Before I recap the ugly game Michigan played against Notre Dame last week, I first wanted to comment on the recent news that Notre Dame is opting out of the last 3 years of their contract with Michigan. Michigan and Notre Dame will play next year at the Big House and then in 2014 at Notre Dame. The games scheduled for 2015 through 2017 will be cancelled.
My thoughts….F#ck Notre Dame.
Rudy was a fake.
This isn’t surprising news. Notre Dame recently joined the ACC conference with the exception of football, but agreed to play at least 5 games against ACC opponents each year. Notre Dame will continue to play USC and Stanford for recruiting purposes and maintain a west coast presence. They will also keep the traditional matchup with Navy. With the addition of the 5 ACC games, that doesn’t leave much room for Michigan. Next on Notre Dame’s chopping block could be Purdue or Michigan State.
Even though Michigan saw this coming, the way Notre Dame opted out of the series proved that the Irish are a bunch of dick bags. The Notre Dame AD gave Michigan’s AD, Dave Brandon, a letter before Saturday’s game stating it was canceling the games in 2015 – 2017. Yes, a letter.
Why before the game? Because Notre Dame wanted out of the 2015 game. If the AD presented the letter after the game it would have only cancelled the 2016 and 2017 games. By canceling the last 3 games, including 2015, the series gets to end at Notre Dame and also gives Notre Dame one more home game than Michigan will get during the series. Pretty sneaky move, and pretty douchy too.
But I don’t mind losing Notre Dame on the schedule. I would rather play some other big name school anyway. I thought Michigan, along with every other Big 10 school, should have dropped Notre Dame from their schedule after the Irish rejected several opportunities to join the conference.
Although Notre Dame has been Michigan’s third biggest rivalry game, the Irish have pretty much been irrelevant since the 90’s. The game has been a tradition and has provided some exciting games and memorable highlights, but losing Notre Dame could provide some great scheduling opportunities for Michigan football.
Michigan now has to fill the hole in their schedule with quality, big name opponents. The opening provides Michigan the opportunity to start new rivalries. So while Notre Dame can go eat shit and pretend to be an elite program, Michigan should be contacting USC, Texas, Oklahoma, or LSU. A matchup versus any of these schools would easily make any Michigan fan forget about Notre Dame.
Now to recap the shitty game.
Michigan out-gained the Irish in rushing yards, passing yards, first downs, time of possession, and held Notre Dame to 3-9 on 3rd down conversions. So it’s obvious that Michigan won, right?
Nope, Michigan lost at Notre Dame 13-6, falling out of the top 25.
Bottom line, Michigan had 6 turnovers. You can’t win when you commit 6 turnovers. The 6 turnovers came on 6 straight Michigan possessions, 5 interceptions and 1 fumble. The 5 interceptions happened on 5 consecutive pass attempts. Denard Robinson threw the ball only 4 times in the 2nd quarter, all intercepted [editor’s note: I didn’t watch this game, did this really happen? is this even possible?].
The frustrating part was that Michigan’s defense played really well and kept the team in the game, but Michigan and Denard couldn’t capitalize. Michigan was inside the read zone 5 times, which resulted in only 2 field goals.
Michigan has struggled on the road. Under Coach Hoke, Michigan is just 3-4 on the road. At home, they are a perfect 10-0. The players and coaches keep saying that they need to start “playing Michigan football”. Lately, it seems that playing Michigan football means losing on the road and committing turnovers.
Note: In true Denard “Hot and Cold” fashion, during the game against Notre Dame, Robinson became Michigan’s all-time offensive leader in career yards….and also became the leader in most interceptions by any Michigan QB.