|Denard Robinson made people look silly on this 41-yard touchdown run.|
(image via CBS)
This was Denard's best game. Ever. I take back all the negative things I ever said about Denard Robinson. He's spectacular. I want to have his children. In all seriousness, though, the guy was 14-for-17 for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns with zero interceptions; he also carried the ball 26 times for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. The only flaw in his game was the fumble (put the ball in your outside hand!), but he made throws in this game that he hasn't made consistently in his entire career - his 28-yard pass to Drew Dileo was thrown perfectly. That was a great way to cap the regular season.
The replay official was Woody Hayes, Jr. There was no way in hell that Fitzgerald Toussaint's touchdown run late in the fourth quarter should have been reversed. It was called a touchdown on the field and, at worst, there was no good angle to reverse the call. Officials are supposed to have "indisputable evidence" to overturn calls, and if it takes 10 minutes to review the play, then it's obviously disputable. That's not the fault of the officials on the field - it's the anonymous guy in the booth. That guy needs to be reprimanded by the league. Anyway, that play would have put Michigan up by 9 points (presumably 10 after the extra point) with about two minutes remaining, and Ohio State only had one timeout left. It would have taken a miracle for OSU to score 10+ points in under two minutes; all it would have taken is a little bit of luck for them to overcome the six-point deficit that resulted. Luckily, Courtney Avery saved the day.
What happened to Michigan's defense? I absolutely did not expect Ohio State to have that much success offensively. I figured Braxton Miller would get a good chunk of yards by scrambling or on designed runs, and he did (16 carries, 100 yards, 1 touchdown). Michigan shut down running back Dan Herron (15 carries, 37 yards, 1 touchdown). But there were wide open receivers running all over the place, and Miller actually hit some of them nicely. I can't even just pick on one guy - Blake Countess, J.T. Floyd, Thomas Gordon, Jordan Kovacs, and Troy Woolfolk all got beat on deep passes. Miller finished with 14 completions in 25 attempts for 2 touchdowns and just the 1 interception at the end of the game. I was high on Miller when Rich Rodriguez was recruiting him out of Wayne High School in Huber Heights, OH, and he's going to be tough to deal with for the next few seasons.
The game experience was awesome. It was great weather for being the end of November. The tailgaters and frat houses were partying hard. (Thanks to the tailgaters who let me join them, by the way.) I only saw one classless encounter between a Michigan fan and an Ohio State fan, and both of them were drunk and stumbling. The only downer the entire day was that the Union hockey team was sitting near me and kept complaining that people in front of them were standing. Usually "down in front!" is reserved for old people, but these 19- to 22-year-old kids were trying to rest their legs for this afternoon's game against the Wolverines, I guess.
Fitzgerald Toussaint made dudes look silly. If you are one-on-one with Toussaint in open space, you might as well lay down and take a nap. He had 20 carries for 120 yards and 1 nullified touchdown, and that was a pretty solid defense he was up against. Between Robinson and Toussaint, Michigan had 46 carries for 290 yards. Yowzers.
Ten wins. I expected the offense to be pretty good, and they've put some points on the board. I expected the defense to be solid but unspectacular, and they've been on the verge of spectacular. Aside from giving up 34 points to a mediocre Ohio State offense, the defense has been awesome this year. I did not expect Michigan to end up with ten wins on the season, and they still have a chance for an eleventh. The coaches and the players have done an excellent job overall and have played with a lot of hustle and intensity. It's been a great season, and Michigan seems to be on the upswing after a few down years.