Notre Ame Loses in Ann Arbor

By Alex on September 11, 2011 at 12:04a

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Bucks's picture

Drunken proclamations of assured appearance in the first title game on numerous Michigan boards. I'm going to save my giggling on that for the reality of the conference season. Brady Hoke himself is astounded he won.

millertime2011's picture

both of those defenses were terrible. Denard also had 2 passing TDs that would've been picked off by a halfway decent DB (even our DBs wouldve picked them off today). every year it's the same, UM is back, ND is back, then the season wears on and both are exposed

tampa buckeye's picture

Even our db's?  I think Ohio State has some pretty damn good db's.  Clarke is a star in the making.  We didn't tackle well today and their guys had some speed.  Shazier must see the field along with Sabino.  

As far as Joe B. goes he brings nothing to the table.  We need Braxton out there on third down.  I'm fine with both of them playing but for a talent like Braxton to not see the field is a huge mistake by the coaching staff.  

millertime2011's picture

i was making a joke about our DBs. Our DBs are very good, just didnt play that way yesterday (not terrible against deep balls, but couldnt get off their blocks on runs/quick passes


How do you leave someone that wide open?  In a prevent defense?!

painterlad's picture

The Irish haven't been this unlucky since the Great Potato Famine.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

M Man's picture

I am not "pretending" anything about this game, or this Michigan team.  There was some awful execution, before the heroics of the last few minutes.

We've now slugged Western Michigan, and beaten Notre Dame in a thriller, with what looks like a very suspect defense.  That state of affairs isn't any different from 2009, under Rich Rodriguez.  (In 2009, Michigan opened with a victory over Western 31-7, and then came from behind to beat Notre Dame 38-34 on a Forcier-to-Greg Matthews td pass with 11 seconds remaining.)

In fact, when Michigan last won a defense-less track meet like this, against the Illini last year, there were complaints from the internal anti-Rodriguez factions that it just wasn't "Michigan football" and should be unacceptable, win or not.  But Hoke is the beneficiary of press that is as magically favorable, as Rodriguez's was unfavorable.  While lots of casual newspaper readers might think everything has changed at Michigan, I don't think the Michigan blogerati are fooled by anything.

Troy Woolfolk is badly banged up now (ankle, ankle, broken hand and last night's kick in the face), at a position where depth is near-zero.  Elsewhere, the already-thin defensive depth looks frighteningly porous. 

And what there was of Michigan's offense against Notre Dame basically looked like a few pages from the Rodriguez playbook that were accidentally left in the photocopier last January.

Still, college football teams are human endeavors.  Coming from behind, to win, is great.  Winning on a huge national stage is great.  Getting Brady Hoke off to a good start is pretty good if not great.  Beating Notre Dame, a third straight time, is really great.

No, I am not "pretending" anything about this team.  But all things being equal, I think I am pretty happy with a thriller of a win in front of the largest crowd in collegiate football history.

Matt's picture

While watching the game I thought to myself that it had to really eat at Rich Rod that, for all the Al Borges pro-form, old school Michigan offense talk, the only plays that were working were Rich Rod era plays.  Of course, the players on the field had been recruited to execute those plays, so it makes sense that the pro-form stuff will have to wait for a few more recruiting cycles.

Luke's picture

Not sure you can say that fairly. Michigan had a ton of success on long passing plays (granted some were broken). Rich Rod's offense didn't exactly have a super vertical component so I'm completely comfortable giving a ton of credit to Borges & co. for coaching up both the route running as well as aiding in the evolution of Robinson's ability to go through progressions down fielld. Eleven for three thirty eight is some bat shit insane home run every hit type stuff.

Matt's picture

I dunno, I didn't see Denard or the WRs do anything passing wise last night that they didn't do under Rich Rod.  I recall Michigan's long ball passes off Denard's run-fake being a key part of the Rich Rod passing formula in 2010, which seemed to be the only way Denard passed effectively during the fourth quarter come back against ND.  Denard scampers around for improbable rushing yardage for a few plays, defenses then focus on him, Denard fakes a run, defense bites, and then he throws a big gainer to Stonum (last year) or Roundtree/Grady/Gallon (this year) in man coverage.

Denard's YPA was 8.8 last year.  In comparison, TP had a 8.6 YPA for 2010.  Scott Tolzien, he of one of the most feast or famine, long ball play action pass oriented offenses, had a 9.2 YPA in 2010.  Based on those numbers, I think Denard held his own with the long ball in his one full season during the Rich Rod era (he is currently at 11.8 YPA for 2011 after two games, but I expect that number to come down considerably once he plays defenses with a pulse). 

BoFuquel's picture

Kelly must be hearing footsteps out of Indy. You heard it here first.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.