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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

About Last Night: Recap Western

Why is Hoke  not pointing at the clouds, making them break up?

If I recall correctly, it was around, oh I dunno, 6ish when my mind was super excited that the event that is a Michigan football Saturday would carry right up to or into the Oregon v. LSU game that I cared nothing about. I was outside firing up the grille in Grand Rapids, waiting for the rain to stop. Then something strange happened and it was just like, over, done, no mas. "Wait, what?"

I'm glad I had the foresight to record the game on my television at home. I was going to need to watch again. After the two delays and the beverages I began to forget all the things I had just watched and began looking for affirmation from my friends that the game was actually over and also trying to collect bits of what all I had just seen. Did Michigan ever have the ball? Denard really didn't take one of his runs a bazillion yards to the house? Our defense ran those blitz things and scored a touchdown?...wait, did you say, TWO touchdowns!?

I went back and watched the game. After just less than 3 full quarters the opener was over. Brady Hoke started his career 1-0. Minimal was seen/learned from the offense. The defense showed some things that were known and some things that were a pleasant surprise. Observations?... Observations.

Offense:
This section is going to look just like the game. Abbreviated. For those of you worried about the move out of the spread, Michigan ran about from the gun, 70% of the time. Al Borges would like you to believe that will not be the ratio that we as fans shall see the remainder of the season.

 “No, no … no. The game had no balance to it with regard to that. If we had played a fourth quarter, we would have been right about where we wanted it.”
I don't buy it. But with only 39 plays to judge off, I'm going to be smart here and hold off on judgement. One thing I can take away from the game, was my ever growing love-fest for Fitz Toussaint. He was just shy of 7 ypc and had that nice 43 yd scamper. He looked like that dude I saw in his High School highlight tape that made me giddy (please stay healthy). Shaw also impressed on his run. Until something shows me we need to worry, we should all feel good about our running-back situation.  

Just like the game, I'm going to hold off on Denard until after the ND game. From what I saw he made one questionable throw but managed the other 38 plays well. Last years opener gave us 80 something plays to go off of.

Defense:
Those first two drives made me nauseous. Just like last year. There were no deep balls, just methodical dumps down the field doing exactly what every lowly team in college football would've done last year. Then something, dare I say aMAIZEing, happened. 1:53 into the video.


Yes, that was the defense about to get scored on, running that thing our defense used to know as a blitz, causing a turnover and completely changing the outlook of a game. I know, I'll give you a second to comprehend that run-on sentence... You good? Alright on with it we go. 

Until Michigan's secondary and linebacking corps are substantially better Michigan is going to have to figure out ways to get pressure on the QB something GERG, as we all know, struggled with. Well, this dude Mattison gets it yo. If it's not working don't keep doing it. Bringing 4 down lineman wasn't working and so Mattison went blitz happy and Alex Carder's back was finding that luscious Michigan field turf regularly.  

The defense went from getting torched on 3 consecutive drives, to shutting down the Bronco attack. Jordan Kovacs isn't a walk on anymore and if anyone should question this. He will personally do this to your face.

If you need to see it at full speed here you go.


This defense is going to be scary and I think it will take a few games until we know exactly who to suspect we'll see on the field that'll be scaring us. JT Floyd was supposed to start but he didn't Frank Clark was supposed to be the freshman on the field most, but correct me if I am wrong, Brennen Beyer was that guy. Also Carvin Johnson got some time back at safety and then Marvin Robinson showed up on the field. That'll be an interesting battle to see play out. Last player note is Big Will Campbell did see the field but did nothing of note. I think until he's not here I am always going to cross my fingers he finds whatever it is to make him the second coming of 2006 Alan Branch.

The most encouraging thing for this unit is, we have a coordinator in place who seems pretty good at making in-game adjustments and isn't just hoping the other team screws up.

Special Teams:
UGHH... It's always something isn't it? One of these times the special teams will win us a game and my head will explode.

Good Feeling To Take Home With You:
Congrats to Brady Hoke. Who, even in the biggest moment of his career followed his team out of the tunnel and made it about the 115 of them and not himself. I wanna give the dude a big hug.

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