Gilliam, the Badger: Man, I hate Northwestern. I don’t even know what to say. Near the end of the game, the sideline reporter said that NU’s sideline had been up all game, but the Badgers were equally as quiet. When you’re a surprising 8-2, and have a chance to tie for the B10 title (until the Buckeyes won), tell me how you have a hard time getting up for the game on the sideline? That being said, with under two minutes to go, we’re driving for the go-ahead score. But turnovers, mistakes, and yet another NU QB that throws for 350 yards let most of the air out of Bucky’s New Year’s Day plans. Fortunately, the athletic department bought Bowl insurance this year, and everyone’s headed to Honolulu in two weeks to take on the middle of the WAC Rainbow Warriors.
Lew: I was proud of Michigan’s effort, especially on defense. Brandon Graham has now equaled David Harris as the two best defensive players I’ve ever seen in a Michigan uniform (certainly the most fun to watch from a pure aggression standpoint). Michigan didn’t seem to have any answers offensively, and our best plays all seemed to come off broken plays. I can’t be too hard on Tate — he’s an exciting player and he should benefit greatly from experience. The interceptions were more a result of OSU’s defense, in my opinion. Michigan couldn’t run the ball at all, mustering only 80 yards on the ground (Brandon Minor would have helped, but I’m not sure how much) and Tate was just trying to make plays. The way OSU defended the run (weak side end staying home and LBs scraping downhill perfectly on just about every attempt) has me worried about the long-term viability of the run-based spread in this league against top-tier teams. Pure dual threat guys who can run and pass at a level sufficient to open up the pass or run game when one isn’t effective are few and far between. I’m more optimistic that the defense will become dominant sooner than the offense.
I too was disappointed by the number of OSU fans in the crowd, but I don’t blame folks for selling tickets. The more depressing thing to me was the crowd reaction to the ’69 video montage. The timing for it couldn’t have been worse, right after OSU’s first score, but I expected a huge cheer when Bo’s face appeared and all the crowd could muster was a polite smattering of applause. It’s been a long two years.
Schlimmy the Buckeye: Well we got to see "Tresselball" at its best on Saturday, a conservative and boring offense that runs the ball 75% of the time, and a defense with a bend but don’t break philosophy, the total yards in the game were nearly identical but turnovers obviously doomed Michigan’s upset bid. Now it’s wait and see for the Buckeyes to see who they will play in the Rose Bowl, more than likely it will be Oregon which I think would be a horrible match up for the Buckeyes. I may be against the crowd here but for the Big Ten’s sake I hope they do NOT get a second BCS bid, since every other team would "move up" a game and play a stronger opponent, that would simply set things up for another disastrous bowl season for the league, hopefully they can prove me wrong but the league can’t have another 2-5 bowl record and expect to get props from around the country.
Biggie, the Spartan: Maybe Lew was right :^( about the direction of this program. What an absolute debacle at Spartan Stadium yesterday.
I have it on good authority that Greg Jones parents made the walk with the team from the Kellogg Center to the stadium on “Senior Day”. This sucks because it most likely means that #53 is going to declare for the NFL Draft. Can’t blame him but I am going to miss watching this guy on Saturday’s. He is one of my all time favorite Spartans.
To all the Spartan faithful….
“In the meantime, I hear Michigan State plays this game with an orange sphere and two peach baskets. Apparently they’re quite good in their matches, and if you need a break from fishing the remote control out from your drywall, that’d be your best bet.” – Pete Rossman, www.theonlycolors.com