Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Quite an amazing day and night in college football. Just when you thought a game was wrapped up, BOOM, a few more big plays shook the stadium. The final few minutes of Notre Dame/Michigan may have registered on the Richter scale. South Carolina/Georgia would have as well if the Bulldogs would have been able to pull out a win at home in a high scoring thriller.
When the dust had settled on the day, these were the highlights for VSM handicappers:
*Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich, who’s providing both football and baseball this month as he finishes out his tenure with us at the end of the bases, swept the college board with the following three-game card (2-0-1):
- Central Florida (-7) beat Boston College 30-3
- TCU (+1) beat Air Force 35-19
- South Carolina (-3) beat Georgia 45-42 (push)
His biggest play so far this season was Central Florida. That was an absolute slaughter with the hosts winning total yardage 422-141 in a 20-point cover. The second biggest play, TCU, led 21-3 at the half and coasted home in their bounce back spot off the loss to Baylor.
Oh, Nick also swept the board in baseball!
- Houston (+145) beat Washington 9-3
- Philadelphia (-150) beat Milwaukee 3-2
How’s that for a day…no losers and a nice baseball underdog!
*Coach Ron Meyer went 3-1 on Saturday with the following card:
- Iowa (-6.5) lost to Iowa State 44-41 in overtime
- BYU (+7) covered in a 17-16 loss to Texas
- Rutgers (+10) covered in a 24-22 loss to North Carolina
- Stanford (-20) beat Duke 44-7
Iowa was a disappointment, but the other three were so safe through the second half that you didn’t have to sweat them. Be sure to check out Coach Meyer’s article on the Peyton Manning situation in Indianapolis if you get a chance before Sunday kickoffs. He follows that team very closely because he was once their head coach!
*Wayne Root pushed on his PINNACLE play Saturday. He was opposite Nick with a big release on Georgia. Considering the flow of the game, and how the teams scored…Nick was probably a bit lucky to get a push, while Wayne was a bit unlucky. But, Root’s PERFECT PLAY on BYU (+7) over Texas had riding time the whole night, and just missed winning outright. You may have watched that game Saturday evening on ESPN2. BYU controlled the first half…and the game was a straight up coin flip in the final minutes. No way Texas should have been favored by a touchdown!
Wayne also won Saturday with Colorado (+6.5) in a tight overtime loss to California, and Vanderbilt (-2) at home over UCONN. Oh, Florida International over Louisville was another outright upset call for Wayne back on Friday Night…didn’t get a chance to mention that in our last late night report.
NFL selections from those three Saturday studs and the whole VSM roster will be available right here at the website a few hours before kickoff Sunday. Be sure you check out all the options and CASH IN BIG!
Normally in this space we’d run the key stats from one of the marquee games of the day. Instead…given the wild and crazy finish in Notre Dame-Michigan…we’re just going to run the Drive Data from the fourth quarter in what was truly an instant classic. If you went to bed early out on the East Coast, here’s what you missed. We start the fourth quarter with Notre Dame enjoying what seemed at the time to be a nearly insurmountable 24-7 lead…
*Michigan scores a short rushing TD seconds into the fourth quarter, capping off a very quick 4-play, 83 yard drive. It’s now 24-14
*After a short Notre Dame punt, Michigan goes 40 yards in five plays to get within three points. It’s now 24-21 with just under 11 minutes to go in the game. The last two Michigan scoring drives were lasted only four and five plays.
*Notre Dame drives deep into Michigan territory, but FUMBLES with just over six minutes to go.
*Michigan, gung ho now for big plays, throws an INTERCEPTION in the end zone on a jump ball Hail Mary type pass (which they had been completing all night by the way). It’s still 24-21…with Notre Dame failing to cash on a key drive…then Michigan failing with a shot at the jugular.
*Notre Dame gets the ball with 4:23 left, then punts with 2:16 left after a three-and-out. They at least did a good job of eating clock with those three plays. Little did they know the thrills were just beginning!
*Michigan goes 58 yards in five plays to stun the Irish with the go-ahead touchdown. The drive only lasted one minute though…so Notre Dame had time to come back. It’s 28-24 Michigan with 1:12 to go.
*Notre Dame goes 61 yards in four plays and 42 seconds to silence all of Ann Arbor (while causing jubilation with NBC executives watching at home and worrying about an 0-2 start). Vegas sportsbooks surely had some great reactions…with Notre Dame seemingly pulling a push out of the fire after blowing a cover with their horrible fourth quarter. Michigan money was stunned because they thought they had vultured a win. BUT WAIT…WE’RE NOT DONE YET!
*Getting the ball with only 30 seconds left…on their own 20 yard line…Michigan went 80 yards in three plays and 28 seconds to win the game! Huge defensive failure for Notre Dame. Stunning finish. Ann Arbor rocks. Michigan backers in Vegas explode. A historic night game in Ann Arbor inspires a finish that won’t seem believable when it’s read in history books.
Michigan’s last four TD drives:
- 83 yards in 4 plays
- 40 yards in 5 plays
- 58 yards in 5 plays
- 80 yards in 3 plays
Notre Dame’s 61-yard drive in 42 seconds with the game on the line will barely get an asterisk. But, it was a great accomplishment at the time…and a sign that this offense is going to be a real handful for opponents once they figure out how to cut out the turnovers (five more giveaways tonight).
We transition now from colleges to the NFL for the rest of the weekend. If you’re reading this Sunday morning…you’ve got some business to take care of with the VegasSportsMasters!