One Final Quick Hits

By · Monday, June 7, 2010 · 11:04 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Thursday Quick Hits: Tate Forcier Has a Sprained Ankle

By · Thursday, April 15, 2010 · 3:02 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 

Football Quick Hits: Michigan Fills Coaching Vacancy with Adam Braithwaite

By · Saturday, February 13, 2010 · 4:37 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Just like a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy with school and have had a bunch of news pile up.  As a result, I’ve separated quick hits into different posts for football, basketball, and hockey.

  • Rich Rodriguez filled the vacancy on his coaching staff by promoting quality control assistant Adam Braithwaite to safeties/outside linebackers coach.  Braithwaite’s experience as a position coach/coordinator is mainly limited to lower divisions, but he was a graduate assistant for Rodriguez at West Virginia and a quality control assistant the last two seasons at Michigan.  To me this was a pretty “meh” move, but I guess Rodriguez wanted some continuity considering Braithwaite has been around the team for a couple years.
  • This move means that Greg Robinson is now in charge of coaching the inside linebackers and Tony Gibson is responsible for the cornerbacks and free safeties.  Gibson is also now the team’s special teams coordinator.  Regarding that move, the release said this: “Rodriguez will continue to have all of the coaches remain involved with a certain phase of special teams, but Gibson will manage that phase of the game on a daily basis and on game day.”
  • Before Rich Rodriguez’s press conference on signing day, I wondered to myself if any questions would be about Demar Dorsey, who has an interesting past, to say the least.  Well, there were multiple questions about Dorsey and his brushes with the law, but Rodriguez came to his future player’s defense each time before the media was finally told to move on.  The media did move on at the press conference, but the Free Press followed up with a lengthy article detailing what exactly Dorsey has done.  The article sheds some light on the type of trouble he has been in and includes some quotes from Dorsey on what happened and why he decided to come to Michigan.  One of the big reasons he picked Michigan is to escape the type of people that have brought him down in the past, though he already is trying to do that and (knock on wood) hasn’t been in any trouble since 2008.  I certainly understand some of the concern over taking a player like Dorsey, but I’m glad he is coming to Michigan and hope he is a changed person.
  • Somebody who isn’t a changed person is Drew Sharp.  I say that because, unsurprisingly, he was a huge douchebag about the whole Dorsey situation and made some extremely unprofessional comments.  Like Rob Parker, I will never understand why Sharp has a job and manages to get on ESPN as often as he does.  It’s so blatantly obvious that Sharp’s schtick is simply to write and say negative/controversial things to drum up attention.  He isn’t anything close to an actual journalist (this picture from MVictors certainly seems to show that) and is nothing more than an assclown, as the folks at the MZone used to call him.
  • Rich Rodriguez said there was one school in the Big Ten doing a lot of negative recruiting.  He didn’t name the school, but he did say that it wasn’t Ohio State.  Rumors suggest that the school in question is either Minnesota, Purdue, or Michigan State.  Based on how big of a problem Danny Hope seems to have with Rodriguez, my bet is that Purdue is the school behind the negative recruiting.
  • Antonio Kinard appears to be the only member of the 2010 recruiting class in danger of not qualifying.
  • AnnArbor.com put together a comprehensive Q&A with Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class.
  • Also from AnnArbor.com is an interview with Devin Gardner from signing day.
  • MGoBlog has video and transcripts of interviews from signing day with early enrollees and coaches.
  • Ricardo Miller hopes he can be the next Braylon Edwards.
  • Austin White put in a lot of extra work last fall in order to be able to enroll early.
  • Baquer Sayed, a receiver from Dearborn Fordson, will join the Michigan football team next season as a preferred walk-on.  Sayed had offers from a couple MAC schools, but he opted to play for Michigan as a walk-on instead.
  • The Big House Blog has more news on recruits who will join the team as walk-ons as well as an interview with kicker Jeremy Ross, who is from Pioneer High School.
  • Mark Moundros will line up at fullback and linebacker this spring.
  • Had Calvin Magee got the South Florida job, he would have wanted to take some Michigan assistants with him, including Greg Frey, Tony Dews, and the newly-promoted Adam Braithwaite.
  • The Board of Regents met on signing day for an informal meeting to discuss the NCAA’s investigation of practicegate.  No real news has come out of the meeting, but hopefully it is a sign that the investigation is close to wrapping up.
  • There is a photo gallery on MGoBlue giving us a look inside the suites in Michigan Stadium.
  • “72 percent of the suites and 77 percent of club seats” that will open in the Big House next season have been sold.
  • Mike Hart would like to be Michigan’s head coach someday.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Andy Reid wrote a great article about Antonio Bass.
  • Tyrone Wheatley has been hired by Syracuse to be the Orange’s running backs coach.
  • Teryl Austin, a former Michigan assistant, is Florida’s new defensive coordinator.  Urban Meyer sure likes former Michigan assistant coaches.
  • Former Michigan coach Mike DeBord has landed in Chicago as the Bears’ tight ends coach.
  • Former Michigan players Jonathan Goodwin and Adrian Arrington and former coaches Mike Mallory and Terry Malone are Super Bowl champions as a result of the Saints’ victory over the Colts last Sunday.
  • The NCAA has proposed some new rules for the 2011 season.
  • A 13-year-old quarterback committed to USC.  Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this news.
  • It was only a matter of time, but Big Ten expansion rumors involving Texas have popped up in recent days.
  • Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said that if the Big Ten were to call, the Cornhuskers would certainly listen.
  • Michigan State changed its mind and is no longer going to change its logo as a result of all the backlash it received over the news.  It is going to change its shade of green, although that’s not really all that big of a deal.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Forcier, Brown to Start Again This Saturday

By · Tuesday, September 8, 2009 · 4:40 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Tate Forcier is going to start against Notre Dame, though Rich Rodriguez plans on using a rotation similar to the one we saw in the Western Michigan game.  Basically, it looks like Forcier is the starter, and then Denard Robinson will come in occasionally to change things up a bit.  Forcier is a better passer than Robinson, but Shoelace, as we all saw on Saturday, has unbelievable speed.  Rodriguez also said that he “hopes” to get Nick Sheridan some playing time, but really the only time he should play is if there is an injury or if Michigan has the game wrapped up with time left on the clock in the fourth quarter.
  • Although Brandon Minor’s status is “probable” for the Notre Dame game, Carlos Brown is probably going to get the start.
  • Boubacar Cissoko and Junior Hemingway will likely be donning green limited contact jerseys during practice this week, as both are recovering from injuries.  Cissoko is dealing with a nerve problem in his neck, which is not a new injury, and Hemingway has a sore ankle.  Mark Moundros, who suffered a concussion during the WMU game on special teams, will also be limited this week.  All three players are expected to be good to go on Saturday.
  • Adrian Witty was not cleared by the NCAA and will not be joining Michigan this fall, but the coaches plan on recruiting him again in hopes that he qualifies sometime down the road.
  • Tate Forcier got choked up when he ran out of the tunnel before the WMU game because he was so excited.
  • Obi Ezeh, who was named the co-defensive player of the game by the coaching staff, hurdled over a Western Michigan player on Saturday.
  • Michigan has installed “hand sanitizer stations” in Michigan Stadium to help combat the possible spread of swine flu.
  • UM Hoops has a list of basketball recruits who are expected to visit Michigan for the Notre Dame game.
  • MVictors had a media credential on Saturday and put it to full use.
  • In case you missed it, mgoblog has notes from the press conferences after the WMU game.
  • Click here for video of what Tate Forcier had to say after the game.
  • Mike Hart was cut by the Colts, but he was signed to their practice squad.
  • Terrelle Pryor should probably never speak to the media again about Michael Vick.
  • It looks like the Texas Bowl will be added to the Big Ten’s postseason lineup, and apparently there is some talk that an eighth game could be added.  The eighth tie-in would be a new bowl game played at the Cotton Bowl, which really doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.  It seems like the conference rarely puts a team into the Motor City Bowl, its seventh tie-in, so what’s the point of even bothering with an eighth tie-in?  Multiple Big Ten teams make into the BCS on a frequent basis, moving every team up a slot in the bowl lineup.  Considering how often that happens, I doubt the conference would ever fill an eighth game, and even if they did, how crappy would the matchup itself be?

Wednesday Quick Hits: Fitzgerald Toussaint Out with Fractured Shoulder

By · Wednesday, August 19, 2009 · 3:34 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The reason Jason Forcier isn’t enrolling in grad school and won’t be playing football for Michigan is because he had to be in a grad program that Stanford didn’t offer.  That and the fact that he started all the paperwork so late in the process is why things didn’t work out.  Even so, Forcier plans on staying in Ann Arbor to serve as a mentor for his brother Tate.  Jason has already set up a meeting between Tate and Drew Henson, hoping that the former Michigan quarterback can give advice to the new Michigan quarterback.
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint has a fractured shoulder and will be out for an extended period of time, perhaps the rest of fall camp.  If that happens, he will probably be guaranteed to redshirt.  That is what will likely happen anyways, but if he misses over two weeks of practice, a lot would have to happen for him to see the field.
  • Donovan Warren is day-to-day after spraining his knee on Monday.
  • Ricky Barnum, Thomas Gordon, Mark Moundros, and walk-on Zac Johnson are also day-to-day.
  • Denard Robinson scored four touchdowns during Monday’s practice.  Two were in the air and two were on the ground.
  • It seems like the defense is giving up quite a few big plays.  Just over the last two days, there has been a 25-yard pass from Tate Forcier to LaTerryal Savoy, a 45-yard run by Kevin Grady, runs of 68 and 72 yards by Denard Robinson, and a 58-yard pass from Forcier to James Rogers.
  • Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson will be on the field during games.
  • Drew Henson was at practice on Monday and Tuesday.
  • This fall’s walk-on tryout for students will be on September 16.
  • Wolverine Liberation Army took Jim Carty to task for a post he made about the Justin Feagin situation on his blog.
  • Several videos featuring Devin Gardner, Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Larry Foote have been uploaded to YouTube.  Local high school players visited the Lions’ practice yesterday, which is what the videos are from.

Michigan Takes Home Little Brown Jug with 29-6 Win Over Minnesota

By · Sunday, November 9, 2008 · 1:50 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Michigan snapped a five-game losing streak and won for the first time since September on Saturday. The Wolverines finally clicked both offensively and defensively for an entire game, and the results were tremendous. Michigan defeated Minnesota 29-6 thanks to a dominating defensive effort and a surprisingly great game by Nick Sheridan.

Yes, you read that correctly, Nick Sheridan had an outstanding game. He not only managed the game well, but most of his throws were accurate and put Michigan’s offense in position to score points. Most of those points came on K.C. Lopata field goals, but the Wolverines did punch it into the end zone twice en route to their 29-6 win. With the victory, the Little Brown Jug is guaranteed to stay in Ann Arbor until at least 2011, as the Wolverines and Golden Gophers don’t play again until then.

1st Quarter

  • Minnesota opened the game by going three and out, which is how many of their drives turned out on Saturday.
  • Michigan faced 3rd and 5 early on, and Greg Mathews came up with a huge play. He hauled in a Nick Sheridan pass with one hand and picked up 28 yards. The big play set up K.C. Lopata to kick a 44-yard field goal, giving Michigan a 3-0 lead.
  • Following another Minnesota three and out, Michigan acted like the Golden Gophers and also failed to pick up a first down. However, Zoltan Mesko wasn’t about to let the drive end, and on fourth down he gambled and picked up a first down. Mesko rolled out to punt and immediately took off. He needed 3 yards to move the chains and picked up 7. A defender appeared to be in position to make a tackle that would have given Minnesota the ball inside the Michigan 35, but Mesko got to the corner first and outran him to move the chains.

    A big hole opened up for Brandon Minor two plays later, and he took off for 40 yards. Michigan was suddenly on the verge of scoring, but a typical mistake gave Minnesota the ball. Martavious Odoms was hit on a screen pass and fumbled the ball. Minnesota’s Tramaine Brock fell on it to give the Golden Gophers possession.

  • The Michigan defense came up with another quick stop and got the offense the ball back with great field position. Michigan took over in Minnesota territory, and Nick Sheridan put the Wolverines in field goal range with a 9-yard pass to Odoms and four runs that combined for 16 yards. The drive did stall following three straight incompletions, but K.C. Lopata came back out and nailed a 34-yard kick to put Michigan on top 6-0.

2nd Quarter

  • Both Michigan and Minnesota went three and out on the next three possessions, and when the Wolverines got the ball back we got our first look at Justin Feagin. Feagin switched back to #3 for this game and lined up in the shotgun. He took the snap and ran for 4 yards before Nick Sheridan re-entered the game. Sheridan threw a pass downfield to Sam McGuffie, who made the catch and picked up 39 yards. Sheridan then threw two passes to Toney Clemons that totaled 27 yards and set up Lopata for a 26-yard field goal once the drive stalled. Lopata drilled the kick to make it a 9-point game.
  • Minnesota did finally pick up a first down on its next drive, but that was it. Michigan’s defense stepped it up again and forced yet another punt.
  • On 3rd and 3 for Michigan, Feagin came back into the game and ran for 34 yards. Every play he was in on was a designed run, but he did a very nice job considering the defense pretty much knew what was coming. A few plays later Sheridan completed an 11-yard pass to Odoms to move the chains, and a face mask penalty on a screen to Odoms gave Michigan an automatic first down and the ball at the Minnesota 12. The Wolverines were again faced with 3rd down after Minor ran for a loss of a yard and Feagin picked up 5. Sheridan kept his cool, though, and found an open Greg Mathews on a slant pass for the touchdown.
  • The two teams traded punts to finish the half, and Michigan went into the locker room with a 16-0 lead.

3rd Quarter

  • Michigan started off the second half with a 36-yard kick return by Boubacar Cissoko and passes to Martavious Odoms and Darryl Stonum for 15 and 10 yards, respectively. Those three plays and a 7-yard pass to Greg Mathews on 3rd down allowed K.C. Lopata to kick a field goal from 48 yards out. The field goal was Lopata’s fourth of the game, and Michigan now led 19-0.
  • Minnesota finally started to move the ball and got all the way down to the Michigan 5 before Brandon Harrison sacked Adam Weber. Harrison came in on a blitz untouched and put the hit on Weber to hold Minnesota to a field goal.
  • Following a few passes that picked up a total of 38 yards, we got a look at how explosive Michael Shaw can be. Shaw got a handoff and took off for 48 yards. He navigated his way around defenders and showed some speed as he ran down the field for the big gain. Justin Feagin then came in and ran for 3 and 2 yards before a pass to Odoms on 3rd down was incomplete. That meant that it was time for another field goal, and Lopata again didn’t disappoint. He drilled his fifth kick on the day, this time from 23 yards out, to tie a Michigan record for the most field goals in a single game.

4th Quarter

  • Minnesota put together another solid drive as the fourth quarter got underway. They again got down to the 5-yard line before Adam Weber was hit for a loss of 9 yards. He actually fumbled when he got hit, and Obi Ezeh appeared to recover the ball. However, a Minnesota player ultimately came away with it, even though a replay clearly showed that Ezeh had the ball and was on the ground. The Minnesota player came in late and took the ball out of Ezeh’s hands, and the play wasn’t even reviewed. Minnesota only managed to get a field goal out of the drive, but Michigan’s defense lost out on a turnover.
  • After a Michigan three and out, Minnesota looked to cut the lead down to one possession. The Golden Gophers were trailing by 16 points at the time, meaning a comeback was still a real possibility. Morgan Trent made sure that wasn’t going to happen, though, as he dove and intercepted a Weber pass right as Minnesota was about to cross into Michigan territory.
  • With 7:16 left in the game, the best scenario possible for Michigan was to run the clock down and score. Surprisingly enough, that’s exactly what they did. After a pass to Martavious Odoms on the second play of the drive, Michigan kept it on the ground and let Michael Shaw and Nick Sheridan run the ball. Sam McGuffie did come in once and ran for 14 yards, but it was mainly just Shaw and Sheridan until the final play of the drive. That is when Mark Moundros got a handoff from the 3-yard line and rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown with 34 seconds left. In all, Michigan went 53 yards on 11 plays in 6:42 to essentially end the game.
  • Minnesota ran the ball once and let the clock expire to officially end the game. Michigan won 29-6, and a few players went and retrieved the Little Brown Jug and carried it across the field to signify the victory.

Although it is disappointing that it took this long for Michigan to win its third game of the season, the Wolverines certainly looked good doing so. The offense played consistently well all day long, and Nick Sheridan had the game of his life. He went 18-30 and threw for 203 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 33 yards, and most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over at all. There were a few throws early on that could have been picked off, but they weren’t, and that’s all that matters.

On the other side of the ball, the defense played its most impressive game of the season. They prevented Minnesota from doing anything in the first half, and even when the Golden Gophers drove down the field in the second half, all they could get was a pair of field goals. Why the sudden change after they played so poorly last week? I’d say the scheme is why. Michigan played a 4-2 primarily and did a great job of putting pressure on Adam Weber. On top of that, they never gave up any big plays and stopped Minnesota on third down most of the time. It seemed like the defense was able to just go out and play. The scheme itself seemed to be much more simplified than usual, and the results showed that that was a good move by the coaches.

Michigan returns to Ann Arbor next Saturday for its final home game of the season. Northwestern will be Michigan’s opponent, and a win would really be a nice way to send the seniors off. Kickoff is set for noon ET, and the game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2. Also, the time and TV have been set for the OSU game in two weeks. That game will start at noon and will be broadcast on ABC.

Michigan State Snaps Losing Streak to Michigan with 35-21 Victory

By · Sunday, October 26, 2008 · 2:24 PM |  Share | 4 Comments 

Even though Michigan State was the favorite to win Saturday’s game against Michigan, there was still some hope among fans that the Wolverines could keep their winning streak alive in this rivalry.

A lot of things had to go in Michigan’s favor for that to happen, and honestly, U-M did catch many breaks in yesterday’s game. However, Michigan State played great and Michigan once again didn’t put together a consistent game for all four quarters. Those two things alone made any breaks Michigan got moot, allowing the Spartans to win 35-21.

1st Quarter

  • Michigan State faced third down two separate times on the game’s opening drive, and they converted both of them. Brian Hoyer completed a 23-yard pass to Mark Dell on 3rd and 16, moving the chains after a Brandon Graham sack made it seem like the Spartans would soon have to punt. Just three plays later, on 3rd and 5, Hoyer threw a slant pass to Blair White, who avoided a pathetic tackle attempt by Stevie Brown and ran to the end zone for the 61-yard touchdown. Jonas Mouton did a terrible job of covering the slant, but the missed tackle by Brown was even worse, especially since it was just one of the many mistakes he made in this game.
  • Michigan’s offense went going three and out on its first drive of the game, but the defense did come up with a stop on MSU’s next drive.
  • Michigan started to move the ball thanks initially to the passing game and an 8-yard run by Steven Threet. Two plays after the run, though, Threet fumbled a handoff to Brandon Minor, resulting in a loss of 6 yards after Minor fell on the ball. Michigan State did its best to make Michigan fans forget about Threet’s mistake, as they went offside and then got a pass interference penalty. The interference penalty gave Michigan an automatic first down.

    The drive would come to an end a couple plays after the interference penalty due to a Sam McGuffie fumble. He ran for 7 yards and took a big hit that actually appeared to knock him out. A Michigan State player quickly jumped on the ball, and a review upheld the call on the field, meaning the Spartans took over at their own 38-yard line.

  • Only two plays into the drive following the McGuffie fumble, Michigan State turned the ball over as well. Brian Hoyer dropped back to pass and looked to throw a screen, but Mike Martin would have batted it down. Because of that, Hoyer didn’t make the throw and instead took a hit from Stevie Brown. When Hoyer was falling, the ball hit the ground and came loose for a fumble. Brown picked it up and returned it to the 18-yard line. Michigan State challenged the call on the field that it was a fumble, but it was upheld since Hoyer’s knee was never down before the ball came out.
  • After Threet ran for a loss of a yard and then threw an incompletion, it looked like Michigan would have to settle for a field goal. On third down, though, Threet threw a pass to Brandon Minor, who somehow managed to make a spinning catch with really only one hand. The catch was great, but there was a problem. Minor caught the ball right at the goal line and appeared to be out of bounds, which is what the initial ruling was. He did hit the pylon with his right foot, but according to Rule 4, Section 2, Article 1b, “A player or an airborne player who touches a pylon is out of bounds.”

    Despite the rule, the officials reviewed the call and actually overturned it. That’s right, they gave Michigan a touchdown, even though Brandon Minor clearly never got a foot down inbounds and only hit the pylon. Referee David Witvoet admitted Minor was out of bounds after the game, so someone’s got some explaining to do. My guess is the Big Ten will admit the call was wrong sometime tomorrow, but that won’t change the change the fact that Michigan and Michigan State were tied at 7 because of the touchdown.

2nd Quarter

  • Michigan State started moving the ball effectively and got inside the Michigan 30 before making another crucial mistake. Andre Anderson came into the game and got a handoff. While Charles Stewart was trying to make a tackle, Obi Ezeh hit the ball out of Anderson’s hands. Terrance Taylor fell on the fumble, giving Michigan the ball.
  • Following a Michigan three and out, the Spartans quickly moved down the field again, this time thanks to a 25-yard run by Keshawn Martin on a reverse and a personal foul by Ryan Van Bergen. Van Bergen got flagged for a late hit, quickly moving Michigan State back into Michigan territory. The defense stood tough following the big run and tackled Javon Ringer for a loss of 3 yards on 3rd and 1.

    The usually reliable Brett Swenson came out to attempt a 50-yard field goal, and the kick fell short of the uprights. Donovan Warren caught the missed kick and tried to return it. He only got back to the 20-yard line, and a penalty for an illegal block in the back moved the Wolverines back to the 10. Michigan could have had the ball at the 33-yard line, but because Warren decided to return the kick, they ended up at the 10 instead.

  • Both teams proceeded to go three and out before Steven Threet made a terrible mistake when the Wolverines got the ball back again. He threw a pass downfield for fullback Mark Moundros, who was well covered by Marcus Hyde. Moundros wasn’t in position to make the catch, and Hyde got the interception, giving MSU the ball at Michigan’s 41-yard line.
  • Michigan State ran a trick play that resulted in a gain of 24 yards. Hoyer threw a pass to Keshawn Martin, who threw a pass back to Hoyer, giving him lots of room to run. It was the same play that John Navarre scored a touchdown on against Minnesota back in 2003.

    The Spartans’ drive stalled after the trick play, meaning Swenson had to attempt a 32-yard field goal. John Thompson got past a blocker and was able to get a hand on the kick to keep Michigan State from taking the lead. Donovan Warren actually picked up the blocked kick and went down at the 9-yard line, meaning Michigan started its next drive there instead of at the 20. It was another frustrating error that gave Michigan bad field position.

  • Michigan did actually pick up a first down, but a holding penalty negated the play and moved the Wolverines back 10 yards. Steven Threet tried to run for the first down but came up a yard or so short, meaning it was punt time yet again.
  • With only 1:14 left in the second quarter, all I wanted was a stop so this game would be tied at the half. When halftime arrived the game was tied, but not at 7. That is because Javon Ringer ran 64 yards for a touchdown on the first and only play of Michigan State’s next drive. Ringer should have been tackled for a gain of only 5 or 6 yards, but he bounced off the pile and was gone. Brandon Graham tried to run Ringer down but was unable to get to him. Just like that, Michigan State led 14-7.
  • Boubacar Cissoko returned the ensuing kickoff to Michigan’s 35-yard line, giving the Wolverines decent field position. Threet took advantage of that and quickly got the Wolverines into Michigan State territory by hitting Kevin Koger in the middle of the field for a gain of 35 yards. Threet then ran for 16 yards, and a pass interference penalty on Michigan State in the end zone on the next play moved the ball down to the 2-yard line. The penalty allowed Brandon Minor to punch the ball in for the touchdown, making the score 14-14 at the half.

3rd Quarter

  • The start of the second half was a pair of three and outs, but things were very different when Michigan got the ball back after an MSU punt. An offside penalty by Michigan State gave U-M a first down when the Wolverines had 3rd and 3, keeping the drive going. Tony Clemons made a great catch a couple plays later for a gain of 29 yards. Minor then got a handoff and ran for 20 yards thanks to a solid blocking. With the ball now on the 2-yard line, Threet ran the ball himself and stretched it out to score a touchdown. He received a huge block from Minor on the TD run that put Michigan on top 21-14.
  • Michigan State was faced with 3rd and 6 and Michigan’s pass coverage again looked pathetic. Blair White was wide open for a catch and ran down the field for a gain of 50 yards. He is the same player that scored a 61-yard TD on a 3rd down in the first quarter. Just as we had seen before, though, Michigan’s defense rose to the challenge and came up with a stop. Brett Swenson attempted a field goal from 24 yards away and hooked it to the left. The snap was bad, which is why Swenson missed his third field goal of the game.
  • The Spartans would follow a Michigan three and out with a much needed touchdown drive that really happened because of U-M’s terrible pass defense on third down. On 3rd and 6, Hoyer found B.J. Cunningham for 12 yards. A few plays later on 3rd and 12, Hoyer threw a 44-yard pass downfield for Mark Dell, who was able to make the catch after Stevie Brown fell down right behind him. Hoyer capped off the drive by hitting Charlie Gantt in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown. Gantt was open thanks to a fake handoff and more poor coverage. The game was now tied at 21.

4th Quarter

  • Both teams’ defenses played well to cause a couple more three and outs. Michigan had to punt again soon after, but they did manage to pick up one first down on the drive.
  • With the game tied at 21, Michigan State had a chance to take the lead and put the pressure on Michigan. They would eventually do just that thanks in part to Michigan giving up a 17-yard pass to Blair White on 3rd and 5. The Wolverines had an opportunity to end this drive before it even got started but didn’t, as White picked up more than enough yards to move the chains on the same exact play that he scored on earlier in the game.

    The very next play was the one that truly changed the outlook of this game. Brandon Harrison got called for pass interference, despite the fact that both he and Blair White were making contact with each other. It was a pretty weak call, but then again, Michigan got its fair share of calls in this game.

  • Following the penalty, a 14-yard run by Javon Ringer and a 15-yard pass to Blair White set up what would end up being the game-winning touchdown. Ringer ran into the end zone from 3 yards out for the TD, putting the Spartans on top 28-21 with around seven minutes left in the game.
  • Any chance of coming back Michigan had essentially ended on the only play of Michigan’s next drive. Steven Threet underthrew a pass and it was picked off at the Michigan 40.
  • Despite knowing exactly what Michigan State was going to do, Michigan couldn’t stop Javon Ringer. They did manage to hold the Spartans to 4th and 1, but MSU went for it. Ringer picked up a yard to move the chains and would later get the ball down to the 7-yard line. MSU was then faced with 3rd and goal, and Hoyer faked a handoff to Ringer, leaving Josh Rouse wide open for the touchdown.
  • Now trailing 35-21 with only 3 minutes left, Michigan needed a lot of things to happen in a limited amount of time. Steven Threet underthrew another pass and got picked off by Jeremy Ware, but Ware ran into a teammate on the return and fumbled. Martavious Odoms recovered the fumble, giving the ball back to Michigan.
  • Passes to Odoms and James Rogers that went for 18 and 19 yards, respectively, gave fans a little glimmer of hope that Michigan could score a touchdown to make things interesting. Michigan then ran the ball for 4 yards, though, which was really dumb considering they needed two touchdowns and didn’t have much time to score them. Three consecutive incompletions later and Michigan State got the ball back. Darryl Stonum was the cause of one of those incompletions, as he let the ball go through his hands in the end zone. It wouldn’t have been any easy catch to make, but he still should have hauled it in.
  • Michigan State took a knee to run out the clock and end the game. The Spartans won 35-21, ending a 6-game losing streak to the Wolverines. The enormous MSU crowd celebrated, and when I was walking back from the game it honestly felt like I was in East Lansing. Michigan State fans were everywhere.

I didn’t expect Michigan to win this game, but I still was deeply disappointed in this team. Outside of the d-line (mainly Brandon Graham), the defense was terrible. They had trouble tackling and couldn’t stop Brian Hoyer on third down. I know people will want to say that the offense isn’t doing much to help the defense, but that is no excuse for playing as badly as the defense did.

Michigan is now 2-6 and heads to Purdue next Saturday to play a fellow 2-6 team. The Boilermakers haven’t won since they narrowly escaped with a victory against Central Michigan on September 20. This is a winnable game for sure, but that doesn’t really mean much considering Michigan sucks. Kickoff is set for noon ET on the Big Ten Network.

Monday Presser Notes (Week 9)

By · Monday, October 20, 2008 · 6:55 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 

Rich Rodriguez:

  • Steven Threet’s health is a little better than it was a week ago.
  • Threet came back in during the PSU game when he got the feeling back in his right elbow/arm.
  • Threet’s injury is a bruise, and he should be able to practice on Tuesday.
  • “Nick Sheridan is very, very competitive.”
  • Justin Feagin is being mixed in with the second group. David Cone has gotten a few reps as well.
  • Michigan made mistakes in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) against Penn State.
  • “We’ve got to be mentally and physically tougher.”
  • There isn’t a psychological edge lost when Nick Sheridan comes in at quarterback.
  • A decision on whether or not Justin Feagin will play or be redshirted will happen right around this time.
  • The history of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry isn’t going to help anyone get a first down, but it can help the team get focused.
  • “(Javon) Ringer is one of the best backs in the country.”
  • “The consistency level is a thing that’s really been missing for four quarters.”
  • “We have yet to put together four quarters of consistently good football.”
  • If Brandon Minor keeps running like he did against Penn State, then he will get the bulk of the carries against Michigan State.
  • Minor has worked hard to take care of the issues he’s had with holding on to the ball.
  • “Our seniors have all been outstanding.”
  • He’s never felt that one game is going to determine a recruit’s decision.
  • “The tackling in our last game was not our best.”
  • “You’ve got to contain [Ringer].”
  • He heard about Mike Hart’s “Little Brother” comment but doesn’t know the details of it.
  • Vince Helmuth moved to defense tackle, but it isn’t necessarily a permanent move. The team needed bodies and Helmuth was willing to move around.
  • The offensive line for Saturday will probably be the same as the Penn State game.
  • Mike Milano is suspended indefinitely, and that’s all Rodriguez had to say about him.

John Thompson:

  • The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry is for pride.
  • The run defense is playing pretty well.

Mark Moundros:

  • This rivalry is two schools that are very proud of themselves that will compete hard on gameday.
  • He didn’t feel left out when the new offense was implemented.
  • Brandon Minor is a very physical runner.
  • The mood among the team is to execute and get better every day.

Steven Threet:

  • His arm is getting better.
  • He got injured against Toledo when he landed directly on his elbow and had someone fall on him.
  • When his arm starts to go numb, his hand tingles, preventing him from gripping the ball.
  • The glove he started wearing on his throwing hand is just for better ball control.
  • It’s very frustrating to not be able to play.
  • His mom and aunt went to Michigan, and two of his other aunts went to Michigan State.

Brandon Harrison:

  • “We just have to play assignment football.”
  • He went to the same high school as Javon Ringer.

Sean Griffin:

  • He almost went to Michigan State, but they didn’t get back to him after a visit and weren’t all that interested.

Will Johnson:

  • “You just gotta keep trucking along.” (In reference to moving on after a loss.)
  • Javon Ringer is one of the best backs in the nation.

Obi Ezeh:

  • One game doesn’t really have that big of an impact on recruiting since most players usually have their minds made up for which team they root for.
  • “Aside from some big plays, I feel like our run defense is pretty solid.”
  • “Turnovers are really the key.”
  • This game is a really big deal to him since he is from Michigan.
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