So earlier today, if you read my article about how replay in college football is horrible (which it is), you might remember that I said, despite a full slate of games, there really had not been any great games.
Well, with just a few minutes left of Saturday, there has been a GREAT game.
When I saw that College Gameday was chilling out in Michigan today, my first thought was “Meh, another classic rivalry that probably won’t live up to the hype.”
I stand corrected.
This game had everything (except last minute Defense). Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson at times looked like he was going the route of Nick Sheridan/Stephen Threet. If you do not understand what I mean by that, let me put it in simple terms. He looked awful. His accuracy was so bad, there were times I think he would have missed hitting Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal (just watched this movie today). Several of Robinson’s completions were either lucky or due to his receiver making a fantastic play.
Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees would have made Katy Perry proud as he was Hot and Cold all night. He threw three touchdowns, two interceptions, and lost a key fumble in the fourth quarter. However, when he had the chance late in the game, he was clutch. Notre Dame went right down the field thanks to the arm of Rees and scored with 30 seconds left.
It was at this point in the game that everyone was thinking “Michigan’s Defense let them down again.” Make no mistake about it, Michigan’s defense did let them down. The game was on the line at the end of the game and they could not come through. It is a disappointing finish for the Defense considering that the defense actually played pretty well in the second half. When it came down to crunch time, they just could not pull the thing off. That is something Brady Hoke and staff will need to correct going forward.
So the game is over right? WRONG. Denard Robinson throws a ball to a wide open Jeremy Gallon and he makes a great run down to the Notre Dame 16 yard line. If Michigan’s defense could not finish, Notre Dame’s defense did not even get off the starting blocks on this play. They were in a prevent defense. Conventional wisdom says the prevent should stop long throws down the field.
Now this is where the game goes from Great to All-Time Great. Any rational, sane individual was thinking field goal. At the very least, follow Kirk Herbstreit’s advice and just run a quick play to center the ball, then call time-out. Clearly Brady Hoke, Robinson, and wide receiver Roy Roundtree all need to be committed because they were having none of it.
Hike. Throw. TOUCHDOWN. Bedlam.
This was by far one of the gutsiest calls I have ever seen. Apparently Les Miles did in fact take the head coaching job in Ann Arbor because this was absolutely nuts. As someone who bleeds Scarlet and Gray, I jumped up off the couch in disbelief. Not because I was upset that Michigan won (a small part of me remained on the couch disappointed), but rather I was genuinely excited to see what will go down as one of the best finishes in Michigan history.
For Notre Dame, its just another loss and yet another head coach on his way to the hot seat. Quite frankly, a lot of mental mistakes were made on both sides of the ball as each team tried to give the game away. Brian Kelly’s team unfortunately just happened to be the team that gave it away last. Losing the first two games of the season, even against quality opponents (remains to be seen, but fingers crossed), does not sit well with the alumni in South Bend. Kelly is probably already feeling the pressure. But hey, at least he kept his cool this week on the sidelines. Right? Notre Dame fan? Alright. We won’t talk about it.