(No mini-column this week as that is coming in a day or so).
Devin Gardner's emergence keeps Michigan in Big Ten hunt - Detroit News
Gardner is a different quarterback than Denard Robinson, who's still dealing with an injured elbow. But he's similar in this regard - when something needs to happen, he can make it happen in a flash. He does it with a smooth, steady cool that looks quite natural, and suddenly, Michigan's quarterback situation is in very good hands, for now and the future.
Football Forever - MGoBlog
A referee makes an arbitrary approximation of the spot of the football as Kain Colter is brought to the turf. A couple of guys dressed like crossing guards then take out an extremely precise ten-yard chain. The referee, staring at the football like it's the bottom line of an eye chart, determines that the play has resulted in a first down by the smallest of possible margins. For all intents and purposes, the game is over, decided by an educated guess made at breakneck speed.
Football is the worst.
The interviewee turned interviewer after his team's somewhat improbable 38-31 overtime win Saturday against Northwestern, asking the media: "All right, let me ask them a question: Who started writing the article before the game was over?" It drew a chuckle, because the story had seemed to have been written: Michigan falls as late comeback spoiled by late interception. But there was another chapter to unfold.
Hubris - The Hoover Street Rag
I like to believe that there are football gods, a sub-executive level group of functionaries below the big guy who oversee the hopes and prayers of football fans everywhere, because there's a lot of traffic in that area, but it's not particularly important in the grand scheme. They can't answer all of the prayers all of the time, because everything would end in a tie, but I like to think they reward humility and punish hubris. So while some of you may rightfully argue that Roy Roundtree's amazing catch to put Bear Gibbons in position to tie the game was the moment you know Michigan was going to win, I knew it was the moment shown above, when Pat Fitzgerald decided to celebrate the flag that Brennan Beyer just drew for roughing the quarterback, keeping a Northwestern drive alive, a drive upon which they would go on to score and take the lead.
Five plays that changed the game - Maize and Blue News
Recognizing that the play was doomed, Gardner quickly put on the breaks, but still found himself in a lot of trouble. In what might be described as an awkwardly athletic play, the junior signal caller fell over backwards and heaved the ball in the direction of Fitzgerald Toussaint, where it fell harmlessly incomplete. "I just saw Fitz’s back, his numbers, and I was just going to drill him in the back as hard as I could," said Gardner after the game. "I just tried to avoid the sack and hit him as hard as I could with the ball. That was really scary. And I actually told the guy that almost got me, ‘you almost got me.’"
Northwestern-Michigan recap and the infinite sadness - Sippin' On Purple
Brutal. Just absolutely, positively brutal.
When Northwestern led by double digits against Michigan, the cynicists in all of us expected an eventual loss. We'd all seen this movie before: it plays on the insides of our eyelids.. When Northwestern picked up a first down with under two minutes and opposition unable to stop the clock, those cynicists had admitted their error, packed up their bags and gone home for the day. They punted to give Michigan the ball with 18 seconds and a chance for some desperation heaves.
Michigan defeats Northwestern, 38-31, in overtime comeback - The Michigan Daily
Gardner, Michigan’s junior receiver-turned-quarterback making just his second career start in place of injured senior quarterback Denard Robinson, launched a downfield strike to fifth-year senior receiver Roy Roundtree at the Wildcat nine-yard line. Roundtree was beaten, cloaked by cornerback Daniel Jones, but Roundtree’s desperation attempt at the ball tipped it away from Jones and into his own hands as he fell to the turf. Eight seconds changed the entire complexion of the afternoon. "There was time on the clock and the defense gave us a place to stand," Gardner said.
Charmed I’m Sure - MVictors
First, let me grab my retro-spectacles to ensure my vision is 20-20. That’s better…I can see clearly now. For openers, Northwestern took that delay of game penalty on 4th down on the U-M 44. They should have just punted it there and not sacrificed the five yards. Then, with the ball at midfield, the punter hit a short, line-drive right into Gallon’s hands which is just about the worst thing that can happen. I’m assuming that Fitz told his punter to get the ball off quickly to avoid a block, but Hoke outflanked him by setting up the return to the surprise of a few folks including Brian Griese up in the ESPN booth. Then Treezy somehow was singled covered down the field before the lucky tip and the epic grab.
Michigan 38, Northwestern 31 - Touch the Banner
Kenny Demens goes boom. In Friday's game preview, I predicted that Demens would have a big game. It seemed like the coaches were trying to give him a breather by playing Joe Bolden a little bit, but I'm really not sold on Bolden being ready for Big Ten play right now; he'll be good but he's not yet. Back to my point, Demens stepped up in a big way late in the game by making the final two tackles, including a thumping hit on Northwestern superback Tyris Jones to end the game. Games against a team like Northwestern set up well for someone like Demens, who can take on Northwestern-caliber linemen and still make plays on interior runs. He did get burned for a touchdown in pass coverage, but he was covering a wide receiver, which was hardly a fair contest. Demens ended the game with 9 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
Plays of the Week: 3rd Down Options - Sippin' On Purple
Facing a formidable challenge, Mick McCall came up with a gameplan that featured one of Northwestern's less frequently used run plays, the speed option. The gameplan was likely dictated in part by personnel, as Michigan's interior defensive line has been solid this year; the speed option limits their chances to make a play and can tire them out with lateral movement. While personnel likely was a factor, there is also a schematic reason to attack Michigan with the speed option, as a critical third down play showed.