THE GAME- Looking Back 2011

The final installment of my Michigan-Ohio State countdown takes us to 2011, the lone game I’m reviewing in the current century, and with good reason, from a Michigan perspective. The current decade has been dominated by Ohio State, with Troy Smith spinning away from Michigan linebackers and A.J. Hawk knocking running backs all the way to Massachusetts. It’s been a rough century so far, from the Maize and Blue view.

But in 2011, that changed. Led by former UM assistant coach Brady Hoke, the Wolverines started the game with renewed optimism, only to see Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller find Corey Brown all alone for a 54-yard touchdown pass to give Ohio State the early lead. Michigan regained its poise, though, and quarterback Denard Robinson knotted the score when he darted around left tackle on an option play for a 41-yard touchdown run. A holding penalty in the end zone on Ohio State gave Michigan a safety, and the Wolverines took control…for a little while. Ultimately, the game went back and forth, and wasn’t decided until Courtney Avery intercepted Miller with seconds to play, giving Michigan its first win in the series since 2003.

Big Ten wimps out on conference football championship game

From the people who brought you the Leaders and Legends divisions…Your Big 10 Football Championship Location-INDIANAPOLIS.

Really? That’s the best you can do?

I hope the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce has worked out some sweet incentives for Jim Delaney and his crew of merry pranksters but color this football fan unimpressed.

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M Football 2011-Michigan Wolverines Too Much For ohio’s Buckeyes in Big House: M 40-OSU 34

By Andy Andersen

Saturday the Wolverines prevailed in a very tough battle against OSU at home.  Combative, competitive, and closer­­ than it perhaps had to be, “The Game” turned out to be the long sought after signature win that the program has been seeking for several years.  Coach Hoke has the best first season record at Michigan since Fielding Yost.

While this win was not as unexpected as Bo’s 1969 win over the hordes of Woody Hayes, and will not resonate at that larger than life level, it will live on even though this was not a top ranked group of Buckeyes, a team of the Century, by any measure.  It was a great and entertaining game in its own right.

Appreciation of this win will be a cornerstone for the Hoke era to build on, the capper to a great regular season.  It points to a restoration of toughness, of playing the full sixty minutes, of meeting adversity head on, of better than average coaching, of improvement over a season, and team effort. The Buckeye is off our collective Wolverine backs.

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M Football 2011-“Michigan” Football Returned In November to the Big House Saturday As the 18th Ranked Wolverines Demolished Nebraska’s 16th Ranked Cornhuskers 45-17

By Andy Andersen

Saturday the Wolverines threw about everything they had at the Cornhuskers including a fake field goal, a gang tackling hustling defense, special teams causing turnovers while not contributing them, and an aggressive Denard Robinson. The Huskers were unable to convert many third downs, and weren’t successful at that until the third quarter.

Denard Robinson, and Fitz Toussaint performed better than their Husker counterparts Burkhead, and Martinez.  They are good, but on this afternoon, they were surpassed. The Wolverines held the ball for 41:13 minutes to The Huskers 18:39.  This is just what the Wolverine coaches ordered, and the Wolverines played the game the coaches had envisioned for them in games past, but they had not yet accomplished it.  They made Nebraska one dimensional and then compressed that dimension.

Michigan gained 418 yards to the Huskers 260, having a 7 game win streak going in the Big House this season.

Fitzgerald Toussaint had his fourth 100-yard game of the season, and achieved 138-yards on 29 carries, with two TDs.    He is displaying the promise he has shown at practice for so long, and there is no question any more whether or not he is the featured back.  He has a nice combination of moves, speed and power, and is improving every game. His last TD was an extraordinary run.  He was stopped around the line of scrimmage, slid off, cut, and with a burst of speed put it in the end zone.  It was a play of great effort and performance.

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