02. January 2016 · Comments Off on Ten Win Citrus Bowl Champions | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: ,

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The final decals of the year delivered by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis.  Well done Sap!  I added the editor’s pick for sweaty Harbs.

For me, a ten win season is top notch.  Only the best teams in Michigan Football history can say they had a double-digit win season.  For this team to finish with a Citrus Bowl victory and possibly a top ten national ranking, is a testament to their work and improvement each week.   What can you say about this coaching staff?  Jim has assembled a tremendous group and the way they dominated this Gator squad spoke volumes to their preparation and in-game management and execution.

To the seniors who stuck around and stayed – you are Champions!

Speaking of, here are your Citrus Bowl Game Champions:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – Hands down, Jake Rudock was the straw that was stirring the Michigan Offensive drink today.  The turnaround in his play from the beginning of the season to the Citrus Bowl against Florida was remarkable.  It brought to mind two other amazing QB head-turning performances that I can recall in Michigan Football history: Steve Smith in 1983 and Tom Brady in 1999.  Once Smith had his harness removed from a separated shoulder earlier in 1983, #16 responded with three amazing performances to finish his career as a Wolverine.  Tom Brady became Tom Brady in the last three games of his Wolverine career as well.

Jake

Performances against Penn State, Ohio State and Alabama showed everyone why Lloyd Carr wanted #10 to just wait for his turn for good things to happen.  Can you imagine what Jake Rudock would be like after spending 3 or 4 years with Harbaugh and this staff?  While we won’t see it with Rudock per se, I have a feeling we will see that metamorphosis with the next Michigan QB.  Can’t wait!  When Rudock was interviewed after the game by Dr. Jerry Punch and he informed #15 that he was only the second QB in Michigan history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season, you could see Rudock get choked up – awesome!  While he was the QB for just one season, Jake Rudock left an indelible mark on Michigan Football.  Thanks for a great and memorable year to the guy his teammates call “Dad!”

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – The entire D-Line played outstanding against the Gators, today.  Guys like Chris Wormley, Taco Charlton, Maurice Hurst, Jr. and Royce Jenkins-Stone looked like an SEC line that just stuffs the run and forces the opponent to be one-dimensional.  I love that formula for defensive success and if that is a sign of things to come, look out – that just makes the rest of the defense that much better.  I don’t see much drop off in play for the defense next year and that bodes well for tough games on the road at East Lansing and Columbus in 2016.

SPECIAL TEAMS – We all knew that Kenny Allen had quite the leg this year.  His field goal accuracy this season was outstanding and he showed that against Florida on Saturday with two more three-pointers.  But what surprised me was two things – (1) Michigan only punted once in this Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and (2) Kenny Allen boomed that punt 57 yards!  Holy Schnikees that was impressive!!

UFER FAN CHAMPIONS – As I watched the game on TV, I was thrilled to see so much maize and blue in the stadium on Saturday.  But what made me smile was the “Let’s Go Blue” chant I heard from the Michigan faithful in the stands.

Fans Via mgoblue.com

I can’t EVER remember hearing that at a Michigan Bowl Game.  That was great to hear!  As Ufe would say, “God bless your cotton-pickin’ maize and blue hearts!”

EDITOR’S CHOICE:  To Coach Harbs, for wearing his coaching M sweatshirt the entire game in the Florida heat.  It was drenched and wrapped around him like foil midway through the 2nd quarter:

Harbs

Bad call!  But he didn’t flinch and wore it the whole game, and according to Niyo, even the entire week during practice.  I was in Florida – it was hot bro!

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern: Jehu Chesson, Jourdan Lewis, Offensive Line, (Uniform: Maize and Blue gloves).
    • Michigan State:  No Champions
    • Minnesota: Wilton Speight, Michigan defense, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Stickers crossing the stripes! :O)
    • Rutgers: Jake Rudock, Taco Charlton, Jim Harbaugh
    • Indiana: Jake Rudock, Jehu Chesson, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Coaching staff, (Uniform: #CHADTOUGH on helmets)
    • Penn State: Jake Rudock, Jourdan Lewis, Taco Charlton, Michigan Coaching Staff
    • Ohio State: Jehu Chesson, Jehu Chesson again (Special Teams)
    • Florida (Citrus Bowl): Jake Rudock, D-Line, Kenny Allen, the Michigan Faithful in Orlando, Coach Harbaugh

 

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22. November 2015 · Comments Off on Leaving Happy Valley Happy | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , ,
Lewis return

mgoblue.com

A big win in Happy Valley for the Wolverines and for the first time since 1997, Michigan has won ALL of their B1G Road Games – can you believe that?  That shows you the type of effort involved and how special this team is.

Speaking of Special – let’s take a look at your Champions.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Most of the time, Special Teams will flip the field with a long punt. Saturday, Jourdan Lewis not only flipped the field, he flipped momentum in the game at a most critical time. While Penn State settled for a field goal to make it a 5-point game midway through the 4th quarter, Lewis’s 55-yard kickoff return set the table for Michigan to ice the game. While the Wolverines’ Special Teams were not exactly stellar all game, this return erased the block punt earlier in the contest and provided a much needed spark.

OFFENSIVE TEAM CHAMPIONJake Rudock is the man! Plain and simple. We are seeing now, what Jim Harbaugh saw in #15 months ago. Calm. Cool. Accurate. Heady. Sure, he fumbled, and threw a pick when he locked onto a receiver in the game, but he is starting to play Brian Griese-esque. He makes good decisions and my gosh is he accurate! I’m not saying he is flawless but “Dad” as the guys on the team call him is getting it done. Nice going, Pops!

DEFENSIVE TEAM CHAMPION – I said last week that a team or unit can get into a quarterback’s mind and intimidate him. Well, I think the D-Line got into the head of the PSU OC. Was it just me, or did they all but abandon the running game early in the second half? I credit Taco Charlton who had two sacks and the rest of the D-Line for putting Christian Hackenberg on the ground and forcing PSU out of their comfort zone. A great D starts with an intimidating D-Line, and we got one.

harbaugh

mgoblue.com

COACHING STAFF – I counted at least four times during the game on Saturday when I credited a play call, or play result due to the decision of the Michigan Coaching Staff. When you marry talent and depth with superior coaching intellect, good things are going to happen. You do realize that this team can win 11 games this year, don’t you?  Coaching.

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern: Jehu Chesson, Jourdan Lewis, Offensive Line, (Uniform: Maize and Blue gloves).
    • Michigan State:  No Champions
    • Minnesota: Wilton Speight, Michigan defense, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Stickers crossing the stripes! :O)
    • Rutgers: Jake Rudock, Taco Charlton, Jim Harbaugh
    • Indiana: Jake Rudock, Jehu Chesson, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Coaching staff, (Uniform: #CHADTOUGH on helmets)
    • Penn State: Jake Rudock, Jourdan Lewis, Taco Charlton, Michigan Coaching Staff

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15. November 2015 · Comments Off on Double OT Hoosier Champions | Dr Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

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WoW – what a finish!  Take the W and get out of Bloomington.  A win is a win. Now it’s onward – to your Champions.

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – When things start to click, your game becomes one with your teammates.  Plays that weren’t being made before, suddenly look like old hat.  Jake Rudock is starting to click, but more importantly, he’s clicking with Jehu Chesson.  That deep threat wasn’t there earlier in the season, but in these last two games, especially against Indiana, Jake Rudock to Jehu Chesson has been money.  The two had record-setting performances Saturday night and it’s a perfect time in the season for this to happen.  The threat of a deep passing game can only help the Michigan offense these next two games.  Jake to Jehu – sounds much like another great Michigan QB to WR combination: Benny (Friedman) to Bennie (Oosterbaan).

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Playing against a spread offense like IU only brings out the worst in your defense.  It exposes lack of depth.  It exposes poor tackling in open space.  It’s never a pretty picture on D.  As the game wore on, and as IU’s Jordan Howard kept ripping off huge run after huge run, I wasn’t going to select a Champion on defense.  It just felt as if I would be rewarding the player who got torched the least.  Throughout the game I noticed Delano Hill was not getting burned as much, so I was leaning towards him.  In overtime I kept thinking that just one player needed to make a play.  It was only fitting that Delano Hill made THE play – AWESOME!!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPIONJourdan Lewis is making a case for being a two-way player.  I got no problem with him returning kickoffs.  He has the open field vision to “run where they ain’t” and that’s critical on kick returns.  While Jabrill can do the job back there, Jourdan is showing everybody that there is no major drop off with #26 returning kicks.

COACHING STAFF – Maybe it’s just me, but I truly believe the timeout Michigan took in overtime when IU had the ball on their last possession, really made a difference.  I think the Indiana coaching staff took the extra time to out-think themselves. Instead of going Beast-mode, they went to the air and, well…we know how that turned out!  I know it’s an old saying, but I gotta say it: “Hoosier Daddy?”

UNIFORM CHAMPION – So cool to see the entire Michigan team write “#ChadTough” in their own personal way on the back of their helmets.

chad Tough

A special tribute to a special kid.  A touching and class act by the Michigan Family.  GO BLUE!!  GO CHAD!!

Virtual Sap helmet:

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Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern: Jehu Chesson, Jourdan Lewis, Offensive Line, (Uniform: Maize and Blue gloves).
    • Michigan State:  No Champions
    • Minnesota: Wilton Speight, Michigan defense, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Stickers crossing the stripes! :O)
    • Rutgers: Jake Rudock, Taco Charlton, Jim Harbaugh
    • Indiana: Jake Rudock, Jehu Chesson, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Coaching staff, (Uniform: #CHADTOUGH on helmets)
08. November 2015 · Comments Off on Scarlet Knight Knockout | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , ,

I know Rutgers is not Ohio State, even though their uniforms may look the same but nonetheless a win is a win, and when other Big Ten teams are losing, Michigan just needs to keep winning.

So, with that in mind…ONWARD–to your Champions!

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION –  As I watched Jake Rudock warmup before the game from the sideline (thanks IMG & Carhartt [Ed. this coat is sweet!]), he looked tentative and tight and I wondered how healthy #15 would be come game time. Well, 337 passing yards later, it was pretty obvious how healthy he was.  I’m not saying that Jake Rudock is Rick Leach, but he did throw for two TD’s and ran for another – much like the old Guts and Glue of the Maize and Blue did in his day.  Rudock’s TD run into the north endzone corner reminded me of another touchdown that old #7 scored back in 1977 in the same endzone.  It looked like this (something that I put together a few years ago):

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – So many defensive guys played rock solid on Saturday, but Taco Charlton stood out in my mind.  He may not have had the best game statistically (3 tackles and 1 sack) but he seemed disruptive throughout the game and I think that is why Rutgers had zero passing yards for most of the first half.  If that D-Line is not getting to the QB, I think they are least getting into the MIND of the opposing team’s QB – just as good in my opinion!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Not saying that no one deserved mention but…the placekicker missed a field goal.  The punter didn’t boot one until the 4th quarter.  Rutgers returned a kickoff for a touchdown…so yeah – got some work to do here.

HEAD COACH – I wondered why Rudock and the offensive starters were still playing in the 4th quarter when the game was obviously not in doubt.  Something must have happened, but what?  Then I found out about what transpired in the tunnel at halftime.  When your team gets called out like the Rutgers players did in the tunnel, coach Jim Harbaugh felt – like Kid Rock so aptly put it – SOMEBODY’S GOTTA FEEL THIS!  So while other Michigan coaches may have taken a knee with the game no longer in question, coach Harbaugh took a knee to the head of Rutgers – and I soo dig that!  You know why?  CUZ SOMEBODY’S GOTTA FEEL THIS!!!  GO BLUE!!

Because one side of my virtual helmet is full of stickers, it’s time to fill up the other side:

image

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern: Jehu Chesson, Jourdan Lewis, Offensive Line, (Uniform: Maize and Blue gloves).
    • Michigan State:  No Champions
    • Minnesota: Wilton Speight, Michigan defense, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Stickers crossing the stripes! :O)
    • Rutgers: Jack Rudock, Taco Charlton, Jim Harbaugh
01. November 2015 · Comments Off on Little Brown Jug Champions | Dr Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

The last time Minnesota won the Little Brown Jug in Minneapolis, Marion Barber SENIOR was the running back for The Gophers.  That was back in 1977, when Michigan was #1 in country and Jim Harbaugh was roaming the sidelines for the Wolverines – as one of the Michigan Coaches’ sons!

Michigan1977

Like Wilton Speight said, maybe the Football Gods WERE smiling down on Michigan Saturday night.  Speaking of #3, here are your LBJ Champions:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – Gotta give it to QB Wilton Speight.  His first three completions in his career?  WoW!  He was obviously tight at first but it sounded like the old ball coach settled him down and stuck with him.

Wilton

Sure enough, he delivered the goods in a BIG way – especially on that 2-point conversion pass.  He has come a long way since the verbal tongue-lashing he received from Coach Harbaugh that we saw on the HBO Real Sports feature a few months ago.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I haven’t seen a game end on a defensive stop since the 2012 OT Game against Northwestern when Kenny Demens made the pivotal play.

Line Stop

But this one felt a lot like the 1993 Michigan – Penn State Game at Happy Valley.  Michigan stopped JoePa and the Nittany Lions 4 times at the goal line back then.

93PSU4

I thought The Gophers would QB Sneak it the play before, but it was obvious the Michigan D was waiting for them on the last play of the game.  Incredible!

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – I’ve said it before that Jabrill Peppers makes a HUGE impact returning punts and last night was another example of that.  I’m not sure  I have ever seen a return man field so many punts, not just on the run, but at full speed!  Just wish he hadn’t tried to truck the punter on that one kick because he would have had two TD’s the Woodson Way – one on Offense and one on Special Teams.  Don’t worry – it’ll happen.

UNIFORM CHAMPION – Gotta give it to Jabrill for placing his helmet stickers BETWEEN the stripes on the back of his helmet!  In all my years of following Michigan Football, I have NEVER seen a player put his stickers there.

Peppers Decals

It may have been considered sacred real estate on the helmet in the past, but I guess if anyone is going to do it, I got no problem with #5 putting his helmet stickers there. [Ed. Et tu, Dr.  Sap!  This can’t go on! ]

COACHES – From the entire Michigan Coaching Staff keeping this team’s collective heads up after the MSU heartbreaker, to Harbaugh coaching up Speight late in this game, to DJ Durkin’s Destroyers being ready for The Gophers on the goal line, this entire coaching staff deserves a helmet sticker for last night’s win.  The old football saying, that sometimes you lose a game five times, but you gotta find a way to win it the 6th time, never rang more true than it did against Minnesota.  Bob Ufer used to say that football was a “Game of Emotions,” and he was right.  Jerry Kill and Minnesota played the “Emotion” card Saturday night, but Michigan pulled trump and played the “Never Say Die” Card.  GO BLUE!  It’s nice to have the Jug back in Ann Arbor!

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Like Peppers’ headgear, Sap’s virtual helmet is out of real estate and looking for new property!

Virtual Decal MVictors Helmet WK9

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern: Jehu Chesson, Jourdan Lewis, Offensive Line, (Uniform: Maize and Blue gloves).
    • Michigan State:  No Champions
    • Minnesota: Wilton Speight, Michigan defense, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Stickers crossing the stripes! :O)

 

 

 

 

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11. October 2015 · Comments Off on Wildcat Goose Egg Champions | Dr. Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

I was there at Michigan Stadium when this last happened.  

When Michigan last rolled out three straight shutouts, I had the same reaction in 1980 as I did on Saturday – “Wow!  Didn’t see that coming!!”Granted, 35 years ago the Wolverines stymied some pretty good QB’s, with one of them being the all-time leading passer in NCAA history, but as the old hockey saying goes, “They don’t ask how – they just ask how many.”  So true and so impressive.   Even more impressive are this week’s Champions:

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION – Typically the Special Teams Champion gets also-ran, ho-hum coverage – not anymore!  I’ve played on enough teams and watched enough football to realize that the truly great teams end up getting contributions from different players each week.  Saturday against Northwestern was a classic example.  In recent weeks I have mentioned how the defense may have set the tone early in the game with an INT, or how the offense may have set the tone by dominating and driving for an early score.  Well, Jehu Chesson sent a message that hasn’t been sent since Tyrone Wheatley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Houston in 1992.  We’ve all seen how masterful Coach Baxter has been with these Special Teams in the first six games.  They are starting to look quite special indeed.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Like I said, three straight shutouts is three straight shutouts – even if they have been against freshman QB’s.  Nonetheless, like Chris Speilman said a couple of weeks ago, the Big Ten has been put on notice – this team and this defense is for real.  Jourdan Lewis‘s pick-six was an unbelievable play and just the defensive exclamation point needed to remind Northwestern that there was not going to be any overtime in this year’s game. 

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – There was a reason Joe Kerridge ran for 34 yards on a fullback dive play.  There was a reason nine Wolverines carried the ball for over 200 yards.  There was a reason Jake Rudock went 17 of 23 for 179 yards passing.  The offensive line imposed their will on the Wildcats, but more importantly they played with a quiet confidence and swagger that we haven’t seen from a Michigan o-Line in a loooong time. 

UNIFORM CHAMPION – I do like those maize and blue gloves worn by most of the defense on Saturday.  Could that be the reason Northwestern missed their field goal early in the game?  You have to admit, they do catch your eye.  Wonder if that’s what the Wildcat kicker was looking at when his kick went awry?  Think about it – those gloves preserved the shutout and the shutout streak!  OK, maybe not. 

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

    • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
    • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
    • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
    • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh
    • Maryland: Drake Johnson, Desmond Morgan, Kenny Allen, (Uniform: Blue lyrca leggings).
    • Northwestern:

Sap’s virtual helmet for those keeping score (it’s starting to look like Peppers!):

sap helmet

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27. September 2015 · Comments Off on 1984 Holiday Bowl Avenged! | Dr Sap’s Decals · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

UGPtop

1984 Holiday Bowl Michigan BYU

For those of you who weren’t old enough to endure the no-holding-calls-ever-made-against-BYU-1984-Holiday-Bowl-disaster, this shutout avenged some of that bitter taste. So you’ll have to excuse me if I enjoy this 31-0 shutout just a little more than any other win this year.  Alright, enough of that – here are your BYU-1st-shutout-of-the-year-Champions:

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – Could have gone several ways here, (OBJ Darboh, De’Veon Smith, heck, O-Line for that matter), but I’m going with the guy under center – Jake Rudock.  Sure, I loved seeing a Michigan QB RUN for two touchdowns, but it was WAAAY more than that.  He looked comfortable running the offense.  He threw the ball well downfield – in part to the kick-start provided by OBJ Darboh – and he had no turnovers against the Cougars.  Do you realize his turnovers have gone down each game this year?  Utah (3), Oregon State (2), UNLV (1) and now BYU (0).  Umm – I’ll take that ANY DAY!

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Last week I mentioned that Channing Stribling set the tone on D with his early INT.  This week, the D-LINE came out and made a statement against BYU.  Seemed like each series there was a different guy getting penetration and that is a good sign!  When BYU had only completed 2 passes in the first half, I thought I was watching an old Rose Bowl from the 1970’s!  Are you kidding me – 2 completions??  Holy Durkin’s Destroyers, Batman!!  And then for BYU to only finish with 105 yards and 8 first downs – wow!!  Tenacity, technique, depth and coaching – now there’s a potent combination.

SPECIAL TEAMS – I almost didn’t award one because there wasn’t anything scintillating out there on Special Teams – and that’s when it hit me.  Do you realize how smart and important it is that Jabrill Peppers fields, or at least makes the attempt to field, each punt?  Not only does it give him a chance to go all the way, it also improves field position for the offense.  There were years, sometimes it felt like decades, where it seemed like Michigan never had a returner who made a concerted effort to catch the ball before it took a twenty-yard roll and ended up being downed at the Wolverine 10-yard line.  Don’t think that detail is glossed over with this coaching staff.  Talent plays a role here for sure, but so does coaching. 

UNIFORM CHAMPION – Maybe it was because AC, Anthony Carter, was in the house, but I gotta give it up to Drake Harris, Freddy Canteen, and even Maurice Ways & Drake Johnson for hiking up those white socks all the way up the their knees.

via mgoblue.com

Remember, we’re wearing football socks – not tennis socks.  Get ’em up!!

CITIZENSHIP CHAMPION – You may not realize how fortunate you are for having being born in this great country, but don’t ever take that for granted.  This week was another reminder of how special it is to be an American.  Amara Darboh is now a United States Citizen, and believe me, take it from a fellow naturalized U.S. Citizen, it IS a BIG DEAL!  

Amara Darboh - mgoblue.com

It’s probably why Darboh went all Odell Beckham, Jr. like on that 1st quarter catch!  

Darboh catch

Decal for you, #82, and congratulations!

 

Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

  • Utah: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Blake O’Neill, (Uniform: White Road Uniforms), John Kryk
  • Oregon State:  De’Veon Smith, Chris Wormley, Delano Hill, The Coaching Staff
  • UNLV:  Ty Issac, Channing Stribling, Blake O’Neill
  • BYU: Jake Rudock, Defensive Line, Jabrill Peppers, (Uniform: Properly Hiked up White Socks), Amara Darboh

 

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20. September 2015 · Comments Off on Dr Sap’s Decals: Rolling over the Rebels · Categories: 2015 · Tags: , , , , ,

UM_Fall2015Ads_MVictors_631x29

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION – When I saw Ty Isaac take it to the house for 76 yards, he looked like the A-Train Version 2.0. Anthony Thomas more or less rumbled or trucked when he carried the rock back in the day. Isaac, while sharing the same number, appears to glide or “motor” effortlessly when he gets in the open field. I’m good with that! I’ll take 76-yard touchdown runs any day no matter how easy #32 makes it look.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – Channing Stribling’s interception on UNLV’s first drive set the tone for the Michigan Defense. If the opponent wants to take the football to start the game, Durkin’s D has to let them know that they will not be able to move the ball and that’s what #8 did. The INT was emotionally charging for Michigan and emotionally deflating for UNLV. 

SPECIAL TEAMS – Blake O’Neill did it again! Not one, but TWO punts downed inside the opponent’s own 20-yard line. When your defense is playing like Michigan’s was today, and your punter makes the opposition go more than 80 yards for a score, that is a great combination and a recipe for success. Baxter’s effect on special teams is already evident. What’s next – a blocked punt? I think so!!!

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Here’s Sap’s virtual helmet updated with the three additional stickers he’s awarded to date:

Dr. Sap Decals - 2015 UNLV Decals dealt out in previous weeks:

 

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07. September 2015 · Comments Off on Dr. Sap’s Decals – Bumper Stickers for the Utes · Categories: 2015 · Tags: ,

1969 BO Decals Bo reveals his “bumper stickers” in 1969 (via the illustrious Dr. Sap Archives)

Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis returns with his decal-worthy champions for the games.  I’ve always said we’d do this until the helmet stickers return.  Will they return in 2015?    In the meantime:

  • Offensive Champion – I thought Jake Butt showed that he is ready to have a huge, breakout year. The play-action waggle play that Brian Griese brought to prominence back in the late 1990’s is going to be the bread and butter of this offense – provided Michigan can run the ball better than what they did last night – and no one is going to benefit more from this play than Butt. His touchdown grab was money and showed that he is ready to be the go-to-guy on offense.
  • Defensive Champion – What can I say about Jabrill Peppers? I have never seen a defender make blockers miss and use the swim-technique so well and so fluidly to get to the ball like #5 did last night. You can see that this guy has been coached well and has been blessed with some tremendous talent. The scary part? He is only going to get better!
  • Special Teams Champion – I liked how Blake O’Neill effectively used his Aussie punting style to flip field position and limit the Utes to just one return for only 14 yards. One punt was downed near the goalline and another went for 50 yards – I’ll take that every game.

Here’s Sap’s virtual helmet updated to honor Butt, Pep, and O’Neill:

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  • Uniform Champion – I gotta say, it was so cool to see the all-white uniforms once again! Michigan wore them from 1973-1975 (Uniform Timeline) and they looked just as sweet as they did when guys like Dennis Franklin, Gordon Bell and Rick Leach wore them back in the day. I was expecting to see the maize hue of the helmets look more orangey than they did, but they looked good – must be the flakes or speckles in the paint that gave them a less orangey look than I expected.
  • Ufer Fan Champion – My good friend and author, John Kryk (Stagg vs. Yost) lives in Canada and that means he is at the mercy of Canadian Cable Television (and hockey coverage) when it comes to watching sports on Canuck TV. Yesterday afternoon, he discovered that Canadian Cable giant, Rogers Cable, was not going to be airing the Fox Sports 1 Channel. For Kryk and the rest of Canada – at least the entire province of Ontario – that meant no coverage of the Michigan-Utah game. Before he decided to make plans to watch the game in Buffalo, NY or Port Huron, MI, Kryk put in a call to a contact he had at Rogers Cable. Long story short – Rogers Cable made a programming change and aired the Michigan-Utah game last night. To quote Michigan grad James Earl Jones, “Impressive! Most impressive!”

 

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