stretch BTN

Decals and Photos here.

State deserved to win last year; Michigan deserved to win this time.   Bite sized game takes:

* Dileo is getting a lot of praise but give the line and Denard mucho props on that play that set up the winning kick, and of course for the stretch (above).

* I give the State defense a lot of credit.  Gallon had an uncharacteristic drop (sure, the ball was behind him but you hardly ever seem him drop the pigskin), but MSU’s defenders made 3 or 4 solo tackles that prevented touchdowns.

* I join many others in giving Dantonio props for the showing some piedras on the fake punt.  I don’t blame him so much for trying the play action on the last drive.  He took a calculated risk to win the game and I think it was worth a shot.    Notre Dame won the game on a pass late in the game a few weeks back.   The only thing I would have told Maxwell – if the receiver was absolutely not there, make like Denard and tuck and run.


* On rivals.  Still lots of talk out there about where Michigan State ranks amongst Michigan’s most important opponents.   While rivals can change over the decades (ask Chicago and Minnesota if you can find someone old enough—or me, Kryk or Bacs), to me it’s really a personal question not an established program-wide truth.   I see the difference between MSU and Ohio State this way—relative to each other, it hurts more to lose to MSU but it feels better when you beat the Buckeyes.  That won’t be the case this year.  I’ll say it:  I would trade this win for a victory over Ohio State in 2012.  But rivalries aren’t established over a handful of games.


* As J. Lehman was interviewing Hoke during pregame (above), I heard a woman on the sideline (with a sideline pass mind you) gesture over to Hoke and ask, “Is that the coach?”.   I gave the Jim Halpert stare to anyone who wanted it.   And a lot of guys wanted it.

* Gibby’s kick was good by about two feet.  So if you are wondering what the difference is between Wolverine jubilation and a fanbase meltdown, this week it’s about two feet.  Speaking of that kick, I was right under the post next to Everitt (we collectively weigh about 550) so I had a great view of the ball.  But normally I do what Hoke does so this cracked me up:

Dileo said on the radio that he thought the kick was going wide right. What was your view?

Hoke: “I watch the people sitting behind the goal post. Because they’ll tell you. I’ll be honest with you. You can’t see it from [the sideline].”

* The Willis Ward presentation was fine, but I would have preferred some actual footage of Ward and perhaps more importantly, it would have a been special and symbolic if they had some family members on the field and at the game.  If you don’t have it, get Black and Blue – the latest cut includes actual game footage of Ward and Ford and the ‘34 team.

* Spartan helmets.  They looked silly in person (light green?) but to me they looked ok on TV. 

* All trophies.  I get why they didn’t, but I was genuinely pissed after the game that the players didn’t break out the Paul Bunyan trophy and trot it around the field. That’s probably because I’ve had to endure the State players doing the same the past several years and I wanted mine.   This is the first time in over 1450 days that Jon Falk has held each of our rivalry trophies– the Jug and the Big Paul.

More??  Get it:

  • Photos – Michigan State
  • Dr. Sap’s Decals – Michigan State!
  • By A Hair!
  • TWIWMFbH – Live! Willis Ward, Gerald Ford and 1932
  • Willis Ward Blitz



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  • 14. October 2011 · Comments Off on Rescuing the Undeniably Ugly Paul Bunyan · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , ,


    From deep in John U. Bacon’s Three and Out, check out a few great lines delivered by Rich Rod before last year’s rematch with the Spartans.

    Here’s RR talking to the team after displaying a picture of the Paul Bunyan Trophy:

    “The ugliness of that trophy is well documented.  It’s undeniable.  But Paul’s ugliness is only acceptable when we have it.

    “They’ve had Paul for two years now.  Who knows what they’re making Paul do?  Probably taking him around to every damn frat house on campus and doing God knows what to him.”  They laughed.

    “Poor Paul!  He needs to be rescued!”

    Rich Rod’s speech was great but he didn’t rescue poor Paul and sadly he’s been in East Lansing longer than Gilligan was on the Island.

    Go Blue!  Rescue Paul!

    Get Three and Out here – it drops October 25th.

    Before the season most expected Michigan to lose four to six games (me) this year so sitting at 5-1 at this point shouldn’t be shock.  But when drilling down at each game, losses vs. UConn or Notre Dame or even at Indiana were stomachable.  But if you insisted during preseason that one of those losses would be to MSU you’d get a little cringe from anyone, definitely from me.  That hurt.

    Monday I wrote, "you could argue that the future of Michigan football is in the balance" on Saturday’s game.   That was admittedly a tad strong but given the manner of the result, the scales just tilted against the future of Rich Rod in Ann Arbor.   There’s plenty of opportunity, starting Saturday, to tip things back.  This morning you’ve got a fanbase of M fans, as in Missourah, as in ‘show me’ this team can hang in the Big Ten.

    Sights and Sounds

    • Check out my pregame photos here.   I’ve been trying to post these just as the game starts so if you like this kind of thing, head here early in the first quarter during home games if you want to check them out.   Includes former captains Mark Messner, Jim Conley, Denard and more.
    • One of those pregame shots included the Screaming Eagle parachute drop which I think is so cool.  Here’s a closer look from the press box:

    Screaming Eagle Parachute drop

    • On the pregame, I can tell you from my perspective that atmosphere was off the charts.  It was certainly a mix of the weather, the booze and the rivalry, but everyone was fired up.  The volume of ‘The Victors’ echoed up into the press box as the band took the field and it was pretty wild out there.
    • There is much to rail on yesterday, especially with the defense, but a thought a few a guys did a nice job.  Will Hagerup finally showed a little of that leg to home fans, and overall special teams did a pretty good job.  Seth Broekhuizen looked great in warm-ups, thankfully connected on one field goal but best I could tell, had a pretty poor kick to end the first half.  The snap was bad but it looked like the holder got it down in time before Broekhuizen pounded it just above the line.
    • In a brutal day for the receivers, Kelvin Grady made a couple really nice grabs including a clutch snatch on fourth down after a couple drops in that set of downs by his colleagues.  Roundtree had a two bad drops but you’ve gotta know he’ll be fine, he just seem to have the personality to be affected by that.
    • Obviously Denard had a tough day but I heard a couple calls/tweets/what-have-you for Tate.  Umm, come on people.   The missed opportunities were enormous and early in the game Michigan almost broke a few runs that would have changed the complexion of the game but I don’t think it would have changed the outcome.
    • Sam Webb was railing pretty hard this morning on WTKA to get someone else in there at linebacker to replace Obi Ezeh.  There’s gotta be someone in we can at least mix in there.  Man, the problem of over-pursuit and missed tackles right up the middle doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  While Cam Gordon isn’t performing at a high or even medium level, I think people understand he’s young and learning like a lot guys back there.
    • Hat is off to Cousins and MSU for executing nearly flawlessly all game, no turnovers and demonstrating some old school pounding up the middle.   Also give the state DBs credit for making those picks especially Rucker’s grab in the second half, a great play.
    • I hear that the MSU locker room had no hot water after the game and naturally the suggestion that Rich Rod had something to do with it.  Right – as if RR didn’t have enough to deal with.  He gameplanned the postgame cold showers.

    Postgame Shots. 

    Look away if you must.  Nay, take your medicine like a man:

    Paul's Bunyan

    mark dantonio michigan

    msu paul bunyan 2010


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