Sunday, September 30, 2007

Game Plan for the Season

Purdue 33, Notre Dame 19 that I've gotten over the euphoria of screaming my lungs out and thinking, for most of the second half, that we had a solid chance to win this one, it's starting to sink in that we are, yes, really, in fact, actually, depressingly, numbingly 0-5. I mean, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4 were bad enough, but 0-5...Jesus.

Let's not make it to 0-8. How about that?

First of all, regarding the actual game yesterday...I was encouraged by the second half. Our running game is once again a big load of horse hooey, but apparently now we have a passing game. Also, we have the ability to get first downs, even if we had to make more than one nailbiting fourth-down conversion in our own territory to do so.

Speaking of which...welcome back, Charlie. We had ourselves a footbawl game yesterday. Our team still has a loooooooong way to go, but we were going for it, going for it, going for it all game--mostly in the second half--and the fact that Charlie felt he could call plays on fourth down and trust our team to get it done says a lot. The fact that we got ourselves in so many fourth down situations says a lot, too, but at least we were grinding it out and moving the chains and completing passes and getting the ball in the endzone (even if we couldn't get it through the uprights). And, um, the fact that we have a passing game speaks volumes about the O-line improvement. (It'll speak even larger volumes if, next week, one of our backs gets a run longer than five yards.)

Also, although some of our coverage still obviously needs some work, I wasn't overly distraught with our defense, particularly in the red zone. We held Purdue to a lot of field goals, and as long as we continue to give up the big play (LIKE 3RD AND 29---ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME???!??!?!?!?!?!), I'd rather have the opponents tacking up 3 on the board than 7. Especially in the latter part of the game, our D really had some good coverage, stuffing a lot of runs and even sacking the QB a couple times. The problem with this is that we made all these amazing plays on 1st and 2nd down, and then on third down...pfffbbbbtt. Purdue only punted like four times the entire game, and even those punts didn't help us out in the good ol' field position battle, because Zibby had to fair catch most of them (their punter's kicking strategy--get it as high as you effing can--was pretty effective), so he never really got a good chance to scamper for the endzone.

Although speaking of scampers for the endzone, kudos to our special teams for NOT letting Purdue jack one off on us on a return. In general, we did a lot better in the field position battle this week...although wtf was up with our kickoffs? Anybody know what the whole "let's just let it bounce across the field" strategy was about? And P.S. What happened to Geoff Price? He was GOLDEN last season. GOLDEN!!!!!

Oh...and speaking of that...did I not say months ago that Golden Tate III was my new favorite ND player? I think he pretty much rocked my panties off yesterday. (Although they should have had him deep for more kickoff returns. He's got nasty speed.)

Anyway...overall I feel encouraged. I also feel like the refs called a BS touchdown for Purdue and then, purely on penalties, allowed them to make another long drive down the field and score again. But you know...whatever. Tooooo bad Charlie used that challenge early in the game.

Can't blame it all on the refs, though. That interception in the endzone pretty much killed our chances of winning, much as I hated the refs yesterday, we shot ourselves in the foot enough times to make the score what it was.

However, all that aside, here's my new game plan for the season:
F*** it, let's just beat USC.

No, I'm serious. I think we could do it. All we have to do for the next three weeks is prepare for beating USC. Let's avenge that 2005 WIN/loss against the Trojans by kicking their boo-tays in our own stadium.

Here's how we do it:
1. Keep drilling fundamentals
Let's get the team hitting, running, blocking, stripping the ball, and eating grass so much they do it while they're sleeping. (Not so much they could do it in their sleep, but so they actually do it while sleeping. Can you imagine that? A bunch of football players wandering around in their sleep trying to, I don't know, tackle the fridge and strip the toaster?)

2. Chain-gang the O-line
They must now sleep together, eat together, go to class together, hit on girls together, and follow the QB around trying to protect him from reporters, cynical fans, jersey chasers, and expired dining hall mystery meat together. They will do this until they develop ESP, and no longer have to look at each other or even think to know where they're going to go on a play. They will stare down the opposing team's defense and know, at a glance, both what play the D is about to run and the name of the girl the strong safety was trying to hit on last night. And we will positively own everybody's asses.

3. Run the plays, run the plays, run the plays.
Devise a set of plays that will stumbumble the Trojans, and then practice them over and over and over until they are perfect. If they're not absolutely perfect every're not tired enough. Run fifty laps and then do it again.

4. Institute new standards for muscle mass.
Your biceps must be larger than your head. Your individual thighs must be larger than a standard jersey chaser. If you can't bench-press the coach, you're not strong enough. Go back to the weight room and try it again.

5. Smashmouth footbawl.
If your perfectly executed plays fail...just hit those fuckers so hard they see 1967: stars and flowers and acid-trippy birds. Hell, hit them so hard you're seeing 1967. Then get up, dust yourself off, and do it again, until every one of those bastards is on injured reserve. If you make it all the way through their depth chart in a single game...congratulations. You win.

6. Screw UCLA and BC.
We're not even going to do X's and O's for those games. Let's just come out with a basic 5-play scheme and see if we can't do something. Really, we'll have spent the entirety of those weeks preparing for USC, but we're not going to tell anybody that, and we're sure as hell not going to run the same set of plays for UCLA and BC that we'll pull out of our butts for USC.

7. Basic plan for defense.

8. Regarding special teams.
On our returns...
The ball either gets past the fifty or into the endzone. Every time.
On their returns...
The ball does not get past the twenty-yard line. Ever.
On our kicks...
The ball soars so high through the uprights it goes over the fucking net.
On their kicks...
We block it and recover, then run the ball fifty yards or so for good measure.
But in general...

I think that's all I have for today, kids.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sometimes you just need to be sick

...which I am, coincidentally, and I'm taking the day off. I'm going to lounge around my dorm room napping and watching football and trying not to hack up a lung. Also I might venture to the Huddle for food at some point (or, if I'm feeling really adventurous, the dining hall), but that's sort of secondary to the napping and the cough drops. (Although if I run out of cough to the Huddle I go for more. I go through cough drops like a FIEND when I'm sick. It's really not healthy. I really don't care.)

Anyway, I was thinking this morning during that haze between awake and sleep (after I'd given up trying to remember this completely amazing dream I was having) that sometimes it's really good to be sick. Not the kind of sick where you're dying, or the kind of sick where you feel so shitty you literally cannot move or whatever...but the kind of sick where you definitely need to just stay home and take care of yourself.

I remember being sick in elementary school. That was the best. Not the being sick part, but the being able to stay home all day and just kind of...veg. Stay in bed a long time, read a good book, curl up on the couch and watch TV or movies or whatever and just kind of...tune out of the world for a while. And especially with elementary's not like there were huge consequences for missing a day. I feel like there weren't a lot of days I NEEDED to be at school for something...and even if I did, whatever, it was elementary school, not the MCAT or something. And when you're little it's really hard to be sick and just tough it out and get on with things, which people tend to do a lot more later when their lives feel more crucial and important.

But you know what, maybe that's a bad thing. Being sick, I think (aside from all that scientific mumbo-jumbo about viruses and whatnot), is part of our body's way of telling us to slow down. I feel like I don't get sick very often, and when I do, it's usually because I haven't been sleeping enough and I haven't been eating well and I've been stressed out. (All these things, coincidentally, happen at school all the time.)

So I'm sick now and I'm going to take this day to just chill out. I'm going to try to ingest some vitamins and drink plenty of water and sleep some more and start my readings for class earlier in the day so I'm not trying to cram it all in after ten o'clock at night.

And it's going to be good.

In other news....

Michigan State 31, Notre Dame 14

Can't even describe my feelings about Notre Dame football. John Sullivan's injury was deeply unfortunate and may have sent our offense reeling backwards for the rest of the game, although of course I didn't notice if he was ever put back in. (Anyone know?)

We have to win all the rest of our games except one (which we can pretty much count as USC, I think, though I always hope to kick the crap out of the Trojans) to even think about getting into a bowl game. I don't think this is going to happen. I can only hope, at this point, that we're going to win all our games in November, but October...UCLA, Boston College, and USC. The best we're going to get is 2 out of 3, though at this point I guess the Irish are hoping for even one out of three. Or just win...

I don't want to go the month of September without a single W on the board...or without a score higher than 14. (Unless the score is 14-10. Then, I guess...okay.) It's sick that we're now overly excited about first downs and I overhear people talking about "just hoping for a respectable loss, 10 points or less." Well, you know what? No. That's not good enough. I don't hope for losses, ever. Sometimes I anticipate them, but that's not going to stop me from hoping for the miraculous.

You know what, if we're going to be pussies and just pull out of the game fourth quarter with tons of time left, then let's just be pussies against all the teams the rest of the season...except USC. Let's just start game planning for that now. Get the team good and conditioned and hitting people, and let's just make the game plan for every week the same game plan we're going to use against USC, only we're not going to tell anybody about it and maybe our offense will shoot itself in the foot so many times no one will even be able to tell WHAT our game plan is, but you know what, that's okay, because if we make it to October and we kick the ever-loving poo out of the Trojans, then who cares? Let's just beat USC and Navy and we can pretty much call it a season.

Because right now, it's hard to tell what the hell the team is doing and I'm starting to lose confidence that they're going to give us much more than that.

I'm also way past the point where I can give anything remotely resembling football analysis, so let's just say I'm lost and confused and frustrated and pissed off and disappointed and (as has been mentioned before) ready for a nice long nap.

I don't know what the coaching staff's plan is for this week, but they better find something, and soon, because this is ridiculous. It's not even really about winning, although it is humiliating to be so awful. It's about playing the game, damn it, and playing it all the way through to the end, and playing it as a TEAM, and playing it with heart.

And right now....are we even doing that?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There are hardly words...

...but I have to write something anyway, because this has become my own personal form of therapy.

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0

I don't really want to talk about it. But I am going to babble about it. And then I'm going to try not to think about it; otherwise I would just spend all day curled up on the futon eating chocolate, watching mindless television, and praying for the Bears to win because...I've got nothing left.

As painful as it is these days to love the Irish, I think it's twice as painful to be in the band. After all the fans have lapsed into an astonished, horrified stupor and can't bring themselves to respond to Celtic Chant, we have to keep playing. Long after any hope of winning the game has passed, we still have to cheer "Go Irish Beat Wolverines!" because that's our job. And way past the point where the team has left the stadium and the cheerleaders have packed up their pom-poms and headed for home, we still have to stand on the field and numbly play through school songs and halftime music to a crowd of Michigan fans who only stayed behind to hear the Michigan "air guitar" Band play Hail to the A**holes one more time.

And then we had to move aside for the Michigan band to take a picture. And then we had to line up in post game formation again. And then we had to wait. And then, when pretty much everyone had left the stadium except a few douche tools who decide to hang out above the tunnel to heckle us (as if there was anything more to say), we had to march out of the Big House, down the street, around the corner, and across some railroad tracks in the midst of hundreds of degenerate, drunken Michigan fans, who at the very least did not throw their beer cans at us--but that's only because they didn't need to.

One little punkass kid, though, did walk next to us for a few seconds to make fun of how we marched and his parents laughed as though it was cute. I almost whacked him over the head as I went by, but I restrained myself. He'll probably need those four brain cells for something one day. (Possibly to buy crack from his neighborhood drug dealer.)

At any rate...

Analysis is pretty much pointless right now. There's nothing I can say about the game that the scoreboard didn't say.

What I can say, though, is that at this point I'm seriously concerned about our team's recovery. I can't imagine how the team's feeling at this point. I personally feel like someone ripped out my heart and stapled it to a dartboard and let people (in really hideous helmets) take shots at it all night. Maybe if you multiply that by a hundred and ten thousand...that's probably how the team feels. Plus, I imagine that about half the team is pissed off because our offense is doing a stunning imitation of a whale dive-bombing off a cliff into an ocean of horseshit (can't you smell the stench from here?), and the other half is pissed off because they can't figure out wherethefuck they went wrong.

At this point I'm not as much concerned with coaching or playcalling or execution. I'm worried about our pride. I'm worried about whether the team has anything left. I'm worried about how you rally from an 0-3 start and get your team (your team that has failed to score an offensive touchdown in twelve quarters) to believe that they can go out and punish someone and bring back a win. Where do you even begin?

Maybe (and I'm not saying this because I'm in it, I'm saying it because it's the only place I can even think to begin) you start with the band. Maybe you start with the fact that we come out for every home game and we're traveling to every away game in September and we scream as loud as we possibly can on every [defensive] play not just because we have to, but because on every play we want to see our team do something good. Because even if we've spent an entire game (or multiple games) in the gutter, all it takes is ONE PLAY to make us all jump up and down and scream like morons and pee our pants (<--okay, exaggerating) from excitement. That's it. Just one.

And that's easy to forget. It's easy for a crowd to lose faith, but it's just as easy to get them hooked again.

We got some pretty remarkable first downs against Michigan, after digging ourselves into some painful 3rd-and-20's. It just seemed like every time we got one of those first downs, something terrible happened.

We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to rebuild team confidence.

I think the first step toward doing that is to keep Notre Dame Stadium sold out for the rest of the season. (And for the rest of eternity.)

I know the price of an ND ticket keeps dropping, but I think that should only make people more eager to snatch them up, because hey--at least now they're affordable.

Maybe I shouldn't be worried about this? We aren't the best fans in the country because we color-coordinate or because we wave pom-poms (gag me...I would die if we did)...we're the best fans in the country because we pack the stands every weekend, and we stay to sing the alma mater after every game. (No matter how painful that might be.)

We just have to fight the mental war NOW. That's one we have to win. Because if other teams (formerly viewed on our schedule as cupcake teams) become convinced that we have nothing left, that they can come into our house and beat us, that we don't even have it together enough to even beat ourselves, then we're screwed. Then this is going to be the worst losing season in ND history. Then we're finally going to break our win streak against Navy.

But this is not acceptable, because We are ND. Maybe the entire football team should just stand on God quad for a while and stare at the Golden Dome and think about what that means.

You know, I'm not skipping out on my brother's wedding reception early so I can march into the stadium and watch our team lose to a bunch of miscreants who can't even find the fifty-yard line. I expect more. In fact, I'm counting on it.

Enough of this.

I'm going to the band picnic.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Since I didn't sleep on the bus, it may be time for another nap

Penn State 31, Notre Dame 10

Well, now that we're 0-2, here are some thoughts.

First of all: office supplies are not intimidating, so you can just cut it out with all that Wite-Out crap. No, really. I wasn't overly impressed with Happy Valley. I mean, okay, they were all wearing white...woohoo? Also not as loud as I expected. Or as intimidating. Pretty crass, though. Who cheers when there's an injured player on the field? I mean, who does that? And then "boo"s the player when he finally gets up and walks of the field? That's just rude...

That said, I wasn't overly impressed with Penn State's team. I don't think they're that good, and I don't anticipate them having a tremendous rest of the season, even though they do play in Big 10 and the Big 10, as a general rule, blows. (This season's prime example so far: Michigan. HAHAHAHA.) Anyway, I know they beat us, I know the score was 30-10, blah blah blah, but I just don't think there's anything special there. I feel like their success was more of a result of, A) the refs helping them out...a lot, B) our team sucking it up with mental errors, and C) special teams.

So, first of all, ND lost over a hundred yards in penalties. This is obscene, even for a young team. I personally think the refs were full of crap. Prime example: trying to call intentional grounding on Clausen when #82 clearly caught the ball and fell out of bounds with it. (This is one penalty they actually took back...damn straight.) The game's really hazy now because last night is a blur and I'm still really tired, but I think there are two really big penalties (that, from where I was sitting, may or may not have been accurate...but we're going to guess not, because the one time I was standing right where the penalty was called it was total BS...facemask my ASS) that might've changed the course of the game.

One is our best pass of the game...Clausen throws it downfield and our receiver gets to, what, the twenty yard line? Fifteen? And then the whole thing gets called back on a holding penalty and the drive is stalled. (Painful.) The other (actually, there were multiple calls on this drive, but whatever) came on one of Penn State's drives later in the game, and they called something really obscure...illegal line shift or substitution or something...and Penn State got to keep going...and then there were a couple more penalties that basically brought PSU to the 3-yard line and they scored...though they almost screwed themselves over with a false start and we maybe could have stopped them...but we didn't....

Granted, the refs did call a couple in our favor. Blatant roughing the kicker that kept one of our drives going (not that it mattered in the end) and a pass interference call that might've been our only offensive touchdown...but wasn't.

All bitching about penalties aside, we didn't get into the red zone very often, and when we did we failed to capitalize. The two times we did score were the result of great plays by the defense and special teams. Our offense, disturbingly, failed to find the endzone...and I think if you can't score a single TD on offense, you really don't deserve to win the game.

I think what I'm really trying to say, though, is that this loss to Penn State is pretty much our fault. When Georgia Tech beat us, they pounded us into the ground. They played very well. Their team executed nicely and they brought pressure that flummoxed all three of our quarterbacks. I'm not saying Penn State didn't bring pressure...but I will say that a lot of our backwards progress on offense came from poor decision making on the part of the QB. Yeah, okay, it's great that our Spikey-Headed Wonder feels comfortable rolling out of the pocket, trying to fight off defenders, and going for it when he sees an open lane, but um...maybe don't do that when John Carlson is wide open. Or it looks like John Carlson might be wide open. Or John Carlson is remotely near the field.

Obviously I'm exaggerating, but our other JC on the field--wonderful #89--is a GOOD tight end, and he's taller than all of our other receivers right now. And yeah, he got his hands on the ball a couple times, but there were definitely a few instances where Jimmy took off running (for, more often than not, a gain of negative two) and Carlson was open. (Painful.)

That said...we played a little better than last week. Our defense really isn't bad, it just...gets tired. It certainly plugged up PSU's offense more effectively than it did Georgia Tech's. (Though, clearly, that doesn't say spades about its improvement.) The biggest problems we had were with missed tackles, particularly on special teams. Also we maybe need to work on the pass-rush.

We're going to get better every week, I think, but...I don't know if Jimmy's really going to get up to speed this season. (Kind of like Brady's freshman season. Sort of a disaster.) I can always hope, though.

So...with ten games left, who do we have a chance against?

We're going to the Big House next weekend...gahhh. I'm excited about this. I think we do have a chance against Michigan (also 0-2...again, HAHAHAHA), but, unfortunately, I think their homefield advantage may actually be a factor. Probably Michigan fans will be more intimidating than PSU fans (or at the very least more violent...cover your collective head, band; there are likely to be beer cans thrown our way), and also their team is going to be just as pissed off as ours with something to prove.

However, the fact that we're both sucking it up right now leaves me feeling more optimistic about our chances in Ann Arbor. Plus, we're long overdue for a win against Michigan (keeping in mind, of course, that there's no such thing as not being long overdue for a win against Michigan. Everyone should beat Michigan all the time...they suck). Plus we need to take our all-time winning percentage back, so a smackdown in the Big House seems in order.

Also we're going to beat MSU. I don't care how well they're doing when they come to South Bend; their mid-season meltdown is going to be just about due by the time they roll into town. Plus my brother's getting married that morning, so I'll bring good luck from the ceremony (we hope).

And we'll leave the rest of the season an optimistic blank for now, til we see what the team can do once it actually finds its rhythm (or the endzone...whichever comes first).

Note to Dr. Dye: We need to start playing the victory clog during Saturday morning rehearsal. Clearly, it's bad luck not to.

Note to Penn State: Your stadium smells like a barn.

That is all.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I hate Sting-y things

Georgia Tech 33, Notre Dame 3

Okay, so, after watching Georgia Tech pretty much have their way with us on our home field, I have a lot more questions than answers. And because I don't feel like putting myself through the pain of reading what any of the overdramatic sportswriters have to say, I'm going to provide my own heartbroken analysis of the pain. I mean game.

So, offensively...

1. Who the #$^%*& is our starting quarterback? I know DJ came out with the team initially, but Sharpley was in before the half was over, and Clausen came out in the 4th, so really, what are we left with for the Penn State game? I don't know if playing all three QB's was in Charlie's game plan originally, but it seems to me if you have one QB, you should maybe stick with him a little bit longer than a quarter and a half. I honestly don't know what went on behind those decisions, and frankly it didn't help our team any. It certainly didn't seem to throw off Georgia Tech's defense.

OK, I know DJ didn't exactly play his best game. Fumbling the football once is bad enough, but people tend to forgive you as long as you make up for it later...which, clearly, didn't happen.

But for as much trouble as we got into with DJ at the helm, I don't think you can exactly say that Sharpley or Clausen would have saved the day as the starter, either. Our major offensive problem for the day wasn't any of the quarterbacks. Even with Brady Quinn in there, would we have fared much better? Obviously with Quinn there would've been a sense of leadership, consistency, and experience that the three QB's we have now lack--but that isn't necessarily their fault. But even Brady couldn't have stopped the major problem with our offense yesterday. Which brings me to my next point...

2. Offensive line--WTF???????

We have plenty of good running backs, they just didn't have any holes to run through. You have to give credit to Georgia Tech's defense for making hell for our team, but at the same time...offensive line, WTF????

5th-year center John Sullivan also has no excuse for snapping the ball way too effing high multiple times throughout the game. I guess you could argue that he's gotten in the habit of snapping the ball to Brady, who hovers somewhere around 6'2", and Jones and Sharpley are--what? Closer to 5'11"? But even that's no excuse.

But really, O-line. Tech's defense got more sacks on our QB's yesterday than some teams get in a season. Sharpley got sacked, what, seven times in two quarters? No, less than that. Like a quarter and a half, maybe. Is there some new rule in college football where you're not allowed to throw the ball away??? Because nobody did that, and while none of them got intercepted the entire game, none of them got decent yardage or a touchdown, either.

I have to say, though, play of the game: Sharpley effing drops the football and maintains enough composure to pick it up, throw off some defender and complete what is almost a first-down/touchdown pass to John Carlson (who, if he hadn't been tripped up by that effing defender, would've made it all the way to the endzone).

Is it sad that, at least from where I was sitting, that was the best play of the game?

Anyway...I'm not saying our O-line was the greatest ever last year (our running game wasn't exactly superb, even with Walker, and Quinn still got sacked at least twice a game), but if they'd played half as well as last year's line it would've been an improvement. If they'd been able to open up some holes, one of our--what is it, five?--talented running backs might've been able to pick up some significant yardage. Maybe our QB's wouldn't have been under constant pressure and would've been able to complete a pass worth more than seven yards. Maybe there wouldn't have been five kabillion sacks and we actually would've found the endzone (or, at the very least, the other side of the forty-yard line).

Even our punter didn't have time to breathe before getting the ball into the air.

You could say Georgia Tech had our number, but I don't think even that's true. With three different offensive systems/QB styles to worry about, I don't think Georgia Tech could possibly have known what was coming on every play. It seemed more like their defensive coordinator decided to stop losing sleep over it and said, "Screw it. Let's just throw a blitz on every play and see how those fuckers handle it."

To which I say: good point.

At any rate, the last worry I have about our offense doesn't concern the players. I think he's aware, but all the same...

3. Charlie Weis--WTF?????????????????

Personally, I think the whole 3-QB thing isn't really working out for anybody. Just...pick one. I don't care how talented they're all looking right now, just pick one and stick with it and everybody else can deal with it.

That way, the one QB will be able to look his offense in the eye and say, "I'm your leader, you're going to follow me through thick and thin even if I throw an interception on every play, because damn it, I'm your leader." And that way we'll have, A) One offensive system to worry about, B) one effing style of quarterback to rally the team around, C) more time to discuss BALL CONTROL with our QB's, RB's and special teams, and, D) a chance to get the team relaxed and into a rhythm with our offense instead of changing it up all the time, MID-GAME.

With what we have now, there's consistency.

I never thought I'd say this, but really...just...just start Sharpley. I think he runs the style of offense Brady ran, and the team in general seems more familiar with it, and I think Charlie himself is more comfortable with it. Jones is really my favorite, but...he's more of an option quarterback, and I just don't see our offense pulling off the option successfully. (Also I effing hate the option. Screw that.) I think Jones does a good read and a good run, but...I just don't think it's going to work for us. Plus if all else fails, Jones could make a helluva wide receiver (a la Arnaz Battle). Providing our QB's ever get any time to throw, that is. And yeah, OK, Jimmy's our little prickly-headed superstar, but he needs to take a year on the bench to get over himself. (OK, really, in case you don't know this about me, I just don't like Jimmy Clausen. I think he's talented and he throws the ball pretty, but he needs an attitude adjustment. Somebody stick a pin in that overinflated head, PLEASE.)

I don't think there's much more to say about that.

And as for the defense...

I just...I just don't know. Georgia Tech had good field position pretty much the entire game, and our D managed to at least keep them out of the endzone until the end of the second half, but GT still scored pretty much every time they got their hands on the ball (although kudos for the blocked FG, that was pretty sweet). Georgia Tech punted, what, three times the entire game? And they had zero turnovers.

I mean, basically, the best thing that happened for our team yesterday was Michigan losing to Appalachian State (HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!).

But now that this pain and anguish is over with...I can only hope for better things vs. Penn State. I think our team is capable of playing much better than they did yesterday. (OK, any team is capable of playing better than we did yesterday.) It sucks that our opening schedule is so brutal, but all the same...Penn State is overrated, and Charlie Weis is talented on the road. (We hope.)

Plus I think what people don't realize is that yesterday was jinxed from the get-go. Coach Weis hosted the pep rally on Friday night, and the band failed to play the Victory Clog during its morning practice. (The last time we did this was before the Michigan game last year. Always a bad idea.)

And I am not spending seventeen hours on a bus next weekend just to see our team lose.