Great Shane of Subway Domer video fame decided to sit down and simulate the 2012 Football Season on NCAA Football 2013. He took notes as he watched the Notre Dame games unfold. Dear god, he's going to die at a young age...
On to Michigan:
Week 4 - Michigan vs. Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)
Somehow by the grace of God we go from #21 and getting curb-stomped by Michigan State to still being ranked at #23 heading into this week against #5 and undefeated Michigan (Yea, they beat fucking Alabama.) So last week we got stomped by a rival who we’ve been playing close lately, and now THIS week we’re up against Michigan; a team who has become synonymous with stupidly close games (particularly close fucking loses in the last few seconds) and I’m already getting the creeping feeling of anxiety shits. Everyone throw on your Manti Te’o and Everett Golson jerseys and let’s start a prayer circle every 5 blocks because we’re going to need it.
Michigan wins the toss and defers so the Irish come out with the ball first after a touchback on the opening kick.
With the Irish on offense, Golson comes out I assume looking like he’s about to decide who the real athlete on the field is and ready to rock. On 1st and in the gun, Davonte Neal takes the ball on a jet sweep for a pickup of 5. On 2nd down, Golson drops back and slings the ball downfield to John Goodman who ACTUALLY CATCHES IT HOLY SHIT as the Irish pickup a nice 37 yards down to the Michigan 33.
After a few failed passes on 1st and second they line up on 3rd and throw to Goodman who gets the first down yardage only to be wrecked b y the linebacker and fumble the ball (heeeeeeere we go) which Michigan recovers at their own 23. What a fucking waste.
Michigan comes out with Denard Robinson under center and I can already hear the Irish defensive huddle: “Okay gentlemen, we’re gonna go for the injury. A cool grand to whoever takes out Denard. Double it if he has to get carted off. No one records these things so we’re gonna get away with this agreement. Everyone good?? Okay, ready, BREAK!”
So Denard comes out on 1st and Michigan tries to throw but Manti Te’o jumps up and blocks the pass with his goddamn chest because he is a fucking man and it fall incomplete. On 2nd, the pass rush proves too much for Denard again as he drops another pass incomplete. On 3rd the Wolverines hit their wideout in stride and pick up exactly enough yards for the first. Back on 1st again Denard scrambles and picks up 12 down to the Michigan 48. After a failed run on 1st, Denard tries to scramble on 2nd and Stephon Tuitt makes him pay for it by hitting him hard enough to knock the ball loose, bit a Michigan lineman is first on the scene and falls on it. This brings up 3rd and 4, where the Wolverines comes out trying a screen only to lose 3 yards and be forced to punt. The kick goes into the end zone for a touchback.
Golson comes out on the next drive looking for redemption, and starts off by hitting TJ jones for 9 yards. On 2nd he hits Goodman over the middle for a gain of 8. On 1st down Golson tried to hit Riddick on a screen and it loses 2 so he tries again on 2nd to DaVaris Daniels and gains 5 to bring up 3rd and 7. On 3rd down Golson strikes Davonte Neal right at the 1st down marker as he’s pushed out of bounds for a fresh set of downs. But as is tradition, on 1st down we get called for a false start and are now up against 15 yards for the 1st. On 1st we try a HB Sweep and lose 3 yards bringing up 2nd and 18. On 2nd we pass to Cierre Wood who appears to run backwards and pickup nothing. And then hilariously on 3rd down Golson gets sacked and he fumbles the ball which Michigan recovers. This is almost too realistic in my opinion.
So now with Michigan at the Notre Dame 30, Robinson scrambles for a pickup of 4. On 2nd down Notre Dame gets the clearest chance in history to nail a pick-6 but Lo Wood drops the INT. Unreal. So now on 3rd and 6 Denard hits his receiver over to the left and he gets tackled over the 1st down marker and that brings up the end of the 1st quarter.
To start the 2nd quarter, with Michigan at the Notre Dame 19 yard line they try a few runs on 1st and seconds and bring up 3rd at 2. On 3rd down they dive for the 1st up the middle to bring up 1st and goal from the 7. On 1st down Denard drops back and scrambles for a nice little trot right into the end zone with almost no resistance to take a 6-0 and make it 7-0 following the PAT.
So Notre Dame gets the ball and starts at the 25 following another touchback. On 1st down we try another HB Sweep and lose 3 yards. On 2nd down we make another attempt and this time pick up 10 yards to being up 3rd and 3. But on 3rd down we try a little zone read option and Golson can’t turn the corner and gets taken down a yard short of the 1st. Notre Dame is forced to punt. Ben Turk hits that sucker all the way to the Michigan 20 and its brought out to the 30 before getting stopped.
So at the Michigan 30, Denard and company come out and on 1st down and drops back to pass, looks and finds no one open, so he decides to scramble only to find Te’o doesn’t think so and slams him for a short gain. On 2nd down its shades of 2011 as Robinson goes deep and this time Bennett Jackson forgets how to play his position and the wide receiver catches the ball down at the Notre Dame 5. At the 5. From the 30. What the fuck. 1st and goal.
On 1st and goal they try to run it and get stopped. On 2nd down, same deal. But on 3rd down Robinson somehow is left unchecked and waltzes the ball into the fucking end zone. Following the PAT its 14 nothing with 1:35 left in the half.
Notre Dame gets the touchback on the kickoff and on 1st down from the 25 Golson stays cool in the pocket and launches a pass to TJ Jones down to the Notre Dame 46. On 1st again Golson swings a pass over to Goodman who gains 6 yards and Kelly calls timeout. On 2nd down Golson hits Cierre Wood and he takes it right up to the marker but falls short bringing up 3rd and inches at the Michigan 44. On 3rd down they try a sweep and Wood gets nowhere, bringing up 4th and inches, where Kelly decides hes punting (what the wha??) With literally 15 seconds remaining in the half Michigan comes out and runs the ball down to their own 45 and call timeout.
Brace yourselves, this next part is going to hurt. Yea, you already know…
So on 1st down, 12 seconds to go in the half, Denard Robinson drops back to pass…launches it deep as fuck…our corner is blanketing the receiver, and yet somehow…only the receiver goes up to get it, which he does…our CB falls to the ground helplessly…and the fucktard walks into the end zone without incident. It’s 2011, just with a different number at the end. 21-0 with :06 left in the half. This is fucking ridiculous. Halftime strikes on the kickoff which goes nowhere.
So by now it’s safe to assume that over the course of the season Brian Kelly’s health has to have deteriorated past the point of sideline coaching and he’s likely up in the booth shitting blood or something while Chuck Martin handles the sideline duties. Sounds about right. Halftime over!
So to add insult to injury Michigan gets the ball to start the 2nd half. Following a touchback, its 1st down. Michigan gains a decent amount of yardage on 1st but get called for holding making it 1st and 20. Zeke Motta misses another INT on 1st down and on 2nd they hit a screen and pickup 14 bringing up 3rd and 4. On 3rd down Robinson goes deep and hits Motta again in the hands which he fucking drops AGAIN. Seriously. They punt and Riddick returns to the Notre Dame 35.
On 1st down Cierre Wood catches a pass for almost no gain. On 2nd down Golson finds Goodman for the 1st down right at the Notre Dame 47. On 1st again Golson tries to scramble and picks up 2. On 2nd down he goes to Goodman again for the 1st at the Michigan 38. Once again on 1st he checks down for Goodman but leads him by too much and lands the ball right in the hands of a Michigan defender who picks it off. Michigan ball on the Michigan 26.
Robinson throws deep and incomplete on 1st and on 2nd the halfback picks up 6 bringing up 3rd and 4. They try to run it again on 3rd but don’t get there and are forced to punt. Finally some D from Notre Dame for once. Riddick returns the ensuing punt to the Notre Dame 30.
Golson comes out and throws a screen to Wood for a gain of 4 on 1st down. On 2nd down he tries the same exact shit and it gets swatted down. On 3rd down he tries to go deep and the ball hits Goodman right in the hands and once again our team doesn’t know how to actually catch the ball and it falls incomplete. We punt and Michigan sets up at their own 27.
On 1st down they try to run and go nowhere. On 2nd they try a read option and it goes nowhere either. 3rd and 10 now and Robinson drops back only to get wrecked by Stephon Tuitt for a sack. Michigan is forced to punt and Riddick returns it to the Notre Dame 38.
On 1st down Golson stands in the pocket for what seems like forever only to have the pass hit nothing but dirt, incomplete. On 2nd he finds Davonte Neal for 9 yards over the middle. On 3rd he hands off to Wood who gets the 1st. Starting once again on 1st from the 49, Golson seems to panic and throws it out of bounds. He actually does the exact same thing again on 2nd down and its starting to look like the wheels are coming off…but then he lines up on 3rd down and locates DaVaris Daniels who beat his man downfield and nails him for a pass which Daniels walks into the end zone for a Notre Dame touchdown! Following the PAT its 21-7 Michigan right as the 3rd quarter comes to an end.
So we’re starting the 4th quarter now and it’s do or die time. Defense needs to make stops and the Offense has to get their shit together. We kick it off to the Shitbears and they start at their own 28.
On 1st down they try to run left and Manti is having none of that and takes him down at the line of scrimmage. On 2nd down the running back gains about 15 yards down to the Michigan 44. On 1st down now, Robinson dumps off a pass to the back out in the flat and he picks up about 7 before being taken down by Danny Spond. Once again on 2nd down we can account for the guy out in the flat and he picks up the 1st down to the Notre Dame 41. On 1st Denard scrambles and it appears we forgot he could do that because he makes his way down to the 26 before we stop him. On 1st now, Kapron Lewis-Moor steps in a shuts down a run 4 yards into the backfield bringing up 2nd and 14. On 2nd down the back manages to get maybe a yard on the run and brings up 3rd and 13 at the Notre Dame 31. Hug 3rd down here…
So suddenly the crowd gets all into and the “Defense! Defense” chants kick into high gear. The ball is snapped on 3rd and the pressure flushes Robinson out of the pocket where he decides to launch on toward the end zone, and it its promptly picked off by Jamoris Slaughter in the end zone! Glimmer of hope??
Notre Dame ball with 2 minutes left in the game at their own 20. Nut check!
On 1st down Golson finds Tyler Eifert (why won’t they throw to him EVER??) for 5 yards but he fails to get out of bounds. Clock continues to run…on 2nd he finds Eifert again this time picking up the 1st down to the ND 40. On 1st Golson narrowly avoids the sack by getting rid of the ball last minute and it falls incomplete. On 2nd he hits TJ Jones at the 50 but the clock keeps running. On 3rd he finds Eifert again wide open who takes it down to the Michigan 35. Clock stops to move the chains. The clock strike 1 minute and Notre Dame decides now is a perfect time to use their first timeout of the half.
Coming out of the timeout its 1st down. Golson lines up in the gun and and hits Goodman right at the sideline down to the Michigan 19 with the clock stopping at :56. 1st down again and he goes back to Eifert on the opposite sideline for a pickup of about 4 to the Michigan 15. 51 seconds left to go in the game and on 2nd down Golson finds Wood underneath who catches and runs it down to the Michigan 4. Notre Dame takes its second timeout with :47 left to play.
On 1st and goal Golson finds a man but TJ Jones drops the ball in the end zone. 2nd and goal now and Golson tries again in his direction but the defender bats it down. 3rd down and goal from the 4 with :40 left in this one now…
On 3rd down Golson stands in the pocket and looks for his man but can’t seem to find anyone open and launches on over the back of the end zone. 4th down. So on 4th and “don’t fuck this shit up” Golson lines up, snaps it, and finds TJ Jones in the flat where he apparently decides to do nothing with the ball and just fucking stands there and gets tackled before he can score. Turnover on downs. Fuck you NCAA13, at least make a minor effort to give a shit. Michigan runs out the clock and the game is over. 21-7 is your wonderful final score here.
So all in all it’s like the same shit from last year just repeated itself. We couldn’t defend the pass and we couldn’t find a way to deal with Robinson’s bullshit. The only difference is that instead of waiting until the end of the game to give everyone in ND Nation manic depressive disorder, Notre Dame took care of that shit by halftime. Honestly the biggest issue I saw in this game was exactly what everyone saw with Gary Gray last year: bullshit cornerback play. They were able to pass all over the fucking place and at times it seemed we forgot who the shit we were playing and let Denard escape to wherever the hell he wanted. This is surely not looking good for Kelly right about now. Also of note, Golson doesn’t seem to do much moving at all for being the “mobile quarterback” we all hoped he’d be. Kinda seems counterintuitive to install a guy who can move his ass off and then never use that skill set. This is of particular concern for games like this one where we LITERALLY could NOT run the football. Want to know who our leading rusher was? Cierre Wood, as im sure yo might expect. Want to know how many yards he had today? Are you sure? 11. You read that right, its 11. ELEVEN FUCKING YARDS on TEN MOTHERFUCKING CARRIES! *Brain ASPLODE*
All in all it’s a shitty way to go into the bye week. If this shit happened for real it’d be one crappy combination of weekends fuming and drinking for me and my cat. But fuck it maybe we’ll get it together for Miami.
Golson: 20/35, 270 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 69% Completion, 1 sack
Daniels: 3 Recs, 52 yds, 1 TD
Wood: 10 Carries, 11 hilarious yds