Deuce call, Lewan had untied himself from tight end Mike Kwiatkowski, who had anticipated working in tandem with Lewan on the play. Lewan said Kwiatkowski didn't hear the Deuce call, and video replays make that quite obvious. Kwiatkowski fired off the line at an angle that would have been perfect had he and Lewan been working a combo block. But Lewan was working a combo block with guard Ricky Barnum. Clowney, the owner of one of college football's quickest first steps, shot the gap before Kwiatkowski could realize what happened. "He's got that little slip move," Spurrier said. "When they come at him, they get nothing but air." Smith never had a chance. "That miscommunication," Lewan said. "Those are the plays that can lose games."
Just a miscommunication that got Smith decleated—de-everythinged.
Terry Richardson, Delonte Holowell—thanks for playing. Disclaimers about young players improving apply.
That said, Michigan was so opposed to putting those guys on the field that even after four verts blew them to pieces several times in the previous three quarters Michigan still stuck with a nickel package featuring Jarrod Wilson at free safety and Gordon/Kovacs moving down over the slots, with the subsequent events we all know and are slightly depressed about.
Don't click play if you are still depressed.
Kovacs should never have been put in that position, covering South Carolina's leading receiver, and Jarrod Wilson seems super super late—he should not have been on the field.
That's not Kovacs's game, everyone knows that's not his game, there's a reason he was a walk-on, and for Michigan to resort to that indicates that the two small guys from Cass Tech basically can't see the field, period. As a true freshman Richardson still has some hope of finding his way as a nickel corner down the road; as a redshirt sophomore, if Holowell can't see the field in that game he's never going to. Since spring practice Michigan lost four corners (Floyd, Countess, Talbott, Carter) and still not a sniff. Bad news.
Also, WTF was with moving Norfleet then? At least give the guy a chance to be a third down back—Michigan is now in the market for one.
JT Floyd: guh. Michigan wins this game if they can go to the Avery nickel package with confidence; they couldn't because JT Floyd got left home for the final game of his career. I hope it was worth it, man.
Kenny Demens coverage: missed. I assume that Bolden can get there in time, but not all of the seam bustage was on safteies/corner folk. For one, I blame no one on that Ace Sanders touchdown that was in by about a millimeter—that'll happen. On the tight end completion I bet that was a linebacker not carrying that guy. It's still pretty great that Michigan went much of the game with true freshmen at LB and performed very well against the run.
Beyer will win the WDE spot next year. The huge South Carolina QB run was Frank Clark ignoring backside responsibility and chasing a tailback without the ball as two other guys tackled him. This is a full year after he was biffing these things against Scheelhaase; to make a mistake that momentous on a basic, basic play is a good indication that he's just not getting there mentally. If he was making big plays to repair his mistakes, maybe that's one thing, but the pass rush he adds is minimal. If he doesn't figure it out, he's going to fall off the two deep quickly with Ojemudia and Charlton pressing from behind.
Oblig. game theory bits. Plenty to chew on in this game.
ONE: Fake field goal on which Dileo runs around and stuff for a first down.
The box score has this a 4th and 6 from the 27; in the stadium they had it 4th and 9. Assuming that Everybody Loves Raymond Stadium was wrong, that's a push according to the Advanced NFL Stats calculator. The break even point is 53%; given how Michigan's fake field goals have gone I'd say that's a coin flip. Since M was down 11 at the time, increasing that variance is probably to your advantage.
TWO: Fake punt on which 9.9 yards is basically a first down, man.
This was fourth and four from the Michigan 37.
Loved this. Michigan was up one with around eight minutes left. If you can go on a drive, rip four or five minutes off the clock, and even get a field goal you've tipped the scales in your direction massively. If you fail, you are in a bit of a bad spot but a South Carolina score allows you time to respond. As it happened, Michigan got the first down (sort of) and still felt the sting of what failure would have been like—then they responded with a touchdown drive. Love Hoke going for the jugular there.
THREE: Unsportsmanlike conduct on South Carolina's second-to-last TD.
My initial instinct was to take the penalty on the two-point conversion (argh), which would have put that at the 18 and all but forced a one-point attempt. South Carolina didn't get it and subsequently kicked from the 20; Michigan got it out slightly over the 35.
I still think the play there is to take it on the two-point conversion, as you're significantly reducing the chance that is successful. That seems well worth the ten yards Michigan picked up.
FOUR: Spurrier is not Ferentz.
Michigan's ultimate demise came on another four verts play on which the seam came wide open as a Michigan seam defender—in this case Jordan Kovacs—got smoked. That was pure OBC, and won them the game.
The setup: South Carolina's kicker was 11 of 15 on the season but had missed a moderate length field goal and had another blocked. They had a timeout left, it was second and ten from the 32, and the Gamecocks had been pounding the seams all day. Spurrier gets Kovacs lined up over Ace Sanders, ballgame. Tip of the cap. This was a game in which both coaches went for the win.
THEY S'POSED TO BE NFL
Everyone Hates Raymond Stadium. If you're ever on the fence about going to an Outback Bowl in the future, don't. I imagine the scoreboard situation is going to get repaired in the near future, but until then that stadium has the worst I've ever seen. They're useless. They're tiny, 40% of them are given over to ads during replays, and you can't see anything on them anyway. They're worse—much worse—than the boards Michigan just replaced. It was flabbergasting. I mean, it's an NFL stadium. I hear they're doing fairly well for themselves.
Meanwhile, the stadium itself has an incredibly shallow rise, which means if you're unfortunately positioned in what purports to be a good seat*, you spend large chunks of the game looking around beer vendors or Only Guy In The Section Standing Up Guy. The sidelines are huge; the field is not that far below seat level. The end result is a lot of very bad seats, and not much recourse when you can't figure out what happened immediately.
In addition, the area around the stadium is run-down and amenity-free. There's nothing within walking distance. It is the opposite of stadium districts in Detroit, Denver, Columbus, Minneapolis, Pasadena, etc. Unless it is geographically convenient or your favorite player(s) are entering their last games ever you probably shouldn't go. The guy who makes 800k for running the thing probably deserves it for keeping such a crappy venue high up in the pecking order.
Tampa is everything it's reputed to be, as well. Most Tampa thing: all the police cars advertise their website located at www.tampagov.net.
*[This reminded me of Wrigley, actually. A fan of the blog with access to nice tickets threw us a couple a few years back and I spent literally an entire half-inning looking into the paunch of a beer vendor since Wrigley's rise is minuscule. Vertical stadiums are the best.]
Everyone Hates Adidas. I mean, who could have known that putting light yellow numbers on a white jersey would make it impossible to tell who was who? It's almost as if these uniform stunts aren't well thought out.
I was skeptic in re: guys on message boards proclaiming that Nike was the best and that moving to Adidas was a mistake despite the fact they would give Michigan all of the money. I was wrong.
Two things have finally torn it:
This uniformz debacle. Completely impossible to tell who was who. Didn't figure out Demens wasn't playing much, if at all, until second half, and that was because twitter was talking about it. I had no idea which DB got burned on the first touchdown until twitter told me, as well. Idiotic.
Hockey third jerseys. You have to see these in person to fully appreciate how awful they look. It's not just the weaselferret. It's not even sort of the weaselferret. It's that they look like they came straight off the rack from the Walmart replica section.
Once this contract is up Michigan should flee. They will just take whoever offers them more money; after what Underarmour did with Northwestern this year I am rooting my ass off for those guys. Yeah, Maryland, whatever. That's on the AD. If M screws it up as much as the Terrapins we'll know what the problem is.
WE DIDN'T LISTEN
WE DIDN'T LISTEN
I'll collect game reacts later; this is tough to do in a day now that it's ballooned into a 5000 word monstrosity.
I know it's all the rage to complain about him (with some justification), but how does one call plays for a sandlot football team? We don't have a running back; we have a new QB (who was a WR after he was a QB); we have Inch High Private Eyes at WR...it's just a mess. It's like Borges has to be Henry Winkler from The Waterboy in order to get things to work. That, or, he could just call a normal football game and see what happens.
There's no way Michigan will go with an upstart like Under Armour unless Under Armour breaks the bank and significantly outbids Adidas (a la Fox outbidding CBS for the NFL rights back in '93). It's either Nike or Adidas from here on out.
Also, as bad as the uniform shenanigans have been, Nike's "pro combat" uniforms were much worse. There's no guarantee that Michigan wouldn't have been subjected to such filth if they had stuck with Nike.
Don't get me wrong, I hate the Adidas uniformz we've seen (as well as all other uniformz). But to believe that Nike wouldn't do the exact same thing is willful ignorance. It's up to the school to say "no" when the apparel company tries to put us in uniformz. Under Dave Brandon, Michigan has said "yes." Switching to Nike won't change anything but the little logo you see on the uniforms and apparel.
I have been pretty dismissive of the Nike über alles crowd, but it's getting really hard to defend Adidas and Brandon's handling of the Michigan brand (both are to blame). On the one hand, Nike's pro combat unis are often ridiculous and tradition assaulting, but at least they tend to look cool in the abstract and have some "wow factor". E.g. MSU's unis last year. They didn't look at all like MSU uniforms, but at least I can see how someone would look at them and say, "these are a neat concept and look badazz". Even if that someone is a teenager who listens to terrible music. I hate that that matters, but it does.
On the other hand, Adidas' alternate unis for Michigan have been bad from both the tradition and fashion standpoints. The only exception has been the Sugar Bowl unis, but there was nothing "wow" about those - they just looked like classy football uniforms that a team other than Michigan would probably wear as their standard uniform. It seems we've abandoned the sacred uniform tradition. Can't we at least look cool doing it?
Thank you for saying what I was thinking. It is bad enough that we have to deal with the ever changing uniforms, but it adds insult to injury that Addidas can't even design something cool for us to wear. I'm not a big fan of Pro Combat, but IMO at least 50% have one or more aspects to them that I really like. Addidas is currently 0-2 this year, and generously 1-3 last year.
You can hardly call them an upstart at this point. Walk into any sports store, you will see more under armour on sale and at higher prices. Nike and Adidas have both been chasing under armour's innovations. In football they sponsor as many big time athletes as anyone. They are hardly an upstart anymore.
Good write up as usual. The loss doesn't hurt as much as closing a chapter on Michigan's non-pro style offense experiment and saying goodbye to Denard.
Also, I'm suprised there was no mention of Denard becoming the all-time NCAA QB rushing leader - passing Pat White.
P.S. Those uniforms were ridiculous. I encourage everyone to provide feedback to the athletic department if you agree. In the end $ are their analytics, but negative feedback probably registers too as it ends up hurting the bottom line eventually.
1. Many on the board in the vague stretches of the 2012 offseason speculated that the team could be as good or better than last year with a worse record due to the schedule. I think there has been some definite atrophy in the offense since last year (doesn't look as good even in the easy wins), but apart from that, this seems to be correct. We'll lament Denard's injury against Nebraska, and moan about Al's gameplans and playcalls in South Bend and Columbus, but ultimately Michigan was completely overmatched in one game... and very close in all of the others.
And aside from Nebraska, Michigan lost three games to teams in the top five, including the two national championship contestants, and depending on where the chips fall, four teams in the top six or seven. Michigan could be the tenth best team in the country and would still be expected to lose all of those games if the rankings are appropriate.
Of course, it's still tough to swallow, because we want to be the best, and in each of these cases Michigan just couldn't get over the hump. We lack skill position playmakers apart from Denard, and unfortunately recruiting does not seem to be producing answers to those questions in the near future. And with the Jurassic-era gameplan philosophy that comes from the booth, we may have trouble scoring points for a long time.
But the defense will continue to improve. I'm looking forward to that.
2. We don't have superfast playmakers or huge receivers, but we do have Jeremy Gallon. He is no Percy Harvin. He's not going to outrun guys on end-arounds or change the game with a quick trick play.
But he is a fantastic route-runner and knows how to make plays on balls that are hard to catch. He is becoming 80% of what someone like Steve Smith or Jerry Rice is, a guy who makes up for physical limitations by always finding ways to get open and catch the ball. Because he's not a burner, he doesn't create many huge plays, but he's a good possession guy and with a year of work with Devin Gardner they are going to be a tough combination to stop.
Servant. Pastor. Husband. Michigan fan in Duluth. Mostly non-sports twitter @stephenrjking
Gallon's almost the #1 receiver by default, but your description tends to remind me of Avant - not blazing fast, really good route runner, catches just about anything. Pre-RR era, Gallon would be the 'possession' type receiver opposite a Braylon or Manningham.
but who else is there to run deep patterns on this UM team? Edwards or Manningham was the one running the deep patterns instead of Avant. If Michigan had a receiver like Edwards or Manningham I'm not sure how many deep routes Gallon would be running.
If anyone thinks we aren't on the right road with this program, watch the first quarter again like I did last night. Damn proud of this team. Damn proud of these coaches. In past years, we lose this game 35-14. I'm telling you, watch it!
I wanted Denard to win the Rose Bowl and the Heisman too.
I would've paid $1,000 to see him in the Rose Bowl, and I'm definitely not the kind of person that should be doing that kind of thing. But I don't have the same sense of melancholy as Brian, I guess. I feel like Denard leaves the team triumphant. He broke the streak against OSU; he broke the streak against State; he has the 2010 ND game and the Under The Lights game and a million highlights. He was always friendly and played hard even in the crappiest moments; he might be more responsible than anyone (including Hoke) for keeping together a random thing, Michigan football, that we all get to enjoy putting an undue amount of our time and emotion into. Being a sports fan is illogical on a lot of levels, but I kind of hate when people say it's _fundamentally_ illogical — I think rooting for people like Denard (and yes, tedious canard here, I don't know him personally and some day he might do something dumb — he might ALREADY have done something dumb that I don't know about, but in life you can't always know everything, you just have to do what you can with the knowledge you have) to do a crazy, difficult and awesome thing well (whipping through a sea of giant brutes with an aplomb and giddiness that makes old-man football lifers in the broadcast booth laugh out loud involuntarily in disbelief) is one of the MOST logical things to do with your time on Earth. And we all got to root for Denard, and enjoy life without feeling like idiots, and he did everything he could to keep this one particular life-affirming chain going, and with that, what more did he really need to do? To use something of a cliche, the only real shame would have been if we never got to see #16 dart around the Big House like a lethal goofball in the first place.
Interesting contrast with Henne (and Hart and Long) who were on more talented teams, realized about as much of their potential as we could have hoped, and wound up on disappointing on balance.
Denard showed flashes of all-time-great potential and for whatever reason it was never realized. But he was still incredible, and unlike the Henne crew he beat OSU and won a BCS game. What more could you want?
Servant. Pastor. Husband. Michigan fan in Duluth. Mostly non-sports twitter @stephenrjking
I kept thinking it would be great to have Denard out there returning a kickoff or a punt, especially in the 4th quarter. They may not have kicked to him anyway, but it would have been great to see. I'm sure NFL scouts would have LOVED to have seen that too, but more importantly, keeping Denard on the field gives us the best chance to win. Sure, you risk injury, but it was his last game, there was no point in holding back.
Also would have loved to see him used more offensively as a decoy, just to force SC defenders to account for him, and draw attention Denard's way, while the play went elsewhere. Overall, pretty happy with Borges's playcalling, but would've liked to have seen Denard on the field on just about every offensive snap (within reason) if nothing else than to draw defenders as a decoy.
Someone on the radio said out him in for 50 plays.
Risk injury, it's his last game....maybe running him into the ground till he breaks isn't the best thing for te student athlete right before he has to get drafted?
But in any case I'm not sure the value of a decoy outweighs putting a guy out there who can't block, can't throw, and might be struggling at catching too. Doing most of that with one good arm isn't easy. Unless you're passing every single play and he's just running routes.
I was worried about this game. I thought USC would shut down our offense and the only way we could win was to have a top defensive performance. I was worried about a big blow out after a few big plays and we were down by 2 TD's in the first quarter. Overall, I was impressed how the offense played and fought their way back to take the lead. If our secondary had played better we would have won this game. What I take away from this game is that we were very competitive with a top 10 football team.
A few key plays and we could have finished 11-1 but on the other side if a few key plays did not go our way we could have finished the season at 6-6 with loses to NU and MSU.
I think Hoke is doing a great job coaching and recruiting and over time we should become a perennial top 10 team as talent along with depth on the team improves.
First off, tremendous post Brian. I think the post game (usually) Monday reactions that frame the emotions of a game are where you do your best work.
Also agree with the Floyd issue. No way this 2ndary, the one that doesn't get burnt all year, gives up that many huge pass plays if he is there. I would guess we nearly doubled the big passing plays given up in this one game alone.
Re: Demens/line backing it sucks because he is prob our best pass defender in the LB corp. Howeva, Ross and Bolden both played solid games (Bolden I specifically remember crushing a screen to John Gruden's delight) and we should have a hell of a 3 way battle for 2 spots between those guys and Morgan.
Call Mr. Plow, that's my name, that name again is Mr. Plow
... technically, a play is supposed to be called dead the second a player's helmet comes off. This being the case, shouldn't the clowney recovery be nullified given he knocked Smith's helmet off before recovering the fumble? I ask this only academically, as USC got robbed on the measurement and deserved to get the ball back. Just curious about the rule here and what technically should have been called.
Do Something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn't, do something else.
So Vincent obeyed the rules by letting go of the ball.
If he has to stop play immediately when his helmet comes off, It seems logical that the fumble wouldn't count because Vince-- being a responsible and experienced senior-- dutifully stopped play, i.e, holding on to the ball.
Because I don't think I was being sarcastic. I was just having a bit of fun. I can understand my humor falling flat, but flamebait? Guess we need a "lame attempt at humor" moderation. Accuracy in all things.
Drunk M fan behind me - "corner fade! Here comes my corner fade!".....from the 50.
Same dude - "Hail! Hail! to Michigan. The (un decipherable mumble). Everyone always trails off on that part." .... No dude. Just no.
Stadium is junk. Basically, the whole experience was junk. Except for meeting Bob Ohlenroth from the '48 Rose Bowl team. That was cool.
I felt everything Brian did in this post. I had a feeling this post was coming when I was sitting in a non-moving car line and saw Brian walk by. He had the most dissapointed look on his face. I wanted to say hello but couldn't find the right words. So, hello Brian. And goodbye from Tampa.....forever.
"Should I do it, should I not? Then I crossed the goal line and was like Fuck It! and I did it." - Desmond Howard
Lots of people said that Beyer would win the WDE spot this year, too. And while he has nominally won the job, he's made 19 tackles this season, including 1 (with a half tackle for loss) yesterday, and 1 forced fumble. Yippee. Meanwhile, Clark has 25 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery. Hell, even Ojemudia has 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble in his limited playing time. We have two potential playmakers at the WDE spot, and Beyer isn't one of them.
I agree completely on J.T. Floyd. I've never been very impressed by him, but his absence weakened Michigan at CB, S, and slot corner. That was a completely selfish move on his part. I also wonder if Brandin Hawthorne - a pretty good special teams player - might have been able to help out on that Ace Sanders punt return TD. I'm not 100% sure if Hawthorne was on the punt team, but I have to think he would have been better than Sione Houma, who got out of his coverage lane and allowed Sanders to burst upfield.
Hagerup should be booted from the team or given the Darryl Stonum treatment and suspended for all of 2013.
I agree that the stadium and the area around it sucked, but the channelside area of Tampa is gorgeous. This was my first time to the area, and St. Pete was a great place to visit. I would go back if the game was a good matchup.
Michigan needs to get Ralph Lauren In charge of this shit. Assuming he doesn't make everything in China (like the Olympics brouhaha) at least they have a healthy respect for tradition. And I'd love to see the retro styled gear that they'd produce for the fans.
The uniform thing is on Brandon, not Adidas. Yes, Adidas designed uniforms in that couldn't let you read the numbers. And Adidis messed with the shoulder colors. But those uniforms were then presented to Michigan for approval. There was nothing forcing Michigan to use them. Michigan was the home team and could have worn their normal home uniforms.
David Brandon decided that these were good. David Brandon ordered Adidas to produce them for the entire team for a game. David Brandon wants Michigan to wear stupid looking alternates for special occasions.
So poor design by Adidas, but Adidas is NOT the problem. Under Armour, Nike ... they have all come up with some horrible alternates for other teams. It is up to the athletic director to decide if those horrible alternates are what he wants as a representation of his teams....