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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Michigan 27, Wisconsin 13 - Stressful, but as expected

This post would have been a lot different if I'd written it at halftime. The defense let the Badgers score easily on their first drive. The offense tuned it over early and had about 5 straight three and outs to end the half.

But the defense was dominant in the second half, the running game got going a bit and the Wolverines completed some long passes. So the final of 27-13 is pretty much as most people expected, matching the Vegas spread of 14.

Despite that early tension, this was a good win for Michigan. The defense continues to show they're among the best in the nation. The running game needs to improve, but Wisconsin is always tough to run on. And considering that everyone in the nation was talking about a letdown for Michigan, pretty much any win here was good. This was good. Bring on the Gophers.

Some miscellaneous notes from the game:

* I know he was educated in Ohio, but I'm still surprised at Chris Spielman's inability to speak clearly. He called Arrington "Abbington", and Chad Henne "Chenny" on the same play. He also called Henne "Chad Henry" at least three times. I'm suprised he didn't call him Kenny Chesney.

* Did Spielman fart in the booth? Soon after they showed the clip from Zingerman's (God, that made me hungry) there was some silence in the booth. Then horrible play by play man Sean McDonough commented "Did you go to Zingerman's last night? Everyone in the booth thinks so."

* Was Wisconsin just frustrated or are they dirty? There were a couple of late hits and the fourth quarter leg twist of Steve Breaston. That one could result in a suspension for the Badger defender.

* I know we talk about this ad infinitum, but the crowd was horrible. And how about all those shots of the fans shaking their keys? Please, please, please, if anyone can get a screenshot of any of those key shakers, please send it to us at MichiganZone at adelphia dot net. There was one shot midway in the 2nd quarter and another with 2 minutes left in the first half.

* Was Lloyd foolish for throwing that long pass in the waning minutes, exposing Henne, or is he just playing a full four quarters?

Leave your comments on this matter, or any parts of the game.


Anonymous said...

Not sure what the refs were looking at, but the facemask (against Michigan) in the first quarter where the flag was thrown, and then picked up, made me wonder who had contributed to their pension fund. And, I thought there were a few facemasks yanked on Hart that weren't called.

Benny Friedman said...

I hate commenting about the officiating, but it was weak overall. There were at least two times where they picked up a flag, and had to have a ten minute discussion every time one was thrown. Thankfullly, they didn't really impact the outcome, though.

matt said...

not only were fans shaking their %^&%^*& keys, but i think i saw the cheerleaders holding up signs that said "key play." (i was watching at a bar, and didn't tape it so someone else will have to confirm)

...and if they were holding up signs, well, i just fucking give up. we can't win.

dgarr22 said...

You guys just need to start grabbing the drunk peoples keys and throwing them away...after a few weeks of walking home the will stop shaking the keys.

harry hasselhoff said...

LOL at Spielman fart jokes. Hilarious.

Can anyone who was actually at the game confirm the crowd was quiet? Obviously I wouldnt be surprised but would like to hear more than from people who saw it on TV. I also noticed cheerleaders holding up "NOISE" signs too. I wish they'd get some kind of MAKE SOME NOISE graphic on the scoreboard monitors. I know its a little cheesy for Michigan's taste but still I'd take cheese over the lack of noise.

bentley2121 said...

The game was pretty much what I expected. Wisconsin's defense is pretty tough. I noticed that they had a top ten unit, per the Sporting News (not the best source but still credible). I thought Henne played excellent, except for two throws, both of which went for INT's. On the crowd, I thought they were better than they have been in the past. I think people underestimate the importance of building luxury suites, for a few reasons. It creates additional revenue, locks in some noise, and will move many of the old alums out of the primetime noise making seats. Good win, in a very tough game that could have been a potential trap. Get back the jug and then we will really find out where this team is going in the three following games.

PeckHorn78 said...

At one point they were what, 0-9 on 3rd down attempts?

Also, have I been missing something, or are the cheerleaders (females too) dressing like they were going to play a round of golf???

Colin said...

The crowd was fine. Your key vendetta baffles many.

mouse said...

dudes, seriously? it's a lost cause. not only were the cheerleaders wearing outfits that made them look like they belong on the back nine of the Michigan golf course [come on. if your whole purpose is to be an attention whore, at least wear more revealing clothes, right?], they also constantly held up those fucking "KEY PLAY" signs. my keys stayed in my back pocket the whole day, FWIW. It also doesn't help that the band pretends that they're shaking their fake keys instead of opening their mouths and making noise on key plays.

I'll bring my camera next game and get a shot from row 21 of the student section for you all. it's a sad, tragic sight.

Aram said...

I'm going to disagree with your assessment on today's crowd. Yes, the maize-out was lame. Very lame. But I'd argue that it got as loud as it's gotten in recent years at many points during the game, even forcing Wiscy into a false start, a couple burned timeouts, and general confusion at points. Don't blame the "key play."

Aram said...

"It also doesn't help that the band pretends that they're shaking their fake keys instead of opening their mouths and making noise on key plays."

Mouse, looks like you need to open your eyes and notice that behind the fake keys the band waves around on 3rd down, their mouths are making quite a bit of noise.

I don't understand the obsession with the "key play," or why you and others are contending that by participating in it, people don't yell. False.

Wholesome Goodness said...

At one point in the game they showed a shot of the student section, and a pack of UM beauties lined the front row. I think I might not be able to get it up for a week now.

On a more football related note, it was a well managed 4th quarter, save that late pass. Almost brought a tear to my eye.

I love cheese said...

Overall, Kinda what I expected. I will admit I was freaking out a bit in the first quarter, but promptly calmed down after the third quarter defensive domination by our boys. Wiscy played decent, but I am not overly impressed by anything except their run defense. They are probably a 5th or 6th best team in the Big 10/11.

Matt K said...

I thought the crowd was fine. It was a very "bleh" game, for me. Not to make excuses, but a lot of students, myself included, have been struggling with like a cold/flu thing that robbed me of my voice for a lot of the game. Not that I didn't try. I thought at the crucial points in the game, the crowd responded well. Even the alumni seem to stand and scream when Branch implores them by waving his arms.

One observation, and I'm not sure if anybody else noticed the same thing, but I thought at least 2 (and maybe 3) of Henne's INTs could have been pinned on Manningham. The first one, while slightly high, should have been caught. It hit him right in the hands. On the second INT, it seemed to me like Manningham stumbled or something right off the line and sort of stopped running his route until he saw the ball coming. I haven't seen a replay or anything, but that was just my knee jerk reaction from having been at the game. Anybody else have thoughts on that?

Jpatrix said...

While I can agree that the key shake is total B.S. ( I first witnessed this about 15 years ago at Michigan Stadium by of all..Badgers. I called it shaking their tractor keys...got a big laugh in section 11). Anyhow, noise was way up when needed today and it helped the energy of not a few offsides. I did see the keys out, but not as bad. Must be a North end zone/Student thing.
The maize out must be a scam to sell more gear, why other would the shirts be alternating colors each year. What's next year? Go Maize, wear Blue. Anyhow, great game. Flat in the 1st half. But the Defense kept rushing way down again. DEFENSE WINS GAMES. Remeber this.

TitleIX said...

get over the key thing, guys. the students scream along with the keys that they wave....the cheeleaders have had those "noise" and "key play signs" since the 80s. Nothing new there.
the horse is dead....let it rest.

AND....if Lloyd had ol' what's his name take a knee you all would have been screaming about what a pussy he is. JEEZ. The coach calls an 'in your face' play at the end of the game and you all piss. Personally, I LIKED the call. Take no prisoners. Sends a great message to the team. And as Lloyd said to the ABC reporter..."It was third down, wasn't it"????

carl tabb said...

Right on, titleix. That was a great reply from The Lloyd. I laughed my ass off. Did it seem the reporter looked like he'd been scolded by a grownup afterwards?
I loved the call. It's high time we stopped caring about saving face for the other team and started smashing their face.

Anonymous said...

Jeez folks complain when LLoyd goes LLoyd and now he goes Spurrier on one play and pepole want to call him on it. Make up your minds people!

IC said...

Re. Benny's post-game notes:

* "I'm suprised he didn't call him Kenny Chesney."

* I somehow missed the exchange about Zingerman's and I'm going to check it on TiVo later. If it happened as described, what else could it have been other than Spielman cutting the chesse?

* I don't think the Badgers are dirty, though that ankle twist by the special teams guy was completely inexcusable and certainly worthy of a suspension (can you imagine if we lost Breaston because of that?)

* The cheerleader' outifts were an absolutely inexplicable abomination.

* Though I typically support and defend Lloyd, it was reckless and stupid to go for a long pass on third down with less than two minutes to go. I don't know what point he was trying to prove. Wisco was only two scores down and it was reasonable for them to call their last time out.

Carr made it worse by basically repeating the obnoxious repsonse that he had given to Todd Harris in the '04 Sparty game (for which he later apologized.) If we have Henne in at that time we should run. If we have a backup it's ok to pass, but not a pattern which exposes our QB and seeks to run up the score.

IC said...


I love the "take no prisoners" approach we've shown on defense all year and in the second halves of the ND and Wisconsin games on offense. That's because we've been aggressive when the result was in doubt. What we had to gain by going with that pass play (larger margin of victory, "message" to Badgers and others) is far outweighed by what we had to lose (health of Henne, others.)

Carl Tabb:
I'm surprised someone like you--who has been on the team for at least 10 or 12 years--would defend Carr's response to the ESPN sideline reporter. I hate to say it, but Carr looked like a prick, which is unfortunate because most everything else I know about him makes me think he's a good man. The reporter was just doing his job and wasn't being obnoxious. Lloyd would have been better served by responding, "They were playing for a run and we wanted to keep the ball, but we didn't make the play,"

Baltimore said...

i was in the student section, and the crowd was alright, though the key thing does get on my nerves. it isnt even used right- the idea is to use it on a "key play", but basically that means any 3rd down stop. i have never seen it used here for any other purpose- even when we had the game in hand and the Badgers backed up inside their own 20, the keys came out. never on an offensive third down, though, nor on any other "key play". it isnt so much how quiet it is, but just how stupid it looks. the opposing team doesnt get the pun of a "key" play- nor do they care about it. the point is to cup your hands around your mouth to make your screaming count. dont be "clever", be wild.

Kraut said...

I was at the game, and I think the crowd was pretty decent ... they got loud quite a few times.

Also, the KEY PLAY thing bothers me, too. I went to UM in the early 90's and we used the KEY PLAY when it was a key conversion (3rd/4th down) for Michigan, not for the opponent. It's supposed to be a relatively quiet support ... not to pump up the D. I've been confused for the past few years as to what the hell ppl are trying to do with their keys ...

Anonymous said...

The crowd was actually really loud. Forget about your "key play" fixation. It's just a lame but harmless play on words and a long-standing tradition in the Big House. You should focus on crowd noise, not selling your "no keys" t-shirts. GO BLUE

Anonymous said...

When the clock hit 1:35 PM and the Rabbi had just wrapped up his 30 minute sermon, I told my parents peace out, walked back to their house, got my car and drove five miles to my house to catch the second half on HDTV. I was so glad I got to see all of those keys, so CLEARLY. Maybe we should blow SHOFARS at the game.

IamCris said...

How many times has Michigan hung half a hundred since Lloyd has been at the helm? Anyone know how many times "BO" put 50+ up on opponets? Bury 'em all and pad stats, prove a point, make a statement. The game is 60 minutes long, that seemed to be a problem last year, hats off to Lloyd for flexing his balls.

Benny Friedman said...

Anon 10:11, your shofar idea is classic. I'm sure Yost would be in favor of it since it would intimidate the opponent.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe that you have not said anything about the "buckstache"
It was a classic with spewman on the front of it. Can't wait till you get that box picture on here!!


carl tabb said...

Let's see here. In Carr's tenure everything he's done has been scrutinized to the maximum degree. Rightly so, IMO. But you can't cut him a little slack when some snot-nosed reporter asks him a leading question like that? Sure, he's just doing his job but everyone knew that call was going to be loved or hated and reporters live off controversy. I loved the call on the play and I loved The Lloyd's attitude to some window licking punk trying to stir up the pot.
Oh, by the way I'm in my 14th year with the team now!

beast in bama said...

You're right, Lloyd does look like a prick whenever one of those idiot sideline "reporters" asks him a question following a game. He has a history with the one at the Wisconsin game - you can tell that guy would rather take a beating than talk to Lloyd.

On the other hand, it's refreshing to see a coach treat a sideliner with the respect he deserves...Lloyd just needs a little timeout before talking to anyone with a microphone.

I'm so glad you noticed some of the "Spielmanisms" during the game. Whenever they do a booth shot, he stares directly into the camera at all times - it's as though he's attempting to hypnotize the audience. Creepy. You guys have GOT to get ahold of that Wheaties box!

the butcher said...

i agree that lloyd looked like a prick with the sideline reporter. he definitely has a history of doing this: in a previous season he just stood there with his "i'm so looking forward to going 7-5" grin and kept repeating that the question was stupid and he wasn't going to answer it. he has a seven-figure contract because of the tv networks--jesus christ, just answer a damn question. if he doesn't want to talk, then just use some meaningless coachspeak, or if he wants to argue, show some balls and do it like spurrier. don't come across as a middle-school prick. he shouldn't act so smug until he can at least beat OSU.

TitleIX said...

Coachspeak??? come on! I prefer an intelligent leader, not a mimic.
Think about it this way...Lloyd just comes off the field with a great win, Snotty asks him a dumbass question (what happened to 'reporter speak'?) and Lloyd PAUSES, THINKS, gets CLEVER, and slam dunks the punk.
Much different than the hissy fit he threw with the "stupid question" response, which I agree, was not nice.

Speaking of DUMBASS announcers....
At the half of the PSU/tOSU game one of the PSU coaches ran over to Tre$$el and handed him something. The morons in the booth surmise that it's a note about JoePa and the status of his colon....in reality??? as Tre$$el said, "one of our kids lost his wristband"

and lastly---Musclehead is SOOOO going to ruin Dreamy Kirk that I am sickened by it....that guffaw of BM's is evil.

Blou said...

I have to agree with you when it comes to the key play. While the students have been better as a whole this year (a better defense will do that), the use of keys is ridiculous. It's cutesy and while some fans do make noise, others think that just jingling their fucking keys is enough to intimidate the opponent. It's not.

Sure, you can hear it on the field, but it's no replacement for 100,000+ screaming their heads off. Abolishing the "key play" concept would go a long way to making our stadium loud when it needs to be.

the butcher said...

you seriously think "it was third down wasn't it?" qualifies as clever?!?! do UPS commercials leave you in tears? he sounded like a pathetic little man who couldn't handle the simplest of questions. you could argue that playcall either way, but if lloyd wants to defend it and "be clever", he can make some caustic comment about wisconsin's job being to stop his team. a third grade jab at the sideline reporter (who only has one fewer victory against tressel than llloyd does) makes carr look like a little prick. and he had just won the game! good lord, i can only imagine the hissy fit he'd have had if they'd lost the game.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

I think the good defense just gives me comfort, the 10-10 tie at the half just didn't worry me. I'm kind of feeling like with the way the defense plays opponents really aren't going to do much with the ball and it's just a matter of time before Chad Henne can connect to Mario Manningham so bad offensives series, turnovers, and punts kind of make me think, 'cool, now I get to watch the defensive line beat up on people and make then run away like frightened children.'

Unlike last year, when Michigan's defense made me squirm in my seat, I enjoy watching both the offense and the defense when they're on the field. Opponents getting the ball aren't so much opportunities for them to score, but opportunities for me to satisfy some primitive bloodlust that exists deep within my psyche.

I did feel a bit uneasy after Henne's second interception. Fortunately, Wisconsin went three and out and then the touchdown pass to Manningham materialized and I felt better.

I think Chris Spielman was still drunk form the previous night. Complete incoherence plus noxious beer farts adds up to bad hangover. He also made a comment about all of Michigan's defensive starters still playing right after a play when I specifically noticed several backups in the game.

Did anyone notice Lee Corso on College Gameday obviously reading from the teleprompter when talking about USC? When he got to John David Booty's name he paused and I could almost hear him thinking "somebody's fucking with me, I'm not saying 'booty' on the air" before driving ahead while referring to USC's quarterback as "Brody" multiple times. Maybe everyone at ESPN was still drunk.

All these guys have to do for work is know stuff about college football and they can't even get the names of the quarterbacks for the #3 and #6 teams right?

I don't think the deep pass at the end of the game was all that bad. I think the whole "OMG Henne could have died" talk is a bit overstated. He's been on the field all day and this one pass is going to result in a seperated shoulder? Sure, he probably didn't even need to be on the field at that point, but one more play isn't likely to kill him. Might as well forbid him from showering so he won't slip in it. Life is risky, folks.

The pass seemed to me to be like Lloyd Carr's Arthur, King of the Britons saying to Bret Bielema's Black Knight, "Look you stupid bastard you've got no arms left!"

I do think he didn't need to be such a grouchy prick when asked about it. You're 4-0 Lloyd and have one of the best defenses in the country, enjoy it. And he was so movingly sweet after the Notre Dame game. Maybe Wisconsin's stubbornness just pissed him off.

I was actually thinking Wisconsin was going to turn the ball over more than Michigan, who'd have thunk Henne could throw three interceptions and still have a good day. 84% of his passes got caught by someone, (72% buy guys in the right uniforms).

Overall, not a bad game even though we didn't get to see another beat down.

Anonymous said...

At the MSU game, Sparty was holding up a giant pair of keys at several big 3rd downs, encouraging fans to get out theirs.

Just goes to show they copy even our bad ideas.


Anonymous said...

Well, I imagine that one reason that the stadium was so quiet was the Jewish holiday (Rosh Hashana). A lot of people were probably busy with that.

Another thing...ESPN hates us and has a hard-on for Notre Dame! Anyone else notice how strangely difficult it was on Saturday to find a story on the homepage about Mich destroying ND? Yet ND beats Mich St. and guess what? they're on the front page again! Seems like we upset ESPN last week!

surrounded in columbus said...

yeah, it was 10-10 @ half, but cheesy had 8 yds rushing and the D was so completely in control that it didn't feel like the badgers were in the game. they didn't get a first down until late in the half (4th quarter maybe?) and we were ahead a couple more scores. when the D plays like that, the offense's misfires seem unimportant- we'll score eventually- even if only by attrition.

and the D is for real. look back on how we fretted over an ND comeback last week. think now how ND did manage a comeback on Sparty. our D is for real. theirs isn't.

it's a great way to win football games, and, well, though i've held off saying this as long as i could, i'm just going to go ahead and say it now- the game reminded me a lot of the way we played in '97. there, i've cursed us and if we drop kick a loss to Minnesota next week, it's all my fault, but i have to admit it's beginning to feel true.

we had a ton of games that year w/ tight scores that we were just beating the snot out of the other team. the O was effecient, but seldom overwelming. just like this season.

will they do this all year? maybe not. but i spent the entire '97 season sweating out close games. this year isn't going to be any different.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda surprised that the "intentionally trying to twist Stevie Breaston's leg off" incident hasn't been mentioned. I was glad that the commentators showed it, since it seems as if they are contractually prohibited from saying negative stuff about individual players. What an awful display of (non)sportsmanship. That jerk deserves a suspension.

Anonymous said...

I was expecting much more commentary from this thread on Spielman farting. Easily the most awkward, and hilarious, thing ever said from a football broadcast booth. I think the actual quote was along the lines of:

Commentator: "so Chris did you go to the deli this morning?"
Spielman: "ummmmmmm"
Commentator: "everyone in the booth sure knows you did".
.....followed by 10 full seconds of a very awkward silence.

How bad must he have ripped one for it to have drawn a comment. I'm sure Madden has dropped a ton of ass in the MNF booth, but Al Michaels doesn't come back with: "so how's that Outback bloomin' onion you had for lunch sitting with you John?"

fish747 said...

Dude, I don't understand how you constantly bitch about how lame the crowd is when you watch the games on TV. That makes no sense. I sit in the corner of the endzone for every game, and I'll tell you that this year, the crowd has been screaming when the other team is backed up. It has paid off, because you can see the opposing QBs try to audible. Wisconsin had to burn 2 timeouts becuase they didn't know what play they were in. The crowd had to have something to do with that.

So, quit your bithcing unless you actually go to the games. Otherwise, your blog kicks ass.

Anonymous said...

the shaking of the keys is idiotic. i've been to a game in the big house each of the last 5 years and my friends and i are amazed how quiet 111,000 people can really be. the penn state crowd for last years game was much louder the entire game until we pulled it out at the end.

sean mcdonough is a puke. tirico is a pig. someone please punch lupica and marriotti in the face. i hate espn.

Ben said...

Two things that anyone who actually went to the game would know:

1.) The crowd was fine and even good at times -- Wisconsin third downs were consistently loud, by anyone's standards.

2.) Maize was the predominant color in the crowd and participation will get better as we do more of these -- the student section was completely maize, and the most coordinated I've ever seen them. It was truly impressive.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the crowd seemed loud to me from the broadcast, especially for a noon game where there's less time for one to imbibe enough to lose the inhibition to yell. In my years sitting in the student section, I never saw the keys preventing anyone from yelling.

Anonymous said...

I want to comment on our play calling.

I don't know how many third down plays we had that were 8, 7, 6 yards and we would run a 3 yard out pass play. There must have been 8 or 9 plays like that. What in the heck are the coaches thinking? Even if the pass is caught, the player is right on the sideline, and there is nowhere to go.

And, we never seem to throw a pass down the middle. Manningham is always on the sideline... I don't get it.

I'm just a fan, but this stuff is maddening - we don't seem to want to use our players in an effective manner.

Anonymous said...

As an SEC fan, I've got no dog in the Big 10 hunt, but to me, I didn't get the impression that Lloyd sounded like a prick when replying why he called that pass play at the end of the game. As Spurrier once said (or a paraphrase thereof), it's his job to score points, it's the other team's job to stop him.

Behind Enemy Lines said...

Wow, just read thru all 80 comments and the people crying about Lloyd not being nice to a reporter is making me laugh. Why should Lloyd be nice to a reporter? The last 8 or 9 years he has got nothing from them but criticism. I'm still surprised Lloyd talks to them. Its part of the reporters job to ask tough questions I know but the man is obviously fed up and doesn't care two licks for them and personally I wouldn't either if in his spot. And remember, the reporters need Lloyd, he doesn't need them.

Oh and I loved that Lloyd tried to run up the score! Even if we were up 4 TD's I would still love to see it. Might put a scare into other teams about us especially OSU.

Nicole said...

What's weird about fans pulling out keys is that it seems to mean something different everywhere you go.

At Wisconsin, we shake the keys during the kickoff. I think it's just for the tinkling noise, no real good reason.

At LSU, the studennts pull out their keys in the fourth quarter and they're going to win, to indicate to the opposing team that it's time for them to get out their keys and go home.

You all use it as a pun for key plays.

Are there more key uses out there?

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to have UM's student section jingling keys. What was worse was that during the dozen times they cut to the crowd, a large majority of those students had closed mouths.