September 22, 2001 - Red, white and blue pom moms and an American flag in the stands for the first game in Michigan Stadium after 9/11. Michigan would win 38 - 21 over Western Michigan behind 3 TDs (2 rushing, 1 receiving) from BJ Askew.
The Wolverines came out of the tunnel with a week’s worth of death knell piled high on their shoulders, fired up and ready to unload their frustrations on the middling Broncos. On a mission to show that they are not actually “trash” as the current president of the (completely made-up) #1 jersey wearers club has suggested, the offense took the field and...promptly went three-and-out.
Light boos commenced. Welcome home.
From there, however, it was pretty damn good, with the caveat that the Broncos are of poor quality, even by rat hat standards. Wolverine ball carriers were showcasing their athleticism, line was blocking, quarterback was making money moves and throwing darts. Higdon had 140 yards rushing...in the first quarter. Michigan had the ball 11 times: 7 touchdowns, 2 punts, 1 missed field goal (please don’t have the yips this year, Quinn), and the running out of the clock to end of the game. Subs got in, like they used to back in 2015. McCaffrey to McCurry for an 18-yard pylon tapping touchdown caused Tuggy to spontaneously drink a Jameson shot.
On the other side of the ball, the defense was THE defense, and if you listen to Chase Winovich’s postgame interview, it seems like it should have been. 208 yards and 3-points is the correct amount of offense that should have been allowed. Of course now the dominance is being repackaged by the Michigan Mothership and fed to the proletariat. YOU WILL PAY ATTENTION TO THE DEFENSIVE STATS STARTING IN THIS ARBITRARY SPOT: HALFTIME OF LAST WEEK.
I don’t know what any of this means. My eyes tell me Saturday was a good thing. My 40-years of Michigan skepticism tell me it's meaningless. But there has to be something to executing on that level, despite the opponent. Maybe this really is how the team gels. Maybe the loss at ND will end up being a unifying moment. Maybe the line figured something out.
Maybe I got sucked back in by that laser from Shea to DPJ. Ya, I probably did.
Wisconsin looms large my friends, and we’ve got 4 games to go before then, the most difficult of which is a road game that will be played in front of mostly Michigan fans against a team that just got housed by Duke. We need to right the ship, then burn it Cortes style as we head into that meaty Wisky-Sparty-PSU portion of the schedule.
THE TAILGATE THE TAILGATE THE TAILGATE
Stellar turnout for the Pancake Breakfast, which got a surprise addition of an early lunch of Cuban sandwiches and seasoned fries. There was not a morsel of food remaining during post game clean up, so my hats off to the group for knocking out 96ozs of pancake batter infused with 4 pounds of breakfast sausage, 12 pounds of cheesy potatoes, 8 pounds of bacon, 24ft of pressed Cuban sandwiches, 10lbs of crinkle cut fries, 5 pounds of oxtail ragu, and 50 hot dogs. You should all be ashamed or proud, depending on your current heart condition.
3:30 kick next week. Pace yourselves. And Go Blue!
Selection Sunday is upon us. And OF COURSE there will be a 13th (!?!?) annual UMTailgate.com Tournament Challenge.
There will be no nail-biting anticipation. There's no question, we're in. But we need to get this whole Big Ten Tournament thing out of the way first, right? I was inclined to vote for tanking it and having the boys enjoy a full week off, but yesterday's second half against The Fighting Sanduskys (classless? yup) made me feel better about the tank-job on Sunday (which I paid about $100 to watch over 3G in Columbia). Maybe the BTT can be used to wipe the poor taste from our mouths left from Sunday, or that other PSU game, or the definitively poor last quarter of the season.
- Basketball (26-6, 12-6) vs. Wisconsin (21-10, 12-6): And you thought we wouldn't get to avenge that half-court shot that sent the game to that shitty overtime at the Kohl center. Big Ten Tournament Round Two Action tips off at the United Center at 2:30PM -ESPN.
- Baseball (8-7) at Coastal Carolina (7-10): We're heading to the home of the Chanticleers! First pitch in Myrtle Beach at 4pm. Live audio lives here.
- Hockey (15-18-3, 9-15-3) at Western Michigan (19-9-8, 15-7-6): CCHA quarterfinals action in Kalamazoo. I wonder if the Godfather is going? I wonder who he will be cheering for? 6:35pm on FSD.
- Big Ten Tournament Other Games: Game 5: No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 8 Illinois, 11 a.m., ESPN || Game 7: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Nebraska, 5:30 p.m., BTN || Game 8: No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 6 Iowa, 8 p.m.*, BTN
- Basketball vs. Indiana or Illinois: The Big Ten Tournament continues? 12:40PM CBS
- Other BTT Semi-Final: Ohio State or Nebraska vs. Iowa (see what I did there?) 3:00PM CBS
- Baseball at Coastal Carolina: 3pm Live Audio
- Hockey at Western Michigan: Game 2 of the CCHA quarterfinals 7pm...no coverage?
St. Patrick's Day:
- Drinking and Breakfast at Conor Oneill's with your's truly. 7AM
- Basketball vs. Ohio State, Nebraska or Iowa: The BTT finals...2:30PM CBS
- Baseball vs. Akron (in Myrtle Beach) 11:00AM
- NCAA Tournament Selection Announcement 6PM CBS.
- Hockey at Western Michigan (if necessary) 7pm