Maryland 23, Michigan 16

Submitted by Ace on November 22nd, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

Which remarkably apropos moment to use here?

Should it be the innovative "running two-minute drill" that miraculously netted an end-of-half field goal?

How about when the Michigan Marching Band recreated the extinction of the dinosaurs at halftime?

Perhaps Dennis Norfleet's incredible punt return touchdown getting called back?

Could I see the argument for Mike Weber announcing his decommitment the precise moment Maryland's Wes Brown ran in the go-ahead score? Of course.

Same goes for Darryl Stonum's tweets just before and after Devin Funchess dropped another pass, this one to seal the loss on fourth down.

All of them, I guess.

As far as I know, Brady Hoke hasn't been informed he's fired, but he knows. We all do. With bowl eligibility on the line—unless you're holding out hope for a miracle in Columbus—Hoke's squad couldn't get out of its own way.

Even considering a few impressive Devin Gardner scrambles, including Michigan's lone touchdown of the game, the team's best offensive play came on a 52-yard fake punt run by fullback Joe Kerridge; Kerridge couldn't quite get to the goal line, and after Gardner's third-and-goal pass bounced off Freddy Canteen's chest, Matt Wile kicked a field goal.

The game played out in similarly bumbling fashion for most of the duration, with both teams seemingly unable to catch the football. Maryland had three drops in the first half; Gardner recorded a pick when a throw well behind Bo Dever bounced off his hands and into those of Maryland corner Will Likely.

The special teams were a mess. The flag on the punt return, however questionable, cost Michigan a touchdown. Jourdan Lewis roughed Maryland kicker Brad Craddock, leading on the very next play to a CJ Brown touchdown run; there's another four points. Matt Wile missed a 39-yard field goal that would've given M a 19-16 fourth-quarter lead.

It was a Brady Hoke loss, through and through.


It's sad, of course. Devin Gardner mustered 82 yards on the ground, scrambled for a vintage DG touchdown run (above), and put most of his passes on target, only to see several go right through the hands of his intended receivers. He went down fighting in his last home game, and it sucks to see his efforts go unrewarded. Same goes for all the other seniors out there.

For the sake of Michigan football, though, this may have been for the best. There's little, if any, doubt now that Hoke won't be retained, and a loss in The Game—meaning no bowl game—is all but guaranteed. Unless the athletic department royally screws up the coaching search, the next team will have more competence at the top, a better opportunity to succeed. The bowl practices will be missed, but expediting the much-needed rehauling of this program may make up for it—and then some, when recruiting is taken into account.

We'll see how it all unfolds. For now, though, this felt like an all-too-fitting finish for Brady Hoke; whether he's present on the sideline for Ohio State—which I expect he will be—is almost besides the point.



November 23rd, 2014 at 3:56 PM ^

reguardless of their decent records this year, I still think Maryland (7-4) and Rutgers (6-5) are an odd addition to the conference. and I am not saying this because Michigan lost to both. I feel the same way I felt when the announcment was made in 2012 - when I assumed we would crush both schools on the gridiron.


I understand most of college football has changed drastically and the B1G does not want to be left behind (especially when it comes to market share/TV contracts/$$$). but how do these new schools fit in? especially with athletics? I guess we will see more forced "rivalries" soon.


no disrespect to Maryland/Rutgers, I don't have a problem with either institution. I'm complaining about the B1G here. I used to think the conference was unique and stood for something. midwestern values.. tradition.. now all I see is a commercial money machine. from this perspective, Dave Brandon was/is a perfect fit in the B1G conference. maybe he will be the next B1G commissioner!


November 23rd, 2014 at 7:07 PM ^

They clock did unwind from 14 with the ball snapped at 12.  So two seconds were lost....that's a fair trade for keeping the TO if needed to set up the FG.  That Butt was able to get out of bounds to stop the clock was very fortunate.

But hey, don't let the facts and logic get in the way of your hate.  Hate on, Brah, hate on.


November 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

I actually felt like this was less of a tire fire than any other game we played this season since...Miami?  

Am I the only one one who felt this way?  


November 22nd, 2014 at 11:33 PM ^

Yes - you are probably the only one. Something is just off with this team - as soon as they put up the stat about UM dominating thus far in the 3rd qtr UMD goes right down the field and scores and the D never got it's mojo back after that. Gardner (sp?) is just broken. For most of the game he just looked skittish and unsure. I feel bad for him, but sometime during the 2nd qtr I started thinking they should put Morris in (knew it wouldn't happen on SR day). And Ace is right that his receivers did him no favors today - particularly Funchess who should seriously consider staying another year to hone his game if he plans to be a success in the NFL.

Perkis-Size Me

November 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

Our players deserve better. So much better. Especially guys like Gardner. I know Hoke wanted the best for this team, but he essentially shit on the legacy of every member of this team with his piss poor coaching and inability to coach and develop any member of this team.

At least this means there's no reason Hoke should still be on payroll after next Saturday. Unless you believe we somehow have a chance in Columbus next weekend.

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November 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 PM ^

Gardner is a coach killer.

It was Hokes inability to recruit anyone good enough to beat him out that ended his coaching career here.

I love the kid and his off the field behavior, but he is a dreadful QB. A turnover machine who consistently misses wide open receivers, his decision making is awful. We will be better at QB next year with Speight or Malzone, and I suspect Speight should have been the starter from day one this year.


November 22nd, 2014 at 9:36 PM ^

Gardner would be on Heisman ballots if he went to OSU. His raw physical tools are at least as good as Braxton Miller. But he's been coached poorly, beat up behind terrible lines, and forced into a system that highlights his weaknesses and marginalized his strengths.

Hell, even today, he flashed some moments - out of the shotgun, when he can threaten the run, and have one or two reads. He had some great scrambles and made pretty good decisions all afternoon. His accuracy wasn't great, but he seemed to have good throws dropped as often as he actually missed.


November 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

"For the sake of Michigan football, though, this may have been for the best."

Nailed it. It's unfortuante for the seniors and for a visibly shaken Hoke, but in the long term, losing this game takes the pressure off of everyone, and allows us to move forward.



November 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

For most of the game the team player well enough to win, other than the Devins. Gardner's throws were constantly too far behind and the receivers were bailing him out on the catches they did make. The fact that there's not a better option at QB is on the coach. Funchess can't hold onto a pass for whatever reason. I knew when that roughing the kicker penalty turned into a TD they wouldn't have the intestinal fortitude to pull out a win.


November 22nd, 2014 at 7:49 PM ^

Gardner couldn't hit a receiver in stride making it hard for a receiver to catch the ball. I feel bad for Nussmeyer as he has no option at QB RB or WR to call plays. Maryland had 8-9 in the box all game and we Michigan couldn't take advantage.


November 22nd, 2014 at 8:20 PM ^

This time last year Gardner was a better passer.  Maybe not by much, but he was more accurate and he only threw one INT over the last six games of last season.  And then there's Morris, a much better and more poised QB against KSU last January than at anytime this season.  What's that about?