Goal Line Stand

Submitted by jamiemac on November 1st, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Ok, now that thats off my chest, lets talk.

Yesterday was the worst, most painful goal line stand against since......

2005 Notre Dame.....Forcier could not have sneaked it any worse than Henne did twice, somehow fumbling once. The whole game rivaled yesterday as I dont think a Michigan team has left as many points on the field and come up as empty in the red zone since that game either.

1996 Purdue.....The Wolverines, in the heart of the Rose Bowl race, lost 9-3 to a Purdue team about as bad as this year's Illinois club. A bunch of turnovers killed the day, most notably a fumble on the way into the endzone. The ball carrier was defensive tackle William Carr, brought in a la Frig Perry to barrel in from the one. I am still shocked Lloyd called that play. Why in the world we gave him even another year is beyond me.

1990 MSU......and I am not talking about the infamous 2-pt conversion. Nope, I am talking about a Sparty team with a losing record stoning #1 Michigan at the goal earlier in the game. Eerie to Saturday's game. The stand happened in the closing seconds of the first half, really only about 2 minutes earlier of game clock than the fateful one the other day. And like against Illinois, Michigan was on the verge of taking complete control of the game and would not have looked back. Instead, it got dominated over the next quarter and a half. I knew we should have fired Moeller when we had the chance.

1987 Long Beach State.......The 49ers stopped Michigan at the 1 on their opening drive. Michigan only won 49-0. Unacceptable.

1985.....Illinois. In a 3-3 game, Michigan fumbles within the Illinois 3 yard line in the fourth quarter. It never gets the ball back. Illinois completed every pass it through that day. Trust me. A missed field goal clanking off the goal post staved off defeat.

1980.....South Carolina. A goal line fumble in the fourth quarter paves the way for a 17-14 loss and a second September loss. Why come we didnt just Wildcat it to AC is beyond me.

I could have included settling for field goals in the 1981 OSU and Iowa games, but those werent really goal line stands.

Any others that I am missing......and, the original question, Saturday's was more painful or the worst one since.

It's a feel good memory post people, so share.



November 1st, 2009 at 10:18 PM ^

The 96 team defeated end-of-year Top 5 teams Colorado (20-12) and Ohio State (13-9) on the road. That team could have had a special season had the offense taken care of the ball.

3-9 Purdue (Carr fumbles at the goal line. Dreisbach fumbles at the Mich ~30 leading to the lone Purdue TD, Dreisbach throws 3 picks.

14-17 Alabama. Despite outgaining Bama 360-180, Greise throws a brain-fart jump ball pick six on third & goal.

17-29 PSU. Five TOs and a blocked punt for a PSU touchdown sealed our fate.

16-17 Northwestern. The only loss where the defense caved. However, a 4th quarter fumbled deep in Mich territory kept the game alive for the Wildcats.

All of those games were winnable had we not gift-wrapped some serious points for the opposition.

Jim Harbaugh S…

November 1st, 2009 at 10:22 PM ^

Please no more 2005 ND game references, I'm going to have flashbacks.

But as far as yesterday's game - on 3rd down I would have tried the sneak and on 4th I would have brought in Grady. That's just my e-take though.


November 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 AM ^

That's what I was thinking. Since he was in, blocking, earlier in the game, it was obvious he was healthy enough to go. In my opinion, anything requiring power running involves Grady and fullback at Minor at tailback. Give it to either one, but don't put our "speed" back in. I like Carlos Brown, but he brings neither power nor finesse to the show.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:36 PM ^

I dont get how Minor is able to go in cold for a carry on fourth down.

Even if his ankle limits him to goal line short yardage duty, then just go ahead and put him in on first down. And, if he is totally out as far as carrying the ball and you put him in there on fourth, then you're kinda working in panic mode as a coach.

That whole situation, like just about every one listed above turned the game around against Michigan. It happens to football teams every now and then.

Random Minor thought: In order for the 2009 club to reach its ceiling, I thought Minor needed close to 1,000 yards. I hate how this season has gone down for him so far.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:49 PM ^

perhaps he shows something completely different from gameday but from what I can tell Carlos Brown hasn't shown particular ability to take a hit and stay on his feet. why he's getting short yardage carries boggles my mind. there's no shame in pulling him in that situation. as jamiemac points out, Minor's going in cold for one carry. give him four shots. give Grady four shots.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:58 PM ^

Yeah, in hindsight I was wondering why Grady didn't a carry. He's what 5'11" 210lbs? Give him the ball and let him ram it into the endzone. Minor's really the only back that's gotten a decent amount of carries (Shaw, Smith and Brown being the others) that's shown the ability to break a tackle or at least get some extra yards once he's been hit.


November 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 PM ^

i can agree with giving brown one shot at it. but after that, if minor is healthy enough on 4th down, why not 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

i would have lost it, if RR tried a pass, fwiw.

i think RR might have been concerned giving grady a carry after not having one in how long? i can only imagine this board if grady fumbles there, which he has been prone to do.

then again, i don't think the comments on this board could be much worse.


November 2nd, 2009 at 9:12 AM ^

proved on saturday that he might be the weakest back in the big 10. i've never seen a running back that shys away from contact like him. on the goal line stand every time he got the ball he hesitated before he ran forward, and grady and the line was opening up decent holes for him. i don't know if he runs like that because he is afraid of getting hurt again. but when you run scared you have much better chace at getting hurt. the play i wanted to see ran on that series was the full back up the gut.


November 2nd, 2009 at 11:18 AM ^

In the 1st half, Michigan had 3 or 4 short yardage plays where they lined up in the I. Holes were there, and I thought we'd gain 4 or 5 yards. Yet somehow each time Brown barely got the firtst down. It looked like he kept trying to bounce things to the outside. He lacks a nose for the first down and obviously the end zone.


November 1st, 2009 at 11:00 PM ^

I don't get how the replay officials always manage to find the perfect replay angle to fuck up our mojo, but they cannot see when there are 13 defenders on the field when we snap the ball (two weeks in a row). Is that not reviewable? If not, it really should be. It is not a judgment call like PI or holding. It would be like when the officials all get together after a pass and decide to call grounding, even though a flag was not thrown originally.

I am not saying that it would necessarily have changed the outcome, but there is a huge difference between giving the ball back to them so that they could go up by two scores and having our offense get a new set of downs to try and regain its rhythm. It was a pretty big missed call.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:52 PM ^

I know right now there's an unspoken prohibition on posting things that might not make us want to hurl things (or pets) across the room, but how bout a fond goalline memory: the first game ever against penn state in 1993 where PSU had first and goal from the 1 and we stoned them over and over, capped off with kijana carter getting stuffed on 4th down to preserve what was at the time a 14-10 lead. ended up a 21-13 win.


November 1st, 2009 at 11:02 PM ^

Or the 1982 goal line stand in the same end zone as Saturday's that helped propel Michigan to the Rose Bowl in a 16-10 win. The happened like in the final minute of the game!

Or, again in the same end zone, in November, 1989 against Jeff Georgie. Michigan turned them away in one of the most critical games of the year that season....the 89 team also stoned MSU from four shots, the last at the 1, in a 10-7 win in E.L......take either of those away and Bo's last team does not win the big 10.


November 1st, 2009 at 11:50 PM ^

It retrospect, it looks like they were trying to pound it in with Carlos, which is obviously stupid. But Magee probably expected him to walk in untouched like he did on the first series of the first half. When the plays were being called, it didn't seem to be in doubt that someone would be able to at least fall forward into that soft fluffy Illinois d-line for 6.

It only became this year's momentum shift of the century after it was over and Juice suddenly went all 2008 on us for 99 yards. If we get a 3 and out there, we probably get the ball back on the Illinois 40 and score and win. Illinois getting that first first down was as big a play as the 4th down stop.


November 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 AM ^

I think they tried that last year. Worked once against ND, then Grady fumbled a couple times. But like I said, I think they were expecting light resistance rather than a completely out of character heroic stand by Illinois.

It's easy enough to see what would have worked after Minor's elbow hits the ground and we lose the game. But at the time, the formation you're suggesting (I think you were trying to say Moundros in front of Grady) would have struck me as bringing a howitzer to a knife fight.


November 3rd, 2009 at 2:54 PM ^

Moundras blocking for Grady (in the absence of Minor for whatever reason), and I'd take a Howitzer in that scenario every single time. I mean Howitzer beats, Rock, Paper and Scissors or Knife, doessn't it?

Who wouldn't want the impenetrable force of one of these babies on the goal line:


November 2nd, 2009 at 7:29 AM ^

That was what was strange. Michigan has had no trouble with goal line punch-ins this year. I think there was probably some concern at the beginning of this season with this team being able to "get big" and punch it in on short goal line situations, but I don't think we have been stopped or pushed to even second and goal (Except PSU, but that was more from the 4 0r 5 yard line than the six inch line) on any of the circumstances regardless of the back that we had in. It seemed like one those things that was believed to be such a foregone conclusion that M would score that when it got to third down it was kind of like "Uh, so we haven's scored yet, it's been a while since we have discussed this." I think a time-out was in order before third down, up the middle was a no go, maybe spread it out and run that quick pitch that has dissapeared despite tremendous effectiveness. Only problem is the snap with Moosman has been so iffy that you don't want to turn 3rd and Goal from 1 into Fourth and Goal from the 6. Bottom Line, Roundtree should have scored, Minor's wrist on the ground was not "indisputable" (the continued misapplication of instant replay is sickening), and the D should have forced an immediate punt. Dammit, I don't want to go back to that evening ever again. Three game winning streak starting NOW!!!


November 2nd, 2009 at 6:25 AM ^

That 1990 MSU team did finish in a 4-way tie for the BigTen championship. Their final record was 8-3-1. They may have had a losing record at the time, but the season was young still.


November 2nd, 2009 at 8:07 AM ^

I thought the one thing RR has brought to the table is speed. Anyone consider the possibility of going outside on second or third down with some of that speed, particularly if Brown is in the game instead of Minor or Grady?


November 2nd, 2009 at 8:57 AM ^

Roll Forcier out, and if it goes to crap, he can try and run it in. I just don't get what the point is of running the same play up the middle four times when it obviously didn't work the previous three. On 2nd down, I'd rather have the chance to lose yardage with a sweep; 3rd and goal from 4-5 gets U-M more passing room and might actually be better. Certainly try a PA pass of some kind somewhere in there.

Or better yet, don't get tackled at the frigging 1 yard line on the long pass.

Go Blue Golfer

November 2nd, 2009 at 1:39 PM ^

Everyone in the stadium knew we would run it on first down. Now I'm all for punching someone in the mouth and stuffing it in, but I thought RichRod was supposed to be innovative? A little play action fake with a roll out would have probably worked there. I'm just so sick and effing tired of the teams that I root for being so damned predictable. You try something on first down that's not expected and if it doesn't work you have 3 more downs to try and run it in! Just my opinion, but maybe that's why I don't coach.

ND Sux

November 2nd, 2009 at 8:09 AM ^

I like the Grady idea too, but what has RR got against the QB sneak? I'd run it four times in a row if necessary. No way to stop it, and it NEVER loses yardage. Also, does anyone else think the ball should have been at about half the distance closer to the goal line after the review?

One more thing: haven't our receivers ever heard of angling AWAY from the defender to get in the end zone? I know the score doesn't say it, but I feel we win this game if not for the goal line debacle. Illinois got energy they didn't have, and we lost what little we had. Add the crowd back in, and it was over.

Oh, and could the announcers have blown Illinois any harder in the 4th quarter? Okay, I'm done. Another season down the toilet.


November 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 AM ^

I like the blast from the past. I vividly remember 2005 against ND and 1996 against Purdue, and this just didn't feel the same way. This was a failure of the line to get some push and Brown to run through contact, not necessarily the Illinois defense doing anything spectacular or "manning up."

The only positive is that at this point, it feels like the good/bad luck quotient for this team has to be about equal. In the beginning of the season, they were beating Indiana and ND with some lucky bounces, and have now been riding a string of bad luck since overtime against MSU. At this point, hopefully, the two have worked themselves out a bit and this team can just play competently, which should be enough to beat Purdue. Because on paper, this team is not as bad as they have looked the last two weeks. Of course, they were not as good as 4-0, so hopefully the team settles into something in-between.

Of course, I may just be reaching.


November 2nd, 2009 at 10:57 AM ^

Maybe the most irritating thing about the 2005 goal line stand was that Henne was clearly in on the first first down, but the refs (who penalized ND for illegal participation) somehow missed it. So we got first down again from the one-foot line, and . . . you know the rest.


November 2nd, 2009 at 11:08 AM ^

I thought for sure one of two plays would be tried:

Fake hand-off up the middle and a little toss to the TE or
get someone outside the whole pile and walk into the end zone.

Didn't happen....