I noticed on Saturday that the awesome power of the MGoBanner has finally been realized.
11/13/2010 – Michigan 27, Purdue 16 – 7-3, 3-3 Big Ten
I lasted a quarter and a half before giving in to my inner old man and muting the television. Chris Martin had not just said that the receiver Roy Roundtree reminded him of was Braylon Edwards, but that's all I remember from the first hour. I love the Big Ten Network's picture quality and was pleasantly surprised when Saturday's director consistently cut away from highlight packages to show the game. Not so much the people paid to talk.
I was home alone since the last time I tried to watch a game in the company of people it was the Penn State game. I went home at halftime after demonstrating my severe case of sports Tourrette's. I didn't trust the team enough to expose the world to me for those three hours on Saturday, and that turned out to be a good call. Slop happened, swears were deployed, and sometime in the third quarter Sean Robinson threw a ball directly at James Rogers for the ninth turnover of the day.
It was a this point that Yakety Sax spontaneously started playing in my otherwise silent apartment.
Possibilities washed over me. One: I have been driven insane by last four years of Michigan football. Two: I am now dangerously, thrillingly super-sane and will walk-around hearing situationally appropriate music everywhere I go. I will hear "Yes We Have No Bananas" and know I don't need to bother with the produce section. People will have to tell me what Mark Dantonio says as "Breakin' The Law" thunders in my skill. I will stop complaining about Special K because instead of "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor," I will hear the marching band.
I ONLY EAT BANANAS AND HEAR YAKETY SAX SPONTANTEOUSLY WOOOOOOO—damn. It turns out that I still had a liveblog window open and when you post a video it auto-plays because it loves breaking the cardinal rule of the internet. Elaborate sigh, dreams deferred.
I'd forgotten because I don't participate in the liveblogs mostly because I'm at the games. Even when I'm not I avoid them—I don't like my own furious overreactions, let alone the furious overreactions of hundreds of other people.
What have we learned in week ten? Eh… I'm not sure you can take much out of this game except a growing concern for Denard Robinson's turnover issues and healthy fear of Ryan Kerrigan. Football played between good teams gets ugly when the rain is constant and the field starts coming up in big sliding chunks; football between bad teams causes spontaneous yakety sax. I don't think we're under the illusion that Michigan is a good team.
The footing issues were most apparent with the tailbacks but applied to everyone, so I'm not sure how much the offensive line getting owned was the conditions and how much was Kerrigan being Brandon Graham 2010 and how much was just the offensive line getting owned. The rest of the problems extended from that—Denard got the first serious, consistent pressure of his career and responded like most quarterbacks dealing with their first case of happy feet do. The running game was a slog. This week's epidemic of dropped passes has a good reason.
Unfortunately, the same logic applies to the other side of the ball, where Michigan took on Gritty Eckstein at tailback and went to work against a team that got the ball down 11 with no timeouts and a minute and a half left and decided this was the best course of action:
The scariest thing Purdue's offense did all day was start Justin Siller. We have finally found the team whose offensive incompetency outstrips Michigan's defensive incompetency.
There is no data here not obviously affected by the opponent and the weather. Next week when the footing is solid and the opponent has a quarterback whose default option is not a dumpoff to the other quarterback everything will be completely different. Since it was a win—one that was in retrospect not in much danger after Michigan scored to go up 20-13—this game will be relegated to the scrap heap of mud-ugly games past and forgotten.
Now if I can just figure out where "Livin' on a Prayer" is coming from, we are in business.
This did not happen. Remember that these things can be much, much worse. The saddest picture in the history of Michigan football came from the 2008 Fandom Endurance III game:
The Orin Incandenza Award. The play of the game is Will Hagerup's 72-yard bomb early in the fourth quarter that put Purdue on their own three. Courtney Avery would biff a long handoff on the next play but give the ball back on a fumble. Michigan punt, Purdue punt, Michigan excellent field position for clinching touchdown. Watching this game was a blast from the past; feeling my decision matrix switch from GO FOR IT GO FOR IT GO FOR IT to "it's third and seven, we should run it and then punt" was like being possessed by the ghost of Lloyd Carr*.
That thing flipped the field position in a game where field position is a tug of war instead of a minor inconvenience en route to the endzone. It soared. The returner is a lithe whippet of a man somewhere around 20 years old and he didn't bother to run since it was too long. Ain't running that far. That's going to China, yo.
*(The author is aware that Carr does not actually have a ghost.)
Growing concern for turnover issues. The interceptions were bad but maybe that just happens because of the weather and the pressure which may have been caused by the weather, etc., but the fumble was the continuation of a bad habit we've seen all year: when Denard gets outside he does not switch the ball to the outside arm. On Saturday that allowed some guy to come from the inside and strip the ball as he spun Denard to the ground. That's a basic coaching point and I'm not sure why a guy who runs as much as Denard hasn't had it hammered into his skull.
Quarterback rotation. I thought putting in Forcier here and there was the right move even if it didn't result in any of those yard things (Forcier was one for four and his one completion was blown up by a Molk hold, leading to another pooch punt) since the offense wasn't going anywhere and the two quarterbacks are different enough that it's plausible Forcier could do something Denard couldn't, especially after the two INTs.
I also liked Rodriguez's response to some question about "benching Denard." To paraphrase: benching is a strong word. If he's a tailback or wide receiver he's getting a rest. We put him back in. You are making 1000 times less than me for a reason.
Last part probably another hallucination.
Might as well try it.
Right, I mean? Right? I think the headphones are key.
Grim weather past. All games played in driving rain on shoddy turf kind of melt into each other, a never-ending parade of fumbles, third and eight runs, five yard throws that hit spectators in the face, and either shots of people looking wet and cranky in ponchos or looking grim and cranky in a poncho yourself.
But in one specific way, this game reminded me of a previous slopfest around 2002 or so when a to-that-point disappointing Justin Fargas had the first and only 100 yard game of his Michigan career in a mud pit against Northwestern. Fargas was much better than Michigan's other backs because he was small* and could change direction without engaging pratfall warp drive. I thought of him as Vincent Smith changed direction relatively quickly and came up a yard short of the first 100 yard game of his career not played against baby seals.
I also was like "aaargh why aren't you a step faster" several times. Smith's had a good couple games but unless he's not really 100% after the knee injury it seems like it's cost him some of his giddyup.
*(He would get Brian Cushing roid huge at USC—at Michigan he was diminutive.)
A moment of pure terror. Was anyone else about to have a conniption fit after Avery let that WR zip by him with nothing but Ray Vinopal between that guy and the endzone? Rogers was pursuing to the backside so if Vinopal missed he just had to slow the guy or make him cut back, but watching a true freshman two star scurry down his angle as the last thing between Purdue and a 97-yard wide receiver screen touchdown is a whiskey-inducing experience.
Vinopal made a fine tackle and Purdue had the decency to fumble on the next play, so the moment passed successful. But jeez.
I-form: die. Die die die. Die die die die die.
Oddities. One: Gallon was clearly not making a fair catch signal and shouldn't have been flagged. Two: Purdue kicked off from the 35 once. WTF?
No Video of All Varieties yesterday because the pickings were understandably slim, but here's a bird talking about the game. Stay tuned for the twist ending:
I wish this would happen to certain WTKA callers. There is also a Wolverine Historian clipreel:
Purdue bloggers say their defensive back who scored "displayed shades of Deion Sanders" by having a ball thrown directly at him whilst being five yards from the nearest receiver. They do post video of girls fighting. The guy who guaranteed a win declares the game the "ugliest football game" he's ever attended, which yeah pretty much. The comments are weirdly negative. If mean, if anyone deserves a pass it's Purdue and their new mascot:
On to Michigan blogs: the Hoover Street Rag drops a Warren G. Harding reference that I misread as a "Warren G" reference when they tweeted it out. Alas, these guys are still bandos and history teachers (I'm guessing, anyway) and we don't get to find out what bandos/teachers would say in re: Warren G and Michigan football. The Harding bit:
Harding was widely reviled for his incompetence, his willingness to let his friends do as they pleased, the general sense of fail that emanated White House followed him until his death in 1923. Except, when historians look back, they see that things were not as bad as they once thought. Harding was blamed when things went wrong, but got little to no credit for the things that went right. People saw what they wanted to see and argued their points as they chose a new path to their future. Then again, Harding never got America bowl eligible, so we'll see.
Chances Sarah Palin adopts "get America bowl eligible" as a campaign slogan: 50-50. The Big House Blog has a very silly picture of a dog in a poncho and The Wolverine Blog grabs a shot of Lewan rumbling with the ball.
I noticed on Saturday that the awesome power of the MGoBanner has finally been realized.
1). *(The author is aware that Carr does not actually have a ghost.)
While true, according to Tom Rinaldi, Lou Holtz does, which explains many many things.
2). True story: Until a week and a half ago, "Regulate" was my default ringtone on my phone.
Is that what you told people when they would ask why you had the Doobie Brothers on your phone?
But this is a game I will not want to watch again. I look forward to the UFR however.
Even the pre-rain has maddening bits like Denard's fumble.
"it's third and seven, we should run it and then punt" was like being possessed by the ghost of Lloyd Carr
I believe I said something like this out loud during the game.
Midway through the third my mindset was "Punting is winning, punt and play defense baby." Talk about a flashback to the mid 2000s.
You can't have said that in 2005.
Come to think of it, this was probably the most Lloyd Carr game I've seen since Lloyd Carr. Run run pass, run run pass. 4th quarter? Oh we should probably put the game away now. But we'll keep it closer than it needs to be just for $hits and giggles.
I remember that Fargas game as '98. Had to be, because I was watching it with the WISE (Women in Science & Engineering -- a floor full of freshman nerd-chicks*) girls on the top floor of Mosher-Jordan, and they were unimpressed with my extensive football knowledge.
I thought of this game as well -- posted it on the liveblog. That game was worse because of the injuries.
That game produced one of the best quotes ever. Unfortunately, I can't find it exactly, but, when asked about his performance, Fargas said, "I run for the Lord, and I run for Michigan." Word.
Do those shorts have pockets? I'm just sayin'.
That guy must really like kicking!
If not, one can't help but wonder what those headphones are plugged into.
Yes, the F bomb was loud and frequent at our house.
But, M is now 7-3 which is fantastic. Those complaining are true asshats.
Remember, the last 2 years, M figured out how to lose to Purdue (hook and ladders and on-side kicks, et. al.).
Does this mean that Brian has a genie who has granted him three wishes, and Brian has used one to have his own theme music that follows him wherever he goes?
I-form: die. Die die die. Die die die die die.
Man the I-Form appears to have moved in and brought it's buddy the "Full House" formation with it. All those weird places with a TE or the like in the backfield, along with the RBs and QB. That was trippy (and horribly ineffective).
Lewan riding donkey-Kerrigan, just because it's my favorite picture from Saturday.
(There may be a more appropriate place for this comment but there are lots of pics-from-newspaper-galleries here, so why not. Detnews, FYI)
Lewan is going to be SOOO good the next three years, as demonstrated by his performances far beyond his years against both Kerrigan and Clayborn. They both got their shots, but Lewan had his moments with each of them.
Lewan is that guy you hate on other teams and love on your own. Gotta get a 77 jersey.
"You are making 1000 times less than me for a reason."
For everyone that questions every call.
And folks can't figure out why Randy Moss tells the press to FO?
I have not heard a resonable quesion from anyone in the media for, oh, uh, hmmmm, ........
Pretty sure they kicked off from the 35 yard line after the long interception return for a TD. That was due to a 5 yard penalty against Michigan for Sideline Encroachment or something of that sort, that was enforced on the kickoff. I thought they always gave a Sideline Warning before enforcing a penalty though.
I think it's called "sideline interference," and evidently they changed the rule a couple of years ago (see below). (source: New Rules for College Football, 2008)
Rule 9-1-6 : Sideline warning changed to sideline interference foul
While the ball is in play, coaches, substitutes and authorized attendants in the team area may not be between the sideline and coaching line or on the field of play.
PENALTY—Administer as a dead-ball foul.
First and second infractions: Delay of game for sideline interference, five yards from the succeeding spot.
Third and subsequent infractions: Unsportsmanlike conduct for sideline interference, 15 yards from the succeeding spot.
Previously, coaches got the first two sideline warnings free. Not anymore!
It was a this point that Yakety Sax spontaneously started playing
The exact same thing happened to me after I set down the laptop. Freaked me out.
Keep your hands raised.
Great, now thanks to Brian I have Regulate going through my head. Hopefully, we will mount up on Saturday.
I've got the Michael McDonald version going through my head.
"Michigan’s 27-16 victory over Purdue was one of the ugliest, most offensively-inept football games I’ve ever witnessed. It had the feel of a middle school orchestra concert — disjointed, out of sync, full of false starts and fumbled notes, and with the occasional flashes of synchronous potential usually overshadowed by the impending folly. This was Big Ten, bad-weather football at its nadir, a November symphony of cacophony."
+1 whether you wrote it or not. I remember those nails-on-chalkboard orchestra concerts I used to be a part of.
but before the game I had a suspicion it would be closer than the spread. I also told myself before the game that any win is great for us right now and win we did.
I am now expecting us to lose the next two games and feel a pleasant sense of calm. A win in either game would be huge, but Rodriguez is safe, as is a winning record and a bowl game.
And another thing, I feel like we haven't come close to playing our best game. That is what it would take to win against Wisconsin or OSU but if we could somehow play our best game on defense and generate a few turnovers while executing on offense without the penalties or turnovers, and then not have major mistakes on special teams, we have a chance to beat anyone. Lets just hope we peak at the right time.
I enjoyed the game. A lot.
Even in great years, we dont get many days to celebrate a Michigan win.
Thank you for confirming that I wasn't losing my mind by thinking that the Gallon delay of game penalty was conjured out of thin air by the officials. The BTN knuckleheads just breezed right over it with nary a comment.
I thought the same thing at the time, but then I caught a little bit of a discussion at Rivals.
From what I gathered, the rule is that the ball cannot be advanced more than two steps after a valid or invalid fair catch call. From NCAA Rules Section 2-7 (2) and 2-7 (3): The rule for a valid signal is extending one hand above your head and waving it from side to side more than once. The rule for an invalid signal is any signal that doesn't meet the requirements for a valid signal.
So with the above in mind, it seems to me that Gallon made an invalid fair catch call and then attempted to advance the ball, which is against the rules. Another poster in that thread mentioned that the inclusion of the "or invalid" part of the rule came about within the past few years after UConn purposely made invalid fair catch calls in an attempt to fool the punting team into complacency. They even went so far as to give the refs a heads-up that they were going to be using invalid fair catch calls.
Take all this for what it's worth, but I can see a case for the penalty having been correctly applied.
Credit where due; here's the Rivals post, for those of you who have access:
Edit: Beaten by a few guys below. +1 to them.
I loved the way Vincent Smith has run the past couple of weeks. Where has this been all season?
Also, any announcer who says "GPS says: Endzone" should be fired on the spot. Don't even wait for the commercial, just take his headset away and tell him to get lost. But then again, the BTN is affiliated with Fox Sports, which is known for having really terrible play-by-play and color guys.
I think we're seeing Vincent gain confidence in his reconstructed knee, and thus move more decisively. That's always a hurdle for guys coming off surgery.
Smith did appear much more confident, but let us not forget the horrible missed tackles by the Purdue run defense all game.
Let's not also forget that he averaged more YPC a week earlier against a more competent Illinois LB corps.
As I A) originally captured the SD feed of the game by accident, B) had my video editing S/W repeatedly refuse to recognize the second half of the game once I got the HD feed captured, and C) once I got it to take the game in parts, it repeatedly looped on "Rodriguez gets... Rodriguez gets... Rodriguez gets..." over the final handshake. A lot of work for a highlight reel of an ugly game, but a W is a W.
but it was 10 (Gallon) in the slot and never looked back inside. DR took off towards the line, and the safety was coming up hard.
Brian, you should auction off the opportunity to bring yourself to someone else's away game viewing party. I would pay an embarring amount of money for this.
Rule 2-7-3, Invalid Fair Catch Signal: "An invalid signal is any waving signal by a player of [the receiving team] that does not meet the requirements of a valid signal."
So the back-and-forth hand motion that Gallon made at waist level is an "Invalid Fair Catch Signal."
Rule 6-5-2: "No [receiving team] player shall carry a caught or recovered ball more than two steps in any direction after a valid or invalid fair catch signal by any [receiving team] player."
So that was what Gallon was flagged for, I guess.
Better than the 5-0 win in '95. At least it wasn't cold enough for that rain to be sleet like it was at that game.
On the fair catch ruling. Everyone misses this rule, so I don't blame Brian, but the officials were correct to penalize Gallon. The returner can commit a fair catch related penalty in two ways: (1) running after giving a valid fair catch signal, or (2) giving an invalid fair catch signal and then running. Gallon, waived his arms before catching the ball and running, thus an invalid fair catch signal. The rule is in place to take away any ambiguity in the return game. If a punt coverage player sees a returner waving his arms he is not to hit the return man. This way he doesn't have to make a split second decision based on whether or not the return man got his arm above his shoulder pads. Purdue's players immediately argued that Gallon had waved his arms, obviously aware of the rule.
Gallon needed to make a valid fair catch signal there. In other scenarios, say a true bouncing ball, I think you can get away with waving your arms to get people away and then if the ball takes a bounce towards you, catch it and immediately go down, saving the extra yardage and probably not picking up a penalty.
EDIT: Beaten by Alton, with actual rules even.
So the difference here is that Gallon actually caught the ball and then ran with it? Because punt returners give that no-go signal that Gallon gave all the time.
Exactly... usually the "no-go" signal is given when there is no hope of catching the ball on the fly. Thus no problem for an invalid fair catch signal.
That does appear to be the distinction, yes. Typically when the returner gives the "no-go" signal, he doesn't field the ball.
Props to the officials for apparently getting it right, and to the people on this board for having such a comprehensive knowledge of the rules.
When instead of going up 21-3 we went to 14-10 I thought that this team wanted nothing more than for my heart to grind to a hault and for my GF to come home only to find her BF dead on the living room floor holding a half full Pabst. This game would have been so much more enjoyable if not for that horrible INT.
I swore so many times that my GF and I came to an agreement that if we ever have kids we can't let them watch Michigan Football with daddy. And having my hypothetical kids watch Michigan Football with daddy is probably the only reason I would want to have kids.
When Hopkins looked so lost before that I-Form play that he fumbled the handoff a second later I got up from the couch walked into the bedroom and fell face first onto the bed only to get back up walk back to the TV and scream "what the fuck are you fucking doing?" I have to watch Michigan Football alone or in the stands. I am a crazy person.
I have to watch Michigan Football alone or in the stands. I am a crazy person.
More precisely, one who has remained faithful to the Wolverines despite The Horror, 3-9, NCAA sanctions, 5-7, Sheridammit, Yakety Sax, ....
In not so many words: like (most of) the rest of us.