Monday, September 17, 2007

Michigan 38, The Offensive Genius 0

So...there was a game on Saturday, and to say that Notre Dame brought a knife to a gunfight would be giving them too much credit. What they brought could maybe best be described as one of those little dinky water pistols I played with as a wee boy.

So what does it mean for Penn State? Meh. I'll cover that in GBU, but it won't be much, because doesn't mean much.

Hopefully any competency Lloyd Carr and his coaches have left will be focused this week in not letting the team read their press clippings. In which case I hope he tells them to avoid this post, which is full of press clippings.

Mitch Albom:

On an afternoon when hiking the ball was a challenge and both starting quarterbacks still remember their high school locker combinations, the most valuable everything was Michigan senior running back Mike Hart, who last week guaranteed a victory to lift his school out of the funkiest of funks.

Let's talk about the Fighting Irish. Here's all you need to know. Their backup quarterback refused to get on the bus Friday. Didn't show up. Word is he plans to transfer to Northern Illinois.

The kid may be a genius.

In therapy, when you're feeling depressed, they tell you to find someone who has it worse than you do. There you go, Maize-and-Blue fans. You're only mediocre. Notre Dame is miserable.

Can't pass. Can't block. Can't protect. Can't score. Can't even hold onto the snap. Notre Dame was as weak and inept as Michigan fans have ever wished it to be. At
some point in Saturday's massacre, you actually felt sorry for the Irish, the way you eventually felt sorry for the Wicked Witch of the West when she melted into her hat.

Mark Snyder:
In the middle of Saturday's third quarter, U-M linebacker Shawn Crable rushed Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Michigan's senior defensive captain burst through the line, leapt as he approached Clausen and flew toward the freshman, unable to stop after Clausen released t
he ball.

Crable accepted a roughing the passer penalty and said the call didn't bother him.

Apparently it got to Clausen, though, whose Notre Dame team was already losing, 31-0.

"He started talking and I didn't really understand that," Crable said. "He doesn't get rattled but he is a freshman. I just told him I'm going to be right back to see him. Then my coach told me to shut up and I was on the sidelines."

The Irish are really, really putrid, and we're not overlooking that. But the Wolverines were really, really desperate, and boy, did it show. It turns out the which-storied-program-is-in-more-trouble debate was pretty silly. U-M pounded Notre Dame in every way possible, releasing waves of tension with newfound exuberance in a 38-0 victory Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

The Wolverines took out two weeks of suffocating frustration on the Irish and it was impressive, starting with eight sacks by that maligned defense. But I'm sorry, there's no way U-M is suddenly that good. There is every chance the 0-3 Irish are historically bad, despite the glistening genius of Charlie Weis.

No, it doesn't erase what happened in the first two weeks.

After turning in what might have been his best game in a Michigan uniform and helping lead the Wolverines to an utterly dominating 38-0 victory over Notre Dame Saturday, senior linebacker Shawn Crable dismissed that suggestion out of hand.

Nothing could erase Appalachian State, he said. This was more of a relief.

A relief not to be 0-3.

A relief not to look out-played and confused.

A relief to know you were finally not the butt of every joke on ESPN, and that you got there by absolutely teeing off on an opponent, sacking Notre Dame's much-touted freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen eight times and holding the Irish to minus-6 rushing yards and 85 yards passing.

"If you meet me, have some courtesy, Have some sympathy, and some taste; Use all your well-learned politesse, Or I'll lay your soul to waste."

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