You're going to watch it again? I recommend finding a flight of stairs to fall down to save yourself a couple of hours.
You're a stronger man than I, good sir.
It was there for the taking.
It was there when Michigan had a first-and-goal on their third possession, when Vincent Smith—yes, Vincent Smith—threw an interception in the end zone.
It was there on each of the next four drives, each ending with a Denard Robinson interception.
It was there when—despite the above—Michigan faced just a ten-point deficit on their first possession of the second half, when they drove to the Notre Dame 16, only to lose a Robinson fumble.
It was there when the defense forced a do-or-die third-and-four with 2:35 on the clock, only to see Tyler Eifert beat J.T. Floyd down the sideline for a 38-yard completion.
In a game that felt like karmic retribution for the last three years, however, Michigan never seized control, instead making error after crippling error until there were no more errors to make. The defense did everything in their power to overcome the offense, holding Notre Dame to just 239 yards on 4.8 yards per play and forcing two interceptions of their own. They could not stop Robinson from turning the ball over, though, and in the end it was a triumphant Tommy Rees kneeling the clock out.
The turnovers overshadowed a stellar defensive effort, one that will sadly be forgotten in the aftermath. Notre Dame starting quarterback Everett Golson was completely ineffective, completing just one fewer pass to Michigan (two) than he did to his own team. The Irish rushing attack never got going, gaining 94 yards on 31 carries. Jordan Kovacs (7 tackles, 1 TFL) and Jake Ryan (5 tackles, all solo) both turned in outstanding games. With no margin for error, however, all it took was two poor plays on third downs—a pass interference by freshman Jarrod Wilson on the goal line and the final pass to Eifert—to foil an otherwise textbook Mattison game.
On offense, the bright spots are fewer and farther between. Fitz Toussaint finally got some holes to run though and looked like his nimble 2011 self when he found them. Roy Roundtree make a few crucial catches after largely disappearing from the offense this year. Al Borges added a promising wrinkle when Devin Gardner took an end-around only to throw downfield to fullback Joe Kerridge, drawing a pass interference on the opening drive. That's about it.
As I'm sure will be said ad nauseam in the coming bye week, all of Michigan's goals are still within reach. The Big Ten is awful and still very much there for the taking. If the Wolverines are to seize that chance, however, they'll have to be far more opportunistic than they were tonight, when a fourth straight victory over the Irish slipped through their fingers and into the hands of a team more willing to take advantage.
You're going to watch it again? I recommend finding a flight of stairs to fall down to save yourself a couple of hours.
You're a stronger man than I, good sir.
After having tons of questions about the defense and shrugging off Alabama (UM won't see another team nearly as good as them), shrugging off Air Force (UM won't see an offense like that the rest of the year) and shrugging off UMass as a baby seal, they faced an ND team with an offense that is similiar to a lot they will face in the big ten and the defense rose to the occassion.
I'm bummed about the loss but trying to look at the glass as half full. I'd like to think that the offense isn't going to be turning the ball over 6 times in a game anymore this year and if the defense can continue to grow from this game, I'd think the Big Ten is there for the taking.
Borges is insane if he keeps thinking he can run a pro style offense with Denard Robinson. Isn't that the definition of insanity? Keep trying the same failure over and over expecting a different result? Hard to watch a good defensive effort go to waste.
According to the Michigan radio guys, so I'm guessing the sling was precautionary?
People want to blame Borges? He wasn't the one who threw 4 INT's in a flat-footed manner, without stepping into the pass.
I know people love Denard and the whole dilithium thing, but he singlehandedly lost the game for us. Everybody else played great, Washington missed a few tackles and that offsides by him really hurt us, but Denard stunk up the joint, why are people afraid to tell it like it is?
Is there a we don't want to hurt Denard's feelings thing going on here? I'm mystified as to how there can be any other observation than Denard lost that game, so sad.
You're correct DR did single handedly lose the game. However Borges continued to call ineffective pass attempts with a QB who simply can't throw. There has to be a plan B. But we will never know now because a great opportunity was blown by stupidity!
I thought we saw Plan B in the second half. We went to a much more ground-heavy attack with the occasional throw to mix it up. Denard actually had considerably better stats in the second half.
Denard's mistakes were definitely the difference in the game, but most people remember the 29 other games he has started for us. Remember those? Do you recall how he has the ability to make the entire college football universe catch their breath and propel our side to victory. He can be frustrating, but he's not alone in that. Chill out and report back when Denard is making Big Ten defenses look silly.
Hard to believe that he's the same QB who generated 400 yards of total offense against AFA - 200 in the air and 200 rushing. AFA knew he was good, too, so it's not like they didnt know it was coming. The kid just has a huge beta
AFA's D is nowhere as good as ND's.....his beta seems to be dependent on the level of competition he faces. Mediocre to bad = Dilithium. Great to good = huge swings in beta.
I blame Borges for not using Denard more effectively. We all know his weaknesses. Try to minimize them by the play calling.
The price we pay for three thrilling, rip-out-the-heart wins over the domers. In the scheme of things, we're way out on top. Maybe Denard didn't eat his wheaties, but I doubt he'll ever forget about last year's game like he will this one. Looking forward to the B1G season.
I said this but I got stuffed in a barrell full of corosive liquid and burried in Bolivia.
You are correct. We don't want to hurt Denard's feelings.
Becaues this is the same Denard that generated almost 1,000 yards agianst Notre Dame in the last two games, and single-handidly won both games for us when we were not the better team.
2 miracle wins. 1 bad loss. We're more than even.
I can understand that sentiment. At the same time, I don't think we have to search for alternate scapegoats. I thought Borges called a pretty good game. Denard played his butt off and wants to win more than anyone. Sh*t happens sometimes.
Why won't Denard just throw the damn ball away!
Has anyone seen Denard throw the ball away? I can't remember one time. And I'm okay with the breakdown play if it's trying to scramble. Big things can happen by him that way and I'm okay with the times he's sacked in response.
But man, he's gotta learn to throw a play away and start again rather than endangering the possession. Maturity as a quarterback, in part, is knowing when to cut losses for the next down.
Denard has never, ever been good at just giving up on a play. This limits his scrambling effectiveness, too--guys like Vince Young and Free Cars Pryor made a living on checking the first read and then taking off. Denard believes that there is someone open to throw to and will continue to try to find that person until the bitter end. It has always been a pattern of his.
As Michigan fans we always knew that Denard was a high risk high reward Q-back. There has been a lot more rewards over the past 2 plus seasons. Tonight was just not one of them. We will fight on! Mr. Bacons article this week has given me better perspective.
The good news: I think we should be the favorite to win the B1G.
The bad news: I think we should be the favorite to win the B1G.
sit Denard one time at least to give him some time to think and come back with a vengeance.
With the bye week coming,I really would like to see the program move forward and start Bellomy and put Denard at RB, slot, combo, whatever, he ain't gonna be a QB in the NFL, he should start practicing for his future.
Jesus H. Christ. Really?
You do understand the fact that Denard is the entire Michigan offense, right? Any success that anyone else has is predicated on defense's fear of Denard. Put someone else under center and Michigan won't move the ball.
The B1G championship is still 100% intact and at this point, likely. MSU is terrible, as is OSU, Iowa, pretty much everyone. Relax. Denard had a shitty, shitty game. He'll bounce back.
Some of these people need to take a step back from the ledge.
I know I just told youto chill up the thread, but this post is just profoundly stupid. Denard is and should be the alpha and omega of our offensive production. He owns the Michigan record for total offense, and you want him to be replaced by a 3 star Redshirt Freshman who has never completed a pass? That is sinfully stupid and reductive thinking.
What An Idiot!
you sir are a moron...
You are at -1.
I modded you down again out of principle.
But I must say, in the most polite, and respectful manner, that your opinion is like the sphincter of a wooly mammoth. Unbelievably aromatic.
If there Buckeyes reading this, I will simplify that... I think what you say really stinks.
This was what pissed me off most about this game: knowing that a bunch of people would start the bench Denard talk. The kid played one of the worst games of his career and it still wasn't that bad beyond the giveaways.
Criticism is one thing, but these kids put it all out there for themselves, their team, their university, and the fans. You think he doesn't want to win? Look at that kid, if the coaches told him that he'd help the team more as a slot receiver he'd do it...with that giant smile on his face.
The way you couch it as seeing "the program move forward" is asinine and disingenious. It shows a lack of respect for the players, coaches, and even fans that don't think and speak from their jerking knees. In the rankings of what these kids play for i listed the fans last; there was a good reason for it and i'm not sure why these kids would play with everything they have for a lot of the fans.
I just don't see how the B1G champion beats USC/Oregon/Stanford.
So what's different about that this year?
I never thought I would see the day when your best player could also be your worst player.
As a matter of simple english grammar, he can't be both the best and worst player. (unless you have no other players)
And this is why so many people get so incensed at these overreactions. To call him our "worst" player ignores all the great plays he makes. He is a very good player who also makes mistakes. If you are looking for a player who plays flawless football...good luck. I have never seen one.
These were not the first interceptions that Denard has thrown. I am pretty sure they will not be the last. If you want to say he cost us this game against ND, then give him credit for winning the last 2 for us.
The timing was unfortunate, but this is not a surprise- accuracy and decision making have always been a weakness of his. He does have other strengths that, I think, more than compensate though....
"As a matter of simple english grammar, he can't be both the best and worst player."
Charles Dickens disagrees with you.
Also, it's English, not english.
I don't think the poster really thinks that Denard is our worst player. That being said, and this being a football blog (not English class), I thought the "best/worst" was a pretty simple and interesting way to get a point across. Much better that a "FUUUUUUU......" post.
of Charles Dickens' opening sentence in A Tale of two Cities. How could it be both the best of times and the worst of times? NYC Blue was merely employing dramatic license, which is what makes this the classiest blog in the blogosphere. Besides, we all know what he meant -- Denard touches the ball on almost every play, and he sometimes turns it into something beautiful, and sometimes into a disaster.
Too many mistakes for a senior QB. Hopefully he will improve through the B1G season. My projected record is in tact. I had them losing this one and 2 in B1G play. Though, I still picked Michigan to win the B1G and play in the rosebowl with an 8-4 record.
Dom Tiberi still picks Ohio to run the table. I'm amazed the media south of the border isn't more concerned about the D or the one-man-show on offense with a QB who has a history of injury trouble.
who is as huge a U-M fan as we are, she's from Iowa to boot, good job by me right? Anyway I digress, she was pissed Hoke didn't take Denard out for a little while and said the game was really annoying for her to watch, touche'
If we still had Forcier, I'd have sat Denard for a series to let him calm down. But with our only other options being either a guy who's been playing wide receiver or a redshirt freshman who has thrown two career passes, I don't think we really had a choice.
What Borges did right:
He changed the gameplan in the second half and produced offense that actually drove the field and gave Michigan a chance to win the game. And I like his early, aggressive playcalling, particularly the DGardner pass (why don't we do that sort of thing more often?) that earned a PI and got Michigan moving a bit.
What Borges did wrong:
Brian was harping on this, but I've been kinda worried about this since UMass: Under center has pretty much been a passing formation for us in most situations. A couple of Denard's picks were the class back-foot throws, but with multiple ND defenders about to decapitate him because of turn-the-back Play Action plays that nobody fell for. Ironically, Michigan's under center sets in the second half were exclusively run plays that actually worked pretty well, as well as we've seen in the Borges era. A PA after a few of those would actually have a chance of working.
Michigan burned a lot of time in the second half too. Not just on the last drive, which took a bit too long and wasn't hurried up soon enough, but in the first two, where Michigan controlled the ball for the entire quarter and only got two drives out of it. I know it's supposed to be "Michigan Football" to huddle and drain clock, but Michigan's time of possession simply did not put it in the best place to win. One extra possession could have made the difference in this game.
I don't think Borges is a bad coach, but I can't get over the feeling that if everything else were the same and Michigan's O-coordinator were a fast-spread guy putting in packaged plays and running a no-huddle, even if they drain clock, Michigan would score more points.
What else went right:
Line play was surprisingly good on both sides of the ball. I was worried the O-line would get crushed, and I think Borges was too with his gameplan; it didn't turn out that way, and Michigan created holes to run through in the second half. The D was terrific.
You have to assume, from past performances, that Michigan will sort out the details of its offense. The fact that the defense played this well, even against a middling offensive team, is a great source of encouragement.
Finally, Jake Ryan is probably the best player on the whole team right now.
according B & B on the radio call (I could NOT listen to the tv feed!), M changed their line assignments in the 2nd half and the pass protection was significantly better. I thought the 2nd half was good football (take away the Denard drop fumble). But the facts are also the we owned the 3rd quarter but scored no points. nd put together 2 drives in the 4th 1 for a FG and 1 to run out the clock and that was the game.
Hard to argue about coaching EXCEPT it certainly appears that Denard has never been coached to throw the ball away. B1G is totally up for grabs and yes the entire league is awful ... but a championship banner never shows how shitty the other teams were.
So, like, the defense played better. Fitz starting to show his old self. I'm gonna chalk up the interceptions to 'crazy shit that always happens in southbend' and weather. Mealor might be the answer at center. I'm surprised we didn't try more downfield jumpballs. I'm not surprised we lost. I feel better about the MSU game since we get them at home. Probably will lose to nebraska and ohio on the road. 8-4. Same thing I've been predicting since january.
I'm surprised they didn't try one to Gardner on 1st and 10 on the drive when they missed the FG. Throw it up to the 6'4" receiver against a corner who's totally green.
Totally agree with the need for more jump balls. Why were two of the shortest players (Smith and Dileo) involved with the HB pass at the goal line? That pass should have been a jump ball in the corner to Funchess.
to this year, you're right. But if he's as good as he was last year at throwing the ball, we figured out a way to turn a loss into a win BECAUSE of the jump ball against Notre Dame. If the latter, the coaches should have let Gardner/Funchess make a play against a weak secondary. If the former, Hoke needs to get a better quarterbacks coach.
Don't have to watch a game on NBC for another 2 years.
What an interesting case of a football player? His upside to downside continuum stretches so far. I've witnessed things I never thought I would see both good and bad. It is what it is...highs and lows.
Hoping the team can figure out a way to win the Big 10. Next year is kind of already on my mind a bit.
That's why he's the most exciting player in CFB. You just can't look away.
Don't sleep on Denard this year. He'll still have another one of his miracle games this year in a big game.