Friday, October 17, 2008

Michigan vs. Penn State, 1999: Third Quarter

Second half. Walter Cross is back deep for the Wolverines. Gary Danielson wants to remind us he's not as old as Musberger. I think if I ever attended a game in Happy Valley I'd develop a pathological tic due to that roar. Cross wisely takes a knee 6 yards deep in the endzone. Brady fakes the pitch to Anthony Thomas and finds Courtney Brown in his face. Thompson had released too early for the same TE flare that worked in the first half. Danielson disagrees with me, saying it was Bennie Joppru on a crossing route who was his real target. 2nd and 14. David Terrell! He comes upfield on the skinny post to the middle of the field and Brady puts it right on his hands again. Good protection and it's 1st and 10 on the Michigan 42.

Courtney Brown beats Backus and flows to the hole to bring down A-Train after a gain of three. Brady has nobody and a collapsing pocket. He gets a couple, but there are flags aplenty. Again it's Courtney Brown forcing the issue. Holding on Michigan, 2nd and 17. Brady drops back, launches downfield to Marcus Knight, who can't bring it in. CA-, 2. Brady doesn't like what he sees and calls a timeout. After the break, Brady finds Terrell exploiting a soft spot on the sideline in a rare zone from Penn State and converts the first down.

Thomas has no luck creasing the PSU line and gets maybe a yard. Brady discusses having Henson eager to stab him in the back and steal his job. Marcus Knight takes off on the same skinny post Terrell ran, absolutely smoking his man, and Brady hits him in stride for a beautiful touchdown. Michigan, 17-7! Michigan exploited Knight's matchup against a strong safety in man coverage.

Watson breaks a pair of tackles on his way up to the 22 and gets a bonus 15 for unnecessary roughness on Charles Drake. Eddie Drummond is open on a screen. McCoo gets the handoff and goes nowhere. Whitley gets there right as the ball arrives and breaks up the 7-yard pass to Fields. Terrell is in as a DB. Thompson can't find anyone and tries to run for the first. He slips one tackle, but gets pounded between a pair of Michigan defenders. An excellent punt and lucky bounce leaves Michigan at their own 4.

The give is to A-Train with a small hole and he stumbles for 3 or 4. A-Train again for less. 3rd and 5. Brady can't find anyone and gets rid of it rather than take a sack on the 1. The snap almost goes over Epstein's head and he has to get rid of the ball quickly as someone (Eddie Drummond?) comes flying in, almost getting the block. Naturally, it's a crappy punt, going out of bounds near the 30. Musberger thinks it's because we're trying to avoid Branch, but whatever.

McCoo gets a long run in, relatively speaking, going 4 yards. The FB Mike Cerimele catches a pass for 4 more. On 3rd and 2, McCoo runs up the gut and is stopped nowhere near the first. Travis Forney in for a 39-yard attempt and it's good. Michigan 17, Penn State 10.

Cross should've took another knee. Michigan starts at the 16. Brady drops back and finds Marcus Knight for 4, where he's hit immediately. LaVar Arrington comes across to bring down A-Train after a couple more yards. 3rd and "3". The pass is incomplete, but PSU was clearly offsides, so it's immaterial. Brady is swarmed and sacked back at the 20 as the line collapses on the blitz. On 2nd, Thomas takes the ball up the gut for 5, bringing up 3rd and 13. Brady from the gun. Looks like Terrell was coming across, but not deep enough for the first and the ref set and effective pick. Epstein boots it back to the 34.

Thompson back to pass, pumps and finds Fields wide open on a similar route to his big first-half catch. Todd Howard comes flying in to bring him down, but he was beat like a drum/rug/Todd Howard. Eddie Drummond gets 5 yards, as a matchup with Ian Gold favors him. Whitley helps clean up. Fields again, another huge cushion from Howard on a shorter route to the sideline. PSU is trying to work a hard count aainst Renes. Eddie Drummond fights James Whitley on a fly route and beats him. Whitley can't find the ball up in the air and it's an easy catch for Drummond in the endzone. Tie game, 17 all. 2:09 remaining, 3rd quarter.

Cross takes a knee on this kick. It's loud in Beaver Stadium. Shea gets the handoff and gets nothing. On second, screen to Thomas. Chris Ziemann on the turf gets just enough of LaVar Arrington to open the play up for a 24-yard gain, but there's a flag on the play, likely on Ziemann's grab, especially since it's a spot foul. 2nd and 12. Arrington looks like he's coming dead in on a blitz from Brady's blind side, but actually tries to come between the tackles, but there's no hole for him. Instead Brady finds Terrell on the 30 at the numbers. David Macklin slips as he tries for the pickoff and Terrell races to midfield for another 20 yards. Anthony Thomas and LaVar Arrington collide like Japanese movie monsters and fall to the turf. Thomas loses a yard, but Arrington is shaken up and has to come off the field. So ends the 3rd quarter.

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