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It was an odd vibe before the game.  While the atmosphere was a little more exciting than usual, probably due to the timing and the collective BAC, I asked few folks how they felt things would go in the game. 

Devin mgoblue Usually folks narrow in on a player or two or say something like ‘if we can just run the ball..’ or ‘if we don’t turn the ball over..or whatever.  Yesterday I got looks of confusion, bewilderment and/or just disinterest. 

The problem is fans don’t know up from down right now—the compass is broken, man.  It’s a bad place to be.  Last night’s win didn’t fix that but damn, it was nice to walk out of there with a win.

Speaking of up from down, these things happened:
* Players wearing blue pants
* Punt returners doing choreographed pre-punt dance routines with personally selected music blasting over the PA
* MMB doing light shows

If you told me 10 years ago that these things would eventually happen in the Big House I would have hurled.  Somehow last night each of those things worked for me (seriously).  More below.

To the game: Quick props out there to CAPTAIN Jake Ryan for getting better each week and leading the defense in putting up an inspiring performance.  And to Matt Wile for drilling those crucial field goals that proved to be the difference out there.  And finally to Devin Gardner…thank 98 if you see him about town.  He was clearly hurt but sacked up and made it back out to finish the game and make the next two weeks tolerable.

Arena
* No boycott – While there was talk of a pregame boycott there clearly was no boycott.  John (Captain Torso) Navarre went on WTKA pregame & urged students to not do it.  In fact the student section was a filled up early as it’s been all season.  I’m glad the students showed en masse.
* Section 23 Bo – This is great.  The usher all the way atop section 23 (50 yard line on the west side) affixed a Bo-bblehead doll to the wall outside the Regent’s box.  I love it:

Bo Usher

I know some of you want to stick something else outside the Regent’s box but please…maintain your dignity.

After the jump – Pomp, Uniforms, Tunnels of Love, MMB Killing it, Norfleet, MORFleet, More, more..

More »

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Dr. Sap's Decals Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis is back this season with his weekly postgame helmet stickers.  Sap would do a backflip if coach Hoke decided to reinstate this tradition that Bo brought to the team in 1969 (from Miami, OH, mind you). 

Until that day comes, Sap will bring you his game Champions who will be decorated, albeit virtually, with his helmet stickers.   I’ll typically toss in the Fan Award and the Editor’s Choice:

 

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION

OFFENSIVE LINE – Kind of stepping out on a limb here but, Derrick Green does not run for 137 yards and 2 TDs without some holes being created by the O-Line.  Derrick Green does not look like High School Derrick Green without the Big Uglies getting it done up front.

I realize the opponent was a MAC school that hadn’t won a game in almost 2 years, but I saw signs of progress by the Hosses in the trenches.  I had a feeling this line would show some addition by subtraction, and now that the 2 senior tackles have left, this unit is starting to gel.  Again, I’m not talking B1G Championship here – just saying that when you gain over 450 yards of offense, the guys up front are something right. Doing it in September is one thing.  Getting it done in November is another.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION JAKE RYAN – The Manster seemed to be all over the field on Saturday. He was back to his old self – flying around, making stops and in on tackles all over the place. He is that unit’s leader and identity and needs to continue to be the sparkplug on D.
SPECIAL TEAMS DENNIS NORFLEET – His kickoff returns gave Michigan great field position in the first quarter. Those setup the offense for a couple of short fields and early scores and conversely gave Miami poor field position when Michigan’s offense was forced to punt. Sure he was in on the muffed short kick by the Redhawks, but that was offset, in my opinion, by making a tackle on one of the Wolverine kickoffs later in the game.
UNIFORM CHAMPION

M NOSEBUMPER – It’s starting to grow on me now, after having seen it for a few games. I like the look of the “M” and to be quite honest with you, the “MICHIGAN” was kind of small and tough to make out.

nosebumper

Have you noticed that the NFL is doing the same thing by putting the team logos on the helmet nosebumpers?  It’s all about the Brand, right? 

Well, if you don’t like the “M” what about putting a snarling wolverine head inside of a yellow football up front?? ;)

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BOB UFER COTTON PICKIN’ FAN AWARD PAPA BUTT & HEADBUTT – References to our beloved tight end named Butt never get old.  Well done Butt family:
Papa Butt

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE YOUNG BUTT – Everything I hear about this guy behind this scenes points to one thing – this dude is pure gold.  Made a really nice athletic play on this touchdown catch over the shoulder.  Won’t be long before JBooty_88 becomes JBooty87..

Jake

mgoblue photo

 

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UGPtop

IMG_9623 - 98 grin

People needed an old school toilet-paper toss style beatdown on someone, and I guess it helped a weency bit that we dropped it on the source of our epic humiliation seven years ago.  Still, we needed 48 more points to erase THE HORROR from memory and in fact, officially from the NCAA record books.  Look it up.

Beyond that, I loved seeing the gaping holes in the line, it was great to see the #1 out there and there was genuine excitement when Peppers was on the field.   Looks like Jake Ryan is still getting used to the position and we need to feel him more next week.

So the general sense out there—that was fun, but now let’s block & run against a real team.  Check back in Saturday night.

Historical Games Notes:  Primarily via #1000SSS:

  • Michigan improved its record in season openers to an impressive 111-21-3.
  • With his three passing touchdowns, Gardner upped his career total to 37 and earned a share of the seventh spot among Michigan’s all-time leaders in the category. He is tied with Todd Collins (1991-94). Gardner also moved to ninth among U-M’s career leaders in total offense with 5,280 yards, passing Tom Brady (5,180, 1996-99).
  • It is the 38th time in program history that U-M boasted two or more 100-yard rushers in a single game.
  • Funchess is the first wide receiver in Michigan program history to boast three touchdown receptions in a season opener.
  • Also of note – today of course was the call for new radio crew of Dan Dierdorf and Jim Brandstatter.

Arena:  As tweeted by Craig at HSR, re: the data graphics on the scoreboards:

scoreboardAgreed – a cleaner look, better data, way easier to read and understand.

Speaking of in stadium improvements, did anyone catch the real time 1050AM radio broadcast?  How about the phone reception?

Mood UpdateThe Mood Index, the metric trying to gauge how great it is to be a Michigan Wolverine.  Up:

mood

Uniform Update:  A few updates out there on Saturday:

  • Legends jerseys.   Funchess swapped the #87 for the coveted #1 of course – details here – so #11 Wisterts, #21 Desmond Howard, and #87 Ron Kramer are currently on the shelf. 
  • Under shell.  Several of the players donned body shells under their jerseys – Team 135 on the left sleeve, Block M on the right.  My take – many players wore these shirts when they first came out but took them off before game time.  I assume they’ll be more prominent when it cools down:

Team 135

  • Nosebumper.  Confirming that the block ‘M’ nosebumper on the helmet it made it to the field (this was a question as recently as Media Day).  Here’s how they look:

Photo Aug 30, 10 47 18 AM

Wondering how they affixed that thing to the helmet and if/when one of them will pop off after a collision. 

This is the first significant change to the nosebumper since the 1985 season when the MICHIGAN label replaced the name of the helmet vendor:

Michigan nosebumper Sidenote: It did appear the shade of maize on the helmets (and only the helmets) was a tad darker this year.  Discussed here.

Uniform Timeline updated.

Hagerup’s kicks:  FWIW:

Hagerup

 

I’m calling you Chicken while looking cool:  Nice — the folks at Carhartt poked a little fun at our buds in South Bend in this ad in the game program:

chicken

M Blogs Killing it:

mgoblog :
Appalachian State Postgame Presser: Brady Hoke
Ace’s game recap:

Only two things came up as real concerns during the game. Jabrill Peppers missed the second half with an ankle injury; Brady Hoke confirmed after the game that his absence was precautionary, and he’ll be back on the field next week for Notre Dame. Meanwhile, Jake Ryan looked uncomfortable at times at middle linebacker, getting overaggressive on run defense and allowing a big gain through the air when he didn’t get enough depth on a zone drop. If your biggest defensive concern is Jake Ryan, however, your defense is in a very good place.

Maize and Blue Nation:
Game Recap
Pregame Photos
The Two 98s (sweet!):

98s

Maize N Brew:
Running game paces Michigan to 52-14 blowout
Michigan 52-App State 14: UM Wins Big In Opener

 

Maize and Blue News:
Five plays that Changed the Game

 

Related on MVictors:

 

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Ed.  Dr. Sap is back with his decals for week 5.   I added the Editor’s pick and we collaborated on the Fan award this week.  Here are the picks from Week 1 and Week 2 and Week 3 and Week 4.

clip_image002[1]Back when Bo was coaching the Michigan Football team, he awarded decals for individual as well as TEAM accomplishments.   He also selected Champions each week.

Not only were the obvious categories (offense, defense, special teams) selected, but Bo also made it a point to recognize the not so obvious ones – Scout Team Champions and Team Hustlers – each week.  

OFFENSE

DENARD ROBINSON – So it wasn’t just me.  Even Frank Beckmann said that the way Denard and the UM offense was churning out the yardage Saturday, you could put a #7 on his back and you would have thought Rick Leach was running the Michigan offense again.  Only fitting that Denard’s performance made him the All-Time Big Ten Rushing QB Leader.  When he’s healthy, Shoelace is tough to bring down – with or without his shoes on.

DEFENSE

JAKE RYAN – After watching #47 do his thing again, one word came to mind – MANSTER.  In the late ‘70s, Bob Ufer recalled how UM D-Tackle Chris Godfrey was called “manster” by fellow wolverine Ron Simpkins.  Why manster? He was half man, half monster. Jake Ryan – ‘nuff said!

SPECIAL TEAMS

DELONTE HOLLOWELL – His kickoff fumble recovery swung momentum HUGELY and quieted a crowd that has been known to help the home team pull off some major upsets against UM – just not this year!

HUSTLER /
SPARKPLUG

J.T. FLOYD – Maybe it was the look sans dreads, but JT’s PBU’s stalled Purdue drives in key situations. Against a receiving corps that was widely considered the class of the conference, Floyd schooled them on coming his way.

UNIFORM CHAMP

MAIZE PANTS – After all these years, and uniform changes, it’s great to see the pants go essentially unchanged – are you listening adidas & DB?

EDITOR’S PICK

THOMAS RAWLS – One of the most epic garbage time performances in history.  Talk of the Flint native covered the first half of Sam’s WTKA morning show on Sunday

image

UFER MAIZE & BLUE
FEDORA FAN

MAIZE & BLUE RAINBOW HAIR DUDE – His get up was a little over the top (M tie on front and M flag on back), but you gotta like his enthusiasm. I assume he wore the tie just was in case he was invited to the Regents tailgate before the game. What I can’t figure out is the sawed off broom handle in his left pocket. What is that for? Beating back the swarming ladies? 

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Via U-M Media Relations

Oosterbaan Recognized as "Michigan Football Legend," Linebacker Jake Ryan to Don Famed No. 47 Jersey

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Athletic Department officially recognized Bennie Oosterbaan as a "Michigan Football Legend" today (Sept. 8) during a pregame ceremony of the Michigan-Air Force football game.

Junior/sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius) will change from No. 90 to No. 47 for the remainder of his career in honor of Oosterbaan. A patch over the left upper chest will be affixed to the No. 47 jersey worn by Ryan and all other future players donning Oosterbaan’s jersey number.

In addition to the permanent patch, Oosterbaan will be featured in a special area to be designed and constructed in the soon-to-be renovated Schembechler Hall. Also, the lockers to be used by No. 47 in both the Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium locker rooms will be customized to reflect the fact that Oosterbaan will forever be a Michigan Football Legend.

Oosterbaan was a three-time All-American (1925, ‘26, ‘27) at end for Michigan, becoming the first of only two three-time All-Americans in Wolverines football history; Anthony Carter is the other player to accomplish the feat. Oosterbaan was a nine-time letterman at Michigan, earning three letters in football, basketball and baseball. He was the Big Ten touchdown champion in football, the Big Ten batting champion in baseball and the Big Ten scoring champion and the first Michigan student-athlete to be named a first-team All-American in basketball.

Following graduation in 1928, he turned down contracts from professional baseball and football organizations in order to join the Michigan coaching staff. He served as an assistant under Fritz Crisler for 20 seasons and was U-M’s head coach from 1948 to 1958, compiling a 63-33-4 record. During his tenure, the Wolverines won or shared Big Ten titles three times, won the 1951 Rose Bowl and captured the national championship in 1948.

Former players Ron Kramer, Gerald Ford and Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert also will be honored as "Michigan Football Legends" during the 2012 season. Following are the dates for recognizing legend status for those former players:

· Ron Kramer (No. 87) — Massachusetts (Sept. 15)

· Gerald Ford (No. 48) — Illinois (Oct. 13)

· Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert (No. 11) — Northwestern (Nov. 10)

Desmond Howard was the inaugural Michigan Football Legend, honored in 2011 during the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. Howard’s No. 21 jersey is worn by senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) in 2012.