sap Ed.  Steve Sapardanis aka “Dr. Sap” is back with his decals. 

This week I added the Editor’s Pick & the Fan Award.  Here are the picks from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7 and Week 8 and Week 9 and Week 10.

 

OFFENSE

DEVIN GARDNER – Let me get this right: over 300 yards passing and SIX touchdowns?   Dude looks like he’s been playing QB all season and not just 3 weeks. Hope DG saved some magic, and TDs, for next week!

DEFENSE

JAKE RYAN – Here’s why I think “manster” is such a big deal on defense: it’s not his forced fumbles or his tackles for loss. It’s the fact that offenses have to treat him much like defenses have to treat Denard – YOU MUST ACCOUNT FOR THE MANSTER! It’s that simple. When was the last time UM had a defender that the offenses had to account for? You got it, Charles Woodson. ‘Nuff said.

SPECIAL TEAMS

BRENDAN GIBBONS – Sure he scored 6 points, but the reason he gets the nod this week is his TACKLE on a 2nd quarter kickoff. And get this – it was not even his first tackle of the year! Gibby had a tackle earlier in the season. Now that’s my kind of kicker!

HUSTLER /
SPARKPLUG

DENARD ROBINSON – You had to love what Shoelace did in his last game at M Stadium! Over 120 yards of offense playing QB, TB and WR while only carrying the ball with his left hand – TOUGH! Thanks for the memories Denard!

Denard runs off the field Iowa 2012

UNIFORM CHAMP

U.S. FLAG & NUMBERS – Even though the only stickers I’d like on the UM helmets would be award decals, I’m ok with the U.S. flag and player numbers on the headgear. Did you notice that the flag and numbers are on the left side this year? Last year the flag was on the right side. Wonder if they will continue to switch sides each season?

Brendan Gibbons Helmet

UFER MAIZE & BLUE
FEDORA FAN

HFOO Guy:  Hands down, got to give it to this guy who came strong:
Honey Funchess of Oats Sign
Runner-up:  Sorry dude; any other week man.  You ran into a buzzsaw this time:
Michigan Stormtrooper

EDITOR’S PICK

JAMES ROSS III:  Nine solo tackles?  He’s JAMES ROSS IX to me.

 

More on the Iowa Game:

  • Handling Family Business (Michigan 42, Iowa 17)
  • Senior Day Pageantry (Photos)
  • Bear Hugs Aplenty
  • TWIMFbH: Platooning to Stop Davis, Blanchard (1945)
  • Moeller and Holtz Breaking Down “The Catch”
  •  

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    Matt Wile: 5 decals – for 5 Non-Returnable (Aluminum Beer Can) Kickoffs!* Don’t kid yourself at the importance of these kicks – they forced Illinois to drive 80 yards almost all game and that made a HUGE difference!
    Fitzgerald Toussaint: 3 decals – 1st QTR 65-yard run, 25-yard run, and 4th QTR 27-yard TD run
    David Molk: 3 decals – seal blocks on Toussaint 65-yard and 25-yard runs in 1st QTR, seal block on Denard 2-yard TD run in 2nd Qtr
    J.T. Floyd: 4 decals – 1st QTR PBU, 4th QTR INT (would have given one more for a pick-six!), 4th QTR PBU, +1 editor’s choice, for transforming into Chuck Woodson for this game, wow.
    Ryan Van Bergen: 3 decals – 3rd QTR sack, and two 4th QTR sacks
    Denard Robinson: 2 decals – 5-yard TD run in 1st QTR, 2-yard TD run in 2nd QTR. 
    Jake Ryan: 2 decals – 1st QTR TFL, 3rd QTR PASTING hit on QB during option-pitch – outstanding!
    Jordan Kovacs: 3 decals: 1 for forced fumble in 2nd QTR, 1 for TFL in 3rd QTR, and +1 editor’s choice for actually being Zack Novak and fooling us this whole time.
    Thomas Gordon: 2 decals for fumble recovery in 2nd QTR and PBU in 4th QTR
    Michael Schofield: 1 decal for seal block on Toussaint 65-yard run in 1st QTR
    Will Hagerup: 1 decal for 1st QTR punt OOB inside Illini 15-yard line. Kipke-esque!
    Craig Roh: 1 decal for 1st QTR TFL
    Jeremy Gallon: 2 decals – 1 decal for 37-yard punt return in 1st QTR and  +1 editor’s choice: We’re getting spoiled—Gallon has completely turned around my comfort level on punt returns and starting to make it a weapon. 
    Kevin Koger: 1 decal for 39-yard clinic on keeping-your-feet-moving-until-someone-(finally)-drags-you-down reception in 2nd QTR
    Blake Countess: 1 decal for 2nd QTR PBU
    Kenny Demens: 1 decal for 2nd QTR sack
    Desmond Morgan: 1 decal for bone-jarring hit on Illini RB in 3rd QTR – Ron Simpkins would be proud of that stick!
    John McColgan: 1 decal for muffed punt recovery in 3rd QTR
    Junior Hemingway: 1 decal for 20-yard reception in 3rd QTR
    Brendan Gibbons: 1 decal for 27-yard FG in 3rd QTR
    Devin Gardner: 3 decals.  1 decal for 27-yard TD pass to Martavious Odoms in 4th QTR, and +2 editor’s choice: +1 for third down conversion to Hemingway, +1 for stepping in and finishing off the game when Denard was down—excellent stuff.
    Martavious Odoms: 1 decal for 27-yard TD reception 4th QTR.  [Ed. Ace and I call him Dooms.  Or when I’m feeling emotional, Moods.  Yes, there’s another way to spell it but I’m steering clear of that.] 
    Mike Martin: 1 decal for 4th QTR sack
    Roy Roundtree: 1 decal onside kick recovery in 4th QTR.  [Ed. Gotta be like the 3rd or 4th time this season Treezy did nothing all game only to make a big play at the very end.  Love Treezy.]

    * The Aluminum Beer Can reference is a nod to the late and great Bob Ufer. Back in the 70′s, recycling wasn’t a big part of the American way and aluminum beer cans were a no deposit/no return setup. So when you were done with your PBR, you just tossed it (preferably in the garbage), but you weren’t getting 10 cents for it at the grocery store!

    Updated season tally (leaders):

      Total
    Denard Robinson 32
    Ryan Van Bergen 15
    Vincent Smith 14
    Jordan Kovacs 13
    Craig Roh 12
    Jake Ryan 12
    JT Floyd 10
    Fitz Toussaint 10
    Jeremy Gallon 9
    Desmond Morgan 9
    Brendan Gibbons 9
    Blake Countess 9
    Mike Martin 9
    Matt Wile 9
    Thomas Gordon 8
    Devin Gardner 7
    Big Will Campbell 6
    Mark Huyge 6
    Kevin Koger 6
    Will Hagerup 5
    Kenny Demens 5

    Plenty to dole out, take it away Sap:

    Adidas: 1 decal for bringing back the white socks on the road with a little block M on them a la Tom Harmon and the boys back in 1939!  (Editor’s note:  Might have to take this decal away.  There’s obviously something wrong with the 2011 away jerseys, causing some of players to switch to last year’s model!   Get that fixed, Beaverton) 
    Dhani Jones: 1 decal for Rocking The Bowtie before, during and after the game! Hey, Dhani, how about a Bowtie with U-M helmet decals on it?   Dr. Sap would make the switch to a bowtie if that were the case – GUARANTEED!!
    Greg Mattison: 1 decal for 2nd half shutout of Wildcats – Very Bill McCartney-esque!
    Denard Robinson: 5 decals – 9-yard TD pass to Watson in 1st QTR; 25-yard TD pass to Gallon in 2nd QTR; 2-yard TD run in 3rd QTR minus one shoe; 5-yard TD run in 4th QTR, +1 editor’s pick for running up to the crowd on the final score.
    Defense: 3 decals for each member of unit – 4th down stop in 2nd QTR; 4th down stop in 4th QTR; pitching a shutout in 2nd Half.
    Desmond Morgan:  +1, editor’s choice, for flying over the NW offense line in an attempt to sack Persa.
    Jordan Kovacs: 3 decals – TFL on 4th down stop in 2nd QTR; Pontiac Game Changing Play in 4th QTR (ripping Persa’s helmet off on Safety Blitz!); Goalline tackle at end of game preserving 2nd half shutout.
    Thomas Gordon: 2 decals for Forced Fumble/Strip and Fumble Recovery on same play – outstanding!
    Vincent Smith: 2 decals, editor’s choice, for the 2 solo tackles on the NW interception return.  Little man is tough.  And he mixed it up a bit with one of the Wildcat lineman after the first, nicely done.
    Junior Hemingway: 1 decal for 48-yard reception in 1st QTR. (Junior Megatron?)
    Steve Watson: 1 decal for 9-yard TD reception in 1st QTR.
    Jeremy Gallon: 1 decal for 25-yard TD reception in 2nd QTR.
    Mark Huyge: 1 decal for kick-out block on Gallon TD.
    Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for Pass Break Up in 2nd QTR.
    Roy Roundtree: 1 decal for 57-yard reception in 3rd QTR.
    Devin Gardner: 2 decals, 1-yard TD run in 3rd QTR, and +1 editor’s pick for handling the reins like a vet while Denard was out.
    Brandin Hawthorne: 1 decal for diving interception in 3rd QTR.
    Michael Shaw: 1 decal for 2-yard TD run in 4th QTR.
    Blake Countess: 1 decal for PBU in 4th QTR.
    Will Campbell: 2 decals, 1 for sack in 4th QTR, +1 editor’s pick for barreling off the field top speed at the end of the game, to the delight of the Michigan faithful.
    Kenny Demens: 1 decal for TFL.
    Craig Roh:  1/2 decal for 3rd QTR 1/2 sack along with Mike Martin. 
    Mike Martin: 1/2 decal for 3rd QTR 1/2 sack along with Craig Roh.

    Previous:

    Dr. Sap’s Decals – Minnesota

    Dr. Sap’s Decals – San Diego State

    Dr. Sap’s Decals – Eastern Michigan

    A lot of business to take care of but first, here’s a rundown of the original criteria for awarding the footballs via Dr. Sap:

    Bo Schembechler criteria announced on September 23, 1969 for determining how Wolverines would earn a helmet award sticker, according to a report the next day in the Ann Arbor News:

    ON OFFENSE:

    1) An outstanding block, catch or run
    2) TD pass or run over 25 yards
    3) Outstanding second effort
    4) Four crossfield blocks in one game
    5) TD-saving tackle on punt return
    6) Scoring TD with first down between the eight and 10-yard lines (all offensive players get one)
    7) Making first down starting from inside our two-yard line
    8 ) Scout player doing best job against defense

    ON DEFENSE:
    1) Pass interception
    2) Blocked kick
    3) Key tackle inside 20-yard line
    4) Causing fumble or interception
    5) Recovering a fumble
    6) Stopping opposing team inside the 10-yard line (all)
    7) When defense scores a touchdown (all)
    8 ) Outstanding second effort or great hit
    9) Making following number of tackles, including assists — ends, tackles and backs, 9; middle guard and rover back, 12; and linebackers, 16
    10) Scout player doing best job against offense

    We don’t use all those metrics of course (at least until they let us in practice).  So here are Sap’s awards for the great 58-0 performance on Saturday:

    Team Captains & U-M Equipment Manager Big Jon Falk: 1 decal each for bringing back the numbers on the sides of the helmets (and +1, editor’s choice for Falk for protecting the Jug yet another year).
    Brady Hoke +1 editor’s choice for confirming that “jug security is always at a premium”
    Al Borges: 1 decal for the Inverted Wishbone series with Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner in the backfield at the same time – Finally we all get to see what it would look like and what the possibilities are – thank you!
    Vincent Smith: 4 decals: 3-yard 1st Quarter TD run; 17-yard 2nd Quarter pass to Drew Dileo; 28-yard 3rd Quarter TD reception; 4th Quarter Fumble Recovery.
    Denard Robinson: 3 decals – 9-yard 1st Quarter TD run; 28-yard 2nd Quarter TD pass to Vincent Smith; 18-yard 2nd Quarter TD pass to Kevin Koger.
    Stephen Hopkins: 3 decals – kick-out block on Toussaint 1st Quarter 37-yard run; 27-yard 1st Quarter reception; seal block for Toussaint run in 3rd Quarter
    Brendan Gibbons: 3 decals – 2nd Quarter 25-yard FG; 3rd Quarter 32-yard FG; 4th Quarter 38-yard FG — a Football Field Goal Hat Trick.
    Carvin Johnson: 3 decals – 2nd Quarter Fumble Recovery; 3rd Quarter PBU; 4th Quarter message-delivered-don’t-come-back-here-knockdown tackle – SWEET!!
    Blake Countess: 3 decals – 2nd Quarter Pass Break-Up; 2nd Quarter Forced Fumble; 4th Quarter PBU
    Ryan Van Bergen: 2 decals – 1st Quarter sack; tearing up the number "3" on his jersey once again
    Michael Schofield: 2 decals – key block on Denard 1st Quarter TD run; seal block on 2nd Quarter Toussaint run
    Mark Huyge: 2 decals – seal block on 2nd Quarter Toussaint run; seal block on 3rd Quarter Toussaint run
    Kevin Koger: 2 decals – 2nd Quarter 18-yard TD reception; 3rd Quarter stiff arm.
    Nathan Brink: 2 decals – 3rd Quarter TFL; another decal for making the TFL WITHOUT a helmet.
    Courtney Avery: 2 decals – one for the fumble recovery and one more for rambling 83 yards for the TD!!
    Taylor Lewan: 1 decal – seal block on 1st Quarter Vincent Smith TD run
    Thomas Gordon: 1 decal – 1st Quarter TFL
    Jeremy Gallon: 1 decal – blow up block on Michael Shaw 1st Quarter run
    Kenny Demens: 1 decal – helmet-less tackle in 1st Quarter – TOUGH!!
    Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal – 1st Quarter TFL
    Drew Dileo: 1 decal – 2nd Quarter 17-yard TD reception from Vincent Smith (Incidentally, that was the SAME endzone that produced another RB to WR TD connection. In 1975 RB Gordon Bell Bell threw a TD pass to WR Jim Smith against OSU.)
    U-M Kick Team: 1 decal for each member of unit for coverage on 2nd QTR kickoff forcing Minnesota to start possession inside 10-yard line
    Craig Roh: 1 decal – 2nd Quarter TFL
    Jake Ryan: 1 decal – 2nd Quarter Sack
    Fitzgerald Toussaint: 1 decal – 3rd Quarter 1-yard TD run
    Jibreel Black: 1 decal – 2nd Quarter Sack
    Josh Furman: 1 decal – bone-jarring kick coverage hit in 2nd Quarter – OUCH!!
    David Molk: 1 decal – cut-back block on 3rd Quarter Devin Gardner run
    Michael Shaw and Devin Gardner: Honorary Russ Hawkins Award for Coolest Helmet Design on team (joining Jordan Kovacs, Vincent Smith and J.T. Floyd)
    The ENTIRE TEAM for sharing the Jug Celebration with the fans – not sure that I have ever seen that done at Michigan Stadium – nice touch!!

    The recent Dr. Sap’s Decals post has sparked a bit of discussion on whether Hoke should bring them back.  One of the arguments folks use against the practice is that individual awards like this take away from the team concept.  But you have to reconcile that with the fact that Bo, who was mildly supportive of the team concept, started the tradition of issuing the decals.

    But there was a point when Bo wavered.  Did you know that he actually took them off the helmets for a short stretch in the early 80s?  I did, but only because Dr. Sap himself sent me an updated diagram a few weeks back.

    This week I got this email from a former U-M lineman who talked about when this happened and more:

    Not sure if you knew this but in 1983 and 1984 Bo did give us stickers but they were placed on a board in the Football Building.  He just did not put them on our helmets.

    When Bo announced it, it was to show the importance of the team and not the individual as the gold footballs were individual awards.  Initially It was like “that kind of sucks” and you never thought about it again.  More because it was a change than anything else. 

    It’s funny as an offensive lineman you were never quite sure why you got one.  A good block, a good game, a good play.  It was easy for the specialty folks, touchdowns, TFL, sacks, fumble recovery, interceptions, 100+ yard games, etc.  They never told us specifically why we received  one. You just seemed to get more of them when you won.  I still have my helmet from my freshman year where I earned I think 6 or 7 of them.  I only played on the kick-off return team then and I was never told what I did to receive them.  I would assume we had a great return so the kick-off return team would collectively get  a gold football but no one said to me at least, you are getting a gold football because you did “this or that”.

    That last part is disappointing to uniform nerds everywhere (like me), who were half-hoping Bo, after hours of carefully deliberation with the assistants, hand delivered the stickers in an elaborate ceremony after each game   :)

    1984 wasn’t Bo’s finest season on record and perhaps that drove him to bring the stickers back the following season.

    Hoke didn’t bring them back but I think a surprising number of Michigan fans would like to see them return.  I’m talking about the helmet stickers or decals of course, Bo Schembechler’s 1965 invention (while at Miami, OH) that he brought to Ann Arbor. 

    Wolverine gear guru Dr. Steve Sapardanis was one hoping they’d be back and he’s even suggested a 2011 version to grace the Schutts and Riddells on Saturdays:

    Although these won’t adorn the headgear this season, Dr. Sap thought he’d run down a his thoughts on who he’d honor each week.  First, some context from Sap:

    In the past, Bo Schembechler had a list of achievements and criteria for each team (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) as well as individual accomplishments for awarding his helmet decals.

    Not being privy to film study or game performance grading, the process has been simplified to just touchdowns and big plays – and a few other "Awards of Distinction" as you will see below.

    Here’s Sap’s rundown for Eastern Michigan, including some influence from the editor of this site.
    sap

    Week #3 vs. Eastern Michigan
    ALL members of the Michigan Defense: for not allowing a point in the 1st quarter – first time all season!
    Jibreel Black: 1 decal for Forced Fumble in 1st quarter.
    Thomas Gordon: 2 decals – one for 1st quarter Fumble Recovery and one for 2nd quarter one-handed Interception.
    Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for 4th down goalline stop in 1st quarter and one for 3rd down stop/open-field tackle in 2nd quarter.
    Denard Robinson: 4 decals – one for 52-yard run in 2nd quarter; 9-yard TD pass to Kevin Koger; 11-yard TD run in 2nd quarter; 19-yard TD pass to Drew Dileo in 3rd quarter.
    Kevin Koger: 1 decal for 9-yard TD reception in 2nd quarter.
    Vincent Smith: 1 decal for Denard Robinson fumble recovery in 2nd quarter.
    Drew Dileo: 1 decal for 19-yard TD reception in 3rd quarter.
    Brandin Hawthorne: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
    Craig Roh: 2 decals for 3rd quarter Sack and Tackle For Loss.
    Martavious Odoms:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for his blocking downfield and driving an EMU defender five yards out of bounds
    Jeremy Gallon:  1 decal, editor’s choice, for doing a great job handling punts.  Relief!
    Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
    Will Heininger: 1 decal for 2nd half Tackle For Loss.
    Fitzgerald Toussaint: 1 decal for 1-yard TD Run in 3rd quarter.
    Brendan Gibbons: 1 decal for 21-yard Field Goal in 4th quarter – the FIRST UM FG this year!
    Mike Martin: 1 decal for the NASTIEST-LOOKING HELMET on the team – it looks like it already has a year’s worth of scuff marks in just game #3 of the season!
    Vincent Smith & Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal each for the BEST LOOKING HELMET DESIGN on the team. No surprise that they BOTH wear Schutt helmets designed by Russ Hawkins of Capitol Varsity.  and Finally:

    Ron English: 1 decal for putting decal awards on the EMU helmets – what a novel concept!
                        ——————————————————————————————

    And since we’re in week 3, Sap shared his tallies for the first couple weeks:

    Week #1 vs. Western Michigan
    Brady Hoke
    : 1 decal for not wearing a coat or jacket during the downpour of rain. TOUGH!
    Michael Shaw: 1 decal for 44-yard TD run.
    Fitzgerald Toussaint: 2 decals – one for 1-yard TD Run and one for 2-yard TD Run.
    Brandon Herron: 3 decals – one for 94-yard Interception Return for a TD and one for 29-yard Fumble Recovery for a TD, and +1 editor’s pick for getting us to talk about Tom Harmon’s exploits.
    Jake Ryan: 1 decal for knocking down pass at goalline that Herron returned 94 yards for a TD.
    Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for Fumble recovery.
    Jordan Kovacs: 2 decals – one for blitzing hit on QB that caused fumble return for TD, one for other blitzing sack.

    Week #2 vs. Notre Dame
    Dave Brandon: 1 decal for creating an outstanding atmosphere for a college football game -2nd only to the Rose Bowl at night! (For those of you who have never been, the Rose Bowl at night is a DEFINITE UM Fan Bucket List priority!).
    Charles Woodson: 1 decal for the biggest (Super Bowl) ring in the stadium – I could see it 3 sections over and 30 rows up –sweet!
    U-M media relations – 1 editor’s pick, for posting the audio from Gary Moeller’s headset before the catch.
    Desmond Howard – 1 decal editor’s pick, for his wonderful speech before the game.
    Steve Everitt: 2 decals – 1 for still being the toughest AND toughest LOOKING dude in the stadium & the best center U-M has had since…#48?  And editor’s choice, for blowing up this website with people searching on the name ‘Steve Everitt’.
    Drum major McMahon: 1 decal for his pre-game catching of the baton over the crossbar, atoning for the fumble in Season Opener vs. WMU.
    Denard Robinson: 5 decals – one for each TD (4 passing, 1 rushing).
    Junior Hemingway: 2 decals – one for 77 yard reception and one for 43-yard TD catch.
    Jeremy Gallon: 2 decals – one for 14-yard TD reception and one for 64-yard reception to set up winning TD.
    Vincent Smith: 2 decals, one for the epic 21-yard TD reception on the screen, and +1 editor’s choice, for tossing the ball into the hands of the Irish Guard at the back of the end zone after the play.
    Roy Roundtree: 1 decal for 16-yard game winning TD reception.
    Jordan Kovacs: 1 decal for 2nd quarter interception.
    J.T. Floyd: one decal for 2nd quarter interception.
    Will Campbell: 2 decals – one for 3rd quarter fumble recovery and one for 3rd down stop late in game.
    Jake Ryan: 1 decal for 3rd down stop late in game.
    Ryan Van Bergen: 1 decal for 4th quarter fumble recovery.
    Marvin Robinson: 1 decal for forced fumble.
    Terrance Robinson: 1 decal for fumble recovery.
    Stephen Hopkins: 1 decal for executing goalline fumble-rooskie play to Denard for TD – NICE!