Retroactive good news out of Ann Arbor, where quarterback Devin Gardner has been granted a medical hardship season by the NCAA — for 2010, the year in which he suffered a season-ending back injury. Gardner, the heir apparent to Denard Robinson — although we suppose we can quit referring to Gardner in the future tense, since he started five games at quarterback in 2012 — now has two full seasons of eligibility remaining. Gardner went 3-2 in his stint at the position last season, motoring the Wolverines to wins over Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa before dropping to Ohio State in the regular-season finale and South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
You Are Viewing All Posts In The Michigan Wolverines Category
Florida incoming transfer Darious Cummings is going by “Bear” Cummings. What do you guys want to be called?
— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) January 15, 2013
• How would he feel about “Bearious” for more formal occasions? If we’re all supposed to be taking after forest creatures for a fresh new look for spring 2013, we would like to be referred to from here on as “Killer Otter.” Thank you for your attention to this matter.
• And speaking of spring. Army’s spring game, which graced our neck of the woods at Fort Benning last year, continues its freshly-established traveling tradition with a March 8 scrimmage set to take place at Fort Hood, Texas.
• The Coliseum just needs a place to crash for a few days, until it gets things figured out. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission is behind in its rent, per the L.A. Times, but once it gets its free-range vegan water bottle business up and running things are really going to turn around. It’s not a pyramid scheme. It’s not!
• That’s a helluva windbreak. Texas Tech approves plans for a “freestanding high-definition video board,” theoretically to be installed and operational in time for the 2013 season.
The story of one afternoon in college football’s postseason, as told through social media:
Our remedy is SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL. But also try some CARROT JUICE. RT @optoloper: I need your best hangover remedy. It’s for a friend.
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
Recipe for attendance disaster at the Heart of Dallas Bowl. 11 a.m. New Year’s kick. Lopsided matchup. Big OSU hoops game on Mon. Then rain.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) January 1, 2013
— Capital One Bowl (@CapitalOneBowl) January 1, 2013
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) January 1, 2013
The tax staggered into the street, bleeding from his chest, as the Taxslayer threw a bloody knife into the gutter and ran.
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) January 1, 2013
@andy_staples I KNOW WE’RE DOOMED WHY EVEN PLAY THE GAME
— mgoblog (@mgoblog) January 1, 2013
The 2013 Outback Bowl is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X’s and O’s breakdown, click through to Andy Staples’ game preview.)
• What’s all this, then? This is the Outback Bowl. It is not played in Australia. It used to be the Hall of Fame Bowl, but unlike most sponsorship changes, this one has improved the postseason landscape by introducing a fertile annual opportunity for Bloomin’ Onion jokes.
• Where will this game be played? Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, home field of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USF Bulls.
• When is it on television? Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Shannon Spake. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Big Ten versus SEC.
• What about this year? An intriguing matchup between 10-2 South Carolina and 8-4 Michigan.
• My god, it’s full of stats. Just for funsies, and maybe also because we’re football-free until Thursday, here is a list of NCAA bowl records broken by Nevada and Arizona in the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, via Wolf Pack sports info:
-Most plays (combined, both teams): Nevada-Arizona, 188 (Previous, 187, by Auburn-Northwestern in 2010 Outback Bowl).
-Most first downs: Nevada, 39 (Previous, 36—Oklahoma (48) vs. Virginia (14) (Gator, Dec. 29, 1991) (16 rush, 18 pass, 2 penalty); Marshall (64) vs. East Carolina (61) (2 ot) (GMAC, 2001) (9 rush, 25 pass, 2 penalty).
-Most first downs, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 70 (Previous: 62—North Carolina St. (56)  vs. Kansas (26)  (Tangerine, 2003).
-Most first downs rushing: Nevada, 28 (Previous: 26—Oklahoma (40) vs. Auburn (22) (Sugar, Jan. 1, 1972); Navy (51) vs. Colorado St. (30) (Poinsettia, 2005).
-Most first downs rushing, both teams: Nevada-Arizona, 38 (Previous: 36—Colorado (47)  & Alabama (33)  (Liberty, 1969); Miami (FL) (46)  & Texas (3)  (Cotton, 1991).
An auspicious beginning to the postseason, no?
• Further bowltyme antics. In case you missed it last week, follow along with Stewart Mandel’s Bowl Pickoff right over here.
• Actual playoff happenings. Mount Union continues to do Mount Union things, gaining another D-III championship on Friday night … Valdosta State wrecked Winston-Salem State in the Division II title game … Sam Houston State and North Dakota State will face off for the FCS championship.
Snap Judgments from the Week 13 early slate. For more, check out Friday Snaps, Saturday’s midday Snaps, Saturday’s late Snaps, our recaps of Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State and Notre Dame-USC and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 3 Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10. Looky here, it’s two teams headed to major conference championship games next week! Don’t be too hard on Tech; the Jackets and their coach have battled the flu all week, were operating without the services of leading rusher Orwin Smith and still managed to pile up 458 yards in Sanford Stadium. It was scoring that posed the problem; Tech didn’t even attempt a punt in the first half but had three drives snuffed out by a fumble, a failed fourth-down attempt and an interception, respectively. Its second-half drives fared little better, ending in two punts, one touchdown and three more unsuccessful fourth-down conversions. Georgia’s first seven drives, by contrast: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, punt, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. Mark Richt, in his postgame press conference: “Our goal was to win every phase of the game, for every unit to win. I think we may have done that.” Seems like a solid take, coach.
The result is the biggest margin of victory for the Dawgs in their year-end rivalry game since 2002. And speaking of records: With Saturday’s scoreboard assault, the 2012 Bulldogs are officially the highest-scoring squad in program history. That same 2002 team scored 450 points in 14 games; with 12 games down and two to go, this year’s squad is already at 456. Safety Bacarri Rambo tied Jake Scott’s school record for career interceptions at 16. And Aaron Murray is now the first SEC quarterback to put up three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons.
• No. 25 Kent State 31, Bowling Green 24. Brothers and sisters, we have nearly come to the end of this thing. This is the last normal weekend of college football in the 2012 season: Next week’s games are scattered willy-nilly over the Thanksgiving holiday, and after that there’s just the conference championships and a dozen or so assorted other contests. Then, we will be all plunged into darkness with only the promise of Army-Navy and the New Mexico Bowl to guide us. So we understand your impatience, and you can imagine ours, as we flipped channels today only to be met time and again with lackluster on-field products.
We were delighted but not surprised to find the most compelling action of Week 12′s first flight of games in the form of daylight MACtion. If you’re not a regular reader of Profiles in Profiteroles or lack a fondness for college football’s less-celebrated conferences, you may not be familiar with the works of Kent State’s Dri Archer. The top-ranked kick returner in the FBS got most of the Golden Flashes’ touches at running back today, and to spectacular effect: 241 rushing yards, including touchdowns of 79 and 74 yards.
Kent State’s other two touchdowns were scored by quarterback Spencer Keith (one passing, one rushing); the last gave the Golden Flashes their final lead of the game midway through the fourth quarter. The Falcons mounted an impressive final would-be scoring drive that ended with Luke Wollet picking off Matt Schilz in Kent State’s end zone with 21 seconds remaining on the clock, and punching the Golden Flashes’ first ticket to the MAC championship game. They’ll face Northern Illinois in Detroit on Friday, November 30. [BOX | RECAP]
• North Carolina 37, Virginia 13. That sure got away from us in a hurry, didn’t it? A 36-yard interception return by UNC’s Tre Boston late in the first half broke the game open at 20-10, and apart from a lone third-quarter field goal the Cavaliers would not threaten again. Bryn Renner wrapped up the evening with 29-of-36 pass attempts completed, good for 315 yards and three touchdowns. His favored target, Quinshad Davis, recorded 178 receiving yards on 16 catches, and Gio Bernard added 57 yards rushing and 47 receiving yards with one score. Erik Highsmith caught two of Renner’s three scoring passes. UVA is out of postseason contention but could still prevent Virginia Tech from going to a bowl with a win next Saturday in Blacksburg. [BOX | RECAP]
• This holiday season, give the gift of vintage sanctions. The COI has imposed a few additional penalties on Tennessee for violations dating from the Lane Kiffin era, which we’re only mentioning here because Dave Hart saying ”We will finally close the chapter on the prior actions of members of a previous football coaching staff,” very shortly before he creates a second coaching staff he’ll have to call “previous,” gives us the grim giggles.
• What a nice gesture from a nice person. Per a Kansas sports info release: “In an effort to send his 2012 senior class out with a fitting farewell, Kansas football head coach Charlie Weis is offering to foot the bill for all KU students seeking admittance to Saturday’s ‘Senior Night’ game versus Iowa State.” Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. No word on whether journalism students are included in the invitation.
• Shiny! The 2012 Nagurski Trophy finalists were announced Thursday. Still in the running for college football’s National Defensive Player of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney, Jarvis Jones, Dee Milliner, Manti Te’o and Bjoern Werner. Winner to be announced on December 3.
• Syracuse 45, No. 11 Louisville 26. The number of undefeated teams in FBS play dropped from six to five following today’s first flight of games, with the Big East becoming the latest conference to lose its last unbeaten program. The Cardinals fell behind less than three minutes into the game, on a 20-yard ‘Cuse field goal, and would tie the score twice in the first quarter, but they never held a lead over the unranked Orange. Three Syracuse touchdowns in the second quarter gave the underdogs a comfortable cushion that they wouldn’t surrender.
Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 completions. He was balanced on the ground by a 144-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance from Jerome Smith and a 99-yard, two-score effort from Prince-Tyson Gulley. Alec Lemon was by far the favored target of the afternoon, as he finished with nine receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns. For the Cardinals, Teddy Bridgewater accounted for 422 passing yards and 17 rushing yards all by his lonesome. Louisville’s total net offensive output was 472 yards.
Spinning this forward: The Cardinals now trail Rutgers in the Big East title race; the Scarlet Knights are 4-0 in league play with Cincinnati, Pitt and Louisville left on the schedule. Syracuse can clinch bowl eligibility with a win in either of its final two games, at Missouri or at Temple. [BOX | RECAP]