...and I proceeded to watch the play at least 25 times on my DVR.
Football is back, and major props go to drum major—and Belleville native—Jeff Okala for nailing the traditional back-bend in his very first game:
I love that the BTN showed large portions of the pregame show; they had three(!) different camera angles of Michigan touching the banner. This one's my favorite:
Of course, I'm sure you want to see GIFs from the actual game. For Kyle Kalis and Devin Funchess setting their phasers to "kill", Taylor Lewan dominating with however many arms he pleases, epic ninja Hokepoint, and much more, read on below the jump.
If you're new to OFAAT, here's the deal—I pick my ten favorite GIFs, count them down, and then you get to vote on your favorite at the bottom of the post. Click on the still images to open each GIF in a lightbox; the links on the honorable mentions (there are always honorable mentions, as I can't help but be painstakingly thorough) also open in a lightbox.
Devin Gardner's first touchdown run should probably be in the countdown, but as you'll see, it makes it in another form. Desmond Morgan stonewalls Zurlon Tipton. Dennis Norfleet comes thisclose to scoring on a reverse. Fitz maneuvers around a pretty awful pull by Lewan, cuts it back, looks like Fitz again. Raymon Taylor's interception with bonus HUSTLIN' OFFICIAL. James Ross ends any chance of Zurlon Tipton recovering this fumble. Derrick Green's 30-yard run featured great blocks from A.J. Williams and Jehu Chesson. Jetpackin' James Bond. Jarrod Wilson screen pass destruction. Drew Dileo catches third-down pass, acknowledges linebacker's futile effort to stop him. Dennis Norfleet is really weird in really awesome ways. Channing Stribling's strip. Norfleet completely embarrasses CMU kickoff coverage guy. Derrick Green's first career touchdown is appropriately mooseback-like. Devin Gardner goal line easy button. Shane Morris hits a wide open Devin Funchess. Devin Funchess subsequently gets some very awkward treatment for his unfortunately-placed cramp.
10. Catching Radius Be Damned
Jeremy Gallon is secretly 6'4", which is nice, since he also has the body control of a tightrope walker.
9. Ain't No Walk On No More, Either
Helluva grab, Joe Reynolds. The news that his injury was minor was far more of a relief than I ever expected any Reynolds-related injury news to be.
8. The Whole Point Of Holding Is To Not Let This Happen
Fighting through a hold that could've easily been called a facemask as well and somehow finishing the play should be worth two sacks.
7. So Close
Yeah, that's CMU's punter, and this return got called back on a (rather dubious) block in the back call. Do I care? No. Faceplants are one of the world's highest forms of physical humor.
The sequence of jukes to begin this return were pretty impressive, as well.
In fairness to this guy, the cameraman—and large swaths of the stadium—was fooled on this play too. Still, he's going to want to take a bathroom break when they get to this play in film study.
5. Funchess Destroys, Gardner Olés
Did Devin Funchess block the player that Gardner was pointing at? Nope. Was it still spectacular? Yup. Plus, it set up a hilarious diving whiff on the sideline, so all's well that ends well.
Alternate view of the whole play, with more of the focus on Gardner's finishing flourish.
4. Brady Hoke Ninjapoint
Great Hokepoint or Greatest Hokepoint? If the BTN hadn't been in a double-box, robbing us of the full view of the final portion of Hoke's triple-action ninja point, I'd definitively say the latter.
3. Taylor Lewan's One-Armed Finish
SI's Andy Staples makes the argument that this should be number one on the list:
@AceAnbender That one’s nice, but I prefer Lewan one for the sheer indifference to the DE whose legs were churning and taking him nowhere.
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) September 2, 2013
If we're talking most impressive block, he's absolutely right. Best GIF, however? Respectfully disagree.
2. "Roughing The Punt Blocker, On The Kicking Team"
FRAMES OF THE GAME: Kyle Kalis Thunderslam
Was there any doubt? Kyle Kalis didn't have anyone to block on Devin Gardner's 22-yard touchdown run, so he decided to help out his friend Michael Schofield and commit a violent assault:
No trident necessary; Kalis may want to lay low for a while anyway.
...and I proceeded to watch the play at least 25 times on my DVR.
On the first replay they showed (then i rewound my dvr to make sure I saw what I thought I did). What's funny is after getting flattened he almost made the tackle when Devin ran by him.
Aren't linemen taught to basically fall on top of their guy once they pancake them for that very reason? Watching Lewan he ALWAYS does that. Usually gets a little trash talking in while they're getting cozy too.
Other than that the play was awesome.
I'm partial to James Ross completely obliterating Zurlon Tipton so he couldn't recover the fumble.
After watching the game, that MO sack was my favorite. And it still is.
Overall, I think the refs did a good job opening weekend of interpreting the spirit of the rule and not the letter. Funchess's hit was clearly a shoulder check still crack-back, not a spearing type hit, even if the helmets did contact (as the poor guy's head kept moving forward after his body whiplashed backwards)
Taylor Lewan's clip is reminiscent of the scene in the Matrix where Neo gets back up after getting shot by Smith. "You go ahead and do your best and I'll handle you with one hand while I look at what's going on behind me."
So he did.
Bet that guy spent some time in the ice tub.
Nik Stauskus endorses Funchess for the "not just a pass catcher" (TM) sobriquet. I didn't see the hit during the game, so this was a very nice surprise from a guy that takes a lot of heat for his blocking.
We must enthusiastically endorse this type of violence from Funchess.
Going with the Dennis Norfleet one where he taunts? I think? the CMU player after a fair catch. Not 100% sure what is going on in the GIF but I find it hilarious.
Did a double-take the first time I saw Okala fly out during pregame. That cape is way more formidable than the old uniform. Looks awesome.
And the great thing is that backbend will probably only get better. Knees are a little close, but other than that, top notch for a first game.
Where's Monkey Rodeo as a choice?
But I agree with Andy Staples.
Ace, I'm not sure if you choose which picture the GIF is frozen on, but if you do, great work. The Funchess block, Mario sack and Lewan block are all perfect
for Kalis. The funniest was undoubtedly FUUUUMBLEEEEEEEawwwwwwwwww though. Honorable mention for Lewan and Funchess.
you're the man for giffing the Kalis destruction. I spent 20 minutes trying to do it with a crappy Youtube giffer website.
Man, I really wanted to go with the Hoke ninja point. But damn Kalis. Damn.
The banner shot was mine, along with Gallon's td. The Reynolds catch, and the hoke ninja point. I ran the low end zone camera in the student section. It's very cool to see these shots on the blog. Good job!
Good job to you!
I really want to vote for the Shane to Funchess TD because I have missed that play DEARLY over the past few years, BUT I have to give it up for the blocked punt
Tell ya what - rewatching that long run by Green, he's haulin' for a 240 pounder. Fitz might score on that play, but Green is still moving. And that's the thing - if you have a 240 pound mooseback, he's not going to break those wide open for TDs (unless his name is Tyrone Wheatley) but you just want him to have solid speed, which Green certainly does.
Know Btn will do the same thing for the Akron game. Showing the run out, band ect. It's their thing. Trying to show the college sites and sounds before kickoff.
Thank you wolvinla2. And I agree on green moving for a big guy. I think he only gets better as the season goes on. Along with smith. Like michigan's depth at running back. And the fullbacks played well too.
And fine camerawork, man. I wish the other stations would take a cue from the BTN and show more of what makes college football, well, college football. Really enjoyed the presentation from the CMU game, and that's not something I normally focus on too much.
There was a time that would have sounded really strange.
But I agree. With the advent of talking heads who tell us nothing we've really gotten away from the other things that made a college football broadcast stand out from NFL Sunday...things like showing (at least some) of the band at halftime (rather than two seconds as we got to another commercial).
I really was expecting to see the Biggs/Tipton GIF because I really remember watching that play live and whe Ross laid him out I be like dang
Lewan's one handed finish just is so morally demoralizing for the DE, it is the winner for me!
Didn't realize that was such a good catch during the game. Showed great concentration. Glad for the addition of this column/segment for this year's season. Probably my favorite. Voted for the Kalis slam, that was just rude. Just what we need on the line.