After following the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams for its “Hard Knocks”-esque series, “All or Nothing,” Amazon expanded into the college ranks for an eight-episode run with the Michigan Wolverines.
Like most passionate Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans, I can’t stand the Wolverines. I hate their helmets, their fight song, their smug coach and their “Michigan man” nonsense.
I’m going to watch this series, so you don’t have to. These are my real-time reactions of the third episode, with time stamps just in case you do decide, “Yeah, maybe I want to bathe myself in Wolverine tears.”
This episode covers the losses to the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes and primarily focuses on defensive coordinator Don Brown and graduate linebacker Mike McCray.
- 0:41 “This is our opportunity to make ourselves relevant in the national discussion and a chance to bury the naysayers. This is the week that the football world will be reintroduced to the 2017 Michigan football team,” coach Jim Harbaugh tells him team in the first meeting of Wisconsin week.
AS SELF-APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF THE NAYSAYERS OF MICHIGAN, I ASSURE YOU: OUR MEMBERSHIP HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER.
- 4:10 Narrator Mark Harmon notes that Wisconsin Badgers’ Jonathan Taylor is on pace to best Adrian Peterson’s record for most rushing yards as a freshman. “Keeping him contained this Saturday is Don Brown’s top priority.” Cut to Brown telling his players, “We are going to smoke this guy. He ain’t been hit yet.”
- 9:21 Starting quarterback Brandon Peters, a sophomore, says he enjoys Michigan’s underdog status against undefeated Wisconsin.
“I think we have something really big to prove this week. We’ve been kind of under the radar. Everyone’s put us to the side. So I really think it’s our time to step out and show what Michigan is really all about.”
Here’s what Michigan would be all about come Saturday: 58 total yards rushing; 42 percent completion percentage; 5-for-17 on third downs and coughing up the football once. Ten total points.
- 17:04 Harbaugh, trying to provide a post-loss pep talk, offers this:
“That hurt. That one hurts, but we’ll fight on. Gonna lay down and bleed for now, but we’re gonna rise again and fight again. This team is capable of great things. And it starts - the first great thing we’ve got to do is get ready for Ohio State, and beat Ohio State.”
To put this in context, Harbaugh was a guy muttering to himself, “C’mon, Johnny. One time, Johnny” just minutes prior. He was willing something to happen that was not going to happen — his backup quarterback John O’Korn making a huge play. O’Korn is a shell of himself after not playing at all for two and half games.
Without Peters — who was knocked out of the Wisconsin game — and Wilton Speight — still sidelined by a spine injury — the Michigan offense is truly, utterly trash.
- 32:03 Harbaugh says to O’Korn, “There’s nobody I’d rather have at quarterback for us tomorrow ... is you, John.”
DO YOU THINK JOHN IS DUMB, JIM? YOU AREN’T TAKING THAT REDSHIRT OFF OF DYLAN MCCAFFREY, SO JOHN O’KORN IS QUITE LITERALLY THE ONLY SCHOLARSHIP QB YOU HAVE TO PLAY. WAIT, WAIT, I FORGOT ALEX MALZONE. I’M PROBABLY IN GOOD COMPANY.
- 37:14 McCray starts chirping, with the Wolverines up 14-0 midway through the second quarter.
“I told you. I told you. I told you! They scared, bro. Up front there, you can see it in their eyes, they scared.”
- 38:19 Ohio State knots the game at 14.
- 40:21 The defense huddles at Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett leaves with an apparent injury, and Dwayne Haskins enters.
“We bout to get his ass. They got seven coming in.”— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 9, 2018
The Amazon documentary series on Michigan's 2017 season, “All or Nothing: The Michigan Wolverines,” is excellent. We give it pic.twitter.com/JfOxcp68jO
- 42:12 Haskins is playing well, but O’Korn has one last opportunity to be a hero, with the Wolverines down just four points.
“No, John. No, John. No.”— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 9, 2018
It's that good. Check it out if you can. pic.twitter.com/nJMmfCw4jV
Oh, O’Korn cemented his place in Michigan football lore, all right. HE’S IN THE KIND OF CHAPTERS NOTRE DAME FANS LOVE TO READ.
- 44:20 McCray huddles his fellow defensive players as the seconds whittle away on the game and says, “We got one more. We got one more in the ball game, and I promise you, we’re not losing that.”
NARRATOR (PLEASE READ IN RON HOWARD VOICE): PROMISE BROKEN.