Live Blog of the Motor City Bowl

We’re coming to you live from the Motor City Bowl tonight. Your host……Brian from One More Dying Quail. Join him for the game at 730, and be sure to give him a hard time for me.- AA

7:28 – Your announce team tonight: Dave Lamont and Ray Bentley in the booth, with Vince Welch down on the sidelines.

7:33 – Option A it is: AA has arrived on the scene to save the day and allow this thing to go on. Maybe now he can actually kick back and relax.

7:36 – I turned my head for three minutes and Central Michigan is on the goal line. Okay, now they’re up 6-0 (pending the extra point). I predicted a 31-14 CMU win, but that might have been a low estimate.

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7:38 – Now that we have a minute, let’s get some introductions out of the way, shall we? My name is Brian, and as AA mentioned earlier, I write for One More Dying Quail. This is the first live blog of my blogging career, so bear with me; the goal is to be here for the entirety of the game, no matter how bad it gets (and given that first touchdown drive, it could get bad quick), so don’t hesitate to hop in and talk some football.

7:41 – How is it legal for Central Michigan to have a fourteen year old kid playing quarterback? Seriously, I’ve seen high school freshmen that look older than Danny Lefevour.

7:45 – 3rd and 23 for MTSU. Apparently, CMU defensive end Dan Bazuin is a stud lineman who has a chance to go in the early rounds of next year’s NFL draft.

7:47 – And…Middle Tennessee misses a 39 yard field goal, so the score remains 7-0 in favor of the Chippewas.

7:51 – Ontario Sneed just cut once, cut twice, and danced on a tightrope down the sideline before being nudged out of bounds. They originally credited him with a 36 yard gain, then knocked it back ten yards after an official review.

7:55 – Took long enough, but they got that figured out. Doesn’t matter in the end, really: Lefevour made up the difference on the very next play, taking off and running off to the right.

7:57 – Touchdown, CMU, Lefevour to Sneed for the 14-0 lead.

8:00 – Thanks to Ray Bentley, who just informed me that Ontario Sneed would need a passport to cross the bridge into Canada. Stick to the football analysis, Ray.

8:02 – From the comments…Anonymous said…”This is a blowout already. Do you have it in you Brian?” Yes, my anonymous friend, I’ll be here for the duration. I might be in full Kornheiser mode by the fourth quarter, but I’ll be here. (Thank God there’s beer in the fridge.)

8:09 – It would have been nice to see another CMU score there, but I’m also glad the Chippewas’ punter finally got a chance to play. Hope he appreciated it: he might not have too many more chances if Lefevour keeps playing well.

8:14 – End of the first quarter: CMU 14, MTSU 0.

8:23 – So I think I’ve figured out the best way to describe how it feels to live blog a sporting event on someone else’s blog or web site. It’s kind of like going to a party at their house, only they had to run to the store to get more beer and left you alone with a bunch of their friends, who you only know in passing but have never talked to before, and now it’s your job to entertain them and keep the party interesting. Hopefully people are still his (figurative) house when he gets back, if that makes any sense.

8:27 – Somebody forgot to tell Middle Tennessee State that this game was over: they just drove 79 yards in 12 plays to cut the lead to 14-7. They have to feel good, not only about the touchdown, but also about the length of the drive – Lefevour and Sneed can’t beat you if they don’t have the ball.

8:32 – And then, just when we thought they were back in it…an ill-advised onside kick gives Central Michigan the ball at midfield. NOT a good idea.

8:35 – Four plays later, it’s Lefevour again, taking it in from nine yards out to bump the lead back up to two touchdowns. Looking at info on this game yesterday, it struck me that several of the Motor City Bowl MVPs have gone on to be successful in the NFL, guys like Deuce McCallister, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, and DeAngelo Williams. I realize Lefevour is only a freshman, but he’ll find his name on that list someday if he continues to get better.

8:43 – This CMU defense hits HARD. Twice on this drive, they have not only stopped a MTSU player’s forward momentum, but actually made the player bounce backward. Those are the kind of hits that make backs and receivers play more cautiously.

8:46 – CMU’s Dan Bazuin is down on the field, and his family doesn’t appear to be taking it well in the stands. Fortunately, ESPN is keeping the camera on them so we can share their worries.

8:47 – Bazuin’s okay….after being down for a couple minutes, he jumped up and RAN off the field. His mother is gonna kick his ass after the game for making her worry.

8:50 – Your team is down two touchdowns. Their quarterback has over 200 total yards before the end of the first half. You make one good defensive play – probably not the best time to showboat. I’m just sayin’.

8:58 – From the comments…Wastingcompanytime6 said…This might be a dumb question (but the game is horrible so my mind is wandering..) Why are they Middle Tennessee STATE University? Is there a University of Middle Tennessee too? For the answer, my friend, I turned to Wikipedia, which says that a switch to the name University of Middle Tennessee has long been rumored, which is why the school uses “Middle Tennessee” as a logo for its athletic teams.

9:03 – The first truly awful announcing moment of the night: during the return from commercial, Lamont awkwardly recited the lyrics from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (I think) while the camera focused in on a street sign for 8 Mile. That has to be right up there with Bill Maher’s appearance in “Ali Rap” on the list of ideas that should have been left in the brainstorming session. (Bill Maher WAS in “Ali Rap”, right? I’m not just imagining this, am I?)

9:06 – Alright, we’re at the end of the first half with Central Michigan comfortably on top, 21-7. After the first two CMU drives, when they did whatever they wanted to Middle Tennessee offensively, it looked like this would be a blowout. MTSU picked it up, however, and kept the game from getting out of hand.

9:29 – And we’re back for thirty more minutes of football and live blogging. Pray for me.

9:34 – From the comments…Anonymous said…Does anyone else think MT QB Clint Marks looks like Wilmer Valderamma? Hmmm…hadn’t really thought about it – oh, yeah – they JUST showed his head shot and the resemblance is uncanny. Poor guy.

Apparently he doesn’t like having that photo shown either, because not ten seconds after it left the screen he tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Central Michigan 28, Middle Tennessee 14.

9:39 – I think that was Steve Lattimer who took that interception to the house. That’s not his real name, of course, but they were saying that he was a safety in high school before adding sixty pounds of muscle (I think it’s him they were talking about – things are starting to get fuzzy), so yeah…take from that what you will.

9:46 – It is officially getting late: Lamont and Bentley are waxing poetic on the latter’s Central Michigan career in the early 1980s. Call me biased, but I don’t mind hearing Bentley talk about that sort of thing nearly as much as I mind when Theismann does it.

9:48 – Considering the fact that this game has never been close and could have gone downhill a long time ago, I don’t think the announcers have been that bad. The Eminem thing was unforgiveable, and Lamont is having a bit too much fun creating witty puns about a player named “Polite”, but they haven’t been truly awful. Cross your fingers.

9:51 – Wow, Fez Marks is out for Middle Tennessee, replaced by Joe Craddock. Lamont and Bentley are as confused as I am as to why Marks would be pulled, considering its the last game of his college career.

9:56 – Bentley just suggested that the officials had marked off five yards too many on a roughing the punter penalty, then ESPN went to a short set piece on Bobby Knight and the thought fell by the wayside. Given these officials, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they messed up on something like that. They have been far from perfect tonight, to the point that I now understand how that famous “five down” game could have taken place back in 1990 (I believe Colorado was involved).

10:00 – Flags have been thrown on something like 3 of the last 4 plays, because what we really need is for this game to drag on some more. If anything, they should just play it like they do in high school and keep the clock running.

10:02 – Interesting blurb on Ronnie Eckdahl, who not only plays for the Central Michigan Chippewas but actually IS a Chippewa – he’s a member of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe.

10:06 – New attendance record for the Motor City Bowl – 54,113. Might have something to do with the fact that a local team is actually playing for once.

10:10 – After a big punt return by little Desmond Gee, Marks is back in the game with great field position for Middle Tennessee.

10:12 – It looked like the CMU defense might hold, but…touchdown, Middle Tennessee. Now all Central Michigan needs is a field goal and my final score prediction will be right on the money.

10:13 – I still say they should keep the clock running. Even during commercials.

10:27 – Central Michigan with a field goal attempt to prove that Brian is psychic, and…no good. Still 28-14 with 7:41 to go.

10:29 – Am I the only one who doesn’t totally understand these new Volvo commercials?

10:32 – Fourth-and-one for Middle Tennessee with under six minutes, and it’s not even close. It’s easy to second-guess the play calling, but I think everyone was looking for that to go up the middle. Middle Tennessee’s line is not only undersized, but tired after four quarters; I would’ve just as soon run Marks up the middle on a sneak as hand it off to the back.

10:35 – Central Michigan boots the field goal to extend the lead to 31-14, which just so happens to be the score I predicted at three o’clock this morning. You hear that, fellas? No more scoring in this game.

10:37 – I was yawning, so I missed it, but one of the guys in the booth just used the word “hizzouse.” Come on, you’re having a decent night – don’t throw it away now.

10:41 – And that’s pretty much gonna end it: a CMU interception at the one with under a minute to play.

Well, this was quite the experience. The game goes surprisingly quick when you’re following it on a minute-by-minute basis, but my least favorite part of live blogging is the fact that I can’t leave the computer or the television and do something else. For someone with an undiagnosed case of ADD, this was a tough endeavor.

All the same, it was fun. I enjoyed the challenge, and hope it turns out interesting enough and funny enough for all who read it. AA should be back tomorrow – be sure to tell him how much you missed him.

Good night!

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