That’s how the 2007 Michigan-Notre Dame game was supposed to go, right?
Damn that was so painful to watch. I give Denard a lot of credit for trotting out after the game and facing the mob—that’s not how it was supposed to go on his birthday and at the site of his greatest performance two years ago. Despite all the mistakes I’m certain the Notre Dame fans weren’t comfortable until the kneel down.
Denard was horrible but had help. Sure, Dileo was open on the halfback pass but whhhy that play at that point after an excellent drive? (And was Vincent Smith wearing oven mitts (kind of) when he shot-putted that thing?) I get that Michigan’s plan was to try exploit the young Irish DBs but the question is how do you go about that. Dropping Denard straight back into the pocket seemed to be the answer and to that I say, “Oy”.
Hats off to the defense for stepping up several times to limit the damage. Really, the defense was impressive all in all. Jake Ryan looked like he had a monster game.
* It’s well known that the media is prohibited from cheering in the press box but it’s not just a collection of writers upstairs at Notre Dame. After Denard connected with Gardner on a third down conversion in the first half some dude belted out, “DAMN IT!”. When Denard took off on a run later in the game, I heard, “GET ‘EM!”. And so on. I’m actually glad this happened because it created some much needed lighter moments on the glass.
Maybe it was the guy in seat 652:
* It seems as though the weather has been a big question mark the last several trips to South Bend. While I was inside it didn’t seem as though a drop hit the field but, unlike in previous years, Kelly committed to having a fast track. The field was cut tight and it was covered before the game:
* Gardner was pounded a few times late in the game. You feel for any kid that goes down but for him, you couldn’t help but wonder if he’s thinking “but I’m not supposed to be a receiver..” Sadly most of my player/game photos worth publishing aren’t much fun. Like these:
P.S. The Notre Dame sideline is way too tight and according to one of the band members sitting in that corner, Gardner slammed into that giant heavy duty table that you can see to the right of each frame. It’s too close to the field.
* One phase of the game that was won by Michigan: the battle of the bands. It was over before they took the field, specifically when the Irish band director made the horrible call on the bubble wrap. It was the let’s-have-our-5’4”-tailback-chuck-the-pigskin of wardrobe decisions:
* Tweet of the game was a Bedrock lock. The challenge will be convincing them to trick or treat together (whose town?) But otherwise, perfect:
* Speaking of tweets, after another turnover (I think Denard’s fumble?) this came from Sam Webb’s feed. It was retweeted 28 times instantly:
The beauty – it wasn’t a case of Sam grinding the keyboard in frustration. It was a legit accident as his phone went sideways and spit out Matrix code. Love it.
* The Admiral. The poof on his winter hat added an inch. Show off:
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