Monday, August 30, 2010

Countdown to Kickoff - day 5

September 12, 2009

Michigan 38 - Notre Dame 34

I think the majority of the reason I hope Tate Forcier is the main QB for Michigan in 2010, is because of his performance in this game. He seemed to be channeling the best M QB performances. The read and fake and run up the middle for the long TD lead to one of the largest roars I've ever heard in the Big House. Then he topped that with the last drive to win the game. I don't know if it was injury, better defense, or his own limitations that slowed him the rest of the season, but for those first 4 weeks of 2009, Forcier seemed like he was destined for big things.

The stadium never looked better. I think this was the best job they've ever done with a Maize Out. The Student Block M was very nice as well.

Brandon Minor put M on the board with a TD plunge. ND answered with a field goal (after a correct out-of-bounds call took a TD off the board). It appeared the 1st quarter would end 7-3 when Darryl Stonum took the kick off back the distance to make it 14-3 Michigan. The Irish scored the next 17 points to take a 20-14 lead late in the half. The fans were starting to get restless. On a 4th and 11, Forcier scrambled and found Greg (jiMpossible'ssonpossesive) Mathews for the first down, moving the ball close enough for a field goal before the half.

The momentum seemed to carry over into the second half, Michigan drove the length of the field, but got stopped on 3rd and goal. When Jason Olesnavage missed the field goal, the drive came up empty. The Irish turned it right back to Michigan on a fumble. Forcier found Kevin Koger who stretched into the endzone to put M back in front.
Early in the 4th Forcier made the aforementioned TD run on 4th and 3 from the Irish 31. Unfortunately just as the last time M had an 11 point lead, the Irish answered with 14 straight points to go back in front 34-31 with just over 5 minutes left.

When M punted with 3:12 left, I remember thinking they were unlikely to get the ball back. After M stopped the 1st down run, the Irish threw 2 incomplete passes. Their punt (and the incomplete passes) left M with 2 timeouts, 57 yards and 2:13 on the clock. What I remember most about the drive was how calm Forcier seemed during the whole thing. Fans around us were screaming that M was taking too long between plays, they needed to save more time etc. At the time I thought it was perfect. If M didn't score they wouldn't be able to stop the clock anyway, so take your time, make sure it is right...
A pair of back to back catches - first by Martavious Odoms then by LaTerryal Savoy gave M a first down and goal at the 5 with 22 seconds left.
On first down Forcier had a ridiculous scramble that ended up with ball hitting Savoy in the hands in the endzone. An Irish defender did just enough to deflect or distract to cause his to drop it.
Then this happened! The clock ran out as the Irish attempted a late rush and Michigan escaped with a great victory!

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