Act Of God Comment Count

Brian October 19th, 2015 at 12:03 PM

10/17/2015 – Michigan 23, Michigan State 27 – 5-2, 2-1 Big Ten


[Eric Upchurch]


via Matt Hinton

So I was trying to come up with a clever thing for this post and started Googling "Act of God." Folks in contracts who are beset by improbable occurrences regularly petition the courts for forgiveness since, you know, things. And stuff. I mean, seriously. That thing, that was a pretty unlikely thing. Cumong man.

The courts have generally gone along with this. If you are beset by a plague of locusts and boils and rivers of blood and the like, the courts are generally like "God's bad, yo" and then they let you go.

Anyway. I'm scanning, scanning, trying to find something apropos, and then







Fine. Okay. Yeah. Okay. You're right. It's cool, RationalWiki. Keep on being mean to anti-vaxxers. It's cool. I am perfectly calm, RationalWiki. Calmer than you are.


This is the section inspired by the brain above. It's a pretty impressive brain, all up in some parentheses that probably mean something to people who took their discrete math class seriously instead of asking my friend to drop off my homework because 8:30 on North Campus just wasn't happening, man.

So. In about 10 months Jim Harbaugh erased the physical gap between Michigan and Michigan State. Michigan didn't run roughshod; both teams struggled to get yard one on the ground. Injury whinging is out of the question: both teams were down one starter on the line when MSU was on the field.

In the absence of a physical advantage either way, the game came down to the fact that Michigan State spawned a generational quarterback from a three-star recruit at the same time they had disastrous special teams. Michigan's special teams were amazing until they were… not amazing, and Brady Hoke hired an offensive coordinator whose 30-year career has seen one quarterback he recruited ever—everrrrrrr—start. (That guy was Indiana's QB as a sophomore; the next year he was a tight end.) Jake Rudock is a smart dude who I am grateful is at Michigan; he is not a guy who Harbaugh has chosen and developed.


[Bryan Fuller]

When Cook had an opportunity to hit a receiver who'd gotten over the top of Jeremy Clark, he did so. He nestled the ball in there with the care and precision of a watchmaker. If there was a job where you had to throw babies at titanium bassinets inside a volcano, I would be comfortable giving Connor Cook that job. Rudock hit some intermediate passes but he did not take advantage of his opportunities to hit touchdowns.

Thus a game that was close enough for God to do some serious smitin'.

So, that sucks. It sucks that happened. It sucks that the kind of trash program that would run all the way across the field to taunt the Michigan student section after being handed a gift gets to feel like they earned something this morning. They're planning on nicknaming it, as if they earned something. That is why Michigan State will always be Michigan State. That is why "little brother" stuck: because it is the truest thing ever said about the attitude of that program.

But I've seen worse. I've felt worse. I have a big ol' callus. It's clear the direction this is going, and it's not a loss to Rutgers. The juggalos will get theirs as soon as Harbaugh flips the QB matchup. That's the undercurrent of their relief. They're already celebrating like underdogs who fluked it out.

See you next year.





Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Jourdan Lewis had 6 PBUs, wasn't beaten clean without offensive pass interference, and shut down Burbridge enough that MSU was behind despite a monster game from their QB.

#2 Jabrill Peppers had three excellent returns, was important in limiting the MSU ground game, caused MSU to freak out and burn consecutive timeouts late in the first half, and set up a Michigan touchdown with an end-around.

#3 Willie Henry had two sacks and was in MSU's backfield for most of the fourth quarter.

Honorable mention: rest of the front seven, Kenny Allen.

KFaTAotW Standings.

9: Jourdan Lewis (#1 UNLV, #1 Northwestern, #1 MSU)
6: Jabrill Peppers(#2 BYU, #2 Northwestern, #2 MSU)
5: Chris Wormley(#2 Utah, #1 Oregon State)
3: Jake Butt (#1 Utah), De'Veon Smith(#2 Oregon State, #3 BYU), Ryan Glasgow (#1 BYU), Desmond Morgan (#1 Maryland),
2: Ty Isaac(#2 UNLV), Maurice Hurst (#2 Maryland), Willie Henry(#3 Utah, #3 MSU).
1: AJ Williams (#3 Oregon State), Channing Stribling(#3 UNLV), Blake O'Neill(#3 Maryland), Jake Rudock(#3 Northwestern)

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

Michigan's defense boots MSU off the field on fourth and nineteen to win the game, until they did not win.

Honorable mention: 80 yard punt. Peppers on the loose.


Utah: Crazy #buttdown.
Oregon State: #tacopunts.
UNLV: Ty Isaac's 76 yard touchdown.
BYU: De'Veon Smith's illicit teleporter run.
Maryland: Jehu Chesson jet sweeps past you.
Northwestern: Chesson opening KO TD.
MSU: the bit where they won until they didn't.


This week's worst thing ever.


Honorable mention: N/A


Utah: circle route pick six.
Oregon State: Rudock fumbles after blitz bust.
UNLV: Rudock matches 2014 INT total in game 3.
BYU: BYU manages to get to triple digit yards in the last minutes of the game.
Maryland: Slog extended by deflected interception at Houma.
Northwestern: KLINSMANN OUT
MSU: Obvious.

[After THE JUMP: Jourdan Lewis targeted again. It goes okay to well.]



[Bryan Fuller]

Why it was close enough to turn. Jake Rudock couldn't hit a deep ball. He missed Jehu Chesson long; above he missed Jehu Chesson way short and to the inside; he underthrew Amara Darboh after Darboh had beaten MSU's coverage by five yards. Darboh caught the ball, but instead of a touchdown it was 32 yards and Michigan had to settle for a field goal. Remove the Jabrill Peppers sweeps that are inanely credited as passes in the NCAA rulebook and Rudock was 13/23 for 140 yards—6.1 an attempt.

Rudock hasn't hit a deep pass for a touchdown seven games in, and it cost Michigan. Especially frustrating was a the play after the (phantom) holding call inside the redzone; he had Jake Butt as M hit the play design, but he didn't throw it. Rudock generally avoided challenging the weakest part of Michigan State's defense. At his point it's hard to see that improving.

On the other hand, good enough to win.



Run game: nope. It was blocked better than it looked at first glance, with a number of opportunities to pick up solid yardage that went awry because of the backs. The above shot was one of them; Michigan had creased the MSU defense just to the right of where Isaac went. You can see Cole burying a guy—the crease was over there. Higdon fell down on a promising opportunity late, and there were a couple others from Smith.

Michigan remains pretty bad at adapting to a changing situation in front of it. Both lead blockers and the backs were stymied when MSU would shoot a guy inside what was supposed to be a kickout block; they did not adapt to that and hit the gap outside. By the time I saw Stanford do that a lot they'd had Harbaugh for three years. It is a work in progress.

They did hit their long run. It's just that it went to Sione Houma, and he got caught from behind after bursting past the entire MSU D.

Arrrgh. After the Butt play mentioned above Michigan had second and goal and f-ing had it, man, on a clever Tiny Screen on which Smith ran an angle route and Glasgow released downfield. Glasgow was about to cut off the only guy between Smith and the endzone when the ball got batted down at the line.

Enter the Peppers. The insertion of Jabrill Peppers on offense freaked MSU out to the point where they called consecutive timeouts at the end of the first half. Michigan ran something that looked odd; Butt fell down and then got up; MSU got a lot of pressure and Rudock just threw it away. Often TEs falling down in those situations are making a bid to be forgotten about; MSU did not bite.

When Peppers did finally get the ball on offense he immediately outran an angle to the corner for a near-touchdown. I'd like to see him continue in this department, because he is a good football player in any situation.



[Bryan Fuller]

The other 19 guys were almost incidental. Run for two yards, throw at Jourdan Lewis covering Aaron Burbridge, repeat. Burbridge was targeted 19 times. Burbridge had nine catches (one of them was against Jarrod Wilson as he and Lewis swapped coverage on the first drive for reasons unknown); Lewis had 6 PBUs. There was maybe one Burbridge catch on which he had gotten any separation. Most saw Cook launch a laser-guided munition, often under pressure just over Lewis's head.

All three gentlemen in this matchup made themselves a lot of money on Saturday, except Jourdan Lewis is obviously too small for the NFL until 2017, when he will be quite excellently sized.

Was this a good idea? Michigan's defense gave up 328 passing yards and 58 rushing yards. 74 of those passing yards were on the fullback thing on which either Ross or Hill—I think Ross—busted. Outside of that RPS play Cook had 6.7 YPA.

Meanwhile Burbridge was averaging ten yards a target coming into the game; when matched up against Lewis he managed 5.8. Lewis was up to the task, and the configuration Michigan was in helped them limit the MSU ground game to 3.1 YPC once sacks and TEAM are removed.

Also, Cook was straight dealing. I can't imagine there were any other approaches that would have made it more difficult for him. Michigan gave him windows that were more like arrow slits and he delivered. Looking forward to seeing Not Connor Cook as MSU QB.

Henry beast mode. This is the game that's going to get Willie Henry his double-digit UFR day. Two sacks, a few other hurries, and yeoman work on the ground game.

The personal foul was unfortunate. I looked at it and it seems to happen simultaneously with the whistle, but it is a belly flop onto a pile of guys that is unnecessary. That was the only blemish on a day that was probably his best as a Wolverine.

Runs: stuffed. MSU rushes went nowhere. They had a long of 11 on the day, that on a play on which the pulling guard wrapped both arms around the body of Royce Jenkins-Stone. Virtually all other runs were downs set on fire.

The fullback wheel. It was either on Hill or Ross. If I had to guess I'd say Ross. Excellent design there, though—reminiscent of the Butt screen against Maryland with the multiple fakes opening up an unexpected blocky/catchy guy. Michigan did have some ripostes of their own but they did not come off due to bloody-minded fate.




Why they won until why they didn't. Michigan killed it in this game. O'Neill hit an 80 yard punt, placed two others inside the 20, averaged 45 yards a kick, and didn't have a touchback. RJ Shelton had 4 return yards on those punts. MSU averaged 37 yards a punt and put zero inside the 20, instead banging a ball eight yards deep into the endzone.

Peppers had a 34 yard punt return and a 49 yard kickoff return; Allen hit his field goals while MSU chose two attempts to convert fourth and long instead of fairly makeable field goals.

Michigan also covered and then stuffed a fake punt, with Desmond Morgan getting over to put Tyler O'Connor on the ground. Jourdan Lewis covered the pass option—Michigan had their defense on the field. Until the thing at the end this was an unbelievable blowout.

Field goals. None were particularly long but Allen was 3/3 and is now… reliable? Can we say he's reliable? He seems fairly reliable, knock on wood. I abjure and reject thee, #collegekickers.

Kickoffs: let's stop bothering with them. Kenny Allen can put the ball in the endzone whenever he wants; Michigan keeps trying to pop it up short in case they can get the guy down short of the 25. The upside there is low and the results have been mediocre to date. I'd rather save the wear and tear.



seems legit [Fuller]

We got boned. This was as bad as that Oklahoma State-Texas game that sent most of the Texas fanbase to the tinfoil hat shop. Flagrantly wrong calls against Michigan in this game:

  • They missed an obvious offensive PI on Peppers on MSU's drive from the 1 after the 80 yard punt.
  • The holding call on Jourdan Lewis (or "86," whatever) was vaporware. Feet got tangled and the WR stumbled into the umpire.
  • The targeting call on Bolden was roundly denounced by the entire world; that moved MSU from third and four at the 40 to the 25.
  • Royce-Jenkins Stone was put in a bear-hug on the ensuing MSU TD.
  • Michigan was about to have second and goal on the four when a phantom hold on Braden sent them back to the 18.
  • Rudock had his head damn near taken off after he caught his own pass on that bizarre deflection, but no facemask was forthcoming.

Add in the ludicrous number of replays because these guys couldn't get the call right on the field and this was 1000% clownshow. Oh and the block in the back call they picked up after someone was like "is the side of the guy the back of a guy?" and they managed to figure it out.

It happens, I guess, and Michigan had won anyway until you know what.

Game theory bits. The "what if" afterwards is inevitable. This one is pointless. That loses you a game about once every 125 years. The absolute worst case there should have been O'Neill falling on the snap and giving Michigan State a shot at a Hail Mary.  Other options are at least as risky.

The only thing I might have done differently is align in whatever formation you'd use for a punt when you're backed up on your own goal line. Michigan surely has one of those, and this would be a situation to use it.

Stat business. MSU fans will point at the yardage in an attempt to claim that it was some sort of fluke that they were behind, as if special teams doesn't count. FWIW, Bill Connelly's numbers had Michigan a very healthy favorite given the way other games with that statistical profile went. Michigan was winning because they should have been winning.


Best And Worst:

Best:  Jourdan MF Lewis

Nothing was more entertaining than seeing MSU fans complain about Lewis “mugging” Burbridge throughout the game on his way to 6 pass breakups and a pretty decent effort against MSU’s sole real passing threat.  Lewis, of course, is just playing the same type of physical, grabby defense MSU introduced to the conference some years back, just perhaps at a better level than either Waynes or Dennard every did.  Being a shutdown corner doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy you cover never catches a ball, especially when the opponent doggedly targets him because they literally had no other competent options (Burbridge was targeted 19 times in this game).

Instead, it means making it as difficult as possible for the offense to consistently complete passes to your side and limiting the damage when they do, and Lewis did that in spades.  Even though Burbirdge finished with 9 catches for 132 yards, he only had 3 catches after halftime, and at least two of them were just great plays by him despite great coverage by Lewis.  Lewis was also the victim of a pick play in the 2nd quarter (I believe) that Brandstatter called out immediately when it happened.  Overall, he played like the All-American he’s being touted as and performed well in a tough matchup against a good receiver.

Inside the Box Score:

* Jake Rudock was once again, 2 for 3 on my efficiency metrics, going 15 for 25 (60%, passing, but just barely) with zero turnovers, but missing on the YPA by averaging 6.7 per attempt.
* Early on, someone said my YPA was not sufficiently difficult. I checked the stats this week and saw about 84 QBs average at least 7 YPA. There are 128 FBS teams, give or take, so that doesn't seem like a high bar. However, I want my efficient QB to do this AND this AND this. Of all those QBs, only 60 throw for 60% or more with 7+ YPA and 1 or fewer TOs per game. I'll take that. Either you are efficient or you are not. If ~1/2 of the QBs pass my test, I'd say my WAG at efficiency is close to the mark.

Craig Ross posts a list of Historical End Game Debacles if you'd like to compare and contrast.


Shamepaint, naturally. This week's edition has minimal phalluses.


Marc Tracy nails it in the NYT:

In contrast to the title of their fight song, the Wolverines were not the victors. Nor are there moral victories in football, particularly at programs like Michigan’s: There are just too few games, and too many other teams competing for the final four playoff spots, to take much heart when it says “L” instead of “W” next to a given game on a schedule.

But there is such a thing as appropriate perspective. This will not be Michigan’s year, but it was never supposed to be. After all, Michigan’s last seven seasons involved two failed coaching tenures and an overall 46-42 record. In those seven seasons, Michigan was 1-6 versus Michigan State.

Even had they won Saturday, the Wolverines would not have looked like a championship team. On offense, they converted only four of 16 third- and fourth-down opportunities and amassed just 230 total yards.

But what is true — not in a hazy, sentimental sense, but in a real one — is that Michigan’s football team is back. And one byproduct of the revival is that the Michigan-Michigan State game was again at the epicenter of the college football universe on a midseason weekend.

“This time last year, no one was talking about this game,” the ESPN analyst David Pollack said Friday. “It was, ‘How bad will Michigan lose?’ ” (The answer last year was 35-11.) Michigan defensive end Willie Henry, a senior, said after the game that this traditional rivalry felt different this year.

“Both teams were winning,” he said. “Everyone thought it would be a great game. It was a great game.”

Matt Hinton on the immediacy of the moment in college football. Bill Connelly.



October 19th, 2015 at 1:23 PM ^

Dantonio walked out onto the field at the end of the game, pointing toward the Sparties in the south end zone, hands above his head in victory as if his team had just excuted the perfect play.  The punter dropped the ball, dude, and it flew into your guys' hands with momentum toward the end zone.  Your playcall and your players did little.  Very unfortunate for Michigan, very fortunate for Sparty.  Harbaugh's described it best. 


October 19th, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

that I would have real trouble mustering the resolve to write about this game. Great job, Brian.

Force Majeure is right.  Although "Force of crappy officiating" helped to keep this game closer than it should have been.  The whole game just seemed so unnecessarily painful then it ended in the most bizarre and painful way possible.

You are right about how this rivalry has changed.  The physical gap has been closed and once Harbaugh gets a QB that can make all the throws, things will be right again.  He's made some great lemonade out of a lot of basket full of lemons so far this season and the team will continue to improve with their new steel spines.  I wouldn't want to be the Gophers on Oct. 31.  There will be some blood.

might and main

October 19th, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

be in Michigan's shadow, as a university.  It is what it is, and Sparty knows it.  That's ultimately what fuels their sense of inferiority.  Well, that's utimately what defines their inferiority.


October 19th, 2015 at 1:56 PM ^

When you have a good coach like Jim playing with a "chip" on their shoulder doesnt mean shit. Jim will take those "chips" and crush them into crumbles. They played with a "chip" on sat and what happened? Won on a fluke play..I dont care how much sparty thinks they are being disresspected because it will be that way until UofM is around.

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October 19th, 2015 at 1:25 PM ^

Sums it up pretty well.  We won the game, and then due to a once-in-a-century play, we didn't.

The only thing I'd add is that both losses this year have felt like a return to the Bo era where when we lost, the other team didn't beat us so much as they survived.  



October 19th, 2015 at 1:33 PM ^

To Brian: this post will likely be buried as #142. When our collective heart is ripped from our chest by the evil MSU version of Mola Ram, I look to your Monday morning post like an atychiphobic looks forward to his therapist. I want to thank you for the reality you write on Sunday and post on Monday. Just know that it is highly appreciated.

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October 19th, 2015 at 1:38 PM ^

The punt was the right call in that situation on 4th down, but the thing that continues to bother me is that we had a chance to burn those 10 fateful seconds on the preceding plays. Instead of running up the gut when all 112k people in the stadium knew you were going to on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd down and hoping Deveon Smith somehow YACs himself a fresh set of downs all we needed to do was run around. Call slow developing sweeps designed to burn as much as time as possible at the cost of a few yards. You burn even 2-3 extra seconds a play and now instead of having to punt on 4th down, you can just chuck it deep and kill the last few seconds. Also, Baxter deserves some criticism for not drilling the what-ifs into Blake O'neill during the preceding two time outs. 



October 19th, 2015 at 3:14 PM ^

You're operating under the assumption that Baxter didn't cover those situations. Maybe he did and maybe O'Neill just lost his mind or panicked or thought he still had time to get the kick off. Maybe Baxter said, "what ever you do don't fumble the snap" and then that got O'Neill thinking about it too much. I'm sure if he's asked Blake will say he was trying to make a play and just fucked up.


October 19th, 2015 at 4:36 PM ^

Yeah, you're right I'm assuming that, but even if not, as the special teams coach it's still on him to make sure it doesn't happen. One way of looking at it is maybe Oneill just went rogue or panicked, but the other is that even if they did discuss it, Baxter didn't successfully instill the importance of not, under any circumstances, doing what Oneill ultimately did. 


October 19th, 2015 at 1:49 PM ^

A defensive player is prohibited from TOUCHING the longsnapper for 1 second after the snap.  The snapper go blown up by call.  Add that one to the list of blown calls.  All of my sparty friends said that there were bad calls in both directions.  The only thing is that it did not change the game 6 times.  


October 19th, 2015 at 2:01 PM ^

Small favor on Rudock.  When preparing your offensive UFR, just curious on how many zone reads were available to Rudock on the outside when he handed it off to Smith to the inside.  It seemed to me that there were a few opportunities for big yards for the QB when the DE crashed into the line.  I hope he keeps it 3-4 times against OSU.


October 19th, 2015 at 2:21 PM ^


That's no rocket pack-wearing raccoon it's the Jersey Devil and it exists for real. JMFL flosses his teeth with Jersey Devils every morning before spitting them out wholesale. JMFL is scary superpowerful, which was my point. Believe.


October 19th, 2015 at 2:21 PM ^

I'm an alumnus and watched the game with my boys, one of whom is also an alumnus and trust me when I say we are all struggling to get past the dark events of last Saturday. And I get the officiating complaints, I really do. But, come on, Brian says "MSU fans will point at the yardage in an attempt to claim that it was some sort of fluke that they were behind, as if special teams doesn't count". I agree, special teams are a critical part of the game, but doesn't it seem just a trifle disingenuous to suggest that special team count until ours screws up on the last play? MSU won because our special team screwed up and MSU's made the play. Maybe the refs screwed up and maybe this doesn't happen very often, but it was no "Act of God" and if the tables had been turned I'm sure Michigan fans (like me) would have been basking in yet another amazing special team's play.


October 19th, 2015 at 2:35 PM ^

I get what you're saying, but good special teams play, which Michigan has shown they are capable of all year and bad special teams play, MSU, is not descriptive of the last play. Both special teams have shown what they are and both teams mimicked that during this game. Blake dropping that snap with no MSU players pressuring him and failing to point it as he's probably done thousands of times qualifies as a fluke, bad luck or an act of God.


October 19th, 2015 at 3:55 PM ^

In law, an Act of God is an event that occurs outside of the control of the parties, which frees the parties from responsibility.

Dropping a low snap, not falling on it, fumbling it etc... sorry but they're all within human control, all within the control of one of the concerned parties., namely us.  This is a very, very, very unlikely event but it is not an Act of God.

Claiming it is an Act of God smacks of trying to avoid responsibililty for our own mistakes.


October 19th, 2015 at 2:41 PM ^

Had MSU blocked the punt, most would have been distraught but willing to tip their caps to a team which executed an important play perfectly.

That is not what happened here. This was much more of a fluke, or act of God.


October 19th, 2015 at 3:08 PM ^

I agree our long snapping and punting team is fabulous and even with last Saturday I wouldn't trade them for any team in the country. NONE.  But to suggest that when they make a mistake it is a fluke or Act of God, makes us sound uncomfortably Sparty.  I didn't see any ligtning and I'm unaware of any earthquake.   What I was a snap that wasn't quite right and a catch of that snap that could have been caught but wasn't and another team that took advantage of it.   Those were mistakes.  I"m sorry, I'll shut up and go away but to suggest otherwise dimishes the game of football to me and doesn't help me move past last week in any way.   Maybe I"m the only one that feels this way so I'll go away now.


October 19th, 2015 at 3:33 PM ^

It's a saying, bud. I'm not claiming divine intervention. The heavens didn't part and the hand of the Almighty did not knock the ball away.

Something exceedingly rare and unlikely happened. The term is appropriate.

Also, give up the act. Just celebrate like a human being. No need to go undercover.


October 19th, 2015 at 5:14 PM ^

Oh sheesh, where do you want us to send copies of our bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Michigan?

Look, if calling the last play a fluke or Act of God helps you out, I'm good with that.  But even Harbaugh said he believed the snap was low or not quite where it was supposed to be.   Last time I checked, that would mean the snapper made a mistake.  I think there were other mistakes made on the last play.  Mistakes are part of the game and, as was the case last Saturday, sometimes really really good players make them.  It's part of the game and makes it worth watching. To me, calling it an Act of God or fluke means that Harbaugh and the special teams coach would review the tape of the last play and say "crap, stuff happens but it was outside of our control.  Nothing to learn from this, nothing we could do differently next time, nothing to work on here, no need to teach the players anything here.   Let's just hope we don't have another fluke or Act of God again because there's nothing we can do about it.."  Do you seriously believe that's  the way our coaches are handling this?


October 19th, 2015 at 6:06 PM ^

Thr phrase in this context is what would commonly be referred to as "hyperbole". A weird, unlikely, unprecedented thing happened.

It was an act of God. It was a fluke. It was also the result of physics. These are fully compatible. You are being too literal.

Perhaps I'm wrong. But due to the fact that you signed up today and your first comment was one which took major issue with a minor semantic and stylistic choice of terms about a piece that almost all M fans agree with, I took you for a troll.


October 19th, 2015 at 9:00 PM ^

No hard feelings.  I get that everyone is handling the game in different ways and I certainly understand hyperole.  It's just that in this context I think using this kind of hyperbole makes us look foolish and that's why I had to create an account today and make a comment.  Losing was bad enough, calling it an Act of God and making it the title of the post made me cringe.  But it's not "perhaps" on our being UM fans.  I was at the game when Wangler hit Carter as time ran out to beat Indiana and would have laughed and rolled my eyes if I'd found out that the Indiana side suggested that it was a fluke because someone missed a tackle they'd rarely ever missed before.   My boys were both at the UTL game with Notre Dame a few years ago.  That was another wierd, unlikely, unprecedented thing that happened...  Act of God?  Or maybe it's only an Act of God when someone makes a mistake.  Or maybe it's only an Act of God  when it's our player that makes the mistake.  Is every bobbled snap by a Michigan player now an Act of God from now on?  Or maybe it's only an Act of God when it happens on the last play and ends up changing the outcome of the game.   Or maybe referring to what happened as an Act of God makes us look foolish and like we are hiding from taking responsibility for what happened so that we can point at MSU and say  "Oh yeah?   well we WOULD have won if God didn't hate us!"   I just thought it made us look foolish.


October 19th, 2015 at 2:32 PM ^

So, that sucks. It sucks that happened. It sucks that the kind of trash program that would run all the way across the field to taunt the Michigan student section after being handed a gift gets to feel like they earned something this morning. They're planning on nicknaming it, as if they earned something. That is why Michigan State will always be Michigan State. That is why "little brother" stuck: because it is the truest thing ever said about the attitude of that program.

But I've seen worse. I've felt worse. I have a big ol' callus. It's clear the direction this is going, and it's not a loss to Rutgers. The juggalos will get theirs as soon as Harbaugh flips the QB matchup. That's the undercurrent of their relief. They're already celebrating like underdogs who fluked it out.

See you next year.

This is so fucking awesome.  Thanks Brian.  

Ty Butterfield

October 19th, 2015 at 2:33 PM ^

Nothing on the last set of plays where Michigan needed one first down to win the game? Fuckin ONE! Michigan had to punt because the could not get the tough yards and looked like they ran the same play every time. I know you can't pass in a situation like this but maybe a sweep at some point with a faster guy like Peppers or Chesson. That was vintage Lloyd and is really what cost Michigan the game.

snarling wolverine

October 19th, 2015 at 2:52 PM ^

In an extremely obvious running situation, when the most important thing of all is to not fumble, we gained eight yards on three carries. That's not that bad. It sure would have been nice to gain two more but to view that as a condemnation of our offense is going overboard. I'd dare say most teams do not pick up the first down on the ground in that situation.

Hotel Putingrad

October 19th, 2015 at 7:36 PM ^

Going for the first down (even with the Hail Mary potential if you fail) would probably have had even odds with surrendering a scintillating punt return or herculean punt block for the win. I didn't like burning that last timeout rather than taking the five yards and at least seeing how MSU lined up, but it's over, done, forgotten. Go Blue.

snarling wolverine

October 19th, 2015 at 8:38 PM ^

I'm not talking about going for it on 4th down.  I'm just disagreeing with the comment above that our failure to gain a first down on the first three carries is an indictment of the offense.  I don't think that's a fair criticism given that everyone in the stadium knows you're going to run it there (since an incomplete pass would be really bad), which in turn makes it tough to gain 10 yards.  

I would have been OK going for it on 4th down, but I think punting is a perfectly fine decision as well.  You just have to get the punt off.




October 19th, 2015 at 2:42 PM ^

Disagree with Lewis.

He may have had a high number of PBU, which is good, but much of that is due to volume. He still gave up a fair amount of completions/opportunities for MSU receivers. Certainly the completion & against him was much less than the season avg (yes I know he was matched up with a good receiver). He had a decent game, but still got beat more than we needed. I guess if we have to pick someone who was the best, because it relative to the rest of our guys, this is still a decent choice. But I don't think we can say he had a "great" game.

snarling wolverine

October 19th, 2015 at 4:30 PM ^

Jourdan had to deal with not only an NFL-level receiver but an NFL-level passer throwing to him. That was as tough an individual matchup as he'll have all year. MSU targeted Burbridge 18 times when Lewis was on him and he caught eight. In this matchup that's good defense. When a QB is throwing pinpoint passes like that, you are not going to shut the guy down completely. But he did not score and was quiet in crunch time.

Julius 1977

October 19th, 2015 at 2:53 PM ^

Sort of reminds me of being at a funeral and listening to an articulate eulogy.  That's very good...  but I still feel terrible.


Yes, we will see them next year.


October 19th, 2015 at 3:04 PM ^

I made it about 90 seconds into Valenti being a complete Richard and changed the station to 105.1....only to hear that Drew Lane is gone from the station and replaced by DREW SHARP. 

Could they possibly have made sports radio in the Detroit area more unbearable?



The FannMan

October 19th, 2015 at 11:23 PM ^

Podcasts, man. No need to listen to asshats on radio when intelligent people will deliver hours of content to your phone for you to listen when you want. Often, they do this for free.

Podcasts will kill sports radio dead.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 19th, 2015 at 4:11 PM ^

"So, that sucks. It sucks that happened. It sucks that the kind of trash program that would run all the way across the field to taunt the Michigan student section after being handed a gift gets to feel like they earned something this morning. They're planning on nicknaming it, as if they earned something. That is why Michigan State will always be Michigan State. That is why "little brother" stuck: because it is the truest thing ever said about the attitude of that program.
But I've seen worse. I've felt worse. I have a big ol' callus. It's clear the direction this is going, and it's not a loss to Rutgers. The juggalos will get theirs as soon as Harbaugh flips the QB matchup. That's the undercurrent of their relief. They're already celebrating like underdogs who fluked it out."


This is delusional. Just last year, a member of your football team threw a spike into Spartan field. That is, from a team that got destroyed by MSU, a team that lost to Rutgers and didn't even make a bowl game. Members of your fanbase have repeatedly vandalized MSU property and written sky art to insult MSU on a week they weren't end playing Michigan. Many online were cheering about Jackson-Watts dislocating his hip. A third of your fanbase is scuzzy white trash Detroit suburb bros who never attended Michigan (just look at who they pan to during the games). You could fill a binder with instances of disrespect and classlessness directed at MSU from Michigan players, coaches, and fans over the years.


And you want to lecture MSU? You want to criticize a bunch of 20-year-olds for getting incredibly excited after pulling off one of the greatest plays in CFB history? Comments like that are exactly why they have such contempt for your program. 


That game was a toss-up, if the end play was a fluke. MSU has still completely dominated Michigan since Dantonio arrived. You want to talk about earning something? Beat MSU; beat OSU; hell, beat Rutgers. Win a bowl game; win a Big Ten title. And stop behaving like whiny, entitled, excuse-vomiting babies. Maybe then you can start judging other programs. 


October 19th, 2015 at 4:49 PM ^

This, this reaction is just why, even in victory, even if MSU has dominated the series lately, you'll be the little brother. People who matter, know they matter without seeking validation and respect. You clearly show you feel like you don't matter, and you're right! You don't!


October 19th, 2015 at 4:52 PM ^

Congrats on forcing our punter to drop the ball. Amazing play call. We must add that to our playbook.

You really pulled it off.

I know we are back because you are winning the way you used to. Randomly. Enjoy this year. A lot.


October 19th, 2015 at 5:08 PM ^

Enjoy it, be happy, and quit worrying about Michigan. Just remember bud, Pride comes before the fall." Your day is coming, you and I know, it's gonna be Michigan again...otherwise you wouldn't be surfing a Michigan site.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 19th, 2015 at 6:30 PM ^

MSU has still completely dominated Michigan since Dantonio arrived. 

Six of Dantonio's wins against Michigan have come against Michigan coaches named Rodriguez and Hoke.  Congrats on dominating them.  So did everyone else.  

His seventh win came on arguably the flukiest play in college football history.  I could not have any less respect for Dantonio's accomplishments against Michigan.  He benefitted from taking over during the weakest stretch of UM's recent history.  He is also a petty and hypocritical little man, and I am terribly excited about his comeuppance, which begins next year.  I think Michigan State fans know that as well, which is why they're so desperate to thump their chests in front of any Michigan fans they can find.  Just like little brothers do.


October 20th, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

...MSU had no one back and we weren't in max protect.  A blocked punt was almost inevitable with rugby kicking style kicker. (which is why I screamed myself hoarse at the TV as we lined up)   Now, the ball bouncing into sparty's arms...sure, lucky break.  but if this wasn't a play with 10 seconds left...but say a minute or two left, are we really calling this flukey?

And to your other point... awful lot of butthurt around here about the Chip(tm)...then you go and call them little brother again.     If the media and our fanbase stopped belittling their decade of pretty enviable successes, perhaps they'd get called out on milking that indignation.