In the intro of this week’s edition of ‘This Week in Michigan football History’, I said, “Time will tell if this tonight’s battle will be talked about for decades to come…” 

1 - blimp Well, it didn’t take much time to make that assessment and you can have that answer now if you’d like it.  Yes, this will be talked about for decades to come.

I don’t know exactly where that stacks up in the pantheon of historic games and finishes but it’s got to be near the top of the list.  Certainly the fourth quarter was the wildest I’ve ever witnessed, right above the 1995 Virginia tilt and even the 2004 Michigan State game. 

Bullets:

  • The Credit.  Denard’s getting all the accolades this morning, some of it deserved, but I think the performance of the receivers is really underappreciated.  On the replay of the telecast I heard Herby suggest that Denard intentionally/strategically underthrew some of those balls.  Ummm, no chance.  I just saw several weak tosses that were basically up for grabs.  And thankfully most of the time an M man came down with it including the game winner to Easy Treezy.   Vincent Smith Score - Notre Dame
  • Best Toss of the Game.  I don’t think you could see this on ESPN when Vincent Smith made his amazing TD run (pic above) on the screen.  (And BTW-what a nice call by Borges.)  Anyway, after Smith scored he tossed the ball in the air—right into the hands of one of the members of the Irish Guard
  • The Big Man is Back.  I’m not sure how I missed Stevie Everitt on the sidelines during the game in his signature Big House Football shirt, but I did.   Thankfully he popped into the postgame interview.  I noticed on my way home that my website blew up with search engine hits on “Steve Everitt” and I was afraid the big guy was in some tragic accident or more likely, killed someone.  [UPDATE:  Somehow I managed to catch the big guy for a few words in the postgame.  He was a tad confused but whatever, here’s the audio.]
  • Passing Leach.  Denard passed Rick Leach into first place all-time for Michigan rushing by a quarterback.  That also moved him up to #3 in Big Ten history in the same category.
  • Wisdom.  My 5 year-old watched the replay of the Shoelacerooksi and told me, “Well, that was easy.”
  • Poms.  I joked about the maize poms-poms in a pregame tweet but I must say they looked incredible at the end of the game.
  • 9/11 Tribute.  I thought the 10th anniversary tribute was nicely done and scrolling the victims who were Michigan graduates on the big screen was a nice way to recognize them.
  • Program.  Order a commemorative program from the game, if nothing else to impress your friends.  It’s packed with history on this great rivalry from the likes of John Kryk (Natural Enemies), John Borton from The Wolverine and even a tiny bit from me on the first night game.
  • Print Media.  Speaking of printed material (and I realize most of you may rejoice in this), a night game puts enormous pressure on those in the print media to get their columns in before the deadline to go to the presses for the Sunday edition. (Here’s the AnnArbor.com mega guide).  The way things played out obviously this was a nightmare for those guys.  I’m guessing many a column was half written heading into the fourth quarter and ended up on the press box floor.  On the sunny side, they pulled out all the stops in the press box for the media on hand.  Witness the butter dish of victory:

butter dish 

Here’s my “MEGA GUIDE” from the big weekend:

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3 Comments

  1. Were you in my living room last night? I was saying the same thing about the receivers, and reacted the same to Herb’s comment — if only we could be capable of that kind of precision! The receivers deserve the MVP; it’s hard to choose one, but Hemmingway had the most yards and catches.

    People came into it expecting Denard to be the hero, and with him involved in almost every play (if your RBs do nothing, then necessarily the QB is part of every play), they didn’t think much deeper about it.

    I’m not criticizing Denard. He is what he is — a great, great runner and a bad passer. The coach called his number and he did his best in a very challenging situation, and won. Go Blue!

  2. @guanxi
    Right. Denard did great things and after all, he’s the guy with the ball in his hands.

    He had some nice throws and I think I can name them – to Hemingway while ND guy was at his feet, hitting Grady in stride before Smith scored, the nice screen to Smith, and I give him credit for hitting Gallon on the long play that set up the Treezy TD. But there were so many 60-40 balls–yeesh.

  3. I have been attending games in The Big House since 1969….and have NEVER seen the place that ELECTIC as last night, especially in the 4h quarter….As we sat in Section 17 you could hardly hear and the place was almost shaking….the Music was loud, timely and really kept everyone pumped up..those 100,000 yellow pom-pom’s were all waving that entire 4th Quarter….Congratulations to David Brandon for making it the “Michigan Football Experience” from the ESPN Gameday show to the 100,000 fans singing The Victors on State & Main until the wee hours of Sunday morning…it was an electric weekend. The Pioneer HS parking lot was a nut house all day Saturday, UofM needs more Night Games….Dennis Dail