Michigan 27, Northwestern 19

Submitted by Ace on November 16th, 2013 at 7:47 PM

via @cjzero, obviously

I can't. I just... I can't. Thank you, Northwestern, for being Northwestern.

Consider this an open thread to celebrate(!) a victory(!!) featuring multiple touchdowns!!!

(Shhhhhhh, don't ruin it by mentioning the multiple overtimes part.)

Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog



November 16th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

You haven't shown the ability to score a TD all day, the weather sucked, and what guarantee were you going to get that close again? There was time on the clock, and you still needed a FG. It would have been better if they hadn't given up so many yards on 3rd and longs before punts.

Now if you want to complain about the playcall they chose on 4th down....


November 17th, 2013 at 10:24 AM ^

I'm pretty sure that N'Western had 12 guys on the field for the FG.  It's hard to get a clip with the whole field, but I've got a clip with 11 and the next millisecond there's a 12th player about 15 yards to the right.  I suspect he was a special team player coming on, but he was on the field.

MI Expat NY

November 17th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

I don't see that from any of the televised angles.  I see nine near the line, one much further away toward the sideline, and then one even closer to the sideline.  Besides, if they tried to call that, it would bring up the whole "defense gets a chance to substitute deal."  

I think it's pretty clear that we caught a huge break.


November 16th, 2013 at 8:05 PM ^

You know how sometimes the score doesn't tell the whole story?

This game is the definition of the principle. The picture in the dictionary, etc.

At this point, with no real goals left, disaster around every turn, and the spirit beaten out of the fanbase, this win... was a very pleasant surprise. Michigan tried to give the game away perhaps a dozen times, but somehow managed to pull it off. The upside was that, after that field goal, everything I saw was fun again. 

This might be our last win this season. It's nice to get. That field goal was the stuff of legend.


November 16th, 2013 at 8:21 PM ^

Yeah. I was worried about the staff losing the team--the losses on the field are bad enough, but real program chaos is the sort of thing that #2 overall recruits decommit over, and stuff. 

And while the world thinks OSU will roll all over us, I still have hope. Because the actual players are pretty good--if Michigan can catch lightning in a bottle, they can win. 


November 16th, 2013 at 9:34 PM ^

Iowa's run defense is much more physical and the somewhat holes we saw today will not be there next week.   That said NW LBs and DBs should have had maybe 3-4 INTs today.  Maybe more.  Iowa DB are very Mattison like - play way off the ball and conservative so maybe the windows for receivers will be more open next week. 

Anyhow, it was a cripple fight as someone else said.  The third down conversion sadness replaced the negate rushing yardage sadness - sort of like a ship that plugs one hole only to see another spring. We'll take it but in the big picture other than giving these kids some reward for hard work, and maybe helping a recruit or two not decommit not much there to cheer for other than lifting a very dark mood over the program for a week.  I did think the defense did well today, although still confounded by why so much bend is necessary...


November 17th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

The defense seemed to play a much more aggressive style and gave the team a chance to win.  To me this was a glimse of what we will see out of the team next year.  Once we have Peppers, to go with Countess and some of the other young guys, I see a defense that is even better.  I have seen progress and they need to play the same way at OSU.  You may get burned by a couple of plays, but be aggressive and leave it all on the field.  Give the team a chance to win that game.


November 16th, 2013 at 8:19 PM ^

describes the path to winning. It includes losing badly, followed by losing close games, and then pulling out a close game. A little confidence can go a long way, and adversity forges bonds that are unbreakable.

Other than the win and the FG to tie, what I enjoyed most was watching Koger head-butt Gibbons after the kick - bare head to helmet!


November 17th, 2013 at 1:38 AM ^

Call me the eternal optimist, but despite only 9 points in regulation, I saw a lot of little things that moved in the right direction. The OL was opening some holes, and generally getting a little push. We also seemed to be picking up the pass rush better and went away from teh slide protection scheme. Green ran much harder than earlier in the year, dragging a few guys and always falling forward. Those 2-3 yards may not seem like much, but it's the difference between 3rd and long and 3rd and short. Gardner seemed to get some of his speed back and didn't seem hobbled, despite the weather and muddy field. And yes, even Al made some nice adjustments: the full back passes, draw plays, short route quick hitters, etc.

There were still way too many WTF moments, and we still don't have an answer for 3rd and long other than to eat a sack, but overall I saw incremental improvement and that's encouraging. Besides, I don't care what the Debbie Downers say, a sloppy, meaningless win is still a hell of a lot better than a loss.


November 17th, 2013 at 10:10 AM ^

I still question the playcalling, but I really like Green and Smith in the backfield.  They both run with power and usually don't get negative yards.  Also, liked their blocking.  They need to stay with that combination.

The Line was much better and if I see the progression, I will be optimistic about our chances next year and especially in 2015.  The offense reminded me a lot of Alabama (in style only, NOT IN PERFORMANCE), but without the horses.  Still more development needs to be done, but hopefully they continue to get better.

Imagine 2014:

QB: Gardiner

RB: Green, Smith

WR: Amara Darboh, Drake Harris, Chesson, Canteen, Ways

TE:  Funchess, Butt

Interior OL should be better blockers, we just need to get some Tackle development in before the end of the year.

Now 2015:

QB:  Shane Morris

RB: Green (yr3), Smith (yr3), Damien Harris

WR: Darboh, Chesson, Harris, Campbell, Canteen, Ways, etc.

TE: Funchess, Butt

Offensive line with mostly Juniors and Seniors.

I think that we could be a hell of a team in 2014 and especially in 2015.  The defense looks just as good even with the loss of Hands.  Peppers could be that special kind of player like Woodson.


November 17th, 2013 at 11:26 AM ^

IMO, NW isn't a bad team. They lost some games due to being injury issues and then some close heartbreakers. They played Ohio to, what, 3 points (excluding meanlingless TD from the turnover). I feel a lot better about improvement against NW than I do against Indiana. As Brian said in the preview, they're defense is middling, which is where we should be measuring ourselves right now. Hell we looked worse against worse defenses so I'll definitely take it as a good sign.


November 16th, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

I wouldn't call losing to a hail mary pass and, today, to an almost miraculous field goal with a second left, a fourth quarter collapse. Let's be fair.

And just be glad his team's secondary can't catch a football.

He's a much better coach than the one we've got -- by far. What would the score have been if the talent level of the teams had been switched?


Detroit Dan

November 16th, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

That was fun to watch, as stephenrjking said above.  The best part was Hoke on the sideline not changing expression after every good thing that Michigan did.  He was focused, and it seemed to rub off on the team down the stretch.  

I feel bad for Northwestern as every break seemed to go Michigan's way.  But it was a classic college football game...


November 16th, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

On the last play, UM subbed in the FG unit.

Shouldn't they have held the snap to allow NW to sub?

I know they do this for a lot of the no huddle teams. I am curious if its an actual rule.