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Stadium and Main: Notre Dame game - Reliving the beauty

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Notre Dame game - Reliving the beauty

There is a God.  And He hates Notre Dame.
I'm still pretty much speechless. But I don't have to speak, I just have to type. Some thoughts on the game:

- Burgess pick-six! Finally, we get a bounce that goes our way in South Bend. More bounces came later, but this made me think "this could be our day... maybe."

- Henne's INT. Talk about deflation. I really thought we were doomed. I'm not sure what happened here. Lloyd said post-game that ND had a different Defense than they were expecting on that play. Henne appeared to be consulting with Manningham on the sidelines after the pick. Was it Mario's fault? In hindsight, who cares? 47-21!!!

- ND had zero (as in ZERO) first downs in the 1st and 3rd Quarters. Seriously? Sure tackling (finally!) helped make that possible. Quite a few short gains by the Irish that were stopped 2 or 3 yards in front of the sticks thanks to some quality fundamentals. It's a game of inches, as they say.

- ND got the benefit of a few bad calls. A 3rd Quarter swing pass to Darius Walker was a lateral, but the ref ruled it incomplete. And don't even get me started about the crap calls that led to ND's third and final touchdown. Somewhat related - It was hilarious to hear the ND crowd boo and whine for calls. Quite a sense of entitlement, no?

- Henne ripped it up. Did you see him stand in the pocket and take that one hit? I don't even care that the pass was incomplete, I'm just glad he manned up. TONS of credit to Henne for not freaking out after the INT. 3 perfect TDs to Manningham, and a handful of great 3rd down throws.

- So many others that deserve praise, but I'm too excited/drained to think straight about it: Crable, Hart, the DL, the punters, kick coverage, and on and on...

Games like this come along once in a blue moon, so enjoy it. After the debacle that was 2005, I think it's fair to say that we deserve it, and the players and coaches definitely do.

BTW, we're up to #6 in both polls. Oh, and check out Lloyd taking a bath (not literally).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been with you in your criticisms of the team for a while now. But that game has got me pretty pumped.

Do you regret, or feel like you need to take back, any of your negative Lloyd comments, after watching that unbelievable display of preparation and execution?

12:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

anonymous - I have to give credit for a very good gameplan.

I will always be critical of Carr. Not critical in the "looking for fault all the time" sense, but critical in the "we have Top 10 talent, let's play like it" sense. Playing Lloydball against clearly inferior opponents costs us games. Playing aggressively against opponents that are "equal to" or "better" than us gives us wins. Just look at Carr's record against the Top 10, Top 5, etc. It makes losses to "weaker" teams much more frustrating.

I don't regret anything I've said. I make stupid comments from time to time, but I've never claimed to be an expert. I'm just a fan.

And by the way, I'm taking credit for this win. I put the old "reverse jinx" on them by predicting a loss. : ) Go Blue!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Wow, one "perfect" game happens over 8 years and you think that makes everything OK? I hope you're just asking the question for arguments sake and not because you actually think Lloyd has been unfairly criticized. Even if by some miracle, UM wins the whole thing this year, it would not change what has gone on over the last eight years.

Everything Nick has ever said about Lloyd has been DEAD ON. When Lloyd pays attention and stops being stubborn, Michigan can be great. When Lloyd has his head in his rear (i.e., Herrmann, player development, out of shape OL) then things will not be fine. It looks like, for the first time in a long, long time, Lloyd doesn't have his head in his rear as he's addressed the things that have kept the program from greatness. That hardly merits an apology from Nick or anyone else. What you will get is a resounding, "FINALLY!!!!!!"

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the game. Nick calls it like he sees it and he's right pretty much every time including anything he has ever said about Lloyd.

I will remind you of something that Nick and I went through together. UM won the National Championship in 1997. Everyone and their brother was saying how Lloyd was the greatest ever and everyone who ever made a negative comment about him should take it back etc. Then, Lloyd tanked the UM program for 9 years with the exception of '99 and possibly 2003 depending on how you view success. Sure, we were stoked and still are about the '97 National Championship but we were expecting more big seasons (not more championships) and they rarely came. Lloyd avoided criticism because he won the National Title.

So, just because a guy wins a National Championship doesn't preclude him from having big-time faults. And just because a guy wins ONE FRICKIN GAME doesn't mean anything other than Michigan won a big game.

I apologize if I've gone overboard on this. I just don't like the wishy washy views that go back and forth game after game as if one game changes anything. I'm not necessarily saying this about you, anonymous but about sports fans in general. People think SO much changes because of one game.

Go Blue!

P.S. Nick, I wasn't intending on speaking for you so if you want to apologize, feel free.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Nick said...


It's all good. I'm with you on all of your points.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I just posted that to bust on Nick for not coming out after the games to celebrate on Saturday night.

I have been on the same page as you guys regarding the coach for a long while. But I did think that the Carr deserved some props in Nick's insightful as always post.

And like you, I continue to be nervous about the long minefield of a season ahead.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

The celebration was all internal, Ben. That sounds weird and gross, but you know what I'm saying. Sorry I'm no fun... Go Blue!!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Glad to hear it. I'm relieved on two fronts. First, I'm relieved that you were just giving Nick a hard time and second I'm relieved that my post didn't come off as bad as I thought it might after I posted it. Good deal.

Go Blue!

3:51 PM  

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