that is a BHGP thing obvs
Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.
by Nick RoUMel
Observations from Evanston:
1. I was there with ex-Punt and two friends. I hear Heiko and Brian were there as well, but I did not see them. I have met Heiko once, and Brian twice. Brian is sort of like the guy in Charlie’s Angels, where you only see the back of the chair and his hands. Or the guy who played George Steinbrenner in Seinfeld, when he was George’s boss:
2. We went to a bar before the game, and 95% of the people there were Michigan fans. Was it a special, Michigan ex-pat bar? No. They just happen to live there. Remember the Chicago area hosts perhaps the largest contingent of Michigan alums in the world. There were so many people at the game in Michigan gear that people didn’t even bother saying “Go Blue” to each other. Most of the east side and south end of the stadium were blue.
3. They apparently don’t allow parking on people's lawns near Ryan Field. You can park in a driveway and that’s it. We enriched a family by an extra $20 by surreptitiously going in the back alley way and parking by the swing set and trampoline.
4. Ryan Field is a glorified high school stadium. The concessions area basically consists of a volunteer organization grilling burgers on open grates, with folding tables in front. There is one bathroom per 40 yards of field. The video screen is essentially a 72” large screen TV at the north end and shows commercials. And despite the modest crowds, there is a ferocious bottleneck, because there is only one tunnel - no wider than Rob Ford - that serves six sections as well as the visiting locker room.
“Get cracking and beat Iowa!”
5. As we were lingering by the bottleneck at halftime, Al Borges walked right past us. We could have easily taken him out. He’s short, and no wider than Rob Ford.
6. Devin Gardner is a gamer. He takes a beating and wills himself to lead the offense in spite of the aforementioned Mr. Borges. He’s the kind of guy who would run out of the foxhole to divert the gunners while you and your sorry ass retreat into the woods.
7. While we’re on the subject of combat analogies, I have to comment on Northwestern’s military uniforms. I am here to report that “Integrity” committed a personal foul, “Courage” ducked a couple of blocks, and “Duty” forgot an assignment.
8. Going for it on 4th down late in the game, instead of kicking the tying field goal, was stunningly wrong. This from a person who thinks teams should go for it on 90% of 4th downs. This was one of the other ten percent. That thrilling game tying field goal could have been the game winner, and we were fortunate to skate out of there with the win.
[ed: YOU ARE WRONG, AND I THINK YOU ARE WRONG]
9. As we exited through that bottleneck, after four hours in the cold, windy rain, there were no boasts of “It’s great – to be – a Mich-i-gan Wolverine.” However, I did hear a few “It’s a relief – to be –” and “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye – to be –”
“It’s Great! (OW) To Be! (OW)”
10. There is an old Punt-Counterpunt trick, that when you have nothing clever to say about the upcoming game, to instead write about the week before. I for one think it is a fine trick.
But if you want my take, here it is. Iowa will beat us on both sides of the line. Our defense will keep them from making big plays, but they will plod us to death. Those hayseed homers will jeer at us mercilessly, and make us wish we hadn’t driven 450 miles to die in a cornfield. Not even the courageous Devin can save us this time:
IOWA 19, MICHIGAN 14
By Heiko Yang
Observations of the Northwestern game from Ann Arbor:
Yeah, I watched the game in Ann Arbor. Why does Punt think I’m in Evanston? Oh. He asked me if I was in town, and I said yes. I assumed “in town” meant Ann Arbor. Sorry, Punt, but just know that if Michigan wins this game, it’s because Ace and I took one for the team and decided not to go.
Boy, watching this game is a lot more bearable in a living room than it would be in a press box. I miss being able to swear loudly.
Isn’t it some kind of a felony to tackle an American flag to the ground?
Oh my god, a bubble screen! Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Funchess of all players is the guy catching these? The whole point of getting the ball out quickly to an uncovered slot receiver is that he can make a guy miss in the open field. Lining up a humongous quasi tight end in the slot is just so indicative of Michigan’s attachment to manball. Even when they spread things out, they still plan on running right into you.
I’m watching the game with a Northwestern fan. He was supposed to be playing a drinking game. Now he’s just drinking. Northwestern fans are the best.
Devin Gardner looks like a guy who fell off his bike and decided to forget how to ride it. What happened to the guy dissecting defenses with ease and was on pace for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns? These days it looks like things have regressed to the point where he’s on the “Denard” plan, where Borges basically gives him one read, and if that guy isn’t open, he’s supposed to run.
The defense is disciplined and rarely caught out of position. Against a team like Northwestern that screws with your keys, that’s a great sign. Unfortunately against Iowa it will be a different story. Iowa’s not designed to get yards by catching a defense off balance. They prefer to win one-on-one matchups, where things like “toughness” and “fundamentals” start mattering more. I’m not sure how well a freshman defensive end playing interior defensive lineman is going to hold up against that.
But hey, Heininger Certainty Principle, am I right?
Michigan has established a positive-yardage running game, which is great. It needs to be able to use that and take some balls downfield against Iowa in order to have a chance to win at Kinnick. The good news is Iowa’s vanilla defense is usually pretty passive and probably not going to blitz the crap out of Gardner on passing downs. The bad news is … Well the bad news is Michigan just has a terrible offensive line and a terrible road offense. Gardner doesn’t need to be blitzed to get sacked.
But I’m supposed to be positive, so I’m going to say Jeremy Gallon recovers from a couple late-game drops to torch B.J. Lowery (against whom I still hold a grudge for the uncalled pass interference on Roy Roundtree on the last play of the game two years ago) for a pair of touchdowns to give Michigan a narrow victory.
MICHIGAN 20, IOWA 17.