Dnak438 of mgoblog on Michigan’s final defensive playcall:
I don’t know anything about football beyond watching and reading mgoblog and smart football, but I think the idea of the call is this: by putting all our defenders close to the line of scrimmage, to bully ND into checking into a play that involves a quick pass (remember it’s 3rd and 5). Then you rush 3, flood five players into the short zones, hopefully allowing you to break up the pass or make a tackle before the first down markers.
I don’t agree. Notre Dame was at the 29, with 36 seconds left and one timeout left. They were trailing by four which meant they needed a touchdown. Preventing a 1st down forces Notre Dame to use their last timeout, but it’s four-down territory anyway. Even with one timeout and the clock stopping on a first down, Notre Dame is going to have to start taking shots at the end zone soon. The only goal in this situation should have been to not give up a touchdown. Let them go underneath for five yards all they want.