Punt-Counterpunt: Nebraska 2013

Submitted by Brian on November 9th, 2013 at 11:39 AM

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THE INTERNET LOVES PHOTOSHOPPING BO PELINI INTO CAT PHOTOS

Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one… something like Punt-Counterpunt.

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By Nick RoUMel

We need a good dose of optimism. Like the little boy who got all excited when he got a bag of horse crap for Christmas, happily exclaiming that Santa must have left him a pony outside.

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But Punt, or Counterpunt - or whatever I am this week - is rarely an optimist. Look what happened last week. I go all giddy and pick Michigan to beat the Spartans, despite the odds and common sense. We got horse crap instead.

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It would be so easy to revert to form. Get all grouchy, and say we suck; that we’ll lose to Nebraska, even though they are without seemingly 7th year senior citizen Taylor Martinez, who is tending to his arthritis and bunions.

But - just as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects Punt to be predictable, either.

I therefore unpredictably predict a comfortable Michigan victory, now that we are back in the cozy confines of the Big House. All warm and fuzzy, like retired former Punt, Ken “Sky” Walker, sitting at home, soaking his large feet in Epsom salts, sipping on a Long Island Iced Tea, cursing Al Borges while wrapping his Michigan Snuggie close, like so:

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Meanwhile, Heiko and I will freeze in the cold rain, cheering an embattled Michigan team, which will defy the odds and common sense, and do some crazy, unpredictable things themselves. Like running for positive yardage. Aggressively pursuing the opponent’s young, inexperienced quarterback. And the craziest thing of all?

Michigan won’t be the softest team on the field.

MICHIGAN 35, NEBRASKA 17

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By Heiko Yang

Hey, remember when Nebraska won the division and made it to the Big Ten Title game last year?

/dies

Good news! The team visiting the Big House today isn’t that Nebraska team. This year’s edition of the Cornhuskers needed a Hail Mary just to beat Northwestern at home. Wait …

/dies

Sorry sorry. Enough with the self-evisceration. Today is the post-apocalyptic-where-does-society-go-now game. Let’s try to find something in the rubble that isn’t still on fire and start rebuilding.

Michigan got nuked into negative yards rushing last week. Whatever. I’m over it. Today, let’s get positive yards. The kind where someone takes the ball, runs past the line of scrimmage, and gets tackled—not for loss, but for WIN. Yes, I think we would all to see Michigan get tackled for win.

Devin Gardner got sacked like he was Rome last week, only worse and more frequently. Today, let’s see if we can erect a wall some kind of obstacle maybe that could at least moderately hamper any incoming barbarians. I hear Michigan has offensive linemen. They should get really offensive today with personal insults like “you’re fat” or “you remind me of Indiana.” I even recommend name-calling and epithets, because upsetting the opponent is an important step towards slowing them down.

Finally (and somewhat seriously), let’s see if Michigan can show any indication that they’re willing to try something different this time to avoid another apocalypse. Quit screwing around with the gimmicky offensive line stuff. Maybe call a running play out of the ace formation, and stop going play-action on obvious passing downs. Throw a play-action pass from the inverted veer. I don’t know. Anything at all would be nice. Even just one spread punt would be so reassuring.

Again, I mean, whatever. I’m over it. The sun is out today, and it’s not rainy and disgusting. It’s good to know at least the weather knows how to improve.

Nebraska 30, Michigan 28

Comments

yoyo

November 9th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

I don't feel like that philosophy works for a team like ours right now.  There's no edge, no agressiveness.  We look weak and we're floundering.  Hopefully Nebraskas defense is as bad as advertised to help Gardner and the O-line build some confidence.

nickb

November 9th, 2013 at 11:57 AM ^

Michigan will win because Nebraska will find a way to lose. They are a mess and if by chance Michigan loses to this pathetic team, Michigan coaches should be issued Samurai swords taken to mid field and have them do the right thing. It is the least they can do to placate their ardoring fans.

TennBlue

November 9th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

has given me the gift of pure fandom.  I no longer have any expectations for any game, I can just watch it without worrying whether we're over- or underperforming.