August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

Continue reading "2008: Grading the non-conference schedules" »

January 01, 2008

Michigan wins one for Carr

ORLANDO - Lloyd Carr went out a winner.

Michigan, paced by a methodical offensive attack, sent its retiring coach out victoriously by holding off Florida for a 41-35 win at the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday.

"This is extremely meaningful on a personal level," said the 62-year-old Carr, who compiled a 122-40 record in 13 years at Michigan. "To come out with an effort like this and finding a way to win creates memories we'll celebrate for years to come."

Continue reading "Michigan wins one for Carr" »

Florida turns it over on downs

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida turned it over on four plays on its drive, giving Michigan the ball back at the Florida 24-yard line with less than 3 minutes left.

Florida still has all of its timeouts, so the Gators could hold Michigan to a field goal and get another shot, but Wolverines fans have to be smiling right now.

Michigan back on top

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida's lead was short-lived, but they have a chance to get it back.

Michigan just scored on an 18-yard pass from Chad Henne to Adrian Arrington, who beat Florida corner Jacques Rickerson by about two steps for an easy catch.

Michigan leads 38-35 with 4:12 left, plenty of time for TIm Tebow to work his magic.

Harvin jets in

ORLANDO, Fla. - Put the Rose Bowl on hold, the Capital One Bowl ain't over yet.

Percy Harvin just scored his second touchdown of the game, this one on a 10-yard end-around jet run, to put the Gators up 35-31 with 5:49 left after Michigan quarterback Chad Henne threw an interception.

The Wolverines need a big drive here, will they get it?

Michigan inches ahead in final quarter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Field goals might not be enough to win this game, so Michigan is walking a tight rope.

The Wolverines just got a 37-yard field goal from K.C. Lopata to go up 31-28, but now Tim Tebow has the ball with 12:16 remaining.

And Tebow has Percy Harvin at his disposal. Harvin has 220 combined rushing and receiving yards on the day, and it's between him and Mike Hart as to who I'm tabbing on my ballott as game MVP.

Unusual turn of events ties it up

ORLANDO, Fla. - Here's the rundown of what led to this game being tied at 28-28.

1) Michigan is driving, looking to take a 35-21 lead, but Mike Hart fumbles for the second time today, the second time in over 1,000 carries. He fumbles it as he is stretching for a touchdown, so the ball goes into the end zone and Florida recovers.

2) Florida appears to have wasted the opportunity, going three-and-out, but executes a fake punt with former high school quarterback Chas Henry, the punter, completing a 15-yard pass to Aaron Hernandez.

3) To conclude a lengthy drive, Tim Tebow finds Andre Caldwell for a 14-yard scoring pass with less than 2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Something tells me the craziness is just beginning.

Tebow scores again

ORLANDO, Fla. - Just about the only thing TIm Tebow hasn't done at Florida is lead the Gators on a double-digit second-half comeback for a win.

Well, he's trying his best to check that off his list today.

Tebow just ran in from 1 yard out, bowling over Michigan linebacker Chris Graham, and brought the Gators to within 28-21 with 7:55 left in the third quarter at the Capital One Bowl.

On a side note, Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin looks poised to register the second game of 100 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in Florida history.

Harvin unofficially has 103 rushing yards and 70 receiving yards so far today.

The other time a 100-100 happened? Harvin, against Vanderbilt earlier this year.

Michigan still rolling

ORLANDO, Fla. - Mike Hart just powered in his second score of the game, this of the 1-yard variety, to put Michigan up 28-14 with 12:50 left in the third quarter.

As has been his custom today, Hart looked for a Florida defender to jaw at after his run. He chose middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who owns a 6-inch and 40-pound edge over Hart, maybe not such a good idea.

Capital One half update: Michigan has slight edge

ORLANDO, Fla. - Michigan has controlled the ball for most of the first half and is up 21-14 at the break as a result.

The Wolverines have successfully kept Tim Tebow off the field as much as possible with 48 offensive plays to Florida's 32 plays.

Chad Henne has looked very accurate, completing 15-of-24 passes for 220 yards and two scores. Mario Manningham has racked up 104 yards on 10 touches, including five runs. Michigan is looking to get him the ball any way possible.

Mike Hart has been contained for 60 yards on 15 carries, but he could break lose at any moment, you get the feeling.

On Florida's side, Tim Tebow has looked good when given a chance to showcase his passing skills with 110 yards through the air on 10-of-17 throwing. But he only got 18 yards on the ground, as Florida's running game has been stuffed save a Percy Harvin 66-yard run.

If Florida's defense can get off the field, the Gators could dominate the second half. However, Michigan's offense has looked every bit as effective as Florida's high-octane attack, maybe moreso.


ORLANDO, Fla. - The Capital One Bowl is offering fans the chance to display text messages on the Citrus Bowl scoreboard for the entire stadium to see.

Fans can text messages to 28553 at $1.99 per message. I have seen everything from the usual Go Blue! to inside jokes to a marriage proposal to Tim Tebow.

Oh yeah, there is a game going on. The teams are trading turnovers. Florida safety Major Wright just picked off Chad Henne on a trick play in which Henne handed off to a receiver, who threw it back to Henne near the Michigan sideline.

Henne slinged a pass downfield, but Florida had double coverage and Wright jumped in front of the receiver and landed with the ball at the Florida 1-yard line.

The game is tied at 14-14 with 3 minutes left in the half.

Breathe easy, Harvin looks fine

ORLANDO, Fla. - Percy Harvin was knocked out of the game following a 66-yard run, but he is re-entering the game.

Trainers looked at Harvin and talked with him on the sideline for a couple of plays as it appeared he just had the wind knocked out of him on a hit by Morgan Trent.

Florida is at the Michigan 4-yard line with 8:00 left in the half.

This one's for you, Coach Carr

ORLANDO, Fla. - Michigan running back Mike Hart, an outspoken backer of outgoing Coach Lloyd Carr, just scored on a 3-yard run to tie the game up at 14-14.

The run capped a 12-play, 56-yard drive for the Wolverines.

On an interesting note, Chad Henne tried to throw a pass to his All-America left tackle, Jake Long, on an unusual play. Unfortunately, Henne overthrew the 6-foot-7 Long for an incompletion.

Michigan can't keep up

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida's speed is making Michigan look slow.

On the most recent display, the Wolverines had 22 yards of field to take down Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell.

Caldwell zipped through all 22, barely being touched, and high stepped into the end zone to put the Gators up 14-7 with 14:48 left in the first half.

Tebow, Harvin answer for Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Heisman jinx has yet to hit Tim Tebow.

Florida's record-setting sophomore just hit 2008 Heisman candidate Percy Harvin for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Somehow, Michigan let Harvin find yards of open space in the middle of the field for a quick inside slant route for an easy score, I can't find one person in the press box who couldn't have made that throw.

Florida and Michigan are tied at 7-7 with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter at the Capital One Bowl.

Michigan steamrolls UF on opening drive

ORLANDO, Fla. - Lloyd Carr must have delivered one heck of a pregame speech.

The Michigan offense just drove 93 yards on 12 plays on the opening series to take a 7-0 lead over Florida at the Capital One Bowl.

The score came when quarterback Chad Henne connected with - who else? - Mario Manningham for a 21-yard bullett pass.

Florida had kept Manningham quiet in the passing game for the entire series before the score with freshman cornerback Joe Haden displaying shut-down coverage.

But, on the scoring play, Haden was not on coverage. Instead, Manningham beat No. 2 corner Wondy Pierre-Louis and a late-arriving free safety Major Wright.

Greetings from the Capital One Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. - Happy New Year from the Capital One Bowl. In the next three hours, we'll find out whether Michigan or Florida will have a great New Year's Day.

Kickoff is coming in about 10 minutes, as the stadium is still filling up. On the way to the stadium, Michigan fans seemed to be out in full force. But the Gators have a much stronger contingent in the Citrus Bowl, where temperatures are in the 60s with partly cloudy skies.

Continue reading "Greetings from the Capital One Bowl" »

November 17, 2007

Michigan-OSU: wrap up

ANN ARBOR, Mich- And the game ends where I last left it, 14-3. Ohio State actually ended up kneeling inside Michigan's 5-yard line to end the game, so it could have been worse.

Ohio State clinches the Big Ten Championship and a berth to the Rose Bowl, while Michigan is likely destined for a trip to Florida for either the Capital One Bowl or Outback Bowl.

Continue reading "Michigan-OSU: wrap up" »

Heading to the field...

ANN ARBOR, Mich- I'm headed to the field for the end of the game. Check back later for a wrap-up. Right now Ohio State leads 14-3 with 7:30 remaining.

Willis Reed revisited?

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Chad Henne has reemerged from the locker room.

As Ohio State challenges a spot on a punt return that Michigan's Greg Mathews took all the way back to the Ohio State 34, Henne ran back out onto the field. All indications are that he'll lead the team on the next drive, no matter where it starts from.

The Buckeyes' review proved to be fruitful. Michigan will start the drive from the Ohio State 46, which is still great field position.

Henne out

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Chad Henne is jogging to the locker room to receive treatment on his shoulder, which has obviously hindered his ability to throw the ball today. Ryan Mallett has come into the game (still 14-3 Ohio State with 3:30 remaining) in relief of Henne.

Continue reading "Henne out" »

Doing it twice

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Zoltan Mesko boomed a 52-yard punt that Ray Small took back for a score. However, an illegal block in the back on Brian Rolle negated the touchdown and eased Michigan fans' worries ... for about 11 seconds. On Ohio State's first play of the drive on its own 38-yard line, Beanie wells broke a 62-yard run for a Buckeye touchdown - and this one counted.

Ohio State now leads 14-3 early in the second half, and the fans' mood is matching the weather: cold and goomy.

Michigan-OSU: Halftime thoughts

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Ohio State leads 7-3 at halftime. Brandent Englemon picked off a pass and returned it to Ohio State territory, but K.C. Lopata's 48-yard field goal attempt to end the half fell short.

Continue reading "Michigan-OSU: Halftime thoughts" »

Opportunity lost

ANN ARBOR, Mich- After flipping around the field-position game it was losing, Michigan failed to take advantage of a great chance.

Punter Zoltan Mesko boomed a 68-yarder to Ohio State's 4-yard line. Ohio State had to punt, and the Wolverines got the ball at midfield for their next possession. But two Mario Manningham drops halted any hopes of Michigan putting some points on the board, and Michigan had to punt.

The snail's-pace game is still 7-3 with under a minute left in the first half.

Buckeyes pull ahead

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Chris Wells' 1-yard touchdown run just put the Buckeyes on top, 7-3.

Ohio State received great field position after stopping Michigan deep in its own zone on the Wolverines' last drive. The Buckeyes began their scoring drive on Michigan's 44 and took advantage of the great field position. The eight-play scoring drive mostly featured brusing runs by Wells.

Boeckman shaky

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman just fumbled for the second time of the game on the first quarter's last play. The Buckeyes will punt to start the second quarter.

That's just the latest in a pretty shaky performance so far for Boeckman, who is playing in his first installment of The Game. He has slipped and fell a couple times to go with his fumbles, which Ohio State recovered both times. Ohio State has just 23 total yards so far, 14 of which are through the air.

Blue on the board

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Michigan leads 3-0 after a 33-yard field goal by K.C. Lopata.

The Wolverines drove down the field thanks to some courageous runs by a hobbled Mike Hart. The drive ultimately stalled when Chad Henne was sacked on a 2nd-and-11 inside the red zone.

Old school ball

ANN ARBOR, Mich- The two teams are playing Bo and Woody ball. Ten minutes into the game, it's turned into a battle of field position. Three drives, three punts. Michigan is beginning its second drive at its own 35 after forcing Ohio State to three straight losses on running plays. The Wolverines' first drive was a three-and-out, though.

Chad Henne and Mike Hart both started. Henne is 0-2 throwing and is wearing a glove on his throwing hand. He usually doesn't do that, but he usually doesn't play in these cold conditions, either.

Tensions already high

ANN ARBOR, Mich- It's still 40 minutes before kickoff, but there's already some drama.

The Michigan football team just ran out of the tunnel for warmups, and after taking its half-field warmup lap, it ran to the 'M' at midfield. Ohio State was on the other side, and the two teams starting jumping up and down firing each other up.

The jumps turned to jawing, and the teams had to be separated. Mike Hart broke through the huddle and got right in the faces of a few Ohio State players. The excitement level is through the roof - well, if stadiums had roofs. I've never heard a crowd so hyped this much before a game in my four years here at Michigan.

The Game: A preview

ANN ARBOR, Mich- Does this game really need me hyping it up? Sure, it's not a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup like last season, but it's still college football's biggest rivalry - or, as Michigan coach Lloyd Carr calls it, the best rivalry in all of sports.

Continue reading "The Game: A preview" »

November 10, 2007

Badgers too much for Michigan on both sides of ball

MADISON, Wisc. - The 37-21 final score might suggest that Wisconsin dominated throughout, but for a brief period of time the Wolverines had possession of the football with only a field goal needed to claim the lead. The Badger defense would have none of that on Senior Day. The win was not only a boost for program pride; it probably will help place Wisconsin in a respectable bowl at season's end.

Coach Bret Bielema explained his team's journey best: "We may not be the prettiest girl in high school, but people still stand in line to take us to prom."

Continue reading "Badgers too much for Michigan on both sides of ball" »

After interception, Brown adds the finishing touch

MADISON, Wisc. - Facing a possible letdown, the Badger defense came through and forced an interception that the Wisconsin offense later turned into a touchdown. With a nine-point lead, and three minutes remaining, Wisconsin's upset win is close to safe.

On the clinching drive, running back Zach Brown did most of the work. The freshman gained his 101st yard on the six-yard touchdown which ended Michigan's hopes for a come-from-behind victory.

Donovan leaves the game ...

MADISON, Wisc. - With Michigan closing the gap in this game (23-21), thanks to an Adrian Arrington touchdown grab, the Badgers were dealt a serious blow, losing quarterback Tyler Donovan to what appears to be a serious injury. Allan Evridge has entered the contest ...

Just like that ...

MADISON, Wisc. - Facing a third down on its own three-yard line, Ryan Mallett tossed a 97-yard touchdown to Mario Manningham to close the gap, 23-14. Will Lloyd Carr regret not going for two? Hard to say at this point.

Third Qtr Recap: Badgers continue to pound Michigan

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverines could do nothing right in the third quarter. Their passing game stalled drives, and the running game disappeared. Wisconsin continued its momentum and as the quarter came to a close appeared ready to add to its 23-7 lead. To help the cause, freshman running back Zach Brown is starting to gain large chunks of ground, and Paul Hubbard and Travis Beckum are an unstoppable duo in the passing game. Oh, and the Badgers controlled the clock for 11:17 of the quarter.

A sideline catch in the closing minutes of the quarter by Hubbard gave him more than 100 receiving yards for the day.

Needing one yard, Hill gets stuffed

MADISON, Wisc. - The Badgers could have put the game away, but from one-yard out P.J. Hill could not break through the Michigan defense. Instead, Wisconsin opted to kick a field goal for a 23-7 lead. The Badgers are very much in control of this game with less than 20 minutes remaining.

On the 16-play drive, tight end Travis Beckum recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving effort of the season.

Smith out, Hill in

MADISON, Wisc. - On the Badgers' opening drive of the second half, the crowd went wild when the game announcer's voice thundered "PJ HILL" after a rushing attempt. Hill skipped the first half due to his injured ankle, but came into the game in time to replace sophomore Lance Smith, who is not expected to return due to a shoulder injury.

In need of big play, Wolverines bungle opportunity

MADISON, Wisc. - After its opening second half drive stalled, the Wolverines scooped up a fumble off a punt return. The ball hit Wisconsin's Niles Brinkley in the back and teammate David Gilreath tried to cover the ball, but was unsuccessful.

The Wolverines got the ball at the 38-yard line, but two failed plays and a delay of game forced a third-and-12 at the 40-yard line. A knocked-down pass forced a Wolverine punt which rolled into the end zone.

Missed opportunity -- for sure.

Badgers honor Dayne

MADISON, Wisc. - During the halftime ceremony, Wisconsin retired the number of college football's all-time leadng rusher, Ron Dayne. Athletic Director and former coach Barry Alvarez did the honors, while former Badger greats offered words for their former teammate. Dayne also took part in the pre-game coin flip.

At his best, Dayne was one of the Big Ten's toughest backs to tackle -- big and quick-footed, he helped take the program to a new level in the late 1990s.

At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead

MADISON, Wisc. - Entering the contest, few would have believed the Badgers would control the first half as well as they have (20-7). But big plays on third downs have helped Wisconsin to sustain drives and put points on the board.

There is plenty of football left, but to keep its perfect conference mark intact, Michigan must make several key adjustments during halftime.

Continue reading "At the Half: Badgers in control, Wolverines not yet dead" »

Odd ruling gives Wolverines chance to close gap

MADISON, Wisc. - On a third down play, the referees ruled that Ben Strickland and Greg Matthews simultaneously caught the football, thus giving Michigan a first down. It had appeared that Strickland was in control of the interception, but the referees didn't see it that way.

Camp Randall went nuts.

On the next play, Ryan Mallett hit Mario Manningham for a 12-yard score. It was Manningham's first catch of the day, and it put the Wolverines back into the contest.

Another score for Badgers ...

MADISON, Wisc. - It's the Tyler Donovan Show in Madison.

On a third down, Donovan escaped a collapsing pocket and made a nice chain-moving run. A nine-yard Lance Smith run and a 24-yard skinny post pass from Donovan to Beckum gave the Badgers goal to go. From there, took a boot to the right and dove on the corner marker for a 17-0 lead.

The Wolverines have had no answer for the Badgers' passing attack, and the pass rush has yet to have an effect.

Michigan offense missing in Madison -- Henne out

MADISON, Wisc. - Ryan Mallett, who replaced Chad Henne on the Wolverines' last drive, completed a nice out route to Adrian Arrington at the beginning of the second quarter. Then he overthrew a wide open Arrington on second down to create a key third-and-13 situation. Taking a deep drop, Mallett was sacked by Nick Hayden and Matthew Shaughnessy to end the Wolverine drive.

The four-play drive is symbolic of how the Wolverines have performed in the early going of this contest.

First Qtr Recap: Badger front seven steps up

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverine rushing attack has found no room in the first quarter, as Wisconsin's front seven has closed off the corners and clogged up the middle. So far, the best offense for Michigan has been the wide receiver screen pass, which they've used several times for minimal yardage.

Continue reading "First Qtr Recap: Badger front seven steps up" »

No Hill, no Hart (so far)

MADISON, Wisc. - Same as last week, Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill has been left off the active roster. Michigan's Mike Hart, who did dress and join his team at mdfield for the coin toss, has not seen much field time; instead, Michigan has turned to Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor on its first few possessions.

Thanks to Michigan mistake (and a bit of luck) Badgers strike first

MADISON, Wisc. - The Wolverines made the first mistake on Saturday and immediately the Badgers repaid the favor -- well, at least they tried to.

Continue reading "Thanks to Michigan mistake (and a bit of luck) Badgers strike first" »

Badgers look to avenge lone loss of '06

MADISON, Wisc. -- Three months ago, many expected this contest would decide the Big Ten race, and possibly the national title. Michigan's sluggish start and Wisconsin's midseason woes have caused the game to lose some of its luster. Now it is Michigan's final test before a showdown against Ohio State next week, and it is Wisconsin last chance to prove its worth to potential bowl suitors.

Continue reading "Badgers look to avenge lone loss of '06" »

October 27, 2007


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Ohio State takes a 17-7 lead into halftime.

Continue reading "Halftime" »

September 22, 2007

Postgame Thoughts

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After Michigan held Penn State to a field goal with 6 minutes left, it was up to the offense to try and run off a little clock to preserve the lead. And it did, gaining two key first downs before punting with 1:34 to go in the game. The first first down was key, as Mallett avoided a rush on 3rd-and-11 and bought enough time for wide receiver Greg Mathews to come open across the middle.

Continue reading "Postgame Thoughts" »

Michigan extends the Lead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After the Penn State field goal, the Wolverines methodically march down the field, ending the drive with a Hart run up the middle for the touchdown.

Continue reading "Michigan extends the Lead" »

Nittany Lions Cut the Lead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After an impressive drive deep into Michigan territory, running back Austin Scott fumbled on a play that was upheld after review. But the Wolverines gave it right back after a short drive of their own when Mallett fumbled a snap from center Justin Boren.

Continue reading "Nittany Lions Cut the Lead" »

Halftime Update

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Nothing too surprising in the first half, unless you count a Michigan lead as a shock. Neither team has done much on offense, although Michigan had two good drives near the end of the first half result in 0 points.

Continue reading "Halftime Update" »

And Penn State puts up some points

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After an extended drive by Penn State beginning at its own 20, placekicker Kevin Kelly knocked through a 28-yard field goal from the right hash. The Nittany Lions ran almost exclusively out of the shotgun on the drive, a change from Paterno's usual. Several long third-down completions by Morelli kept the drive alive, but on 3rd-and-5 from inside Michigan's 11, Morelli missed a wide open Deon Butler on a slant. He overthrew the pass, and Penn State had to settle for a field goal. Michigan 7, Penn State 3.

End of the First

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- At the end of the first quarter, the score remains 7-0. Penn State had one good drive during the quarter, but that ended with a Brandon Graham sack and a bad Morelli incompletion. Michigan has moved the chains a little bit, and is driving down the field after gaining a tough first down on 3rd-and-10 with a completion to Adrian Arrington. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr tried a bit of trickery at the end of the quarter, as Mallett was split wide and freshman wide receiver Junior Hemingway took the snap. But Penn State sniffed it out, and Hemingway was tackled in the backfield for a loss

Michigan Strikes First

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After defensive end Brandon Graham forced an Anthony Morelli fumble on Penn State's second drive of the game, linebacker Chris Graham returned the fumble to the Nittany Lion 10 yard line. After an unsuccessful swing pass to Mario Manningham, Michigan uncharacteristically tried to pass once more. Not finding any open receivers, quarterback Ryan Mallett pulled the ball down and made it to the corner of the end zone, holding the ball out in front of him as he crossed the plane. Michigan leads, 7-0.

Henne In Street Clothes

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As reported earlier, Chad Henne won't be playing today. According to ESPN's Bonnie Bernstein, Henne asked the coaches to play, but they would not let him. He walked out of the tunnel after the team, wearing street clothes and a brace on his right leg.

Michigan-Penn State: Pregame Thoughts

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan and Penn State will each open their Big Ten seasons here today at the Big House, and while the fortunes have turned for one pre-season favorite, the other still has thoughts of a BCS bid. Michigan, picked by most prognosticators to win the Big Ten and contend for the National Championship before the season, opened with two early losses, including one to FCS Appalachian State. Penn State has dominated its competition, winning each of its three games by at least 21 points (although against some iffy competition. So who's going to take the early lead in the Big Ten?

Continue reading "Michigan-Penn State: Pregame Thoughts" »

September 15, 2007

Final recap

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Well, the game's over, and boy was Michigan happy tp have this rivalry matchup turn out this way.

The Wolverines won 38-0 and held the Fighting Irish below 100 total yards with a more than solid performance from the defense. Defensive tackle Terrance Taylor said after the game that the whole defense as a unit was out to prove a point that they could compete up to the level they set for themselves.

Michigan pressured Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen all day, whether it was off the blitz or just from the front four. Add in three turnovers forced and the Wolverine offense didn't have to do that much.

But Mike Hart did. The senior guaranteed a win and came out with a vengence. He racked up just under 200 yards on the ground, taking the pressure of freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett, who managed a pretty solid game. Michigan coach Lloyd Carr wasn't about to make Mallett be the hero, and Hart gladly set the pace.

This was just the kind of win Michigan needed with the Big Ten schedule starting and Penn State coming to Ann Arbor next Saturday.

Clausen sitting

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Jimmy Clausen has taken a seat on the Notre Dame sideline, and he's probably OK with the decision.

Evan Sharpley came into replace the freshman, and his first throw was almost intercepted while his second was thrown under heavy pressure from the Michigan front four.

The Wolverine defense isn't done putting its imprint in this game. John Thompson made a fanatastic tackle to stop Armando Allen on a third-down run for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame's day can be summed up in two stats. Negative 52 rushing yards and 22 total yards.

Hart rushing up the chart

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Hart used his last carry of the third quarter to pass Tyrone Wheatley on the all-time rushing yard chart.

On a five-yard scamper, Hart moved into 3rd on the all-time leading rusher list and will most likely enjoy the fourth quarter from the sideline.

Running back Brandon Minor replaced Hart immediately after the rush.

End of the 3rd quarter, Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0.

The first wave of the season

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - With six minutes left in the third quarter, the Michigan student section has decided the game is over. They've started the wave.

It's the first time this season the Big House has seen the heralded wave, usually started in the third quarter of blowout games.

Ryan Mallett just complemented the wave with a touchdown strike to Mario Manningham, open in the back of the end zone. It was a 13-yard pass that finished off a 79-yard drive.

Michgan 38, Notre Dame 0.

Still searching

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Notre Dame's first drive of the third quarter looked promising. Until Jimmy Clausen met Brandent Englemon.

Continue reading "Still searching" »

Halftime recap

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan has looked completely dominant in the first half of this game.

Continue reading "Halftime recap" »

Michigan running up the score

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ryan Mallett threw a perfect strike to Adrian Arrington in the corner of the end zone to give Michigan a 31-0 lead heading into halftime.

The five-yard strike punctuated a Wolverine drive dominated by Mike Hart running over, through and around the Notre Dame defense.

Mallett's looked impressive in his first start of the season. Most of his throws have been sharp and on target, and he sure has enough confidence in his ability as seen by his celebration skipping after the touchdown throw.

Halftime. Michigan 31, Notre Dame 0.

Never would have guessed that kind of dominance.

Finally, some positives

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It had been a while, but Notre Dame finally got some positive yards.

With two minutes left in the second quarter, the Fighting Irish have mustered nine total yards and have negative 39 rush yards.

Opposite the Golden Domers, Michigan running back Mike Hart has more than 100 yards on the ground, marking the 22nd time he's gone over the century mark in his Michigan career. He's now tied with Anthony Thomas in that category.

Michigan's driving right now with under a minute left. The Wolverines are on the Notre Dame 11 yard line. Another post might sooner than later.

Lloyd bringing some fun

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - With 11:42 left in the second quarter, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr tried a trick play, much to the delight of the crowd.

Ryan Mallett threw a swing pass to Adrian Arrington who tried to hit Mallett rolling out on the opposite sideline. Mallett slipped and couldn't corrale the throw.

Continue reading "Lloyd bringing some fun" »


ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Wolverine defense forces another turnover. Middle linebacker John Thompson picked off Jimmy Clausen. Clausen forced a throw down the middle under heavy pressure from the Michigan front four.

The defensive line is dominating the Fighting Irish. The front four all got to Clausen the play before the Thompson pick.

What, cheers in the Big House?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The student section can finally smile. It's finally getting to watch Michigan dominate an opponent.

The Wolverine offense is running smoothly, even with a freshman behind center. Ryan Mallett looked sharp on the latest Michigan touchdown drive. He hit Mario Manningham over the middle on a strong throw off a bootleg, and he took a moment to smile after the completion.

Mike Hart finished off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to extend Michigan's lead to 17-0.

Still tenacious

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Michigan defense wants to prove a point today.

The unit just caused another turnover. Wolverine linebacker Chris Graham hit Armando Allen with helmet on ball and forced a fumble that Michigan cornerback Brandon Harrison recovered. The Graham hit left Allen kneeling on the ground for a few minutes after the play.

It's Michigan ball at the Notre Dame 37 at the end of the first quarter.

Michigan adds to lead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Wolverines are piling it on early. Maybe they're a little upset about all the criticism they've received this year.

Running back Mike Hart scored on a 2-yard touchdown run as Michigan turned a Notre Dame turnover into more points.

The Wolverines are up 10-0, and the Michigan defense looks like its found a little bit of the attitude from last season's unit. Plus, they're playing the Fighting Irish, who haven't scored an offensive touchdown this season.

Turn of tides

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren came off the corner on a blitz on second down of Notre Dame's second drive and forced and recovered a Jimmy Clausen fumble at the Notre Dame 20.

An impressive start for a maligned unit.

A fast start

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was looking to exploit the Michigan defense with a spread offense look on the first play of the game.

He put Armando Allen back at quarterback, and he fumbled the snap back to the 1 yard line. From there, Michigan's defense held strong with Shawn Crable deflecting a Jimmy Clausen pass to force a punt.

The Wolverines drove it to the Notre Dame 22 yard line, and Jason Gingell hit a 39-yard field goal to give Michigan a 3-0 lead.

About to begin

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - There's just under 10 minutes until gametime, and the student section in the Big House has yet to fill out.

Other news. An F-16 flyover will take place during the national anthem.

Linebacker Shawn Crable warmed up with the defensive line and not the linebackers. I guess he'll spend a majority of game snaps in a three-point stance.

Cornerback Johnny Sears is on the dress list but not the field. Instead, Doug Dutch, a former wide receiver, took his place as second-string corner.

A Cloudy Start

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - It's about an hour before kickoff, and the Michigan-Notre Dame game isn't living up to its hype. The classic rivalry isn't mustering any national attention, and on campus, it feels like just another game.

Maybe the two teams have their winless records to thank, or maybe most of Ann Arbor has already given up on the season. Regardless, the stadium's pretty empty, the clouds are out and the temps are in the mid-50s. It's perfect weather for football, but it's yet to be determined if these two teams can put all together.

It will be interesting to see how much Michigan coach Lloyd Carr opens the playbook for freshman signal caller Ryan Mallett and how well his counterpart Jimmy Clausen will perform in the Big House.

September 08, 2007

Michigan-Oregon: Wrapping it up

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Oregon scored the game's final 36 points to leave the Big House with a convincing 39-7 win.

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Put a fork in 'em

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Michigan's defense just made a goalline stand on an Oregon fourth and goal from the one. The team celebrated and patted themselves on the back. The problem: 39-7.

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Second-half stalemate

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Neither team is getting too much going on offense. Oregon got into Michigan's red zone last drive but fumbled the ball away.

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Henne benched

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Chad Henne has just been benched. True freshman Ryan Mallett is now in the game. Wow.

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Michigan-Oregon: Halftime thoughts

ANN ARBOR, Mich - If Oregon doesn't get locked in its lockerroom during halftime, the Ducks will win. Michigan's only chance to win this game is if the team's event staff barricades Oregon into the lockerroom and forces a forfeit.

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I hope I'm getting paid by the post...

ANN ARBOR, Mich - After a three-and-out by Michigan highlighted by three Chad Henne incompletions, Oregon answered with a 61-yard touchdown pass on the first play of its drive.

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Ducks pulling away

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Boise State, eat your hearts out. Dennis Dixon just pulled off a statue of liberty remix.

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No long wait for a response

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Two plays after falling behind, Oregon quickly responded.

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Michigan on the board

ANN ARBOR, Mich - The Wolverines just grabbed a 7-3 lead after a nice catch by Adrian Arrington.

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Oh, hey there boo birds.

ANN ARBOR, Mich - The same boo birds that showed up during Lloyd Carr's pre-game introduction didn't have to wait long to return once the game started.

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Interesting notes from the field

ANN ARBOR, Mich - We're less than 30 minutes from kickoff, and there are already some interesting notes from the field as the team is warming up.

Tight end Carson Butler, who was expected to start this season before he was kicked off the team in the offseason because of legal reasons and was reinstated just last month, is dressed and expected to play. Mike Massey is still starting, but look for Butler to get some action, too.

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Michigan-Oregon: Pregame thoughts/prediction

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - What needs to be said that hasn't been already? Michigan limps into the Big House after arguably its most embarassing loss in program history to face a dangerous Oregon team. Everyone seems to know how the Wolverines will come out this afternoon. Half the people are adament that Michigan will come out and bury the Ducks while the other half seems convinced the Wolverines are demoralized to the point of no repair. Which school of thought is correct? I really don't know.

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