Two photos by Upchurch made into one.
I've been spending much of the last week going through last year's photos by Eric Upchuch (ChewerD on the site) to find the good stuff for this year's HTTV. Ninety-five percent just gets deleted, several hundred make it to folders I can access for various players and stuff. Then there's the shots and sequences that I can't, for whatever reason, use in the book but can't in good conscious throw out. So here you go.
You know those guys who stick their heads in lions' mouths? We've got a cameraman who'll stick his lens inches from Jake Ryan. Peer into the soul of the Viking.
[The rest after THE JUMP]
The PA announcer promises we're about to see the greatest band in the country. Then the 7th brigade of the Cult of Zoltan emerged.
See if you guess which of these was taken 30 feet away from my iPhone and which was taken from field level by Eric? Yeah neither can I.
This is a sequence I like to call "Manti Te'o Slips on a Crab." 1) Manti Te'o is coming in to help finish off the tackle. 2) Whoops, Manti Te'o has slipped on a crab. 3) Te'o crashes into the pile foot-first because of the crab he tripped on. 4) Don't you try to tell me there wasn't a crab there. There were two crabs; they work in pairs. Also Kelly's expression never changes (for like six frames either side of these).
I saw a lot of ND players know to just slide on the ground to stop their momentum, but not Michigan's guys. It was raining pretty hard all morning until the stadium gates opened. Anyway I think the field was more slippery than we reported earlier (this affected Denard and Toussaint, who both went down on a lot of sharp cuts).
He wantses my precious!
We swears to serve the master of the precious!
James Ross III is so decisive he can rip into the backfield before the blockers can account for him.
This gets him a free piggy back ride. Gain weight James Ross III!
(Click big so Kovacs can steal your soul)
Last Year's Seniors in 1,000 Words: Denard is laughing, Roundtree is making him laugh, Kovacs is American Gothic, Barnum and Omameh are being intense, Roh is just unh if I could just break through damn I shoulda been a redshirt, Vincent Smith is buried and yelling "look at me!", Mealer is all beard, and I think a walk-on is sticking his tongue out at me; no that's just his lower lip.
So Russell Bellomy, tell us what it felt like to replace Denard in front of 111,000 people in a deluge?
Us too, Russ.
A Study in Poor Damn Toussaint:
1. Here's a play from the first half against Illinois. After blocking for a long Denard run, Toussaint is rewarded with a shot at the end-zone. And lo and behold the Illini linebackers (illinebackers?) have way overplayed Denard.
2. Toussaint cuts behind his blocking, the LBs catch mostly nitrogen, and it's clear sailing to the end z…
3. Wait, he's stopped. Why has he stopped?
4. Poor Damn Toussaint.
Brady Hoke can cause fumbles with his eyes!
Hello Brady Hoke's Pet Viking, aka Steve Everitt.
Here's a photo we should use whenever we discuss the zone-read option.
Of course then Denard gave it to Toussaint, who was promptly swallowed by the DE waiting for him over there. This exchange was about the least frustrating thing in the reel because State was holding all over the place.
Notice how the light's the same in all of these? They're all from the same series, though not in order (the last play was the bottom-left, the bottom-right one was the fumble State recovered). Sparty was also committing a million little atrocities on defense, mostly after tackling Denard.
This was a play Denard was going down on his own before Dennard and Gholston made contact, but they made sure they got in a knee into the groin, a couple of bodies on the throwing shoulder, and this punch to the fingers for good measure while Gholston was holding him down. I know, I know, that's football. Football is trying to cause injury to the other team's best player. There is nothing else that is football. #THISISSPARTA
Did Michigan do the same? Not at all to the same degree (most of the OL shots are the guards just whiffing) but yes I found two guys holding like whoa on Toussaint's 38-yard run in the 2nd quarter, and two short, uncalled facemasks, one on the last drive. I've burned the evidence; let us not speak of it again.
Speaking of uncalled penalties,
This looks like pass interference. Let's check.
No zoom down a bit.
Yep, that's definitely my "That's pass interference!" face. And on the right there's my little brother's "I wonder if they'll let us get away with that?" face. Yelling over that non-call (plus the flu I had at the time) was the last straw for my vocal chords, which I couldn't use from the time this photo was shot until well into December. Also:
That's the guy who asked me to put him on MGoBlog's face.
At least Bellomy managed to get one part of Denard's game down. The rest is Nebraska blocking really good and Bo Pelini being mad at people; the former isn't that interesting and the latter can be obtained in bulk at your local internet.
Someone once told me one of baseball's unwritten rules is if a paper publishes a shot like this, the players will make sure every photographer will get nothing but for several weeks. Shall we test this?
While we're in the Gibbons file. Apparently Eric uses Gibbons during warm-ups to "test the light." Riiiight.
I regret that I have but one photo position to give to Iowa, and believe it or not there's something better for that position than a punter named Kornbrath, even if that is the most Iowa thing ever. More than a guy named Sleeper. Or Lowdermilk. Or Trinca-Pasat. Or Ferentz.
When Norfleet is touching the ball he is almost never in focus, though sometimes you can't tell unless you zoom in. I don't think he is completely phased into our universe you guys.
Eric's a great photographer because he understands what's happening on the other side of his lens. Here is Hoke walking away with a #28 helmet while Toussaint is being carted away.