Inside the Boxscore - Team 133, Game 1

Submitted by ST3 on September 2nd, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Am I really going to do this again, this season? Yeah, I guess I am. I have very little personal insight to bring to the table when it comes to Alabama. One of my best friends from my Rackham days is from Tallapoosa County, Alabama. In the “Greatest County Names” contest, there is Tallapoosa County, and there is everyone else. It’s near Wetumpka, Alabama, in case you were wondering. I also love “Sweet Home Alabama,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, I have always wondered about these lyrics in the song: “Now Watergate does not bother me, Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth.” What the hell does that even mean? Why doesn’t a President of the United States resigning in disgrace bother him? And better yet, what is the relationship between Alabama and Watergate? I was a toddler when Watergate went down, so if anybody has any idea what that’s all about, please let me know. Hey, it’s better than rehashing the game. Coincidentally, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” also beat Kid Rock’s Michigan-based ode to “Sweet Home Alabama,” titled, “All Summer Long,” by a final score of 41-14.

      You don’t want to go there. Seriously, trust me, you don’t want to go there. Wouldn’t you rather I link you to Morrissey’s complete catalogue, pictures of tire fires, or nuclear bombs going off? No, you want the link. OK, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Link: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/090212aaa.html

Burst of Impetus

  • I’m starting fresh this season with section titles, but this one is too good not to hold over. It’s for momentum changing plays.
  • Things started great for UofM, holding Bama to 1 yard in their first series. However, Bama got off a great punt and flipped the field. We did manage to eak out a first down and seemed to have some momentum, even considering the slightly off slant patterns. Then we got hit with the 15 yarder on Lewan, when off-setting penalties should have been called. It all went downhill after that.
  • I also thought we were in trouble this week when I heard Brady gave out 7 scholarships to walk-ons. I’m sure they are worthy, and I’m happy for them, but that kind of thing just does not happen at Bama. We are still a little thin on the depth chart, and when some players get suspended and some get injured early in the game, the talent gap starts to widen. It will improve, but we’re not there yet.

Sometimes, poop is just poop

  • This better not be a recurring section, but in my season prediction email to my brother, I suggested that some regression to the mean was to be expected. I even made the blasphemous statement that we might find out that Brady Hoke’s poop is not made of gold. Well, on almost all of the 50-50 plays, they went Bama’s way. For example:
  • Gallon caught a 71 yard pass when he needed 71.1 yards. (Flashbacks to Illinois, STOP IT PLEASE!!!)
  • On 4thand 3, Denard seemingly stretched for the first down, only to have replay overrule the play because his elbow went down before the sticks.
  • Early in the game, Rawls was facemasked while Lewan took someone’s helmet off. Guess who got the penalty?
  • Bama downed a punt at the 1 foot line. It seemed like several players had a chance to bring the ball into the endzone with them, but the ball someone managed to stay at the one. This lead to the pick-six. Poop.
  • The one time Bama turned the ball over, it was at the end of the half and we couldn’t benefit from it. Poop. Lousy, stinky, poop.

Ermahgerd, Kehrvacks

  • This is the all-encompassing section on the defense. I think “Kehrvacks” sounds funnier than “Dehrnerd,” and they are both captains, so Jordan gets the ermahgerd treatment.
  • If you look hard enough, there were a few good things. We held Lacy to 3.9 YPC and Hart to 2.1. But this points to the talent advantage Bama has. When option 1 and 3 aren’t working, go with option 2. Yeldon had 11 carries for 111 yards.
  • We had 3 sacks and 9 TFLs, but the TFLs were all of the 1 and 2 yard variety. We didn’t really get any penetration. Two of the TFLs were from Brink late in the game. I’m wondering if maybe he sees more time in the future, particularly against less beefy teams. If there is any second guessing by Mattison this week, I suspect it will be the decision to try to match size with Bama. Perhaps a quicker line might have been able to sneak through, but I doubt it. Bama’s O-Line is NFL ready.
  • McCarron was only 11 for 21, and we forced several throwaways. What happened to intentional grounding? Is that not a penalty anymore? I thought chucking the ball into the stands was a penalty. No? OK, let’s just move on.
  • We held Bama to only 431 yards. They may be the best offense we face all year. If we can hold everyone else under 431, I’ll be happy.
  • The bad news was that 3 of our top 4 tacklers were DBs. Demens only had 3 tackles. I’m worried about the UFR, but that’s to be expected after giving up 41 points (and yes, the defense was only responsible for 34.)
  • Morgan had 8 tackles, but they were all assisted tackles, which epitomizes the game. In all of the one-on-one matchups, we lost. Bama was just more “-er” than us, bigger, stronger, faster, tougher. I avoided watching Bama last season because I hate that “ESS EEE SEE” crap, but there’s no denying how good they are.
  • 25 guys registered at least one tackle. Some of that was blow-out time stuff, but it seemed like Mattison was searching for something that would work.

Ermahgerd, Dehrnerd?

  • You had to see this title coming a mile away, right? Hopefully, we get rid of the “?” next week.
  • Denard ran 10 times for 27 net yards. He ran for a TD. Going into the game, one of the stats I saw more than once was how many runs Denard has had of 10 yards or longer in the past two seasons. His long this game was 9 yards. I don’t blame Borges for keeping the carries down. Without Fitz, Bama was free to tee off on Denard. I think it was more important to keep him relatively healthy than run him 25 times and leave him a bloody pulp at the end in a futile attempt to keep it close.
  • Denard was 11 for 26 passing with 2 INTs. One of the INTs was the official’s fault for not calling pass interference, or Roundtree’s fault for letting himself be treated like a ragdoll.
  • Denard threw for 200 yards, helped greatly by a 71 yard bomb to Gallon. It looked like Bama was giving up the long ball, but Denard and Devin are not in sync yet. Give it time, this duo will be all right by season’s end.

Zonkeys

  • The local news had a story about how there was a rare zonkey at the LA county fair this week. That’s a combination of a zebra and a jackass, I mean, a donkey. I can’t think of a more fitting description of the officiating.
  • I was a little surprised to see that we were called for more penalties, and for significantly more yards. UM: 8-99, Bama: 7-55. The game reminded me of the 2000 Orange Bowl game we played against them when they set a record with 18 penalties for 132 yards, only the officials didn’t use their flags this game.
  • I know Bama has 3 pre-season all-Americans on their O-line, but that doesn’t mean they can hold with impunity. I’m sure Blue Seoul will have some examples, but that’s not the reason we lost.

Passing Game Stuff

  • Gallon looks to be the guy, at least until Devin and Denard get more comfortable.
  • Roundtree caught two passes late. He better step up, or else I’m going to question that 21 patch he has. Maybe he’s still <100% after the surgery. I hope that’s the reason, because we can’t rely on a 5’ 8” #1 receiver and a converted QB to be the only options.
  • More Dileo please. He only caught one ball, but wasn’t targeted that often.
  • Kwiatkowski caught one pass for 6 yards. DAMN YOU RODRIGUEZ! I want moar tight ends!!!

Hexadecimal Points

  • I was going to skip this section as well this year, but Jareth Glanda registered a tackle as #5D. After his Sugar Bowl heroics, any time I can send the love his way, you know I will.
  • James Ross shows up in the boxscore as “Ross III, James.” ST3 approves. I wonder if he ever gets mail addressed to him as James Ross Iii?

Announcers’ Derpity Derp

  • I was going to wait until we got to the meat of the BIG 10 Network portion of the schedule for this, but “Devin Smith?” Pound for pound, he’s the toughest guy who doesn’t exist on our roster.

I’ll Take Bullets for a Thousand, Alex

  • Hagerup did get off some boomers, but our average Net Yards per punt was only 35.3, 16 yards less than our average punt distance. Bama, on the other hand, netted 46.2 yards on a 47 yard average. That’s coverage.
  • While Norfleet looked good, the average kick return was only 22.1 yards. When a touchback takes you out to the 25, I’m not so impressed by 22 yards. It was clearly better than last season.
  • Wile: 3 kickoffs, 3 touchbacks. Dude has a leg.
  • Time of possession is meaningless. We had the ball for 28:34 to their 31:26. We also had 56 offensive plays to their 63. It seemed like a lot worse than that.

Comments

DanRareEgg

September 2nd, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

A few disjointed thoughts...

The officiating was just insult to injury, obviously, but it was turrible. Even Musberger and Herbstreit said the kick catch interference call was bogus. The first INT is on Robinson and Roundtree, though. If the ball wasn't yet thrown the contact was legal.

Hagerup can't win. He finally has an entire game of boomers and the coverage can't keep up.

Gallon definitely has the best hands and routes off all the receivers. I thought we'd see a sweep or reverse to Gardner to see if he could make a play, but Borges just wanted to get him deep. He'll get better.

My dad kept bitching about how we weren't smacking Bama in the mouth like they were us. The best example of why was Denard trying to blow up the corner on the INT return. We just aren't on the same level.

Number 7

September 2nd, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

It's a reponse to Neil Young's "Southern Man", which posed the musical question "what's up with all you racist rednecks downi there in the south?". skynyrd's response: stfu we like it here and it ain't like y'all ain't got problems of yer own.

ST3

September 2nd, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

I'm familiar with Neil Young's song, but how is Watergate a "Northern" problem and why does it not bother a southern man? Is that because Skynyrd doesn't recognize the White House as the proper authority? i.e., Skynyrd doesn't want to accept the results of the civil war? Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

Blue Swamper 102077

September 2nd, 2012 at 5:25 PM ^

I think Ronnie was refering to that that poor people weather white or black have no true backing from the government. The may offer a carrot once in a while for show. And that most upper class northern whites are just as racists as southern upper class whites. Only people that are truly can relate color be damned. In fact poor white people are treated with less respect in some way from their white brothers. George Walace realize the error of his ways and actually, he started out as reformer but went to segergation to win. After he was shot by a white man he ralized he had been wrong. Lynyrd Skynryd was force to use the conferate flag by MCA in hopes that it would bring in more money. Ronnie heros where Ali, Hendrix pretty similar to myself. He loved watching NFL football on sunday. Many of the band member played high Scool football together. He was a very good athlete All Star Baseball player and entered into a boxing tournament weeks before the crash. He was a uniquely regular guy that wrote some of best songs ever in 10 a year period. The Ballad of Curtis Lowe says it all for me as far as him being a racist that and loving Neil Youngs music. He used the fact that people would think they knew exactly what he was saying and loved to trick them! He was shot by his brother in the leg with a .22 rifle when he was 10 or so! That why the song Saturday Night he say's they aint no good drop them to the bottom of the sea. I had tickets for Kalamazoo Wing Stadium 0ct 25, 1977 5 days before the crash.

Blue Swamper 102077

September 2nd, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I think Ronnie was refering to that that poor people weather white or black have no true backing from the government. The may offer a carrot once in a while for show. And that most upper class northern whites are just as racists as southern upper class whites. Only people that are truly poor can relate color be damned. In fact poor white people are treated with less respect in some way from their white brothers. George Walace realize the error of his ways and actually, he started out as reformer but went to segergation to win. After he was shot by a white man he ralized he had been wrong. Lynyrd Skynryd was force to use the conferate flag by MCA in hopes that it would bring in more money. Ronnie heros where Ali, Hendrix pretty similar to myself. He loved watching NFL football on sunday. Many of the band member played high Scool football together. He was a very good athlete All Star Baseball player and entered into a boxing tournament weeks before the crash. He was a uniquely regular guy that wrote some of best songs ever in 10 a year period. The Ballad of Curtis Lowe says it all for me as far as him being a racist that and loving Neil Youngs music. He used the fact that people would think they knew exactly what he was saying and loved to trick them! He was shot by his brother in the leg with a .22 rifle when he was 10 or so! That why the song Saturday Night Special he say's they aint no good drop them to the bottom of the sea. I had tickets for Kalamazoo Wing Stadium 0ct 25, 1977 5 days before the crash.

AmaizeingBlue

September 2nd, 2012 at 3:56 PM ^

On the Norfleet point only averaging the 22 yard line on returns.  I'll take the 3 yard loss in starting position for the chance that he breaks free for a TD or at least a return to around the 50.

aiglick

September 2nd, 2012 at 4:07 PM ^

Was Alabama using second and third stringers by the end of the game? People have sad that was the case. This makes me a little more hopeful even after last night's bludgeoning if tat is the case.

TheTruth41

September 2nd, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

I didn't realize how big field position was.

 

Bama scoring drives from 61, 67, 17, 61 (22 yd fg), 21 (51 yd fg), 57 yards.  May be why we "held" them to just 431 total yards.

 

Michigan scoring drives from 75 and 86 yards.

 

The way Michigan played the game (handing off to tailbacks instead of Robinson keeping) it hurt a bit more not having Fitz.  Maybe we don't score more points but we at least have a better opportunity to move the chains and sustain drives keeping the bama offense on the sidelines with a proven runner like Fitz.

 

I do remember Avery getting beat on one long TD throw but not sure how much bama went after him...seemed like quite a bit.  Countess may not have stopped everything but he probably slows it down a bit.

 

This loss at least gives Michigan a good benchmark to what it takes to be a National Champion.  Yes it sucks to lose and lose like we did but we have a more clear idea of what it takes and what needs to be improved upon to get to that elite level.

jmblue

September 2nd, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

Early in the game, Rawls was facemasked while Lewan took someone’s helmet off. Guess who got the penalty?

Actually, Lewan was flagged for holding on the play where Bama grabbed Rawls's facemask. I don't know if that was a legit holding call or not (it wasn't replayed).  Lewan's facemask penalty occurred earlier in the game.

 

McCarron was only 11 for 21, and we forced several throwaways. What happened to intentional grounding? Is that not a penalty anymore? I thought chucking the ball into the stands was a penalty. No?

Not if he leaves the tackle box and the pass crosses the line of scrimmage.

jshclhn

September 2nd, 2012 at 7:54 PM ^

To avoid intentional grounding, there still needs to be a receiver plausibly in the vacinity of the pass - Brady's safety in the most recent Super Bowl is a great example of this.  

On two of Bama's passes, there were clearly no receivers anywhere near the pass - simply trying to avoid a sack.  It was without a doubt intentional grounding in the literal sense of the phrase.

As with several other items, it by itself did not matter in the outcome of the game, but it was annoying to me as a fan.

 

SHEAR WIZARDRY

September 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

Aside from them recording some songs in Bama, not quite sure why they refer to it as their "sweet home". I wouldn't take anything litteral with singers and songwriters. I think this is the last I'm going to click on a game 1 related post but good read.

m1jjb00

September 2nd, 2012 at 8:05 PM ^

Here are the starting positions after each Alabama kickoff according to ESPN.  Norfleet returned all eight with an average of 22.1 yards.  The Ross III penalty hurts the average obviously.

 

Qtr

Time

Pos

1

6:56

MICH30

1

4:59

MICH23

1

1:24

MICH26

2

9:53

MICH   5

2

4:31

MICH25

3

15:00

MICH22

3

2:34

MICH14

4

5:32

MICH35

 

 

wolfman81

September 3rd, 2012 at 10:00 PM ^

I get an average starting field position of Michigan's 22.5 yard line.  Eliminating the return with the penalty, that would be the 25.  

Assuming that Bama has one of the best coverage units (not sure how you'd measure that...or if they do measure it) that means Michigan should be doing better than the 25 on average as long as kickers don't put it through the back of the endzone.

club2230

September 2nd, 2012 at 8:58 PM ^

I noticed that Norfleet doesn't accelerate, but rather he starts at top speed.

I don't understand why Rountree is not playing the slot position.  If the coaches can justify playing Gallon on the outside then there is no reason why Rountree can't play on the inside.

 

MinWhisky

September 3rd, 2012 at 9:31 AM ^

Re "momentum changing plays", you say that early on "Bama got off a great punt and flipped the field".  I agree.  My question is: Why didn't Gallon field that punt?  Why allow the punt to hit the ground? Did any of Hagerup's big punts "flip the field" for Michigan?   No, because Alabama fielded them before they hit the ground.  As I recall, Gallon failed to field way too many punts last year as well.  Would like to see an analysis of our punt return stats vs. Alabama's.  In a game where you are going to be overmatched on the D-Line and O-line, why not put a special emphasis on our Special Teams?  On kick returns, I liked Norfleet's agressiveness and thought he came very close to breaking 1 or 2 of them.  If he had done so, they would have been "momenturm changing plays"