Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Vault: 2000 Orange Bowl - Second Quarter

After a -1 yard run by Anthony Thomas, Michigan holds the ball on the Alabama 48 with 2nd and 11 and a 0-0 score. A false start makes it 2nd and 16. We get creative, bringing Terrell around on a reverse. Brady throws a solid block, but there's a hold in the mix and we're going the wrong way. 2nd and 27 and Brady gets sacked. Yikes. 3rd and 35. Make it 3rd and 40 with delay of game. Good grief. A completion over the middle to Marcus Knight helps some, and Epstein's punt is a deep one.

'Bama opens up from their own 24, and on the first play Shaun Alexander gains the corner after a nice block on a LB (41) and it's 31 yards downfield where Whitley finally gets him. An illegal snap backs the Tide up to the M 49, but Alexander breaks a tackle and storms for 14. Apparently Brian Griese and Scott Dreisbach were the ones trying to recruit him when he took his official visit to Michigan, where he almost committed. The next run takes a while to develop and goes for minimal gain, but it's enough for the first. 'Bama Alternate QB Watts does what running QBs do, and scrambles on successive plays to take the Tide down to the 7 yard line. Alexander picks up about 3, and then takes it to the house on the next play. Michigan just can't fight through the blocks on the outsdide and there's no help available. Pflugu makes the PAT. 7-0, Alabama.

The TV angle is weird, but it looks like Cross would've been advised to let the kick sail out of bounds. Instead, we start from the 25. Brady sails a pass out of bounds to Walker. A-Train runs up the gut for a nice 7 yards thanks to some good second-level blocks. Brady from the gun throws to Thomas in the flat, but a block in the back call brings it back. DiAllo Johnson, that was USELESS and OBVIOUS. Marcus Knight comes across the middle and is dropped about five yards in front of the marker. Epstein's punt gives Freddie Milons a chance to return it and burns around the corner for a good gain, increased when Epstein gets called for a late hit (...I know).

Starting from the 31, the first play of the drive is an underthrown ball to the Michigan 9, but it connects and two plays later Shaun Alexander is in the endzone again. 14-0.

Present-day Terrell tells us they used to call Brady "Tomas".

Audio difficulties drop out the color team as Walter Cross takes the kick out to the 27 this time. Walter Cross: When you absolutely, definitely need to take a kick 5-10 yards longer than you'd get on a touchback. Drew Henson is shockingly the QB on the next series, throwing to A-Train for a short gain. Thomas takes the next handoff for nothing, then Henson from the gun pulls it down and scrambles for nine yards. Epstein punts again, a high kick that's fair-caught at the 20.

Bruce Madej talks about that sinking feeling you get when watching this type of Michigan football game. Bruce is everywhere on these retrospectives, and always does a great job walking the line between being the face of the athletic department and just being a Michigan fan.

4:40 left in the second quarter. Alexander picks up two, but it's laundry day and it's coming back. 1st and 19. Alexander should be caught five yards behind the line, but skates out of it for no gain. Watts is back in as Alexander leaks downfield in a pillowy soft part of the zone, but this one's coming back on yet another hold. From the 4, they give it to the fullback McClintock for a couple. ANOTHER flag, a very late one, and Victor Hobson's hanging with the zebras. Offsetting personal fouls. 3rd and 25. Alexander runs it up the middle, terrifyingly gets through the first group, but the second wave brings him down. DiAllo Johnson signals for the fair catch at the 50, but it's a halo violation (remember those?), so Michigan starts at the 'Bama 45.

Tom Brady is back in the ballgame and there's 2:36 to go. From the gun he hits Marquise Walker down at the 37. Thomas goes nowhwere on 2nd and 2. From the gun again, and it's Walker again on the same play. From the 30, quick out to DiAllo Johnson, who gets leveled for no YAC. 1:04 left, TO Michigan, 2nd and 7. Brady has loads and loads of time to find David Terrell on a seam. It's a perfect pass and Terrell hauls it in over his shoulder and takes one step into the endzone.

Terrell talks about how Brady makes everyone around him feel so confident, like he "injects" it in you.

14-7 after the PAT, and Terrell just smoked that safety. Great protection, great pass, nice catch by DT. The MMB is playing "Zoot Suit Riot", from our swing show that year for the Penn State game.

Epstein's line drive kick looks worrying, but 'Bama can't get past the 22. The Tide give it to Alexander again, because why not? Bob Griese reminds us of what a comeback team the Wolverines were in '99, how 9 of our games were within a TD. The half closes without anything important happening. Bring on Gladys Knight!

No comments: