Sept. 19, 2009
Jerry Hanlon Pre-Game Pep Talk
Alumni Captain and former Wolverine assistant coach Jerry Hanlon prowled the sideline in his navy sport coat sporting a fresh haircut. He surveyed the Wolverine warmups and stopped to talk to punter Zoltan Mesko at the team bench. Used to dealing with linemen during his many years on the Michigan sideline, coach Hanlon didn't have the most delicate touch for this pregame pep talk with Mesko.
"If you pull up another punt short like last week, I'm gonna snap your leg off at the knee. I'm gonna have you for lunch."
Zoltan responded: "Are you a booster? You can't have us for lunch!"
"I'm not gonna have you for lunch, I'm going to HAVE you for lunch! I'm gonna eat your leg!"
With that, Hanlon strolled off.
Mesko finished with four punts, averaging 45.5 yards a boot, including a 59-yarder. Temple of the Dog put it best: Jerry Hanlon is going hungry.
Craig Roh's Last Interception
Freshman linebacker Craig Roh recorded his first collegiate interception against Eastern Michigan, reminding him of the last time he picked off a pass attempt.
"It was my senior year," said Roh in the locker room after the game. "It was a screen pass and the tight end held me up. I got a hand on it, picked it off and ran it back for a touchdown."
Pretty memorable, right?
"Today's was pretty cool too," he added.
Defensive Rebound Part One
The defense returned to the Michigan bench in a foul mood after an 11-yard TD run from EMU quarterback Andy Schmitt tied the game 10-10. The defense had given up 91 yards on the ground in the first 20 minutes of play and forced the Eagles to punt just once. Their shoulder pads sagged, but fire spewed from their mouths. Linemen, linebackers and defensive backs yelled sharp sentences about pride and power. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson eschewed rhetoric, sticking to Xs and Os. He focused on keys in three Wolverine formations that had more code-words than an Enigma machine.
On the next series, Michigan's defense gave up just eight yards to EMU and then, after a one-play touchdown from the Wolverine offense, the defense held for another three-and-out, sacking Eagle quarterback Andy Schmitt in the process.
Defensive Rebound Part Two
Heading into the locker room at halftime, the defense was displeased with the 24-17 margin. Coming out to start the third quarter, Michigan held Eastern to a three-and-out series, then another and then picked off a pass in the third Eagle drive. Through the first three drives, Eastern Michigan managed six yards rushing and would finish with zero points, 113 yards of offense and just 51 yards on the ground.
Sights and Sounds
- John Falk yelling loudly as the players burst into the locker room after the game, "The hunt for the ring starts next week!"
- Quarterback Denard Robinson in the locker room after the game, responding to a request from media relations directors Bruce Madej and Dave Ablauf to go to the press conference: "Come on guys, get an offensive lineman. It's an O-line day!"
- Jordan Kovacs on the defensive phone talking to someone in the press box prior to entering the game in the third quarter: "Hello? Okay. Okay. Sounds good." Short and sweet. Kovacs entered the game at safety for Mike Williams and finished with six tackles.
- Kevin Koger is rough on his gear. The sophomore tight end sat on the team bench with a sizeable tear in the back of his jersey, a block M decal half-peeled on his skullcap and Eagle green streaks all over his helmet and jersey numbers.
- Nice Block: Denard Robinson made a nice block on 10-yard cutback run for freshman Vincent Smith in the fourth quarter.
- Nice Block!: On the next play, Smith sealed a defender on a draw play, allowing Robinson to score from 36 yards out.
- Cornerback Boubacar Cissoko is 'All In'. He sported two maize 'All In' bracelets on each wrist and one light blue bracelet of unknown origin on each arm.
- Combined, 89 athletes from the state of Michigan graced the rosters of each team.
- The sixth-ranked Michigan volleyball team held its Crash Crisler match in nearby Crisler Arena following the game as 2,763 fans stopped by to check out the Wolverines take on the Oregon State Beavers.
Note Of Interest
Sophomore slot receiver Martavious Odoms, Michigan's leading pass catcher in 2008, still does not have a receiving touchdown in his career. He scored on a 13-yard run in the third quarter and he scored once in 2008, returning a punt for a TD vs. Purdue.