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Monday, November 12, 2012

MZone Autopsy: Northwestern

After the way Saturday's game ended, it's a wonder that the autopsy isn't on yours truly today as I nearly had a heart attack.   But, alas, like the team, I have survived to blog another day.

MZone Autopsy Report: Northwestern

* Offense to the Rescue

While the Demens stuff on 4th in 2 in OT sealed the deal, in a switcheroo for the 2012 season, it was the offense's turn to ride to the rescue on Saturday.  After so many games in which the defense kept Michigan in games (especially during the 148 minute Great Scoring Dust Bowl of 2012), U-M's offense fought back from 10 down in the 3rd quarter as well as :18 seconds and impossible in the 4th. 

You knew there was going to be a game like this - when Mattison's Monsters didn't have their A game.  And this was it.  Northwestern outgained Michigan 431-419 yards, had a 27-21 advantage in first downs, and converted 8-16 3rd downs.  But the offense never stopped fighting back and U-M's faint B1G title hopes live to fight another day.

* Fitz: 2013!

Like the rest of you, each Saturday, I keep thinking, "This is going to be the day."  I can feel it: This is going to be the day that Fitz Toussaint breaks out and returns to the form (and stats) of 2011.

But, alas, with two games left in the regular season, I finally have to accept the fact that it's not going to happen this year.  Yeah, I know it's not all Fitz's fault.  I realize the O line has, on numerous occasions, in the words of Bill Murray in Stripes been "blowed up, SIR!"

Yet still I hoped.

No more.  Our running game is what it is this year.  Here's to a better 2013!

* Clutch Becoming a Hoke Trademark

The Wolverines under Brady Hoke have quickly become a team that you can never count out.  Like the villain in a horror movie, they just won't die.  From wins over Notre Dame last season to MSU and NW this one; to close losses in which Michigan still had a chance at the end (Iowa last season, ND this year), there is no quit in Hoke's Wolverines.  Of course, some may call Michigan "lucky" in those games.  I prefer to think of such so-called luck as the ol' point at "which opportunity meets preparation," with preparation here being coaching (okay, and at least one really shitty, fortuitous punt by Northwestern).

* Hoke's Cold Sweat

While I love Brady Hoke and think he's doing an outstanding job, nobody's perfect.  And if he isn't waking up screaming in the middle of the night - "Why the &^%$! didn't I put Devin in at QB in the Nebraska game?!  WHY!?!?"  - he should be.

* U-M Student Section Sucks

And I thought the key play nonsense was bad.

Ha!

The empty seats are past the point of ridiculous now.  Michigan has been reduced to having its football players make videos begging fans (read: students) to show up on time for the games.  WTF?!  This isn't Ball State.  Bo's probably rolling over in his grave.

I'm not sure what more can be done since the athletic department already instituted the points system.  But seeing all those empty seats up there after the game starts is a slap in the face to Hoke and the Michigan players.

Thus, since our microphone here at the MZone isn't as big as Brian's over at MGoBlog, I hope he continues to hammer away on that issue.  Maybe shame will work.  Because it's got to change.

* Wallpaper Wednesday...on Monday

Usually we wait until Wednesday to put up our wallpapers here at the MZone.

Not today.

Our pal and MZone Hall of Famer Andy (@SemperBlue88 on Twitter) sent us this outstanding wallpaper of Roy Roundtree's miraculous tip/fall/catch from the Northwestern game that had to go up asap.

GO BLUE!


5 comments:

surrounded in columbus said...

Yost,
Hoke IS lucky. and there's nothing wrong w/ that.

i've sat in the stadium for years watching "lucky" teams beat our "good" teams.

and since Hoke arrived? i walked out of the stadium last year listening to the ND fans complain about how lucky we were. i walked out of the sugar bowl listening to the Va Tech fans talk about how lucky we were. i walked out after the MSU game listening to Sparty talk about how lucky we were.

and here in cowtown, everyday, i listen to tsio fans complain about how lucky Hoke is.

i like lucky. i could get used to it.

Andy said...

Nice recap Yost!

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

I agree with SiC... I have spent many long nights agonizing how Michigan lost a game they "should" have won.

Watching the last few minutes of the game on Saturday, I concluded: What I really love about Brady Hoke is his LEADERSHIP. I love that he stays calm and never shows anything other than his belief in his players and coaches.

In turn, the players & coaches never give up.

Even when Michigan plays terrible and loses (see Alabama, Notre Dame & Nebraska)... Brady stays positive. He moves on and pledges to get better.

It is a wonderful thing to watch.

Yost said...

Yeah, I don't care what it's called, I'm just glad it's wearing maize and blue these days!

Andy, thanks again for the great wallpaper! It couldn't wait until Wednesday.

Ramona said...

Agreed all around. Yost, good column, thanks to Andy for the visuals.

I do sometimes think that Brady is a Bo in training. Very encouraging.

The student section is not what it was back in the day, with the old scoreboard. Now, they arrive late and leave early. Back in the day it was the opposite.

In the 2000s.. can't remember which RR team was losing which game, ordinarily I'd be royally POed at my ex for subjecting our son to such conditions. But they stayed until the end through pouring rain. Explained my ex, to our son: "It is important for our team to look up in the stands and see fans there."

Still brings tears to my eyes.

Dennis said...

Congrats on the win. That was very nice concentration by Roundtree at the end of regulation. I think you guys had more luck and bounces last year than this year, fwiw. Got to get past those upstarts from Wisconsin first, but should be an interesting game in two weeks.