We lost the battle on both lines, but still were sitting in a comfortable position for most of the game until The Incident.
Well for the umpteenth year in a row, we beat Notre Dame almost entirely because a QB had a lights out game. Chad then Tate then Denard then Denard then Denard then Devin.
It is bizarre that we were thoroughly pwned in the trenches and still scored 41 points and won
What was with that DL rotation? Why didn't Gordon play much at all?
I really don't care. We won.
I'm assuming Cam Gordon? Didn't even notice his absence because we played so conservative on D. Also Beyer got our loan sack at the most opportune time so I'm fine with him being in there.
ALL HAIL PRO-STYLE BORGES
Kate upton pleaseeeeee
If I were the defense I would not be looking forward to the next practice...
For all the shit we give Tommy Rees, you gotta hand it to him.... the guy did a great job making the right checks and putting the ball where it needed to be all night. Our defense was in bend don't break mode all game aside from a few key calls to bring pressure. It ended up being the right call as or offense was able to pull away.
I thought he had an outstanding game.
Rees had a hell of.a game and read and reacted to our D pretty well. Seems we still need to add some talent to the depth at D-line though.
It shouldn't be that surprising. The guy has started and played in a ton of games and won most of them.
3rd best QB performance for um vs nd in the last 4 years. Hahahaha
What the hell is up with the defense?
Really curious about the scheme in the secondary. SOOO much cushion. Hard to say if it's because we just don't have the speed in the secondary to hang or because Mattison schemed it that way because of what he saw in ND's offense.
I think we're still protecting our safeties. There was still some rotation back there so I don't think the coaches have options they really love. We did adjust with more press coverage from the CBs but then we were dropping LBs back and getting burned by their TE underneath. I'm kinda surprised we stuck to the 4 man rush since they weren't getting there, especially on the quick hitters.
'Cause we haven't had an interception on a pass greater than 20 yards in a long time. So this means Tommy Rees should've been going deep all night; obviously, Mattison watches what Holtz says on Game Day to make last minute adjustments to his game plan...
I think because we're so young were back to the"bend but don't break" scheme till the coaches get a little note faith in our boys.
I didn't see him on the field all night.
Played a lot, but he lined up with a hand down for most of his snaps. Q didn't play much and our run defense suffered as a result.
Cam Gordon laid a couple of big licks tonight, but they were at the end of plays, rather than at the LOS or in the backfield. He was dropping rather than charging. Mattison really showed a LOT of respect for Rees arm tonight, to the point that it opened things up big time for the ND Rush game.
The D gave up 23 points against a senior-led offense . . . and without Jake Ryan. Let's keep that in mind. It bent but did not break. Did ND have a play of 30+ yards?
This. It was all "keep in front and inside" defense, requiring Rees to repeat his success many times in order to gain points. A little worrisome at times, but proven to have succeeded. Glad Mattison began dialing up blitzes a bit in the second half.
From An ND Blog:
"Stat of the game:
Louis Nix III recorded just four tackles and two of them (including the one for a loss) came when the game was already out of hand. Not once did Notre Dame’s stud defensive lineman -- who was going up against three interior offensive linemen from Michigan who all saw their first starts just a week ago -- get to Gardner."
Gardner shined in spite of the pressure, either making quick decisive throws or using his athleticism to get outside and keep the play alive.
Most QBs would have wilted under that pressure, but Gardner has the tools/smarts to deal with it. He's special.
Yeah, what snarling wolverine said. I'm a little surprised to see so many complaints about the defense.
We held ND to under 100 yards rushing, and in the air, the strategy was obviously to make Tommy Rees beat them over time via consistently accurate throws and good choices. The strategy was proven right as Tommy couldn't do that. His first interception was the turning point in the game. His first touchdown was a deflected pass that took a very lucky (for the Fig Things) bounce on third down; you can make an argument that our defense was unlucky to cede more than a field goal there. His second interception was not deflected because of luck; it was deflected because of skill. Morgan was all over that and Rees made a bad choice on 1st down to try to force a pass there. It was luck that Countess intercepted it, but the tip itself wasn't luck.
So the D gave up 23 points, and if it weren't for a lucky deflection bounce in the endzone, it would have been 19. That's pretty good.
I'm on record, the Nd dl is probably the best we will face this year...maybe the next few...and we more than held our own with young OL. The future is bright and the expectations this year went way up.
Borges gets a slow clap.
but i felt like the line was super porous (man, ND is scary up front), but Borges and especially Gardner overcame it
They got a lot of pressure but they have 2 top 20 nfl picks one on the interior and one at end (with day rotating who i think will be in nfl). When we needed to push, we finished.
Fitz averaged 4.7 YPC against what is basically an NFL defensive line that was selling out to stop the run for good chunks of the game. We will be able to run the ball just fine this season against all but maybe two other teams (MSU and OSU).
Edit: 4.7 YPC until those terrible horse collars at the end, which brought him down below 4.
ND definitely horsecollared/facemasked him multiple times. I could not believe it was never flagged.
I agree with what you are saying, but before we attack the officials, lets not forget the GIFT pass interference call late in the 4th. That was just a great play by the ND Cb and we benefitted from that hard
thank you for makeup calls for not calling the two facemasks and horsecowler
IMO both PI calls were obvious as hell. You CANNOT shove a WR while the ball is in the air (Gallon) or hold the TE (Funchess) thru the ENTIRE play. I would have been PISSED if either wasn't called. Learn the rules please.
He finished at 3.2 ypc, not a great day for him but also not his fault on many runs
well played by Borges. We could not run with Fitz till the very end. still put up 40 and win it.
the inner line got burnt all night and the DL got almost no pressure, so we have stuff to work on.
Borges != Debord. That was my biggest concern with the Hoke hire when it happened.
so good to have you back, Blake Countess
Would have won us the bowl against S. Car last year. Then the Clowney hit would have been anticlimatic and ESPN would have moved on to something else to hype.
If you think about it the D only surrendered 23 points, which - while not amazeballs - is probably acceptable against a top 20 opponent. I woulda liked to see less of the Tommy Rees air raid, but the D got stops when they absolutely had to. And this was with playing a lot of first and second year guys against an O-line laden with seniors. We'll be fine and we'll be downright lethal come the end of season, which is when we'll need the young guys to really step up.
Also - was I missing something or was there not a lot of Avery in the game? He might be still dinged up
Looking forward to when giving up that many is unnacceptable no matter who it's against. They obviously have some work to do but that's the end of my Debbie Downerness. Just jacked that they sent purple face away without the win.
Post Michigan night game run down on ESPN reads Clowney, Clowney, Manziel, Manziel, Manziel... thanks guys.
To be fair, they basically spent the first fifteen minutes of the show on UofM.
I've never seen a 'highlight' where the quarterback completes a twenty yard pass and the focus is a Dlineman who grabbed his arm?
Defensive strategy was a bit strange, but the offense absolutely crushed against probably the best DL we'll face all season. Not at all unhappy with what we saw here today. Gardner to Gallon = victory.
absolutely crush = alabama vs. nd ncg. we're still a couple years away from manbaw domination
You don't have to manball someone to crush them. We still put up 41 points on the either best or second best defense we'll play all year
Hell yes! Hail yes! Beat the chickens! Fuck Notre Dame. I love Michigan. Go Blue baby!!!!
We are a legitimate top ten team and won't truly be tested until Ohio state. My expectations have been ratcheted up massively
at Northwestern, at MSU, at Penn State?
I'm excited but we'll be tested.
I actually laughed out loud at this. You clearly haven't watched MSU or PSU. Fuck awful. I predict a shutout against Sparty.
Northwestern will be our toughest game this year.
And it's at Northwestern.
OTOH. I haven't watched them. Are they slinging it all over the field, or is it all option run stuff? Right now, I'm expecting the NW game to be Scorefest.
MSU? It ought to look like ND, without them getting 30, unless somehow their defense gets 4 touchdowns and a safety against us. But the game is in the land of tornadoes, trash, creative clock control and butt-grab pass interference...so we probably don't put 40 on them.
As expected by everyone outside of E. Lansing and a few moronic preseason rankings, MSU's offense is the most anemic excuse for an offense I've seen in a while. However, their defense is looking pretty good and rivalry games always have the potential to go either way. It will be a test for us regardless of how much of a blowout it looks like on paper.
You must be young. Msu prepares for Michigan six months in advance and always pulls out all the tricks. They will score but we should still win. At NW I still predict a loss for us.
MSU is going to give it everything they have, sure, but they don't have a serious RPS advantage against a QB who can't throw any more, and that's going to make a big difference.
FWIW, MSU's offense is averaging 9 PPG against a pair of teams that have lost to FCS opponents (one of whom put up 53 points against one of those opponents). I would not at all be surprised if MSU's offense doesn't score 100 points this season. UM's offense will top 100 points on the season next game (I feel like that's a safe call).
Again, MSU will give it their damndest, but without an offense and against Gardner, I don't think it's close. At all.
and UM plays Akron next I would say that it is a pretty safe bet that they will reach 100 pts on the season.
Not that young, and they couldn't score on us last year when they had Leveon Bell and a real live tight end. They now have neither. Your MGoPessimism is strong, but you're not convincing me they are a threat this year. And you're only predicting a loss against NW because every pundit and their mother has predicted them to sneak up on the world. Newsflash, if EVERYONE predicts them to be a sleeper, they're not really a sleeper. It will be a tough game, but I predict a W.
Not sure we can shut out Sparty's defense.
Insightful and funny
He'll have some new tricks ready for us, like putting an offense on the field.
Ah, and I thought they were just terrible. Dantonios the master of the long con.
Now I understand why he doesn't want to play Michigan anymore!
Credit where credit is due; this was the anti-ohio game by Borges. Fantastic job.
Borges actually called a really good game against OSU in 2011.
Ahhh I love this
This is probably my favorite moment from the game, to be honest.
Honorable mention for when Musburger said "Butt was the target."
It made me smile through the tension of our narrow lead.
I have a seriously unhealthy man crush on Hoke.
Win or lose, I love that guy.
this looked like a RR game.
critical-thinking snowflake: offense actually looks sustainable. gardner is a sharp passer, typically poised (i'll ignore that poopthrow), knows when to scramble, and has big play capability. running game outside of devin looks poopy, but i liked the play calling to use devin to set up fitz. had a huge 22 yard run that really changed momentum after the devin poopthrow.
defensive line looked atrocious. front seven didn't do much. but, tackling was very solid, we didn't give up any huge plays, made plays when we had to, and maybe just had one rough game. benefit of the doubt goes to mattison.
I would bet a fair amount that Notre Dame's rushing defense at the end of the year is in the top ten. That was tough sledding and Fitz had basically 4 yards/carry without that last series of obvious-running-play-is-obvious.
I think the running game will be average to slightly above average, which will be fine if Devin/Gallon stay healthy.
You can't have the best of everything, but the running game is not a liability
While we failed to get pressure on Rees tonight, I have a lot of confidence in Hoke and Mattison to get those guys in shape. We have a few more games to work that out before our next real test. Great win. Go Blue!
We got just enough pressure to hurry a few throws and smack him around a bit.
And we coulda won 48 - 23 real easy.... the skys the limit this season
Not as close as it seemed. Can't wait for Jake MF Ryan to join the D again. I think we just punched our ticket to 7-0 when we head to East Lansing.
It just makes last years Ohio game that more frustrating.
Gardner was all that and a bag of chips. The D was very good. Mattison did some. Prevent/ soft stuff, but I believe it's because he figured Rees would make mistakes.
I'm going to miss our little receivers (Dileo and Gallon). I hope hoke doesn't go all big WR on us. Even though big WRs are ideal.
Notre Dame looked flat-out impressive. Their offensive line was very good, their defensive line eats planets, their secondary is fairly good, their running backs and receivers are good, and I hate to admit it, but Rees was 100% spot-on on most of his throws. The reason why this game is NOT like 2011 is because 2011 featured some yakety-saxing that happened to go in our favor and the defense was partially helped by Rees being turrible. Tonight was more similar to the Georgia-Clemson game... two good teams actually playing some good football against each other. In the end it came down to which team made more plays and guess what, that was Michigan.
Btw... What's up with Chesson? Get him a curl or a screen at least... damn.
That's what I've been saying, two weeks and not even 1 throw his way?
Not worried about the defense at all. Missed Q.Wash, he eats up double teams which frees up everybody else on the line. That was the biggest issue I seen. Team looked great. Only 23 points given up. Great performance.
Credit where credit is due - Rees is a good passer. The D-line needs to step it up, but... let's not forget the Heinenger Certainty Principle when you see them play in November
we are good at football.
When will ND stop having 6'10" 350 pound athletic white TEs? MADNESS.
This will be the only snowflake, being the first one. I let two go last week because I got to the computer late.
We won the battle of yards per play by slightly less than a full yard in the end - we gained an average of 6.39 yards per play to Notre Dame's 5.69. However, we typically do well when we're outgaining our opponents by about 0.5 yards or better.
We allowed 410 yards, 314 of them in the air - those who were wondering about the pass rush were pointing out something that does need to be address, I would think. The run defense was actually not bad - Notre Dame only managed 96 yards, but it was on 19 attempts (indeed, we were outdone on a YPC basis by almost a full yard despite rushing for 166 yards).
Final line on Gardner - 21 of 33 for 294 yards and 4 TDs with 1 INT (let's not discuss this one), which means 8.91 YPA or 14.0 yards per completion. Gardner also gained nearly half (82 yards) of Michigan's rushing yards as well. Fitz had 22 carries for 71 yards, good for 3.2 YPC, but ND was not leaving much room save for some select plays where they seemed unsure what would happen.
A Denardesque performance by Devin Gardner.
Well, that's the best passer we'll see until a bowl game and probably the best two fronts we'll see all season. There is a lot of potential here.
Borges was fantastic. He knows how to use Gardner and called a fantastic game. We punted twice and had a turnover against what should be a really good defense and put up 41 points with only one short field. Today was his best game so far at Michigan.
Gardner is terrifying for opponents. He had one awful play, but was unstoppable for the other 59 minutes. He and Gallon are going to have a wonderful year.
We should be 7-0 rolling into East Lansing.
and 8-0 after leaving EL. Sparty haz no offense at all.
Gardner is terrifying for opponents, but they are not fooled by his tendency to blindly spin away from pressure. It proved to be especially costly on his mistake in the endzone. But hopefully we've seen the last of a defensive line that can make him pay for it.
He needs to be careful turning his back against blitzes.
aside from the worst interception I've ever seen, he was brilliant. ND has no answer to him.
He scrambled, he ran, he passed, he won
So, so, so, so, sooooooo, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY right now.
So many mistakes and weak defense. That's what separates us right now from being a legitimate top 5 team.
If we can eliminate our stupid mistakes, and get back to playing physical and aggressive I'd feel comfortable saying we can play with just about anyone.
We ran nickel the entire game. We were outmanned without having Jake. Des missed tackles and got beat underneath over and over again.
I think you should enjoy this win a bit more.
23 might be the fewest points that offense scores all season. They're huge and talented up front, have speed everywhere, and Rees can play when he has time. No one is going to get pressure with four on them--unless they end up playing Alabama or LSU in a bowl game.
Gardner gives us a real chance against anyone. Otherwise, we need another two years to be a legitimate top-5 team in terms of talent. Hoke's first awesome class are redshirt freshmen and sophomores. They're not ready yet, but you should be thrilled with the progress. We don't beat that ND team two years ago.
While I'm buzzed and somewhat disappointed with the defense, it seemed the game plan was bend but don't break. Against the vast majority of the remaining teams I think the defense is going to be fine.
That's what I meant by the weak defense comment. But that disappointed me, I was really ready to see the D take the next step and shut down/take the fight to ND.
Don't get me wrong, I love that we won and our offense played lights out. I'm just ready to see us go into a heavyweight fight again and our defense impose their will like we used to. But I'll enjoy the W.
What the fuck is up with mgoblue requiring a subscription to see videos now????
It appears its only for tonight. I was going WTF too
Didn't catch anything but blasted a couple guys on blocks....nice to see.
Brian is going to have to go buy 3 or 4 packs of fig newtons.
Gardner should petition the NFL when it comes time to wear 98 because goddamn that performance was special.
Kate Upton please
This game makes Damefan's excuse ridden blog mandatory reading this week. Ah Schadenfreude.
be like every other year ND loses to Michigan, he just won't post again.
I, for one, am looking forward to the meldown on the ND boards blaming the officials for the loss.
To be fair, they did get a borderline PI call against them at an absolutely crucial spot. Not saying they got the shaft, but it was certainly not the clearest-cut call. I actually think the 2nd PI penalty was the murkier of the two, fwiw
To me, the first one that happened on Gallon was pretty obvious. On the one on Funchess, both my brother and I were like "Fuck it, we'll take it!"
The PI on Funchess, the defender had his jersey the entire play and prevented the receiver from jumping to get the ball because he was being pulled down by the jersey... I do think that out TE need to learn body position and control a bit better though, use their size to box out or work across the body of the defender and get to the ball.
and would have faced the same need to score a TD even if somehow we had come up empty.
And there also were bad no calls on facemasking and horse collar earlier in the game. Those calls may have been right or wrong, but I certainly don't think one team got more "good" calls than the other. In fact, if Michigan had not gotten that no call on the facemask, they may have put up another TD instead of a field goal and much of the drama late in the game wouldn't have existed.
One of the holding calls on the edge called on us looked very very weak to me when they showed the replay.
There is no reason this team shouldn't be 11-0 going into The Game. Northwestern is the only team that worries me a little, but if we are prepared and focused we should win that based purely on athletic supremacy. If we can do so much better against ND than we did last year, we should be able to do the same against Northwestern.
ND decided that they were not going to let the run beat them and left their corners on islands most of the night. DG & Gallon said, "I'm okay with that." Game over.
Defense: This was a game against a spread team, that hit big plays all game last week and we had big Question marks at safety. I understand why it seemed like a soft game plan... but we forced them to march their way downfield and make the right read each time. Sometimes they did. When it mattered, they didn't.
Side note: you know your secondary is BAD@$$ when receivers start to short arm makeable catches because they don't want to get hit like the last time... I saw that all over the field. Our new slogan should be: We are Michigan. We hurt your people.
feel-pressure-and-run-in-a-circle play work?
All the times.
Hopefully Gardner figures out he needs to just eat it sometimes. He does that a lot and it had the same result in the 2011 spring game, I think. I think MSU's defense would be the next defense that might really key on that move.
How much smarter are real-life DTs than CPU DTs?
Once with a terrible sack-safety-no-interception thingy. Once early in the game with just a sack thingy where you could tell they watched film and stuff.
It also worked a few times too. Those kind of moves are high risk and high reward. If you fail, you're going to lose a ton of yardage, but if you make it work, you're probably going to get a big completion. We saw both last night. Just like Denard with his usual 1-2 turnovers per game, this is just probably something we're going to have to get used to. It's just how Gardner plays the game.
So Gardner will just need to watch some film to distinguish between times there is a 2nd rusher who will anticipate his move versus times when there's only one guy who can't catch him.
I keep waiting for a trailing defender to anticipate one of Braxton Miller's lateral cuts. (Hopefully, he is OK so we can beat a full strength Ohio team.)
Devin (aside from the one INT) and Gallon were fantastic, but Fitz was quietly a huge factor. He had to earn the yards he got all night against that defensive front, and made two huge plays on the clinching drive.
Speaking of running, I just looked at the box score and saw that ND rushed it only 19 times (for 96 yards, 5.1 per). I was surprised it was so few. They did throw for over 300 yards so their gameplan wasn't necessarily bad, but I thought they could have hurt us worse on the ground than they did.
and on that last drive (I believe), he used his juke to go straight upfield. Awesome move for ~20 yards.
Hoke remains undefeated at home. The man defends his own turf.
was designed to increase the noise in what was previously known as the most quiet stadium in the country.
Since then, the Big House has become an extremely difficult place for opponents to play.
Not to take anything away from one hell of a great coach!
We got owned in the trenches (both O and D) and still won. Nice to be on this side of a maddeningly good dual threat QB proving himself unstoppable.
But Lou Holtz still thinks ND will win this game.
I won't jinx the team by opining about how they should be undefeated going into the OSU game.
Great win, no buts.
1. ND's D-Line is scary. Our interior OL struggled, leading to too many hits , scrambles, hurries by Devin. I am not sure if this is on our OL or just that ND's D-Line is that good. The only other somewhat scary D-Lines that we see are Sparty and Ohio. By then, our interior OL should have "gelled" more, so I am hopeful.
2. Our D-Line needs to get more pressure on the QB. Frank Clark looked very good, but as a whole, we didn't put enoug pressure on Rees. He had tons of time to pic us apart from the pocket. We MUST be able to rush 4, and not have to rely on blitzes to get pressure.
3. Countess. So happy to have him back. He had another great game. Consistenty in the right spot and reall lays a hit.
4. Ok, Devin. Wow. Putting aside the almost costly mistake, he played an awesome game. His ability to extend plas with his legs, and to make tough throws on the run is seriously impressive. The comparison to Vince Young's game is apt, and if we can get some of our other receivers to develop aruond him, he could be scary.
5. Fitz - obviously, he had some great runs, and his cuts look ver quick and sharp. I expect that he will continue to get over the mental aspects of the injury and will continue to improve. My only concern is that he doesn't really look like a back who can consistently run through the tackles. Not sure if this is on him or the interior OL, though. Either way, good game, and he really came through when it counted.
6. Borges. He was the man today. I love our offensive style, and I am really excited to see what he can do with more and more experienced TEs and bigger receivers.
That's about all. Go Blue. Great win.
The Dline was significantly outnumbered all game. I'm not too worried about their play. They rushed Rees just enough times, and allowed us to surprise them with blitzes in the second half.
I truly believe that this was the best D/O line that Michigan will face all season. I was amazed at how ND's O line stood our front up, and at how much pressure their front seven got on our front line. Sparty seems to be riding on the coat tails of defenses past, and Ohio has some issues up front on their D line.
Besides the win itself, was how Devin kept his head in the game after the endzone INT. That mental fortitude was the biggest factor in our victory.
Exactly. He'll learn from that. He didn't get rattled for the remainder of the game.
We had penalties for movement, a hit out of bounds, a bad kickoff, a shanked punt, allowed a big return, got sacked, threw an INT in the end-zone. Man, I didn't realize how much started to go downhill during the 4th quarter...but Gardner lead them back down the field and put the game away. Another great win that leaves a lot they can learn from.
Really looking forward to next year when you have Drake Harris blowing pass any defensive back there is the country and Devin hitting him.
Can we reminisce about that FANTASTIC play call by Borges to surprise them and go option read with Devin that went for 35 yards?
That's when I knew this wouldn't be your father's Manball.
from 2011. So did Musberger.
Chesson deserves a pass or two for that block on our first TD.
On the replay it looked like he blocked three guys in a chain-reaction, to spring Gallon.
I was impressed by offense and was surprised the defense did not play as well against a ND offense that is somewhere outside of the top 20 offenses in the country. I think it will take a while for the defense to gel.
It seemed our defense was trying to challenge to get Rees to thow the ball on us to beat us and for the most part, Rees was pretty accurate. Still not enough, though,
I think that's the second best defense we play all season. Michigan gave up 23 points to them and basically played back all game. I wasn't a fan of the game plan itself, but they were giving Rees most of what he got. My biggest concern is that Countess couldn't quite stay with Daniels. To be a really good team, we need him to be a star.
Rees is a really good player. He got a terrible rap as a sophomore, but if he has time, he'll pick anyone apart. Notre Dame keeps six blockers to give him that time and has really good linemen, so it's really hard to get enough pressure to make him move.
Not exactly monster numbers.
Had 2 receptions and 1 went for close to 40 yds....pretty comparable. No idea what my point is but great win because any win is great especially agai st a higher ranked opponent.
Borges was great, as many have mentioned. Him in his comfort zone and he saw what ND was doing with their crazy linebackers selling out to stop Fitz from the snap and countered it hard. Outside of the really really bad Gardner decision, we punted twice and scored every other possession besides the victory formation. Quality. He's got a QB that fits what he wants to do and he's doing it.
Mattison... I think is terrified of the safeties busting? We were super vanilla until they got into the red zone and massive 70 yard busts weren't possible. At which point he just started sending the house. With the absence of Qwash and Jake, I think the defense is pretty fixable. And that ND offensive line is solid.
I think ND is pretty good, unfortunately.
I thought ND had very good line play. But our skill players were that much better. It was fun to watch.
I only had a meltdown once, with the Gardner mistake. Honestly, it felt great to see that win.
I hate that I missed the last 3 quarters. If Hoke were describing my condition, he would say I have a boo-boo. Caused by a tiny human being running full speed down the stairs and into the back of my left leg. But hey, I got a new game-day experience! I got to ride on the stair-chair, and then on one of the mini-ambulances on the concourse. The first-aid staff and doctors in the stadium are amazing. Sadly, they advised that I not try to go back to my seats, so I had to leave.
Oh well, we won, and I'm pretty sure I won't need another knee surgery!!!
I thought for sur Notre Dame would catch up in the 4th especially after Devin's pick for a touchdown, but our defense came through when it counted most!
That dude can roll! His block was a thing of beauty, and I hope we target him once in the next week.
ND only actually scored 28 points last week, so you'd think we could've done better on D...
But then I remember that ND looked super explosive last week and has lots of athletes. Those players were there, but never really destroyed the D. This was classic bend-don't-break and it worked. A winnable strategy with young players.
Devin, with the exception of one play, was brilliant.
ND called off the dogs early last week when it became obvs Temple was not going to score double digits, and saved their offensive wrinkles for us.
They also missed a couple of FGs last week (while of course they were perfect against us).
1. Devin is going to be a national star. He has poise in the pocket and turns sacks into first downs. As other have noted, the Vince Young comparisons are spot on. Maybe they should stop and he will just be Devin Gardner. More outings like this and Heisman talk will ramp up. The derp play sucked but a safety could have been 2 +7 instead of 7 right?
2. Jeremy Gallon. Wow.
3. Brady Hoke (shrugs and smiles) is WAAAYYYY more likeable than Brian Kelly (did you see the f bombs launched at his players early on?).
4. Notre Dame looked pretty damn good.
5. Fuck Notre Dame.
Seriously. If I'm a recruit, I only go to Notre Dame if Michigan is full.
And this was our biggest recruiting weekend - what a game for them to take in, being part of the largest crowd in history.
can't be too critical of the D after texas gave up 500+ yards on the ground. jeezohmamma. they really set the bar low
I don't know much, but I do know this... MSU will somehow score -3 points against ND
The offensive numbers were great, but I can't shake the feeling that we've merely upgraded from a one-man show (Denard) to a two-man show (Gardner/Gallon). Here's hoping our run game can be better against non-Nix DLs. Also concerning, has Chesson even been targeted through these first two games yet?
We're extremely young on both sides. We're gonna be really good once both sides get some more games under their belt
You're concerned about the offense after that game?
You might want to find a new hobby.
50 points a game. That average might actually go up over the next two weeks...
I thought that Fitz had a really good game - some of those runs and jump cuts were great
Second this. I think there was one bad read where he missed a cut, but mostly he was running into Nix/Tuett and Notre Dame's stupidly aggressive linebackers that left the middle of the field wide open for play action and the outside open when we felt like running Gardner all game. Still made some fairly decent yards. 22 for 71 against that front, that crazy selling out, and our inexperienced interior line? I'll take it. It's not great, but against the next six teams on our schedule except maybe PSU, he'll get 100 with 22 carries.
Agreed, but he wasn't getting much daylight anywhere but the edge. Luckily, we won't face d-lines like ND more than twice in the regular season, and hopefully we will see improvement with the young ones before the end.
With Texas, Notre Dame, and Florida losing - along with Oklahoma looking pedestrian in their single-digit win against unranked WVU - do we move up to 12? 10?
Great win, pretty in control throughout, which my heart appreciates.
Not to be a downer, but is anybody else terrified of the WR corps for next year? Not one WR that will be on the team next year has caught a pass this season(Norfleet doesnt really count), or should I say none of them have a caught a pass in their careers........ That is scary to me.
2nd game of the season, dude. It'll all work out.
I agree it's the wrong time to worry about it. But as I was watching Gallon and Dileo make all the important catchs tonight, I started to realize how much we will miss them next year. We have barely even targeted anything but a senior at WR.
Because you rely on your seniors in big games.
That will change. Chesson will get more involved as the year goes on, and Darboh will recover from his injury. Also, we'll be returning all of our TEs.
in the slot. Young, but really talented corps of WR's and TEs. I am far from scared about that group.
Funchess - Yes. Butt appears to be. Have any of the other guys caught a pass for UM yet?
No, you should say "none of them HAS caught a pass..." None is singular. This is, after all, a Michigan blog, fergodsakes.
Per the American Heritage Dictionary (link): "It is true that none is etymologically derived from the Old English an, "one," but the word has been used as both a singular and a plural since the ninth century. The plural usage appears in the King James Bible... as well as the works of canonical writers like Shakespeare, John Dryden and Edmund Burke.
THE HELL WITH NOTRE DAME !!!!
My snowflakes are many and extremely complete. They are on twitter and will be up later in a single article.
Borges called a hell of a game
for all the grief he gets, he's got to get a huge attaboy for this one. Notre Dame's D-line was destroying us and he still found a way to get us 41 points. We only punted what...2 or 3 times? Borges destroyed today. +1 to him
- Devin Gardner deserves to wear #98
- Michigan's offense is 200% better than last year. Either that or ND's defense is REALLY REALLY bad
- Fitz made plays when we needed it the most
- B-Co is my he-ro
- Chickens were fried
A shutout or no TDs given up next week should be the goal for the defense after this performance.
Most other QBs are going to wilt against it.
Devin has a rare set of physical skills and smarts to deal with it.
Can we talk about how much of a pretty boy Funchess isn't? Holy shite that hit at the end of the hafl...
Just interviewed on BTN. What a great kid. I am so proud to have him representing the Maize and Blue.
EPIC.. what a humble.. professional kid...
Last great offense we will face this year without Jake Ryan(hoping he can make it back for Penn State if you consider them a great offense)
I'm still speechless... We are still a work in progress, but man, we showed flashes of greatness.
1. Gardner... Can't even put it into words... The guy is a pure leader with gobs of talent. Seemed to get rattled late, and he really needs to cut back on the sketchy throws, but he was very consistent tonight. If he wins the Heisman in his time here, I won't be surprised. So excited to watch him the rest of the season. Plus, his reads are fantastic (something Denard never excelled at).
2. Notre Dame is good... I would even go as far to say that they are better than last season. Obviously the luck played a role on two of their touchdowns, but they look more explosive at RB, have powerful lines, and have a much improved Tommy Rees.
3. Fitz... Definitely back to 2011 form... Was very patient with the ball and made cuts that were pretty amazing.
4. Lines are a work in progress... Mind you Notre Dame's lines are REALLY good, but there needs to be a better pass rush... Got better as the game went on, but we need to be able to consistently rush 4 and not rely on the blitz to get pressure on the quarterback. As for the offensive line, they proved to be better than I thought. They were sketchy early but as the game progressed, Nix was shut down and holes began to open up in the middle. Pass protection has to be better, though, so Gardner isn't constantly being flushed from the pocket.
5. Secondary... Must have been schematic, but other than the two picks, I was not very impressed by the secondary... They never really blew up plays, and Rees's incompletions were just bad throws. I guess you can blame the soft zone coverage scheme that they played with most of the game.
6. Linebackers... Weren't really the playmakers we see game in and out... Ross and Morgan were really the only ones that stuck out to me the most, and they weren't too impressive either. Gordon was nonexistant which kind of disappointed me considering his game last weekend.
7. Gallon is something special... Don't even need to say anything else.
8. Notre Dame will be our second or third best opponent we will have faced by the end of the season... Right now, they look like a team that is better than Ohio State. I assume the team we face in our bowl game will be the best team we play all season.
This is going to be a good year. Oh, and Corso can take a chubby.
WSU - USC tied at 7 if you want more ball
What the heck was purple face doing going for it on fourth down? You need a field goal, touchdown, and 2 point conversion no matter how you slice it. Take the three points and keep playing. Very odd. Thanks though.
There was one point in the game - I think it was when they came out after a kick off or something (it was first down, first play of their possession and they had plenty of time to get the call they wanted) and ND had to use a time out and as the offense was coming to the sideline Kelly was going ape sh*t on one of the olineman.
They were down 14 when they went for it on 4th. Probably the correct call.
It worked out unbelievably well for ND.
That double reverse cracked me up. Watching those crazy ass linebackers for ND run around like chickens.
Tape delay snowflakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just finished watching on DVR after a drunken wedding reception!!!!!!!!
1) Devin is the man. I hope to hell he stays....but he may have played himself into Tanihill #2 after tonight. People gave me shit preseason about the same statement, but....holy crap that was a clutch night
2) Interior Oline needs a little seasoning, but lookout next year. Nix had a few good plays, but we have at least 2 years of absolute road graders on the interior.
3) Al Borgess, I take back all the swearing from last year; masterfull call
4) Fuck Notre Dame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS way too drunk
is questionable to say the least. That INT was absolutely awful. He took a comfortably game and turned it into a nailbiter. He made amends, but he has to improve his situational awareness and decision making. That will come with time.
Please elaborate on the "situational awarness" he lacked. He played a great game from a decision standpoint with the exception of one egregious mistake in my opinion.
Take away seven for the pick-six and it's still a very impressive net 34 against a D that's going to cause most QBs fits. (Not Fitz)
MSU has won two games in which their defense basically outscored their offenses. Those two teams they beat have lost to FCS schools in their other game this year. MSU's in for an awfully rough year
The FCS teams beat Western and USF worst than MSU did too I believe.
To be fair though, you can't really compare MSU's margin of victory to other teams though. We'll say MSU wins by 10 points for instance and a team like Nebraska wins by 13 points. The 13 point win looks more impressive on paper, but do you think it's easier to score 13 against Nebraska or 10 against MSU? I would take Nebraska any day.
MSU doesn't have a great offense by any means. Not even a decent one. However, a lot of people fell into this trap last year. Every game MSU plays will be close because it's just the nature of their team. Not going to claim their great or will go 10-2 or something, but margins of victory probably isn't the best method to use to judge the Spartans.
They are 2-0. We are 2-0.
Lot's of good things to build on there:
- Devin looked in change of a capable offense. He also seems like a genuinely awesome person, which is nice because Denard set the bar high.
- Devin can throw the ball. Accurately.
- The O-line managed against a very tough ND D-line. Plenty of room for improvement there, but still reassuring.
- Very pleased with Al Borges this weekend. Never felt like we were beating ourselves on offense.
- The Defense made plays when they had to. I would like to hear the coaching rationale for all the secondary cushion.
- Everyone in South Bend got knocked down a notch, which they always need.
Pretty awesome way to conclude UM vs. ND in the Big House. It's a shame those bastards were/are/will continue to be too stubborn to do the right thing and join the B10 (when they had the chance.) I will miss frustrating all my South Bend friends.
Texas and USC may be getting on the coaching search soon. Texas was embarassed by BYU (and they've been calling for Mack Brown's head for years already) and USC is in jeaopardy of losing to Washington State currently, a game in which the Trojans were heavily favored.
Something about those lights means that no matter what happens in the first 3 quarters, buckle up cuz some shit's gonna go down in the 4th. It was awesomeness two years ago...not so much tonight. Fortunately, the crazy went Michigan's way in the end again, despite the gnashing of teeth that the game was causing starting with the Devin WTF INT.
The only concern I have on offense is Devin's tendency to spin around and run further back. It works most of the time, but he can't afford to do that again deep in his own territory. Easy fix I think, the experience Devin got from making the mistake will get him to learn real quick. I'm somewhat concerned about the runnning game, but also think that ND was blitzing like crazy to stop the run so it was just one of those things.
The Defense is obviously a concern, but (a) Jake Ryan will be back at some point before more real games come around, (b) Mattison is a genius, the defense will improve because it always does.
I will say Rees played really well. Gardner just played better.
Oh, and anyone else catch their leprechaun saying "our house, our house!" into the camera a few times?
Yeah, fuck that guy in the ear.
ND's stadium is, after all, a minature replica of Michigan Stadium.
Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, but our ST Coverage teams were an absolute disaster. We had 3 punts that I remembered. One went about 35 yards in the air and was returned 15 yards to Michigan territory. One pinned them on the 10, but was also only about 35 yards. The final one was a complete shank for 21 yards. In other words, we had a net average punt under 30 yards. Our 2nd half kickoffs put us in a difficult situation. 3 times when we took a 2 score lead, we gave up a return to the 50, gave up a personal foul to bring the ball out past the 40, and kicked the ball out of bounds to the 35. What happened to kicking the ball through the back of the end zone?
Like everyone else I thought that the Defensive game plan was a little strange. It was a classic bend-but-don't-break defense and it worked. Rees made some outstanding throws, some throws that were dropped (especially the back coming out of the backfield). Some bad throws and 2 thank you Rees throws. I thought ND should have run it more. Our LBs were bailing at the snap for deep zone coverage giving up massive runs right up the middle. I was disappointed in our DL play for most of the game. They made a couple great plays, but for most of the night they were pwnd.
QB play on the rest of the schedule doesn't look all that intimidating. Only Unstoppable Throw God will be better. Also perhaps Hackenburg for PSU, but I can't see that conservative of a defensive game plan against a freshman QB.
I think the so-called 'questionable' Pass Interference calls were definite pass interference. Gallon got shoved 5 yards out of the way and Funchess was held the entire play.
I think Kalis and Schofield are going to have a rough day on UFR. Miller and Glosgow held their own. Lewan was outstanding.
Devin MF Gardner. He was the man. ESPN flashed up his stats vs the Blitz and No-Blitz. If ND didn't blitz Gardner was basically perfect (therefore great job by the O-line). ND had to bring pressure. Gardner numbers weren't as good as I thought via the eye test, because he constantly stared down the blitz and stepped into his throws. (One notable exception).
Jeremey Gallon is such a comfort for DMFG. I would like another receiver to step up because I worry what will happen if the opponent can lock him down. Dileo is a fantastic possession receiver on 3rd downs, but I want another big target man. I know I am being picky after picking up 460 yards against a Top 10 type defense.
I loved Chesson's block on the opening TD. Loved it. Get that man the ball.
Also, Hoke made a bad game theory decision. On the DMFG WTF interception, he made a horrible decision to challenge that call. ND missed the extra point, and we lost a timeout all to challenge something that wasn't going to get overturned.
Only defense is the play was such a massive play in the game you are almost forced to challenge it. That said, that was probably the only real bad decision Hoke made.
I actually really disagree with this. First, it looked debateable on the screen in the stadium. I really didn't think it was incomplete. Second, it gave Gardner valuable time to cool down before he had to walk right back onto the field. That was easily worth a timeout.
Disagree. The nd kicker missed only because the ref had blown the whistle prior to the kick, throwing off half the Irish players on the field. That "kick" was never really a kick.
That's how the pros do it when a key man really messes up a play. Not an ideal situation, but I can understand how emotions would be running high at that moment and time would be crucial.
Probably was the wrong move, but it's not all that bad. Why not try the challenge? How was he supposed to predict that ND was about to miss an extra point? It was all pretty bad luck, imo. It worked out in the end, though. I'd rather Hoke take those sorts of calculated risks (that sometimes backfire) than play Ferentz/Tresselball-type conservative.
On the much discussed Gardner brain cramp, if, hypothetically, the refs had overturned the call, could they have then flagged him for grounding evem though the didn't flag he during the play?
How dumb that challenge was? I will never understand how coaches can't communicate with each other and determine when it's appropriate to challenge/not challenge. Challenge success rates should be damn near 100%
At the time it was done, I thought Hoke was planning on a timeout to settle the team down and he just added a challenge to it to make it last a little longer. But why not save the red flag for something happening later?
That could have meant the difference between giving ND two points and giving them seven - a huge difference in the fourth quarter of a game we led by 14. You're not likely going to have a bigger call to challenge than that.
Keep in mind that coaches only have maybe 20-30 seconds to figure out whether it's worth challenging.
Our defensive gameplan to me seemed very conservative and yet it worked go an extent. Wish we could generate more pressure with a 4 man rush but I think the idea was to keep as many men in coverage to force Rees to make good decisions and accurate throws. Rees had a really good game.
Offense was marvelous for most part, aside from Devin's, ahem, incident.
But Rees seemed to check into max protect and the blitzes were picked up. I think Michigan realized that their blitz packages couldn't fool Rees (after all the guy started for like 4 years).
Also, Rees is still like 50/50 on hitting a semi covered WR and is good for a couple of picks a game if he throws a lot. I think M was just counting on Rees' mistakes throwing.
Shout-out to Gibbons, who has become a very reliable kicker no matter the opponent.