You ever have a moment in high school, where you watch a friend utterly embarrass themselves? And all you can do is sit there and watch hoping they eventually stop and get their shit together. That’s what it was like watching Michigan football run around State Farm Stadium with their pants down while they choked away their best chance to win a national championship in 25 years.
What an absolute embarrassment that was.
That was Jim Harbaugh’s worst loss of his Michigan tenure. And it’s not really close.
Trouble with the snap, the bad spot at Ohio State and whatever other loss you want to bring up, it’s all irrelevant. That was the worst one of them all.
No one picked TCU to win that game. No one. My grandfather, RIP, who hated Michigan with a passion wouldn’t even have picked TCU to win that game.
Michigan was an 8-point favorite on a neutral site. Not some sham one-point favorite at home, where you’re really only favored because you’re the home team. Over a freaking touchdown favorite at a neutral site. Closer to TCU’s campus from your own even.
And you vomited all over yourselves.
Terrible Play Calling
First play of the game, Donovan Edwards breaks one for 54 yards. Michigan continues to march down the field. They get stuck at the two-yard line and go for it on fourth down.
And the play call that gets green lit is the philly special with a true freshman tight end throwing the ball when he has zero pass attempts all year. Who the F thought that was a good idea?
You are one game away from the national title game. You just gained immediate momentum of the game but cruising down the field. And on fourth down you decide to throw the ball with a tight end.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not mad they went for it on that 4th-and-2. I would’ve went for it myself. I just wouldn’t have called a trick play that calls for a person to throw the ball who hasn’t done it in a game all year.
Fast forward to early second quarter. Michigan is down 14-3 and reeling at this point. TCU has all the momentum. J.J. McCarthy connects with Roman Wilson for a 50-yard bomb to set them up at the half yard line. More on that play in a minute. You have four downs to get a foot and a half.
And what comes across the headset? Let’s run a unique play that we haven’t ran in game all year. You do a very quick handoff to a linebacker who’s pretending to be a running back. Surprisingly it didn’t work out and you fumble the ball away to TCU.
Why not QB sneak it? TCU did it multiple times and it worked, also more on that later. But why not you do it? You have a QB that is comfortable running the football. Or why not hand it off to your emerging star running back?
These are two plays that the Michigan coaching staff completely choked on.
Pick Six x2
Let’s move away from the coaches for a bit. McCarthy threw two pick sixes, that just can’t happen. Both of them were mainly his fault too. He stared his receiver down like your girlfriend staring down some other chick who is flirting with you, and the defender each time made the right play for the interception.
That just can’t happen in this game. Especially when not much else is going right for your team.
Now I can’t be that mad at McCarthy. He’s still young, learning and figuring out how to be a great quarterback. You can see the talent is there, he just needs to work on putting it all together.
But what I couldn’t help but think watching those interceptions get returned is I would love to see the look on Cade McNamara’s face right now.
Not saying Michigan would’ve won if McNamara was the starter. Hell, they might not even be the playoffs. But it’s just kind of funny how we were all told that McCarthy playing is what’s going to put Michigan over the top. This is the guy that can get them a natty. Cade doesn’t have the talent J.J. does. Well, sometimes talent isn’t everything.
Not Who We Thought They Were
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this year, “the defense is better this year than it was last year.” Let me clue you all in on something, no it wasn’t.
Not sure if you all remember the first 11 games of the season, but you didn’t play anybody. There is not one player on this year’s defense that will go in the first round of next year’s NFL draft. Not one.
You had two defensive players that went in the first-round last year, including the number two overall pick. Not to mention if David Ojabo didn’t tear his ACL right before the draft, he may have gone in the first round himself.
Mike Morris is a good player. He’s not Aidan Hutchinson. You don’t have a player comparable to Dax Hill in the secondary either. The defense this year was not as good as it was last year.
Last and Certainly Least
I can’t end this rant without discussing the officials. Though they are not the reason Michigan lost.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how Roman Wilson’s catch wasn’t confirmed a touchdown. When he gained full possession of the ball, his ass was on the goal line and the ball was across it. I don’t get where the disconnect is between the officials eyes and video of what happened.
And lastly, how in the hell was that not targeting on the last play of the game? Defender used his helmet to hit ball carrier in his helmet. Again, where is the disconnect here? That was a laughably bad call to end an embarrassing loss.
One final side note. And if you’re still reading at this point, God bless. TCU ran a QB sneak where a tight end motioned to right behind the QB and pushed him as soon as he snapped the ball. This should not be a legal play.
I’m all for allowing another player to push the ball carrier forward but having someone line-up on the QBs ass before the snap so he can instantly push him forward shouldn’t be allowed. If that’s legal I don’t see why every other team doesn’t do it. Kudos to TCU on that.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)