Sap has stuck through the decals this season thick or thin (except when it got really thin that one time). Decals for Northwestern, once again Editor’s Pick and Ufe selections are mine
|OFFENSIVE CHAMPION||DEVIN GARDNER – I gotta be honest with ya – I watched this offense sputter its way to a 3rd down conversion goose-egg during regulation and I thought, “How can I pick a “Champion” from this offense?” Sure Gardner still has his shortcomings, and yes he still doesn’t set & plant his feet on every throw (probably due to defensive lineman in his face all game), but when he scored in the 3rd overtime – on an OPTION RUN no less – I felt VERY happy for the guy. New 98 never gave up – just what a true leader does. Nice going DG!|
|DEFENSIVE CHAMPION||THOMAS GORDON – Aside from the game-clinching INT, Gordon was solid all game. He delivered a smack-down shot on Wildcat QB Kain Colter in the 1st quarter and then snuffed out an option run in the 2nd period. He brought the wood like I haven’t seen in a UM secondary in a LONG, LONG time. Dude was sending a message all game and I dig that from the defensive secondary!|
|SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION||DREW DILEO – Not only did he slide into position for the game-tying kick, he also got the snap down in the 2nd overtime. Remember when I said a few weeks ago that it was important to have an athlete back there holding for kicks? Do you think a punter or backup QB makes those plays? I’ll stick with #9 thank you very much.|
|DERRICK GREEN – #27 ran hard and looked good carrying the water-logged rock for UM. I think he gave the offense a little bit of an edge or attitude – something that has been lacking for a few weeks. He still ran into lineman instead of holes that weren’t there, but when there WAS daylight a few times, he hit it hard and with confidence. He’s only going to get better – I hope.|
|EDITOR’S PICK||BRENDAN GIBBONS – As I said special teams won this game, and I have to give the decal to the guy who made the biggest play.
|UNIFORM CHAMP||ELBOW (NOT WRIST) BANDS – Seems like almost every player is now wearing what I like to refer to as “Elbow Bands.” You can’t really call them wrist bands because they’re too thin and they are worn higher up the arm – closer to the elbow than the wrist. I’ve seen them for a few years now, and they are becoming a staple of the Wolverine uniform. But are they “new?”
Not really. Back in 1975 UM tailback Gordon Bell decided to take the traditional wrist band & wear it – you guessed it – higher up his arm, closer to his elbow. “Little Gordy Bell” as Bob Ufer liked to call him probably didn’t realize he was setting a football fashion trend some 38 years ago! NICE!
|ROBERT FROST UFER MAIZE & BLUE
|DIEHARDS – The wind and rain was the easy part. Ryan Field was once again packed with M diehards who bought tickets, showed up and stayed despite the state of affairs. They got a big payoff and they all get a decal:
Runner up – S.O.S – This poor soul suffered enough going into Saturday’s game. Then from row 1 saw the drops, the Gibby hustle, and another fat L for the Cats. College football is crazy man.
And a side note: the NW fans deserve a little love for counting down the final seconds for us at the end of regulation. You have to wonder if that helped the snapper.