09. November 2006 · Comments Off on Comedy of Errors, Irish Stop Michigan in 2002 · Categories: Archive 2002, Fans, Notre Dame, Refs & Rules, Road Trips


Comedy of Errors In South Bend, Michigan’s Sloppy play hands game to Irish
Traveling down to South Bend is always an epic time. Brian Kunde, Ted McDowell, Kelley Kuehne and Greg Dooley stayed down at the Inn at St. Mary’s on Friday night in order to get an early start on gameday. Notre Dame defeated Michigan today in a very sloppy game. Here are some photos (all pictures by the webmaster) from campus and from the game.

Now to the game: In sum, while I’ve seen Michigan play poorly in certain stretches of games, I’ve never seen the volume of big mistakes as seen on Saturday. Except for the last scoring drive, M consistently made major errors throughout the game. Fumbles, dumb penalties, dropped passes, poor passes, defensive breakdowns seemed to be the norm. It got to the point where we were just waiting for the next screw-up. Here is my breakdown:

Navarre: It wasn’t his fault. As we limped out of the stadium, some old M man muttered “Navarre sucks”. Sometime he does, but he delivered the ball when he needed to. He missed many receivers and rarely put the ball exactly where he needed, but he was close enough. He stepped up in the pockets and moved the ball around as needed. One take: You have to be concerned that Michigan doesn’t have a better option right now. I get the sense that Brinton is no good but Carr wants to avoid playing the freshman Gutierrez. I think he should play him. Grade: C+

Receivers: Butterfingers. Grade: D

Play Calling: One of my pet peeves are people that rip on Michigan’s play calling. The old take that M doesn’t mix it up enough on offense is simply not true. That said, calling a reverse to the weak side of the field when inside the red zone was baffling. Grade: B-

Notre Dame fans: Other than the two people behind us begging the entire stadium to “sit down” and the dude in front of us wearing a shirt that read “It Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy”, the ND fans were cool. A pivotal moment came near the end of the game when these two annoying groups squared off: The “sit down” people spotted cheese-boy standing and yelled out, “Time to sit down, Cheesy”. This prompted a rare smile on nearby M fans.Grade: A-

M Special Teams: Poor tackling, the line allowed that field goal try get blocked. Curry did a nice job on punt returns. Brabbs’ fumble recovery was classic. Grade: B-

ND Campus: Outstanding. Walking up to the game past the Grotto and through campus (even with some guys with ants in their pants) was memorable. Grade: A

M Defense: Poor tackling and a few big breakdowns. The hitting was very hard (ND will be sore for the State game) and the pursuit was good. Grade: C+

Refs: Big Ten refs with an ND bias – what gives? The refs didn’t lose the game for M though, not even close. They definitely missed this one, another phantom TD for the Irish. Grade: D

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