Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman,
he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.
Leaving the stadium I caught dejected defensive coordinator Scott Shafer outside section 22 gripping the handrails, head down drenched with sweat. He was waiting for the crowd to clear so he could get down onto the field and into the lockerroom. Shafer looked like someone just shot his dog; here’s a terrible photo but you get the idea:
Obviously this was huge emotional experience for all the coaches and players and you can understand if these guys were devastated. It was really ugly for most the game and if not for a few breaks and dumb Utah penalties this game could have been out of hand early in the second half.
A few takes:
* I had a hunch we’d lose this game but not like that. A lot of people left the game midway into the fourth quarter when M was down 15 and I didn’t blame them, the game seemed way out of reach. RR’s got to find a way to run the ball. Can you imagine this team trying to hold a lead and eat clock? We’re miles from a Chris Perry 22 play drive that kills 11 minutes.
* Apparantly the quarterback race wasn’t really close- Rodriguez said both guys might play but he didn’t want to put Threet in there or he would have in the second quarter. I’m not going to trash Sheridan but will offer that two of his first half passes (one was picked) were the worst I think I’ve ever seen in this stadium. I’m guessing those watching on TV might not grasp how really awful some of these passes were.
* I couldn’t believe Utah didn’t let that ridiculous kicker Sakoda aka Kicky Longstocking try another 53 yarder in the third quarter, a few minutes after he had just nailed one into the same direction. That dude was just silly.
* We ran into a few Ute fans after the game downtown – they were great. A couple of them wanted to put a foot in coach Kyle Whittingham’s keister for shutting down the passing game in the second half, but other than that, they were thrilled to get this win. Looking at their schedule, these guys think they just might make some noise if they can beat rival BYU.
* Yes, we would have lost big to Central Michigan.
* They’ve got a team of guys on the sidelines that hold up signs across the field indicating the special teams unit that may hit the field on the next play:
* Yes, we’ve got a male ‘twirler’ in the marching band, a nice gent from Dexter who seemed to have a good command of the baton. Somehow I had already heard or read this which officially makes me a bonafide nerd. What’s next, a dude tending bar at Fraser’s Pub?
* I’ve now seen four teams this season run that whack-ass punt formation: Eastern Illinois, Central Michigan, Utah and the M. I guess I don’t see what’s wrong with what we had last year but I give Mesko a lot of credit, he hit some really nice punts on the run especially the one that appeared to be a run or punt option in the fourth.
* The crowd was as hyped up before a game as I can remember. The players end their pregame routine with this drill; players run in a giant circle around Barwis then gather in the center. As described by the Ann Arbor News:
Michigan strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis stood in the center of a circle of players during pregame warm-ups. As usual, his enthusiasm was evident – screaming at players and bumping shoulders with them as they ran toward him. The energetic drill, Barwis said, is nothing more than an exercise in spirited preparation, extending his job duties into game day.
I caught it on video: