I apologize if this is too cliche, but I can't sleep and would like to get this out there.
I know a lot of people are disappointed over the outcome tonight, and the next week will inevitably be filled with bitching about Coach Rod putting Shoelace in, and that is sad. That is not the story from this game. What I saw tonight was not a failure, it was just another step in the reformation of Michigan football.
On this night, under the lights at Kinnick stadium, our Michigan Wolverines showed the most resolve I have ever seen from a team. They where facing an opponent who was bigger than them on both lines, but they refused to give ground. They made mental errors, but many were a result of flying around the field, or digging in for that extra yard. Their precocious star Qb couldn't get it going, and the backup came on and was one bad read away from winning this game. Not much seemed to go there way, and they had every opportunity to fold, and give in, but they still gave everything they had every snap.
The defense didn't look tentative, they went out there to make plays. They were going 110 Mph every snap, even if they screwed up, they came right back out and played balls to the wall football. Instead of getting down because of a turnover or blown assignment, they came out playing harder, trying to pick up their teammates. Even after the INT, an O-lineman came over to Denard, because he knew how awful he must have felt. This is not just a football team, it is a family, and it shows. You can tell just by watching them they would run through a brick wall for each other without a second thought.
In a few years this loss will be a footnote, nothing special to most people, but I will always remember it. Ill remember it as the day Michigan made a stand, they refused to take the easy way out. They were taking shot after shot and refused to back down. For the first time in a long time, I'm happy with their performance in a loss. Not necessarily the execution, but the pride and sheer force of will they displayed. That, more than any one player, more than the victors, even more than the wings on their helmets, is why I love this team.