Blog Entry

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

Posted on: January 4, 2012 12:27 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 12:27 am

Posted by Tom Fornelli

MICHIGAN WON. I'm not sure how they did it even though I saw it with my own eyes, but the Michigan Wolverines won the Sugar Bowl 23-20 over Virginia Tech in overtime on Tuesday night. The Wolverines seemed lifeless for the first 29 minutes of the game, but the Hokies were only able to put 6 points on the board in that time despite outgaining the Wolverines 181 yards to 81 yards until that point. But then Denard Robinson unleashed a pass down the right sideline that seemed destined for the hands of a Hokie, yet Junior Hemingway pulled it in for a 45-yard touchdown pass -- one of Hemingway's two touchdown catches on the evening.

Then the silly began. Virginia Tech fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and a few plays later Michigan tried one of the worst fake field goals that ever worked in the history of organized football, as holder Drew Dileo's pass was deflected before landing in the arms of offensive lineman Jareth Glanda for a first down. After that the Wolverines tacked on a field goal to take a 10-6 lead into the locker room even though they'd been completely out played for 29 minutes and 11 seconds.

Virginia Tech would continue to outplay Michigan in the second half, battling back to tie the game in the closing seconds on a Justin Myer field goal -- Myer being the Hokies third-string kicker -- to send the game into overtime. Unfortunately for the Hokies, after making his first four kicks of the night, Myer would miss on his fifth attempt in overtime.

A few plays later Brendan Gibbons' 37-yard field goal went through the uprights to give Michigan the win.

HOW MICHIGAN WON. This is not an easy question to answer. The Wolverines were outgained by the Hokies 377 to 184. Denard Robinson completed only 9 of 21 passes for 117 yards and rushed for 13 yards on 13 carries, the lowest rushing output of his career. But if there was a reason for Michigan to win this game, it was because Virginia Tech didn't take full advantage of its early chances.

Yes, the Hokies dominated the first half, but even then Tech could only manage 2 field goals and a 6-0 lead. Then there was the ill-advised fake punt out of a timeout in the fourth quarter that set Michigan up with great field position for a field goal that gave them a 20-17 lead at the time. 

There were also 3 Virginia Tech turnovers. Perhaps none bigger than the fumble following Michigan's first score of the game, as it seemed to completely shift the momentum to Michigan's sideline.

WHEN MICHIGAN WON. Not until Gibbons' 37-yard field goal split the uprights in the overtime.

WHAT MICHIGAN WON. A BCS bowl game, which, given the direction Michigan fans had seen this program going in the last few years under Rich Rodriguez, has to feel like somewhat of a minor miracle. The turnaround in this team, particularly on defense, was quicker than any reasonable expectation, and the Wolverines have their first BCS win since the 2000 Orange Bowl. Brady Hoke, Al Borges and Greg Mattison deserve a lot of credit in Ann Arbor.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH LOST. There were plenty of people who said that Virginia Tech didn't deserve to play in this game ahead of some programs like Kansas State or Boise State. It's certainly reasonable to agree with that assessment, but not because of the way the Hokies played on Tuesday night. Virginia Tech outplayed the Wolverines everywhere but on the scoreboard. That said, it's the Hokies fifth consecutive loss in a BCS bowl game, not picking up a victory since winning the Sugar Bowl in 1995.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The fake field goal that shouldn't have worked yet worked to set up the Michigan field goal at the end of the first half was just hard to explain. So much went wrong on that play for it to work out so well for the Wolverines, but anytime an offensive lineman can get a big reception, I'm all for it.

GRADE: C+. Much like the Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, the Sugar Bowl was a close game that came down to the last few moments. Unlike those other two bowl games, it wasn't because two teams were playing to the best of their abilities and matching up well with one another. This game was only close because neither team was capable of taking control of it, despite numerous opportunities to do so. So while it may have been close it wasn't great.

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 3:24 pm

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

I have to compliment Jack_ for pointing out the simple fact of the  heiarchy of winning importance.
(WHO)= Any tem on any field 
(WHAT)=Subject= College football, specifically (B1G10)
(WHERE) =  home or away
(HOW) = Last second TD, (reviewed by the ref's)

 and the biggest: 


Some deal and handle it okay, but others EMBRACE it and THRIVE and, seem to be made for those very same moments.   

Fine examples of this could be :

Joe "ice-cool" Montana&n

Michael "treatment" Jordan

Tom "teriffic" Brady     

SpartanVim: Can you add more? I don't think Andre Rison is one, so you may have to look outside your limited East Lansing athlete pool to do so.

;     &nbs



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:47 pm

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

SpartanVim: Let me add this:

Consider together some apples and some oranges. Sparty football and the injustice of the BCS rankings for the 2011 season on the one hand; Sparty hoops and the injustice of the NCAA Championships on the other.

Now, we've both had our say about the former and agreed to disagree. (If stoking one's rage with a steady supply of bile through the winter months keeps one warm, then perhaps it's a fair trade for the years likely lost on the back hand by overtaxing one's organs.) As to the latter, I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Magic Johnson's game while I was briefly at State and he was a Junior in High School. To see his game was to fall in love with it, so I remain a fan, even though bball's NOT my game. Now, fast forward to that Magical tournament run in 1979, culminating in your beloved Spartans cutting down the nets. As is custom, they finished the season #1 in all of the polls.

Well and good, except that they were NOT "the best team" in college basketball that year; they just won AT THE RIGHT TIME. Just like these Spartans did not do. Case closed.

An example of the difference between "the best" and the Champion is that one gets to wear the ring or the belt, while the other gets to content himself with his less than perfectly manifest superiority. Of course, the truer that self-image is, the more it burns. The very best college hoops team that I ever saw play was Jerry Tarkanian's squad that lost their perfect record in the semifinals to the Kentucky Wildcats. I'm prepared to argue it with anybody to this very day, but I like to be asked back again. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:18 pm

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

   SpartanVim: Here's how why Moo took a back seat to Older Brother:

(1) Head-to-head is A measure of how good a team is, but it isn't everything. (Who did the Colts beat? Doesn't matter. No one thinks that they're as bad a football team as Indianapolis this year. On any given Sunday...) Sparty had the chance to be a hero and not a zero; SKUNKED. Michigan, on the other hand, didn't play Wisconsin, so who can truly say how a game between them might have turned out? It's not as if the Badgers schedule gave anyone the impression that they were necessarily world beaters. Wife beaters, maybe. No offense.

(2) True, the AP did have the Wolverines ranked behind the Spartans, but SOMEBODY or SOMETHING must have thought or tabulated otherwise. GIGO? Could be; a lot of those reporters drink like fish and God alone knows for sure what they smoke, so they well may have pulled every last one of their opinions out of their backside.

(3) I realize that it must be difficult always being ignored by the grown-ups, but you really shouldn't take this personally. Being different people than you, it's just that they have their own perspectives on life and such. While you were eating your own liver over the injustice of it all, they gave it nary a thought. They were asked for their opinions and they gave them and then they moved on.

(4) Sometimes it's healthier that way.

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:13 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

The previous comment was in response to Spartan Vim.

When you click the "respond to comment" button it would be nice if it would reference the comment to which you are referring. 

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:10 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

That's what happens when your season rests on the luck of a hail mary pass. msu didn't deserve to be in the Big Ten championship game to begin with.

msu has earned the lack of respect they've been given.


Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:33 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

Say what you want the jerk writing this article doesnt know his ass from a hole in the wall. Michigan won because they played smarter then Tech stop them every time from scoring except for one time rest were field goals. Tech outscored them statistically but MICHIGAN took advantage of Techs mistakes. The better team prevailed HAIL TO THE VICTORS.GO BLUE!

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:07 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

Suck it up folks, don't make excuses for your programs, they play the games out on the field for these very reasons:




That being said, do you suggest we tear down the uprites and go for two every time?
If not, kickers will still not be football players and games will continue to be won and not won becuase of them.

HOKE: thanks for only relying on the kicker for a few of your points, the law of arerages prevails!

;     &nbs

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:56 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

Please do your homework before writing articles.  This is exactly the problem with cbssports website.  Inaccurate reporting.  It's your job to do your homework.

Virginia Tech HASN'T won an BCS Bowl Since 1995????

2009 Virginia Tech BEATS Cincinatti in the ORANGE BOWL.  THE ORANGE BOWL!!!!!--  Hence a BCS game.  Awful reporting.  You just made yourself, and the article, a worthless read for now and the future. 

Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2012 3:19 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

How Michigan won? Their defense bent but for the most part didn't break. VT had plenty of opportunites to put it in the endzone but COULDN'T and had to make Field Goals. Michigan had some wacky plays but as you pointed out so did VT. It's all a matter of turn-overs and taking advange of situations when they arise.

Note to author: If you really don't want to write a story ten just say so instead of pushing out a pice of junk. Better yet, get a new job because you SUCk at this one. How did you ever get this job anyway, a lucky fumble or was it a bad call by the coach?

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: January 4, 2012 3:08 am

QUICK HITS: Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 OT

How Michigan Won? I agree with Tom that "this is not an easy question to answer". The next stumper will likely be: How did Michigan end up rated above Michigan State in the final polls?

Consider that MSU finished 1 game ahead of UM in the Big10's Legends Division (including a solid 28-14 head-to-head thumping), had the same overall record, was rated (AP) ahead of UM going into the Bowl season, and won their OT bowl game against the SEC East champion, Georgia.

MSU only ended up with a 3rd loss because they won their division and had to play revenge-seeking Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship nail-biter (MSU had barely beat then #4 Wisconsin in their regular season meeting). Coincidently, Wisconsin - the conference's top-rated team heading into the bowls - wasn't even on UM's schedule. Nice team not to have to play, eh?

So... because of all this, 2-loss Wisconsin earned a Rose Bowl berth and 2-loss UM was given the BCS bowl bid over 3-loss MSU. Paradoxially, UM, by NOT winning their division, was better positioned for a BCS bowl than the more-deserving MSU-Wisconsin loser. Crazy how that works. Cancel the conference championship and MSU (then #11) & Wisconsin (#15) get the BCS bids and UM (#17) is on the outside looking in.

Returning to reality, UM gets their BCS bowl but MSU remains the AP's higher-rated team. I maintain that this makes sense - MSU had the better season. Now regarding their bowls - if UM had beaten a top-level team and MSU had defeated a powderpuff, I would concede a higher final rating to UM. However, MSU beat (and statistically matched) #18 Georgia from the top-rated SEC. Keeping pace, UM then beat (but were statistically outplayed by) #17 Virginia Tech from the lesser-rated ACC. My point is not to knock either worthy opponent/conference or to question the value of game stats; rather, I simply don't see where any comparison of these bowl match-ups should vault #13 UM over #12 MSU. Just because UM-VT was blessed by the BCS gods doesn't convince me that MSU & Georgia wouldn't have been just as worthy, if not better, representatives.

Bitter? Most definitely - my blood runs green. But I predict even more bitterness when the final polls come out. Sometimes we Spartans can't catch a break. Having the benficiary of all this be cross-state rival UM just makes it so much more irritating. C'mon pollsters - prove me wrong!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or