ND Game Wrap (with pics!)

Submitted by SFBayAreaBlue on September 12th, 2011 at 5:30 PM

[Ed: Bump. I am not entirely sure I want to ride again. A nice, relaxing weekend against Eastern sounds pretty good right about now.]

I wanna ride again!


Words can't describe it

So here's a graph:


This is a graph of what I thought our chances of winning were throughout the game. That really erratic part at the end is the reason why my neighbors knew I was watching a sporting event. 

I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said, and I don't know where to start.  All I know is that it was amazing, and horrifying, and awesome, and I wish I had been there.  So I guess I'll just start at the beginning.

Buckle in kids, this is going to be a long ride (warning some NSFW language).

Pregame 51%

Maybe? I don't know.  Home field, under the lights, Brady Hoke's Magical Golden Poop. So what if they got higher rated recruits and have had an extra year of experience in that system. We got Denard and Mattison, so the defense CAN'T POSSIBLY be as bad as last year. With so many unknowns, it might as well be a coin toss, but vegas favored ND.  Vegas is almost always wrong in this series. 


1st Quarter

13:02 49%

Three and out on the opening drive, no reason to panic yet.

Desmond Morgan didn't look very good early.  He started the game with 2 missed tackles in 2 plays

10:25 50%
A fumbled snap! Maybe they still have ball handling problems. (heh, heh, "ball handling")
9:05 45% 
Riddick TD.  That looked a lot like last week.  But it's still early, no big deal.
7:35 40%
Another 3 and out.  Ummmmm.... Borges?
At least Mike Martin is still playing well.  
He beats his man to play and just out muscles the ND center. 
Roh is also there in good outside shoulder technique to prevent Gray from bouncing outside.  I know Roh has gotten a little lost in the shuffle, but he's still got lots of upside.

[Ed-M: We're doing more breaks so you don't have to scroll so much. Much more after the jump]

1:56 35%

Wood TD.  That was a depressing drive. We're getting our asses kicked but it's still early...
hitting the bubble
Eifert is lined up at WR, so there's really 3 TE in the game.  He comes in motion and stops right in front of the bubble in the defense.  I feel like the DE is in the wrong spot since Ryan has contain, and we don't really need a deep safety when it's 3 TE.  
The ND line gets a good push at the point of attack, Eiffert scrapes off his block to seal the  safety.  Neither CB is in a position to do much of anything. 
0:59 36%
FINALLY, Denard runs and gets our first 1st down.
0:00 31%
Denard Interception.  Ewww, so much for that drive.

2nd Quarter

14:12  34%
We make them go 3 and out.  Ok.  The defense is settling down.  Nice stuff on 3rd down.
13:56  35%
Denard runs for another 1st down.  Borges is not an idiot.
11:06 Kovacs INT 40%
The heart and soul of our defense.  Nice call by Mattison
Hopkins is not the answer at RB.  
He lacks the vision to see the whole, and he's too slow to bounce things outside.  #44 Calibrise does a great job of stuffing the lead blocker and Hopkins runs into the two of them.
10:18 45%
Hemmingway TD! Jump ball, but he went up and made a play.  And that's what Jr. Hemmingway does. 
6:30 42%
ND driving into the redzone 
5:30 47%
J.T. Floyd INT! Another sweet call by Mattison.  ND is starting to revert to last week's mistakes.  We might have a chance yet.
4:39 45%
But then we go 3 and out.  That could have gone better.
2:30 43%
ND driving, getting RPS.  Teeth are starting to get gnashed.
Rees Makes an audible when he sees that we're cheating the pass.  
In the first half if he audibled and then fapped with two hands, it was a run.  If he only fapped with one hand it was a pass.  I'm sure they changed it for next week, but if there're any MSU coaches or players reading this, be aware that you might be able to steal some signs.  I think they changed the signals at halftime too.  But if you're quick you might catch one. 
The draw is a perfect RPS + 3 here since we get caught in a zone blitz.  With our NT peeling out, Gray has his choice of holes for the 1st down.
1:40 40%
0:30 38%
No two minute drill.  Ok.  I guess... : /  Better to make the adjustments than risk another turnover and score.  But still... grumble, rabble, rabble, ....

3rd quarter

15:00 35%
And then I remember that ND get's the 2nd half kickoff 
11:30 38%
Nice stop on 3rd and 1. That was probably not a great call by Kelly, as we've already shown we could stop them in short yardage.  
That looked real close to being a downed ball.  
But it wasn't.
10:30 40%
Denard big run to midfield!
He seems stronger this year.  Here he just carries 3 guys for 10 yards. 
Beast mode. Or maybe that's just his fan club...
If he ever wins the Heisman or gets into the CFB Hall of Fame, they should make a statue of this moment. 
8:34 38%
But then we have to punt. 
And we managed to screw that up.
8:12 36%
Jonas Gray gets a big run
7:36 41%
Wood fumbles!  WTH?  Totally unforced.  He just ran into the back of his own man.
But it looks like he might have cramps in his arm or something...
My sisters get cramps... 
6:08 35%
Denard's 2nd INT.  You live by the sword, you die by the sword.
2:13 10%
Jones TD. Fuck.
1:48 15%
Hemmingway big catch and run!  Wow, Denard is showing some crazy leg strength this game. We're not dead yet!
0:17 18%
Denard almost TD 
0:00 17%
But it's not a TD 
I like the reactions of the cheerleaders.  But I'm not sure which caption is better.

4th quarter 

14:56 7%
FUMBLE!  Oh Noo~
14:54 25%
~ooo Oh YES! TD! Johnny on the spot.
14:48 27%
Riddick can't field the kickoff.  I wish he was still returning punts.
13:22 30%
3 and out. Defense is looking good. Hawthorne just felt his way through the line and met the RB before he could get going. 

And a short punt too.

10:48 45%
TD Gallon! Jump ball to the short guy? Hey, if it works!
8:45 47%
The crowd and Mattison force ND to take a time out.  Maybe our homefield advantage is worth something afterall.
8:38 44%
Eifert conversion on 3rd and long.  Nice catch. Damnit.
7:28 42%
Floyd converts the first.  He's killed us all game.  The clock is becoming a factor
6:14 20%
But it does make up for one we got away with earlier.
6:08 40%
LOL Fumble! Really?!? Wow.  That's 100% on Rees.  I think Kelly is too dumbfounded to go ballistic. 
I do the same thing to fake out my dog.  
4:47 60%
Hemmingway! and Penalty! That looked suspiciously like a bad decision and a poor throw. But hey, if it works...
4:24 20 %
Denard 3rd INT.  Hrrrmph.... went to the well one too many times.  Very sad.  But let's have some fun by trying to read the expressions of these fans.
1. Can't watch the replay
2. Uhhhhhh...
3. Why?! Why did you throw that?!
4. Serious?
5. I can't believe it.
6. Wut?
7. I need a drink
8. I need to see the replay
9. I'm gonna be sick
10. That figures...
11. Oh darn, I'm gonna lose my bet
12. Are you kidding me?
13. Football pants are sexy.
14. I am now casting a curse on all the ND defensive backs. Whispers "Avadra ....."
15. Why didn't anyone else wear their tank tops like they said they would?
ND is having issues with clock management.
Or maybe they were just allowing time for an audible...
2:57 40%
Woo! Huge 3 and out. That was the worst playcall of the game by Kelly. We've stopped them on 3rd and short several times.  
This play call didn't surprise anyone.  Jake Ryan is so quick coming off the edge, but Demens and  the other OLB are all over this play. 
These guys are big, but they're not that big.
2:16 45%
Gallon punt return close to midfield. We got our chance.  Let's hope it doesn't come down to a field goal...
1:57 40%
Conversion on 3rd and 2 
It was close. 
But I think it's exactly in the right spot.
The nose is just barely touching the yellow line.
But so were the sticks.
1:22 65%
Grady to the 20!
1:12 95%
TD Smith! Holy Shit Balls!
Just an awesome play call.  RPS + a lot.  Even though, two of our linemen completely whiff on their block and Molk barely gets a piece of his man.  Roundtree has got their backs.
Did I mention that Vincent is elusive?  
And that is just a textbook sustain and pancake block.  When Roy says he's a team player,  I believe him. 
Let's get some more fan reactions.
1. I've seen this before...
2. Why does god never answer my prayers?
3. . . .
1:05 85%
Riddick to the 40.  "Special" teams.
1:00 75%
PI on Floyd.  No disputing that call. 
0:53 65%
Eifert 1st down.  C'mon D!
0:36 70%
Incomplete pass brings up 3rd down!  You can do it! Just two more plays!
0:30 5%
Riddick TD. FUCK! Fuckity Fuck, fuck fuck fuck, FUUUUUCK!
0:23 1%
Incomplete. We spent 7 seconds for zero yards. 
0:08 45%
Gallon WIDE OPEN!!! HOLY SHIT! WE CAN KICK A FG TO TIE! Oh shit.  Not a field goal....
0:06 30%
0:04 99%
0:03 50%
Fuck, they're reviewing it 
0:02 99%
It's good.
0:00 100%
Lol Riddick 
Not that it matters.  
But yes, that should have been a TD.  He's got possesion here.
The ref winds the clock seeing the possession.  Then comes the hit and the fumble. If that had happened at some other point in the game, it would have been reviewed and whatever call was made on the field would have stood because it was that close.  But it was a TD. 
He landed flat on his chest.  His legs were in the air.  He has possesion of the ball.  the ball is over the goal line.  But w/e WE WON!  So it's just a Moo Point. 


Stupid Uniforms

I know they've grown on some people, especially considering how memorable the game will be, but let's never use these again. 


I mean, seriously.


WTF is that? It looks like he's wearing a bar code. 

And they look even worse on the cheerleaders. 


And this is coming from a guy that usually likes to see a girl in a Jersey.  They were that bad.

It's true that they aren't as hideous in the wide angles.  But that's not a compliment.  Imagine if you tried to use that rationale when describing your boyfriend or girlfriend...'If you don't stand too close, she's not really that ugly.' 

Let's not kid ourselves.  They looked awful.  But at least they are made of crappy material


and tear apart easily (yes I know Jersey's are supposed to do that, /sarcasm)


But really. 


And someone should remind ND that it's 4 leaf clovers that are rare and lucky.  3 leaf clovers are common, nothing special, weeds that animals take a dump on because they make nice soft patches.  

Not that having a 4 leaf clover on their helmets would have made a difference.  If even Jesus is not helping you win, then some silly superstition won't help either.  But I repeat myself. 

Rees's Pieces (yes I went there)

So I basked in the delightful tears of sorrow on some ND message boards.  And I'm amazed that they can pile so much hate onto Tommy Rees.  Yes the guy had 3 turnovers.  But only one of them was really bad.  (But it was a doozy!)  The kid had 2 INTs in the first half both of which I credit to Mattison messing with his (sophomore) head.  And his team was still up by 2 scores.

He completed his first 8 passes, made a ton of big third down conversions, and walked off the field with 30 seconds left, after leading his team to an apparent victory.  He was 27 of fricken 39, for 300+ yards, 3 TD's, and that's not counting the pass interference penalties we commited. 

And on top of that, he audibled like a boss. 


Early in the game, it's a pass on 2nd and long.  He sees the blitz coming. 


We've got 4 guys on the short side of the line, so he calls a run sweep to go away from it.


You can tell it's a run audible because the WR's have no idea what's going on and Rees doesn't seem intent on telling them.


The rush comes, but his fake is just enough to hold the blitzers from tackling the HB. (bad assignment football on our part.  If you've got lots of rushers over there, one guy should always be punishing the running back. 


From behind the play we can better see what Rees saw.  I'm guessing he can count and realized that four is a lot more than zero.


When they talk about holes you could drive a truck through, this is one of those.

Later, in the 2nd quarter He sees that we've got no MLB.


This was a risky call by Mattison, but I think it's just part of his setup for third down.


But Rees is smart enough to take what's being given, so he audibles out of the pass to a draw play.


When we get more advanced and experienced, this is when the defense should do the double check and re-audible just to screw with the QB and maybe force him to call a time out. But I guess we need to focus on more basic things right now. 


Because it's a draw play, the D-linemen still read pass protection. Mike Martin flies out of there.  And it turns into a huge gain.  

Coaching Styles, Hoke vs. Kelly

After one of Denard's interceptions, this is Hoke having a chat with him.



Let's see if you can spot the difference compared to Brian Kelly of a week ago. 


(BTW Meta: I'm glad people like my screencap.  But how am I not the first link?


And would it kill ya to link back or put some credit?)

The point is this; which coach do you think does a better job of getting through to his players? 


For most people, they can only get yelled at so many times before it starts to just roll off them.   It's good to develop a little bit of a thick skin, but you don't want your players to develop thick heads. 

Etc, etc.

  • Scoreboard stats seemed improved this week.
  • This story about Desmond meeting Denard is just all kinds of wonderful


  • The trajectory on the xtra points looks better this week.  And props to the holder who snagged a lot of off center snaps and got them down in time. 
  • Demens and Hawthorne look like real B1G linebackers.  
  • The secondary is still raw but improving. 
  • If you're a 5* running back, we've got a scholarship waiting for you, and playing time up for grabs.  
  • Michael Floyd, dude dominated us.  JT put up a good fight, but wow.  I only M. Floyd take one play off, (but I noticed it because the RB coulda had another 20 yards if Floyd hadn't been standing around) when Rees audibled to a run. I almost feel sorry for the guy.  After losing a game like that, I bet he could use a drink. He's a first rounder for sure. 
  • Also, pom poms!


Pom poms make everything better.

pompom improvement

They can even hid those horrible "throwback" (fictional) jerseys with the cracked M. 


Mr. Yost

September 12th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

...I liked this post by BlueSeoul even more. Good stuff! I had to e-mail it to everyone in my office because those were my exact thoughts. And the pictures of Hoke vs. Kelly are priceless, hope the national media get a hold of that point. Thanks!

Red is Blue

September 12th, 2011 at 5:12 PM ^

"Tyler Eifert" -- first time I heard it on the PA, I thought "hey, that dudes gotta be out of eligibility and is supposed to be playing for us."  Whats that?  Oh, Eifert, I thought they said Ecker.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

This is an excellent and enjoyable method you've got going here. I'll be forwarding it to friends who are not hardcore enough for Brian's UFRs but are more than casual fans. And I agree, best line is barcodes. I sort of vaguely pseudo-thought the same thing during the game but my mind couldn't quite articulate it to itself.


September 12th, 2011 at 5:47 PM ^

I think your percentages are a little high in the first quarter...I think you had it at something like 40-45% when we were down by 14. I know personally if I had to give a % it would have been way lower.


September 12th, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

I completely agree on the roller coaster idea. While I love them, I can only take about 1-2 a year. Anything else and I will just be stressed all the time. Hopefully the game against Eastern can be nice and peaceful.


September 12th, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

Thanks for the terrific post and all the time you put into it.  It made me laugh a bunch of times -- really like the comment about Rees fake throw/fumble being like a trick you play on your dog.  That's spot on.

Mabel Pines

September 12th, 2011 at 6:31 PM ^

was my favorite part!  never thought of that...... I actually liked the uniforms, but don't get me started on the reincarnated Payne Stewart refs and the flashlight ninjas during halftime.  What was that????


September 12th, 2011 at 6:32 PM ^

Great post, except for sentiment about the one and done uniforms, which were really not that bad.  A bud of mine texted me and said it looked like a bunch of bumble bees riunning around. Like them or not, that they were different helped make the game special.


September 13th, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

of faddish game-wear for important rivalry games. In years to come, you have trouble even recognizing the teams while looking at the old film if you forget what the novelty-uni-of-the-week was.

I agree it could have been worse, but I ditto on the "Bad News Bees" look --


September 12th, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

Now, I will say no more please. If you were at the game and Michigan was coming toward you, you couldn't tell who was who since the numbers were so small. This is no big deal if you are there to shake pompoms in other people's faces and sing journey, but if you are watchin the game (between pompom thrusts) notsomuch.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

I had a realization about myself while at the stadium, and this applies to your statement. I don't think you (or I for that matter) should put down the pom pom shakers and Journey singers out there. They might not be there to watch the game, break it down, and know exactly what's going on at any given moment. However, a lot of those people out there bring a lot of excitement, energy, and noise to the stadium, which is nice. I am still in the group of people who don't care for when they play cheesy cliche songs throughout the stadium, but at a certain point I decided to put that all aside and just have fun with it. Instead of complaining, which accomplishes nothing, I might as well just give in and try to have a good time and be loud.

Deep Under Cover

September 12th, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

Anybody else a little amazed that Desmond had the balls to say all those things about Shapiro and Miami?  Speaking the truth, and I respect that, but even more I give him credit for speaking his mind when the rest of ESPN has been so hush-hush about it.

Also, his story about meeting Denard I think sums up why our fanbase just loves him so much.  Amazing.


Great job on the summary Blue, very informative and interesting!

Swayze Howell Sheen

September 12th, 2011 at 7:25 PM ^

epic diary - keep it up! must take forever to make, would be curious to hear more about your process. excellent work.

thanks also for the link to the desmond interview - very interesting what he said about denard and also about Bo and the whole U. Miami scandal at the end there.



September 12th, 2011 at 10:40 PM ^

I watch the game, and maybe a few things will strike me.  Then I watch the highlights and try to come up with a narrative for the week.  Then once the download finishes, I watch the game again, pausing and taking screencaps of anything that seems interesting and making notes. Then I upload the pics and start writing the diary. And I play snippets of the video and fast forward along to rewatch the parts I want to write about so I can put the pictures back in context. I might add or delete a few pictures or rearrange the order.  This week was odd because I mostly just went chronological.  Usually I arrange by topic or whatever point I'm trying to make, like towards the end of this week. 


September 12th, 2011 at 8:14 PM ^

You thought our odds of winning dropped when we went for the TD?   You're going to have to explain that one to me.  Kicking the FG was iffy to begin with and even if good, guaranteed only overtime.  Going for the TD gave us a chance to win in regulation and (assuming time did not run out, which it didn't) would have still given us a shot at the FG.  The potential downsides (the clock running out or the ball being picked off) were both pretty remote.  That's a play where the QB throws immediately to his first option or heaves it out.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:47 PM ^

a FG is only around a 50% proprosition for us.  But a jump ball has a higher chance of getting intercepted.  I might be exaggerating a little bit.  But there was a spike in my heart rate when I realized he was dropping back, and I definitely held my breath when the ball was in the air.  You know that old saying about how 3 things can happen on a pass, and two of them are bad... we also had the chance that the clock would run out if he scrambled or got sacked.  

Time stood still on that play. 


September 12th, 2011 at 11:20 PM ^

I think you're wrong about a couple things: 1) that the FG was anywhere near a 50% proposition (with Gibbons?) and 2) that fade throws have an elevated chance of being intercepted.  That one got picked - when our WR fell down - doesn't make it normally a risky throw.  When you throw to the WR's outside shoulder, it's usually a completion or incompletion.  He can shield the defender from the ball.  It's not a coincidence that Lloyd Carr, no riverboat gambler, always loved the fade.

Your other concerns (sack, etc.) are not very applicable here.  This is a situation where the QB gets rid of the ball right away - either to the primary WR or in the stands.  It's really not a very risky call, and should leave you with time to kick the FG if needed.




oc michigan fan

September 12th, 2011 at 8:24 PM ^

Anyone else notice the kid on ND's sideline wearing the red hat (qb, I presume?) putting a hand on Kelly's shoulder every time he thought about getting pissy? Saw it 2 maybe 3 times. 


"Now kid, if you see me turn purple, you get my grown ass under control. Got it?"

Blue in Yarmouth

September 13th, 2011 at 8:08 AM ^

I think he was tasked with letting Kelly know whenever the camera was on him so he could seem to be keeping his cool. I saw it more than twice too. Everytime the camera moved to Kelly that guy would put his hand on his shoulder. Honestly, I think that was a sign for him to keep his shit together because he was on TV.


September 12th, 2011 at 8:44 PM ^

I laughed, I cried, I fopped (with both hands). The defense has loads of work to do to get better. But with young guys like Jake Ryan and Jabril Black the future looks bright. The screencap of the Denard gang tackle is sweet, but horrifying at the same time. Those gang tackles won't always end with Denard coming out unblemished. SLIDE SLIDE SLIDE.

Maize and Blue…

September 12th, 2011 at 9:09 PM ^

Is it me or did they always show the blitz early giving Rees time to audible.  This wouldn't be so bad if they showed it as a fake, but they always kept the blitz on.  I remember at least two times watching MM tear out of there to get back to his zone coverage as ND ran the ball at the spot he had just vacated.  Predictability is not good in these situations either show the blitz and back off or don't show it and bring the house.  We can't expect to constantly show our hand and not end up getting burnt.