You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Alabama 41, Michigan 14: A comprehensive guide to our coverage

By Pete Cunningham


Alabama tight end Michael Williams celebrates a touchdown as Michigan's Jake Ryan looks on.

Melanie Maxwell |

Little went the Wolverines' way all night in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas against defending national champion Alabama. The Crimson Tide had a 31-0 lead before Michigan even got on the board.

The Wolverines did manage to eventually score and kept Alabama out of the end zone to an extent, but the game was never close after the first quarter. By the end, it was easier to count which Michigan players had been injured during the game than had a significant impact on the outcome.

It was a rough way to start the season for the Wolverines who had starter after starter come off the field injured throughout the game as the Crimson Tide kept rolling along.

Post-Game Coverage

In-Game coverage

Pre-Game Coverage

More Scores

Pete Cunningham covers sports for



Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

Usain Bolt "I can throw better than Denard"


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

From the looks of it, MSU, ND, and OSU are sure loses. Because its always the Denard show. And the Denard show just stays the same season after season, while competitor shows keep getting better. We live and die by Denard; we live and die by someone who is playing out of position!!! How foolish is that? What does that say about the decision-making and wisdom of our coaches? Save one or two decent games (OSU last year, Nebraska last year) and a few near miracles (ND last two years) where would we be in terms of the QB position? Would Denard even be starting? Simply put, Denard sucks against good defenses. Yes, on the field he is a man on a mission, but unless he is running, he's always out of position. Yes we played a great team last night, but I have no doubt that our team last year would have done a better job. Meinke loves the inane, tired "This will be a better team than last year, but with a worse record" line. I call BS. This is a worse team than last year's, and it will have a worse record.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

Geesh people have a little faith in the UM program. Like it or not it's going to take several years to rebuild the program an elite level. A great program will red shirt its freshman ( and they may be on campus their senior year of high school) and if they are lucky they will see the field their sophomore or junior year--- that's two an a half to three and a half years training and conditioning before they start playing. I saw some good things despite the blowout, if UM played teams this fast and strong week in and week out you would see drastic improvement in short order. Any coach knows that it takes time for a player to adjust to a higher level of speed--- but they do adjust. This loss may sting, but it a good thing " as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another".


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

Toothy smiles don't win football games.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

We got schooled for sure, but I don't think it was as bad as everyone (including the hyperbole-prone 'reporters' at MLive) is making it out to be. Now we know where we are. It's what we do with that infor over the rest of the season that defines the team. I didn't see our players give up yesterday. I saw a bigger, stronger, more experienced team prevail. If Hoke's first two classes are any indication, we'll be bigger and stronger in the years to come. There's no way to know where we are unless we play teams like Alabama, so I'm glad for this game. We'll be better for the rest of this season, next year, and the year after for it. Local media: The live chat was a steaming turd, boys. It was so slow as to be almost unusable by anyone other than the trolls, and they overran it. Moderating comments after they're posted didn't seem effective, either. All these 'articles' written after the game have a tone of yelling 'fire' in a packed theater. I'd like to see some more nuanced analysis and some actual investigative info (injuries, what happened to Furman, etc.). It doesn't take a paid reporter to write that we got blown out. Highlights: - Norfleet. Nice to have a return game again. - Denard's passing. I saw it as a decided improvement over last year. Not great, but noticably better. He had some decent passes dropped by receivers and Gardner turned the wrong way on one that should have been complete. - We didn't give up. This is huge. I also didn't see us standing around on D with hands on hips much. - Hagerup has remembered how to punt. - Campbell chased down McCarron for a sack- he's clearly faster this year. - Gallon caught a couple of nice balls. Lowlights: - Line play. But again, this looked a lot like smaller kids getting pushed around by bigger, stronger kids. - Denard threw two balls he should have held, both for picks. - Vincent Smith. It's just not happening with him. Where was Rawls? - Avery. All I could think of was Cissoko. - Roundtree too quiet. Hail!

Julie Lee

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

@Greggy_D - No, he said it look better than last year. Which I would have to agree with. I would have liked him to look to run if nothing was there in the pass. Instead of throwing it away or forcing the ball. He seemed intent on throwing the Ball.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

Denard's passing was a highlight? LOL....were we watching the same game?


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

"If you cannot run with the big dogs, stay on the porch". Look for Michigan to not schedule anymore games with the SEC.

David C

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

As a Bama Fan I would not be so down on Michigan. There Future is very bright. This was just a case that Saban has had 6 years to build Bama's Program back, while Brady Hoke is only in his 2nd year. I expect Michigan will still have a good year. Denard really showed hart in that game. I really thought at some point they were going to pull him to keep him from getting hurt. Michigan will take care of business next week and start show the rest of the Big Ten that Bama is really that good and Michigan is not really that Bad. Roll Tide Roll


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

How painful was it to listen to the "SEC SEC SEC" chants during the 1st quarter, on top of Herbie's and Brent's ever smug mud slinging? I hope the players and coaching staff are forced to watch that spectacle. While Michigan is cleary not Alamaba's equal, I don't believe that the team is as bad as it was made out to be by Herbie and Brent. This was Michigan's first game. The character of a college team especially changes a great deal during the season. It still falls on Mr. Hoke to get his team ready and he clearly failed. His team however was better prepared than MSU was for Boise State. The offensive line's performance and the missed tackles took me back to the failed RR era. Why can't we get this fixed? Bo would have made sure that those 2 things were in place before anything else...

Julie Lee

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

@genetracy - He played against a very physical defense. I expect more out of him going forward. I don't think he will see a defense that good the rest of the year. Spartans have a good defense but not as good as Bama.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

State's poor performace was due to an inexperience QB. This was Denard third year. He played scared and acted like he never touched a football before.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Sounds like we made the right decision to watch a movie Saturday nite. Sorry to see them loose but not everyone can be on top.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Let's all just be happy that the band was able to be there. Much better to send them than use that Booster money for scholarships.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

41-14...I remember it well...happened a few years back when Florida beat Ohio State for the National Championship. A few of my friend (why they like UM football I'll never know) have never let me forget that day. Karma will be a bitch, so when you see me and wonder why I have a smirk of a grin on my face you will know what I'm thinking. I don't usually post on an opponents comments page but just couldn't resist. OSU has owned you for the last decade plus and don't spout off about last year. You barely beat an OSU team that was decimated. I hope you run the table with the rest of your games before the OSU contest. It would make kicking your ass all that much more enjoyable. You can change your uniforms but what remains is still an overrated team still living off their record from the late 1800's and early 1900's. In fact, were it not for the Ohio boys you have recruited over the past 20 years or so, your recent achievements would be non existent. The new uniforms suck...they made your team look like boys playing against the men from Alabama. Just stating the obvious folks. Maize??? Looks like yellow to me. Good luck against MSU.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

It is seriously UNBELIEVABLE that some of you are blaming Brandon for last night's debacle. I did not hear anything against him and the scheduling of Alabama, not once, before last night's game.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

"Little Brother" fans just the the northwest are not suprised at all with the outcome of this game. Perhaps a little more humility will be forthcoming from the Michigan fan base. What an embarrassment for all fans of Big Ten schools. Looking forward to five in a row for MSU ! Go Green Go White

Julie Lee

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

Corrected link.

Julie Lee

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

Closer outcome than your 2010 Big Ten co-champions MSU Spartans had in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. Alabama 49 MSU 7


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Time to 'fess up: I thought Michigan would have been good enough to hang with ALabama and stay within 2 TDs. My benchmarks were to keep the Tide from scoring 30 points while the Maize and Blue scoring 20 points. That didn't happen. The Tide had 31 points at half time while Michigan had 7. Too many issues to point out here except to say that Michigan wasn't ready to play a team like Alabama. I had a huge concern that injuries would occur to some of our key players and that did happen. Like they said, losing one game could be like losing two. I hope we'll see these guys back for the Air Force game. The only glass half full thing is Michigan scored more points the LSU did against Alabama, not as bad as the 49-7 beat down to Sparty in the 2011 Citrus bowl or a 28-11 Penn State loss last season at Beaver Stadium. Congrats to the SEC fans. The Tide are for real. Michigan was overrated and we'll belong in the 20-25 rankings for a while. Alabama will have a great season. Michigan will be no better than 9 and 3 and am hoping they win all their home games and go 3 and 3 on the road.

Julie Lee

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

@Mark - It was 49-7 Bama beat down on MSU in the 2011 Capital One Bowl. MSU was co-champions of the Big Ten. So it was not that long ago. Many consider Bama to be one of the best teams in the country at the end of the year. They lost a few close games that year. Alabama was a superior team than Michigan. They had much more talent and depth. Was I disappointed in the outcome? YES! Did I really think Michigan would beat them? Head said NO but the fan in me said MAYBE. Do I have a lot of hope for the future considering last season and Brady's recruiting class? YES! Do I think Michigan will be in the hunt for a Big Ten title? YES! No one in the Big Ten is in the class that Alabama is.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Honestly you are going back in history again to prove what? By the way it was 49-14 and a much more heralded and better Alabama team than this one. For the record i would love to see any and every B1G team beat an SEC opponent, the free pass in rankings and accolades needs to stop somewhere. #8 pre season, give me a break. UM embarrassed themselves and the B1G again, rebuild your program, and it will happen, and save the elitest attitude its earned not given from past records or acheivements!

Brady joke

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Seriously, how overrated is michigan. As a college football fan, it was enjoyable seeing the best team pick apart (at best) a mediocre team. #8 in the nation ... Should not be above #38 in the nation. michigan will be lucky to go 7-5. Also, it will be nice not to have to hear dinard as part of the heisman talk for the rest of the season. What a joke. As the saying goes - don't believe the hype. Roll Tide.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

The Wolverines are bloated and overpriced just like their "NEW" stadium.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Maybe instead of all the talk about them playing "Michigan football", they'd be much better off playing "Alabama football".


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Look like a good college team versus a semi-pro team. The speed of Alabama was too much for UM, but I thought many of the plays that didn't work for Michigan would have worked in the Big 10. It is tough to beat a national champ when it returns its entire offensive line.

average joe

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

It was like watching an over-hyped U/M bowl game...


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

All it is is hype. All they are doing is trying to get a scholarship or go on to the NFL. UM and Penn State I hate to say it are not worth their grain of salt.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Not to worry. Brando made millions off this embarassment. To Brandon that is all that really matters.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

There not in the same league as alabama. Our local high school has more offense/defense than these totally unprepared so called elete(thats a joke) team Well the big ego AD got what he was looking for $4.5 mil and alot of what he wasent looking for, a dose of being embarrassed on national tv. I think mr hoke got a rude wake up call in regards to his coaching abilities. A good high school,maybe junior collage at best is what he is qualified for


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

I blame this on Dave Brandon's hubris. Anyone who knows anything about football, could see the shortcomings of the Michigan defensive line and offensive line. Sending a lamb to slaughter does not make you a great AD.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

TruBlue is NOT right. This game was scheduled in October 2010. Dave Brandon signed on in February 2010.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Why blame the coaches? Why blame the players. It must be the AD's fault, right? Wasn't Brandon the AD in Sept 2010 ? When was the contract signed?


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

TruBlue is right, this game was signed, sealed and delivered in early Oct of 2010. Rich Rod was supposed to have a mind boggling offense with Denard and Tate leading the way. Shows you how much has changed.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Not sure why this is Brandon's fault? Martin scheduled this game. Should Brandon pulled out of it? Only good thing from this game is there is a good possibility no one else beats Alabama.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

Michigan is lucky it plays in such a weak conference. And what will happen when old Denard graduates? He's the entire offense, such as it is.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Really, who didn't see this coming? In my 32 years as a U-M alum and Ann Arbor resident, I can probably count on 1 hand the times when the Wolverines delivered against highly rated, non-conference opponents, especially if you include bowls. We are historically an overrated team from a conference of the same. Ugh. I just want to beat State now. That will salvage this season. We'll be lucky to go 8-4.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Brandon can keep marketing UM underwear, but if you want to see UM beat State, Hoke needs to change how he manages and coaches the team. I'm not impressed! I do not think many UM fans are impressed either. I believe I read where many of them starting leaving the UM stadium when they saw what was happening. Do I think Hoke will change? No. All the so-called talent of most college football teams and they get blown out like this. Not the fault of the talent. Hoke owns this, with the rest of his coaching staff.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

The Wolvies got SMOKED.If fair was fair you'd drop to about 30th in the ratings. Fair though isn't fair.You just have to look back as far as the Sugar Bowl to see that.Certainly shouldn't have been there and absolutely shouldn't have won. Enough cupcakes though in this schedule to have a successful season.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

Brandon Marketing 1, Wolverines 0

Ann English

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Pete, You give the impression that there are Ndamukong Suh-like players on the Crimson Tide team. I expect further details on the causes of these injuries to dispel this impression. Ndamukong Suh-like players shouldn't be allowed in college football. You'd expect higher standards at the college level, where they play for the love of the game, not for money.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 10:48 a.m.

The game was embarrassing. We didn't show up. Denard's "secret" was shown in his first season and everyone prepares for it now. He really is just a running quarterback.

Ann English

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.

You come the closest so far to saying what one headline said during the third quarter: Michigan forgot it had a major game to play.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 9:06 a.m.

Alabama gameplanned to stop Denard from running, but they ended up not even needing to. Al Borges did that for them.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 7:44 a.m.

As a southern transplant from AA ... all I can say is that game was embarassing. I was contemplating going to the game ... and I'm glad I didn't. I thought Alabama would win but... I thought Michigan would make a game of it. How wrong I was. Michigan at this point is not even a top 25 team... and I think Denard had his NFL hopes dashed at least at the quarterback position. Maybe special teams punt returner? Denard, I suggest you buckle down, work on your grades, and graduate with that engineering degree. Ok?


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 4:56 a.m.

When Michigan realizes that this is a team sport they will be fine. This is not just about Denard. Denard, I know you want to be in the NFL but you have to realize that you have a team, not just you. Stop running the darn ball and learn to pass.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 4:59 a.m.

He is a team player. He was recruited as an run-option quarterback, not as a pocket passer. He's doing his best - he just doesn't have a great arm. Alabama had one goal on defense today - to keep Denard under 50 yards rushing. You can't take what a good defense won't give you.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 4:52 a.m.

I thought it would be bad, but not that bad. Alabama is a real threat to repeat its national title. Michigan is not a top ten team.


Mon, Sep 3, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Not a top 10 team? Try not a top 20 team. The distance between Alabama and UM is orders of magnitude.


Sun, Sep 2, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

I knew it would be that bad.... Brandon is an idiot. Poor team just got an Alabama prison shower.