Turnovers being the one big thing. Both sides of the ball played very well on Saturday night except for one guy who made some bad decisions at the exact wrong time. It happens, it shouldn't, but it does.
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.
I can't agree with the statement both sides did well. I will say that I did like the play calling. Also Denard is way better than what we saw Sat night. I know that for a fact. It sucks that his mistakes are usually costly ones.
I had some issues with the offensive playcalling, example "Vince Smith throwing the ball inside the red zone." I was sitting in that end zone and when I saw the pitch I instantly thought "get outside, get outside" Then I instantly thought "What the hell?" That was not the time to get cute.
Yes, Denard had a bad game, but that is not all on him. There are many plays that could have been called to help make your players make plays. We drove the ball well, but shot ourselves in the foot too many times with either a turnover, bad play call or combination of the two.
Luckily, there is still plently of time to make some corrections, discipline decision making, and win the Big 10. This game was not pretty and a fairly disheartening loss (b/c ND is not that good), but, again, I was impressed with the defense and most of the offense.
worst Monday in a while. Everyone loses. Now to the game, I was happy with the defense, they did a good job other than a handful of plays (JT YOU NO SLIP!) looked like the D-Line got some good push but needed to close on some tackles, QWash could have had a few tackles for loss that I saw, this eased my pain a bit as I looked at the rest of the schedule...play solid D and our goals can still be accomplished.
Denard, ugh, I think his worst day ever? Come back strong shoelace, shake this shit off and focus on the B1G. Like all of you know B1G is awful this year and I think its up for grabs.
again, sigh.....Go Blue