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Win 902 will be remembered for a long time and Brady Hoke is clearly a bit charmed.
While Treezy’s ridiculous catch will naturally be the play everyone remembers, that comeback required quite a couple mistakes by Northwestern and few great plays to set up Gardner’s heave and of course to win the game in overtime.
First, let me grab my retro-spectacles to ensure my vision is 20-20. That’s better…I can see clearly now. For openers, Northwestern took that delay of game penalty on 4th down on the U-M 44. They should have just punted it there and not sacrificed the five yards. Then, with the ball at midfield, the punter hit a short, line-drive right into Gallon’s hands which is just about the worst thing that can happen. I’m assuming that Fitz told his punter to get the ball off quickly to avoid a block, but Hoke outflanked him by setting up the return to the surprise of a few folks including Brian Griese up in the ESPN booth. Then Treezy somehow was singled covered down the field before the lucky tip and the epic grab.
To Michigan’s credit, props to Hoke for calling the punt return. Heck, he even putting an extra man back there instead going with the block. Next, after Roundtree’s grab, cheers to the offense for getting down the field and lining up so quickly to set up the spike to kill the clock. Finally, was anyone out there really worried about Gibby’s kick? He’s been in that situation so many times and is absolute money– we’re actually taking the guy for granted.
Misc, Misc, Misc, et cetera:
Cheers to you. Once again #1000SSS did a very nice job with the Legends presentation. But the big props goes to fans in attendance. I wander up to the photo deck to catch the pregame activities and the roars The Ox received when Grapes announced he was at midfield was amazing. Nicely done. Here’s are all the #11s on the field once again:
Tweet: mgo-Heiko noting we’ve seen this act before:
Maintain your Dignity. I still have a lot of respect for Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern, and I would have been cool if he was the guy who replaced Rich Rod…but this was grass eating weird, gobble gobble turkey weird. I spotted his sarcastic(?) little dance from the south end zone and while I was 99% sure I had to ask the dude next to me, “Is that Fitz?”
Willie’s Head. I got a little too close to Willie the Wildcat before the game and so did Brad from MBN:
I can confirm, as the Sklar Brothers know, that the inside of Willie’s furry head smells like Doritos, Jagermeister and broken dreams.
Recent but Related:
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Ed. Steve Sapardanis aka “Dr. Sap” is back with his decals. This week I added the Editor’s Pick & added a bit to 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.
|OFFENSE||ROY ROUNDTREE – I’m sure most of you had the same reaction I did with Roundtree’s performance on Saturday – IT’S ABOUT TIME!! We knew he had it in him, it was just a matter of WHEN he would have his breakout game. Not only was he targeted more times against Northwestern than he was all year, he drew THREE pass interference calls – I don’t even know if Desmond had as many in one game. Welcome back, Treezy!|
|DEFENSE||KENNY DEMENS – He didn’t play a perfect game but he did make the tackle of his life – TWICE! It’s a play and situation you dream of as a kid growing up playing Pop Warner Football. Demens not only made the big stop to win the game on 4th Down, but he also made the stop the play before on 3rd Down! OUTSTANDING!|
|SPECIAL TEAMS||BRENDAN GIBBONS – We’ve called him, “Gibby” and “Lefty” but I think we should just call him “MONEY!” Eleven field goals in a row? That’s GOTTA be a Michigan record!|
|DEVIN GARDNER – DG was doing whatever it took to win the game yesterday. He laid out for his first score and even after Coach Hoke reminded him that the 35th President of the United States was his backup, he still kept plays and drives alive with his feet – to say nothing of the throws he was making with his right arm!|
|UNIFORM CHAMP||CHEERLEADERS – I guess I’ve been paying too much attention to the action on the field to realize that the U-M Cheerleaders have TWO sets of unis. The predominantly blue scheme caught my eye, but then I really liked the white outfits! I think it’s because the long white sleeves look very USC-ish, and I’m SOOOOO okay with that!|
|UFER MAIZE & BLUE
|Maize & Blue Bib Overall Guys – The weather was unseasonably warm yesterday, so I can’t fault the guys below for their get-up.
I just have one question: where did they get the maize & blue striped bib overalls? I know the M-Den doesn’t sell them. Might have to ask the folks at Carhartt if they carry this style! [Ed. Come on Sap! Always go to Moe’s, MVictors #1 sponsor—they’ve got them]
[Ed. Runner up: YOU – all those in an attendance for the roar you gave The Ox when he was announced before the game. I got the chills.]
|EDITOR’S PICK||The true gentlemen of SAE, who dominated FIJI in the 2012 Mud Bowl on Saturday. Photo thanks to Geoff Voss:|
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This beauty ended up in one of my filters for Michigan football memorabilia. How about three cheers for 1940s-era product marketing that loosely suggests a direct affiliation with the University of Michigan football program?
Speaking of stubborn beards…these Wolverine gentleman are not interested:
Neither is Horace Prettyman:
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Photo via MVictors. Transcript Via Sugar Bowl media relations:
Allstate Sugar Bowl Michigan Post-Game Press Conference
Head Coach Brady Hoke
Quarterback Denard Robinson
Wide Receiver and MVP Junior Hemingway
Place Kicker Brendan Gibbons
THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the official postgame press conference for the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
We’ll begin with Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. We’ve been joined by Denard Robinson, Junior Hemingway, and Brendan Gibbons.
At this time I’m going to turn it over to Coach Hoke, a few thoughts on the game, and we’ll open the floor for questions.
COACH HOKE: You know, thank you. It was a great college football game. Two teams who played extremely hard, two teams that played for each other. I think Virginia Tech and Coach Beamer, they did an excellent job, when you look at how they defended us a little bit and then offensively and then you look at the Michigan Wolverines and how our guys stayed together, complemented each other.
We talked about playing 60 minutes of Michigan football. We played about 63 and a half, I think. So I’m just real proud, real proud of our seniors, real proud of how they took this football team last January and molded it and did a tremendous job.
And we always have a tremendous legacy of Team 132 that a lot of teams are going to have to try and match up to.
THE MODERATOR: We’ve been joined by Ryan Van Bergen.
Q. Brendan, it hasn’t been a great Bowl season for kickers. You see him miss, and you go up. Just talk about what’s going through your mind at that point and how good it felt?
BRENDAN GIBBONS: It felt good to go out there. Coach Hoke and the whole Team 132 had faith in me the whole season. Coach puts us in situations, two?minute drill every Thursday practice.
And it just felt good to make the kick for the team to help the seniors go out in a good way.
Q. Junior, you seemed to get very emotional after the game. What was behind all the emotion, just the victory? Was there something else? What does it mean to get the two touchdown catches and the victory?
JUNIOR HEMINGWAY: From the beginning when the coaches first came in, you know, we had to buy in and the seniors had to get the rest of the team to do the same thing, Team 132.
It was just a hard?fought season. And to go out there and do it for the underclassmen who now have a Sugar Bowl championship under their belt and for us to leave with the Sugar Bowl championship, it just shows our hard work, our determination, our resilience. And that’s where most of the emotion came from.
Q. Coach, I’m curious: What do you think this win means for the program? Is Michigan back?
COACH HOKE: I was asked that the other day. Michigan never left. And some people may have thought that way, but Michigan never left. What it means is that we’ve got a group of guys, especially a group of seniors, who won 11 football games.
And it’s only the fifth team in the history of 132 years of Michigan football to win 11. And so it’s a significant task.
And these guys have grown as a team. We’ve grown as a football team and a staff, and there’s a lot of love and respect that we have for each other.
Q. Denard, how do you describe the way this game went, just from your perspective?
DENARD ROBINSON: I feel like this was a team that didn’t quit and we just kept fighting. We held everybody accountable for what we had to do to win.
Q. Ryan, Brady’s talked throughout the year about what this season has meant to the seniors and he’s in a way dedicated this year to seniors. Can you talk about what it meant for you ending it with so many challenges in losing Will and all that?
RYAN VAN BERGEN: We’ve had times where we had to face adversity throughout this whole season, and it kind of comes full circle for the seniors. Like you talked about, we faced a lot of adversity since we’ve been here.
This game was kind of just, you know, a microcosm for what happened to us so far as a senior class, and it’s been an amazing turnaround for this year, and I think the seniors left an amazing legacy.
Team 132 will be the fifth team in Michigan history to have 11 wins. That’s significant when you play in a program that has the tradition that Michigan has.
So we couldn’t be more proud as a senior. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys that we got the opportunity to lead. It’s a full team effort. And we just stayed strong all season. It’s a marathon.
Q. Brendan, did you know it was good when you hit it? How did you celebrate when you were absolutely sure?
BRENDAN GIBBONS: I thought it was good when I hit it. Felt good coming off my foot. How did I celebrate? I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates, and it felt good to celebrate with them.
Q. Denard said earlier in the week he wasn’t second?guessing himself, whether he made a mistake throwing the ball to Junior Hemingway. After he throws that pick looking for Junior earlier in the game, goes back in the corner, I guess, what kind of confidence does Junior instill in you and what kind of confidence does Denard instill in you and your performance today?
COACH HOKE: I’ve always had confidence in both of these guys. And when you have a big target and a guy who has great timing, which I think is part why Junior makes a lot of those catches, and has a big body and bodies some people out of the way.
And so we’ve always had a lot of confidence in that combination and sometimes you are going to make plays. And you’ve got to have guys who can make those plays, and when they’re the ones doing it, you feel pretty good about it.
Q. Junior, talk about your two catches.
JUNIOR HEMINGWAY: The first one, the play was called. I forgot what the play was. It was corners. So I saw how the DB was playing. I broke it off in front of him. I seen Denard getting ready to throw the ball, but I didn’t know who he was throwing the ball at. He threw it up and, number one, didn’t play the ball good. I caught it. I heard the safety coming over I didn’t know if he was going to take me out or what. Snatched the ball in there, ran it in for six.
And the second one, it was an all?goal play and I got behind the safety, and I was thinking in my head: Please, Denard, throw this up, please, I want you to so bad.
And he threw it up. He threw it up. And I made a play on it.
Q. Coach, a lot of people question the selection process for this game and said that maybe the teams weren’t worthy. What do you think that the result of the game and the way that it transpired says about that proposition?
COACH HOKE: Well, you know, people always are going to have an opinion, and that’s part of the beauty of college football, part of the beauty of the BCS and all that kind of stuff.
And I can tell you that team we played tonight is a pretty doggone good football team. And I think we’re a pretty good football team.
So people are going to have their opinion. We just happen to disagree with them.
Q. Brady, a couple of things kind of related maybe. If somebody had told you you weren’t going to have 200 yards of offense in this game and only have the ball for 23 minutes, how much trouble do you think you would have been in? And can you talk a little bit about what David Molk went through to even be on the field?
COACH HOKE: Well, you know, I’ll answer the second question first. David, he’s a warrior. He’s a captain on this football team. He tweaked his foot during the pregame. And our trainers did a tremendous job, our doctors.
And he has a lot of pride in Michigan and he has a lot of pride in this offense. And so it means a lot to see him come out there and perform like he did.
What was the first question?
Q. Getting it done without ??
COACH HOKE: Well, you know, you never know what you’re going to get in any game. We just gotta be able, when the time’s right and when either side of the ball needs to make a play, and we’ve done that through the course of the year.
The defense caused a turnover. We got a great turnover on the kickoff, their kickoff return, which was a big part of it. But to be honest with you, you know, you really ?? points on the board. And that’s what’s at the end of the day. We had more points.
Q. Brady, you’ve been resistant, reluctant, throughout the year to qualify whether or not this season has met or exceeded your expectations for this season. Now that it’s over, can you qualify if the season lines up with what you expected?
COACH HOKE: We go in with the expectation to win the Big Ten championship. And that won’t ever change. Winning ten games or more are part of that expectation. So we didn’t reach that goal. But I can tell you this group of guys got us a heck of a lot closer than we were before.
Q. Brendan, what was going through your mind as Virginia Tech calls time out and it’s overtime you’re lining up that kick and thinking about lining up that kick? What was going through your mind before the kick in overtime, during the timeout and all that?
BRENDAN GIBBONS: Brunette girls. Every time we were like struggling in kicking, Coach tells me to think about girls on a beach or brunette girls. So that’s what we did. Made the kick. (Laughter).
Q. Brendan, I’m curious if maybe thinking about those brunette girls you may have false started on that kick. Replays appeared to show that you jumped a little early. Do you feel you might have beat the snap coming out there?
BRENDAN GIBBONS: I moved a little bit. Not really. But it’s kind of like my false step approach. So Glanda and Drew did their job and I did mine to win the game.
Q. Denard, after giving up two field goals early, what helped you change to get the offense going?
DENARD ROBINSON: We knew the defense was stepping up making big plays. It was time for the offense to step up and make plays, and that’s what we did.
Q. Coach, out there Al talked about how this really wasn’t about execution, it was more about will. In some ways is it even more satisfying for you as a coach?
COACH HOKE: I think you’re right. And Al’s right. It was about will. When you play a game like that and we’re both ?? both teams are getting after each other ?? and I can tell you down on the field it was physical. You could hear. And guys were playing football, and you could hear football. And so it was a physical game.
The one thing that’s great about this football team is they’ve continued to stay together. And they’ve continued to complement each other. And that’s exciting. And that’s why we’ve won 11 games.
Q. Ryan, obviously in the clutches, just what happened in the end?
RYAN VAN BERGEN: I got stuck under a pile and my foot got bent down in an angle, so my foot was parallel with my shins, so that was an awkward angle. That was early in the game, and that was bothering me. I had a cut block actually fold it the other way. So I was just trying to battle it off.
This was my last game. Unless I saw a bone, I was going to try to stay in and fighting that off. The guys behind me, they filled the role really well. Jibreel Black did a great job at the end of the game.
Q. We talked about after the Ohio State game what this senior class means to you. After a game like this, a win like this, how are you going to remember them? How are you going to remember the team and how they set the foundation for your first year?
COACH HOKE: These guys have left a mark and one that ?? I can tell you, the senior class, we’ll always remember and always be proud to say that we had the privilege and the opportunity to coach them.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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