Sunday, 4 September 2011

WMU Game Reaction

Well I guessed 38-10, so I suppose the result was expected, but I really think Michigan could have extended the lead in the fourth quarter. The defense was looking good after the first delay, as was the Michigan running game; so a final score of 40ish - 10 wouldn't have been unrealistic at all.

But anyway, let's go back to the start of the game....who else was very worried after that WMU TD drive? Fortunately Denard came out to calm the nerves of everyone with a solid drive of his own, looking very strong in both his running and passing. He looked accurate to me, and still had that bit of magic whilst carrying the ball, juking defenders left right and center.

Towards the end of the game the UM OL was starting to create major running lanes (as they should vs WMU), and both RBs cashed in with 40+ yard runs. That was encouraging to see, and overall the offense looked good, I don't think we'll have to worry about them.

On defense, UM started very poorly, allowing Alex Carder to get into a good rhythm and his receivers were finding gaps in Michigan's sloppy pass coverage. Thankfully Greg Mattison made some changes to the strategy and started blitzing. When pressured, Carder's throws were inaccurate, and he even had to take a couple of sacks.

Overall the defense is still worrying, but at least they were able to make adjustments to improve as the game went on. Still, I'm terrified about what Michael Floyd could do to them next week given his performance against USF.

As for special teams, they were pretty poor. Matt Wile seemed to do a good job as a punter (filling in for the suspended Will Hagerup), but the team's kickoff coverage was suspect at best. It seemed like WMU got to the 40 yard line every time! That simply has to improve before Michigan takes on teams like ND.


  1. What a way to kick of Hokeamania! First off let's begin how hot it was. OMG I thought I was about to be one of the many who clapsed at the game, so hopefully everybody was alright bc there were constant sirens going off for those who most likely didn't get enough water. So after feeling alittle weak already and watching the first drive for Western, I thought I was going to be sick in the stands. I think it was just a rough slow start for the team, but once they got in the groove they were looking pretty solid. Lots of positives like the running game, Denards transition, and the big men controlling the line. Kovacs bringing the boooooom!

    Negatives: obvs special teams, and passing coverage.

    Questions: Shaw is explosive imo should be the starter!?? Also why don't our corners turn around ever on the pass? What's up with Troy being carted off?

    Overall good win, we were about to really put it on them in the 4th bc the team was going on all cyclinders. 25 yard line 1st and 10 no wonder wmu didn't want anymore. The atmosphere was amazing with the crowd cheering with the rain. Standing there soaked screaming was easily the best day ever. For those who stayed after the first delay, we saw very promising signs of a smooth coachin transition.

    Go blue Hail Michigan

  2. Any word on what happened to Woolfolk? Did they say on tv what his injury was or how bad it was? I was watching at a bar so I wasn't able to catch the audio very well.

    Offense - After that first drive I was definitely worried and thought we were going to see another shootout. I was also surprised (pleasantly) that Denard was in the shotgun for most of the first drive. I thought the offense looked good and the play calling was good. I don't have any worries there (yet).

    Defense - I thought the tackling had improved but WMU was still finding the holes. Once Mattison started blitzing that really helped to shut things down. It looks like the effectiveness of the blitz will be the key to the season.

    Special Teams - Kickoff Coverage leaves a lot to be desired. For a guy with a "big" leg I was surprised Wile could not reach the end zone on any of his kickoffs. Gibbons doesn't get the ball high enough on extra points. On the PAT prior to the one that was blocked I was saying to myself he needed to get the ball up higher...and unfortunately I was right. The jury is still out on the kicking game.

    Next week - I will be having Michael Floyd nightmares all week. I'm not sure if them coming in 0-1 instead of 1-0 is a good thing or a bad thing. Will they be deflated or hungry?

  3. Whilst (Love you Brits!) Floyd had a monster game-
    12 rec for 154 yds and 2 TD's, it did not get the domers to the golden ring of victorious honor.

    Floyd will probably have a similar game. I'm hoping Dropsy Riddick does too. Jones went out at the end with an injury, so theirs no way know if we will even see him.

    The Irish QB's looked like the kids that they are, and can be panicked with pressure. That will be the order of the day.

    Glad to hear Butch junior would have been ready to play, if needed. And, hopefully, Barnum can stay out of the doghouse and Gordon is recovered.

    Anyone remember any other injuries? Not me.

    All in all, I think the kids are very good shape for the big game under the lights.

    And, while I thought Kelley should have been considered when the RR hiring debacle was transpiring, I'm gleefully thankful that MI did not consider that hot headed, profanity spewing tyrant. (Who shows the unique Weis-like ability to NOT develop any of the amazing gifted stallions in his stable).

    I don't know what was my favorite: Either his players standing behind him questioning him for not going for it on 4th and 1 inside the 35, and getting reamed by him, or his nationally televised profanity laden tirade leveled at Jones after he dropped a pass and looked at his QB as if it was his fault.("What the f@#k are you looking at him for. The ball hit your f@$king hands!!!)

    I hope the Pope had the sound turned down.

  4. GBC-

    Twisted ankle. Said to have been able to return if needed after the half. Who knows for sure, though, right? The report I'm waiting for is to hear if he practices on Monday, or shows up today on crutches.

    But, I'll stay optimistic. I can see where a slight sprain would have freaked him out.

  5. GBC-

    I've been having Floyd nightmares since his Army AA game, where the vaunted Boo Boo swirled around him with all of the coverage effectiveness of a gnat.

    But, what has he done against Michigan, that he has in common with what he did against UCF? LOST.

    He will have a huge game. All they can do is hit him hard and often. And, try not to hurt themselves WHILST doing so. (Assuming he stays out of jail this week. Not that Stonum is any better.)

    Floyd is another example of why I am so high on Ron Thompson. (If anyone thinks Floyd runs better than a 4.55 40, please post it and I will be happy to remind you of his combine result, after he runs. I know he's been said to run a 4.44. He's also been said to run in the 4.6's)

    In the NFL, Floyd will be a man among men. In the FBS, he's a man among boys. One of the only can't miss opportunities to create an almost guaranteed weekly mismatch in the NCAA is to have a 6'4"ish, 225 Lbish, fast(ish) WR.

    I'll take a bigger, slightly slower guy all day long. You can run him on any route you like, and he can come down with the ball, and take the hits the smaller, faster guys cannot, over the course of a season.

    The WR/TE hybrid is THE most effective OPTIONAL weapon in the armamentarium in NCAA football. That's exactly what RT could become.

  6. The difference between Floyd and Thomson. Floyd was a 5* on rivals and scout and a high 4* on Espn. Thomson is a 3* on Rivals, Espn, and 247, Scout is the only site to give him 4* status.

  7. Blue,
    I have to agree with you on the Kelly tyrant. He will have to say a few fail Marys at chruch today. Mike Floyd is a good WR. Troy will need to get in his head. Start by asking him how is AA meetings are going then ask him if he wants to go out for drinks later? Then last but not least hit him in the mouth everytime he touch the ball.

    Can someone tell me why the CBs are still playing 10 yards off the WRs? And they had know idea where the ball was. Loved the Kovac hit.

    Does anybody else think Dave Brandon went to WM and told them he will make it worth there while to call it a game. Thinking this can not finish under the new lights.

  8. Jer that's exactly what I thought last night. It was starting to get dark and I think that could've been in the discussion when deciding to call the game. It would've been cool to technically be at the first night game ever but it surely would've took alittle from the glamore of the nd game.

    And who cares about kelly...somebody needs to upload a side by side pic of a rr freak out and kelly last night. It would be identical lol

  9. Mark,

    You left out the part where RT's star ratings are based on having played comparatively no football. (I can't remember, but this is either his second or third season playing organized ball, for his second school, no less)

    What do you think his star ratings would be if he was groomed to be a WR since early pee wee, went to all the camps, etc? It's a rhetorical question, obviously, because no one knows.

    My point is that the kid has gone from nowhere, to a 3/4 star, after having just come on the scene. With two different programs. I'll take that growth curve, and RT all day long.

    My other point is that a guy like Green- Beckham comes along once in a blue moon. You cannot count on someone like him to fill the pipeline. And, taking every 4.4, 185, 6'er, with solid skills does not have as high of a probability of success on the field as taking a guy like RT.

  10. jholko,

    I care about Kelly. This week!

    If I had a kid who was being recruited by them, I would seriously be questioning what was going on at ND. I saw a lot of tyrannical rants and raves, met with sheepish back talk, but back talk just the same.

    To me, it smelled of the "not everyone is buying in to the new program" stench. Which is very welcome news for Big Blue!

  11. Jer,

    They got their pay day, and now they can always say "what if."

    Their future is to contend for the MAC title. Getting their QB killed in a meaningless, delayed loss, would have been foolish.

    Irrespective of the status of the health of the players starting out in that heat, only to have two long waits to resume play, I think WMU was only too happy to head West, licking their wounds. It was a classic "epic effort by starters, but absolutely no depth for the long haul."

    I think the right decision was made for the right reasons, and I'm about as skeptical as they come.

  12. Does anybody know if Benji is planning a live chat today or tomorrow?

  13. Okay......this is what I saw. It was a great and exciting game. The crowd was as into the game as it was the crazy downpour which prompted the students section to start the wave which those of us who didn't care about the rain joined in on.

    The first drive scared the living shit out of me. As WMU was snapping the ball our defenders were still trying to figure out their assignments.....deja vu.

    Denard came out and we saw that we still had on offence.....more on that in a minute.

    Kicking - we didn't get to see any field goal attempts but likely will next week. The missed extra point caused me some concern. As for kickoffs.....they were good several inside the 5 yard line. Wile kicked six for an average of 65.8 yards.....the good: Wile was consistent in his distances and kept all six in play (what a nice change). The bad....Special teams!!! Our net on kick offs was only 34.5 yards on average....bordering on awful.

    Defence: Once some adjustments were made and the guys settled in, they were somewhere between good and pretty good. They allowed WMU to move the ball but kept them off the scoreboard (save the first drive and another 3). Pressure on the QB was good and getting better with time. Kovacs had a great game and just looked like a leader out there, forced fumble, pass break-up...he was everywhere. When asked about the hit on Carder "have you ever hit a quarterback that hard" he replied "That was my first one I guess. and then Herron said "It was loud, too.". It was a great hit!!! and off went Herron, a RS Senior who has never scored as a Wolverine, taking in his second of the game. The defence knows they need to work on things but they are pumped and were not the same defence we saw last year.

    Of Note: Another noted improvement was our tackling, cleaner, far fewer missed tackles than I've seen in the last few years and harder, much harder. It didn't look like two hand touch....the guys were hitting with heart.

    They will undoubtedly use these next few weeks to fix what's broken before conference play starts....hopefully beating Notre Dame along the way.

    Offence: They were different and effective. I just kept wanting Denard gto cut loose and he didn't and as exciting as it would have been, it was the right thing to do. The running game was split up nicely with Denard only being the 3rd best rusher of the game. Pick who you want for a starter but that's Hoke's job and he did it well this week. Toussaint ran for 80 on 11 carries with a longest of 43 and two TDs. Shaw was no slouch with 54 on 4 carries and a longest of 44 and 1 TD. These two can shoot it out all season for the starters spot.

    Denard went 9 for 13 (69.23%) compared to 62.5% last season (yes, I know it's only one game).

    I think the offence will fall into place nicely.

    Of Note: We did not turn the ball over once (cause for celebration).

    Final analysis......let's just say we spewed out the last of our poison from last year's atrocious defence on that first drive. So lets eliminate the first drive and take into account the shortened game. We played 36 minutes and 22 seconds of football and outscored WMU 34-3. I'll take that for a first game. We were close to scoring again when the game was called and 110,506 people would have told you so. If this game had gone on, I think we would have finished off 51-13. No I'm not a slappy, my pick for the day was 34-20 Michigan but I called it wrong, they were better than that.

    We have a long way to go, Hoke was not happy with what happened on D and will get thiese kids working. What impressed me was this. Hoke has said that we are going to do a few things that we've gotten away from in recent years. HITTING REAL HARD and holding onto the damn ball and he has started to deliver on these two things. These kids, once they had a wake up call, played proud and with heart and I couldn't be a happier Wolverine fan coming out of game one.

  14. The lack of light wasn't an issue.....I've been to fall games that required the lighting to get through......

    I think it was what it was and the delays would have been a pain in the a%%. Apparently they have to wait like 30 minutes after the last lightning strike within 6 miles. The game was clearly over.....why get these kids hurt playing in crap......not just the field but playing, tightening up, loosening up, playing......etc.

    On one hand I wwould have liked the extra 15 minutes of live practice but on the other, we're healthy for Notre Dame.

    Speaking of healthy.....good news, I think on Woolfolk:

    "Michigan cornerback Troy Woolfolk sprained his left ankle in the second quarter and didn't return in a 34-10 win over Western Michigan on Saturday.

    "If we needed him, he was going to go back in,'' coach Brady Hoke said.

    Woolfolk was hurt covering a kickoff in the second quarter Saturday against Western Michigan. He missed all of last season with an injured right ankle."

  15. GBN,

    Thanks for the insights.

    Re Wile:

    What was is trajectory like on his kick offs? Did it look normal, or was he kicking low? I could not tell, but have not yet had the chance to more carefully review the game.

    To me, it looked like he might have been kicking too low, with too little hang time to allow coverage to get into place, but I may be wrong. I barely had a chance to watch as it was being played.

    I'm looking forward to being off work tomorrow, and watch the game carefully on DVR, as well as check out the USF-ND game.

  16. Like everyone else our D scared me. Although I never felt like the game was going to get away from us. It felt like mattison was feeling it out at first seeing what kind of presure he could get with the front four...none! I hope wilfolk can get healthy and stay that way. I wish we couldve played the whole "tune up game" cause we seemed to be getting all phases. Special teams was obviously bad. I don't know what i'm more worried about, kickoff coverage or our returns? Niether were good. But!! is a whole new system, and now they have acual game film to study and corect.

    I can't help but feel those of you on here that perdicted them not to show all thier strength and strategy were correct!

    As long as they beat ND next week they should have a few more tune up games before it gets tuff! We need a shut down corner to step week!! Lol.

  17. Well I wasn't really all that impressed with any part of the game save the blitz packages. I thought the offense looked out of sync and the defense is going to be bad and be bad for a few more years until this years class(2012) can get in and get some time. I was VERY disappointed in the DL,they are suppose to be the strength of this defense and they got zero pressure against a o-line that was playing 3 BACKUP'S!!! If this team doesnt turn things around quickly,we are looking at a 5-6 win season. One last thing,if we lose to ND next week this WILL be a 5-6 win season because ND is not a very good team.

  18. Anybody know what the story about TRich on scout is about.

  19. @michiganfootball1612 its nothing. TR was at the game yesterday and said he is NOT going to take other visits.

  20. The defense tackled well. They need to get better cerebrally and not forget where to line up, or what they're doing on a play. Jake Ryan needs to play more. The linebackers looked good. They need to rotate less, but I am guessing the heat was a big factor in the rotation being more than it was already supposed to be.

    As for WR recruits: I don't agree that the taller the statistically-provable better. I think it's stretch to say that Floyd and RT are the same talent level SIMPLY because of their heights, or to argue that taller WRs are guaranteed threats. Does RT have great hands, great body control, great leaping ability, is he quick in his cuts, does he learn a playbook fast?

    Last year's Biletnikoff winner is 6'1" Justin Blackmon at OkSt. LSU's best WRs are all 6'1" or shorter (Russell Shephard). USC's Robert Woods is 6'1". Santonio Holmes, Sanzenbacher -- short. DeSean Jackson was a beast at Cali -- super short. I think some fans here need to scale back on the fascination with super-tall WRs. For every Randy Moss with unbelievable sped and body control at that height, in pads, there five Vidal Hazelton/David Ausberry/Adron Tennell/Duvall Kamaras. These are five star recruits from 2006/2007. None became much in college. Look at the shorter WRs in those classes that did (Percy Harvin, Dez Bryant, etc.).

  21. Totally agree Professor A on the WR's. I don't care if a kid is 6-6 or 5-9,if he has talent then go get them. I don't remember Des Howard being 6-5 and he did just fine here.

  22. From what I have seem with RT is that he is not a big deep threat or jump ball guy, he plays like a possession receiver with solid hands. Darboh, Powe, and Payton would all be better than him at WR.

  23. I would like to share my view on some thing. The on side kick is the dumbest play in college football. If you kick the ball 10 yards and nobody touch it you can recover it. If the ball goes 60 yards you can't recover it unless the receiving team touch it first. I have felt this way long before the Auburn game. Just wanted to get that off my chest. Does anybody else think there is some other dumb plays in football?

  24. You guys are missing my point. I would rather add a guy like RT (TE/WR hybrid) than stockpile more "prototypical" WR's, the majority of whom never learn the FBS game, never run routes well, or otherwise lack impact.

    Prof, I'm not what it is to which you refer, because I never posted anything of the sort. Height, as I posted, is simply one metric.

    Guys like Floyd and Mike Williams are virtually guaranteed mismatches because of a combination of metrics. I think RT has a similar combination.

  25. Jer you can recover it after going 60 yards without anyone touching it.

  26. Mark, as a pure pro set WR I agree. But I'm referring to FBS ball. And, the kid barely knows what he's doing out there yet. Not to mention the fact that he is at the mercy of his coaches decisions on how to use him best.

  27. Jer,

    Not only do I disagree, but I will emphatically post that the onside kick is the greatest play in sports.

    I lobbied for the last two years to use it on every Michigan kickoff.

  28. @BM I agree that having a big receiver can be effective in the college game, and I think the Devin Funchess can be that guy. Powe/Darboh can be our speedy deep threat and Peyton can be our possession guy.

  29. @Jer yeah you may be thinking of punts that you cant recover not kick offs. Has anyone heard yet if the loss of Posada and Barnett gives us 2 more ships to use this year?

  30. Mark and Worm.

    If you kick the ball 60 yards and the receiving team does not touch the ball you can recover it but you can't keep it. You can only keep it if the receicing team touch it or fumbles it. Where if you watch the Auburn game yesterday the ball went 10 yards the receiving does not touch the ball a Auburn player jumps infront of a Utah St player and Auburn get the ball. Dumb

  31. Jer,

    Replace the third word of your post with "punt" and your first two sentences are correct...

    After 10 yards, a kicked ball is free for all. That's why they recover and down for a TB in the EZ.

  32. @Jer89
    The Rule that applies to on-side free kicks is Rule 6-1-3 which states
    No Kicking team player may touch a free-kicked ball until after it does one of the following:
    1. It touches a Receiving team player or
    2. It breaks the plane of and remains beyond the Receiving team's restraining line; or
    3. It touches any player, the ground, an official or anything beyond the receiving team's
    restraining line. Thereafter, all players of the Kicking team become eligible to touch, recover or catch the kick.

    As long as the kick travels at least 10 yards beyond the Receivers' restraining the kicking team can recover it. So if the ball is kicked 10 yards or 50 yards it can recover the free kick. Below is the rule for kick offs.

  33. Agree completely, Mark, except I'd rather have RT as the possession guy.

    He can also block like a light TE, go across the middle and make the catch while also giving back a little love to LB's (rather than having his shoulder separated or clavicle fractured)and play jump ball in shallow WR routes, or during break downs coming back to his QB.

    But, I'll take any of them. In all reality it will be Darboh and Payton. I just hope RT goes very far away...

  34. How does everyone feel about the Sooner,Longhorns,cowboys and Red raider possibly joining the Pac 12? Not sure why a confrence would want Texas I know they bring $ but the problem is they want to keep it all and not share with the rest of the teams. Thats why A&M wants to leave the Big 12. The longhorn network is a unfair advantage for Texas. Recruiting and money whys.

  35. @ Jer89 I really hope that if TT,UT,OU and OSU do move to the Pac 12 it doesnt make the Big 10/12 over react and run out and try to add more teams. I really Hope the Big 10/12 stays the way it is right now.

  36. Worm you can not recover a kick off that goes 50 yards (unless the receiving team touch it) and keep it. Because teams would kick it high and short.

  37. I not saying the B1G will add teams. There are not that many good teams to add the the B1G.

  38. Jer-

    It's a free ball after ten yards.

    Teams don't kick it high and short because they don't want to take the risk of giving up field position. After all, the guys running to cover are being blocked! Also, a chaotic scrum can also backfire, and go the distance the other way.

    Teams sometimes do kick it short, though, when they can stack their guys and improve their odds of recovery: the onside kick.

    Whens the last time you saw a guy let a kick off go, lie they some times do for punts?

    I saw it once, I think, and everyone was talking about how the poor, freshman must have got confused and thought it was a punt, and gave the ball away.



    (Unless they go OB, or out of the EZ)

  40. Everyone wants Texas. Excellent academics, athletics, and financially sounder than sound.

    Like ND, they will eventually be forced to change their ways, or they won't fill their stadium with fans/score ratings. People want quality competition with high stakes.

  41. I know its early but what are everyone's thoughts on next weeks game?? I think ND is a very up and down team. They can be really good but if we can get pressure like we did this week we will win. Their QB's can NOT handle pressure at all. Thats what killed them early yesterday.

  42. 1. I see no indication Kelly is developing talent. As we all know, screaming at people is not necessarily coaching.

    2. As I posted earlier, I smell team dissent. Before it's all said and done, I think they lose this team this year, and their season becomes a fool's gold debacle.

    3. I Agree about the QB issue. Although Floyd will be Floyd, I hope Riddick's drops continue. I hope Jones was not hurt, but he did get shaken up at the end of the USF loss. They took some big hits that came, which will help our cause.

    4. I have to confess, I was a big Jonas Gray fan when he was at DCD. I have not watched his catastrophic fumble from last night, but I hope he gets more carries, which he then promptly fumbles.

    5. I don't know much about their OL, but I'm betting they don't have a patchwork of Juco's and underclassmen. That kind of has me worried.

    6. I think we saw a lot of meat and potatoes from MI's O yesterday. Next week we will see appetizers, sides, gravy, and hopefully dessert.

    7. It's home. It's history. It's throwbacks. It's a game week on campus like none other. The energy is palpable. It's the biggest game of their lives.

    8. I hope Michigan skins them, scalps them, and eats their hearts and livers. Take their women as parlor slaves (the hot ones) and put the rest to work, with the former band members, laying new blocks and mortar at Crisler arena.

    9. Put that fat bastard Kelly's head on a spit at the gates of Michigan Stadium, as a signpost for those who dare to follow.

    10. I think it's time for my medicine. No it's not.... Yes it is.... no it's not......

    11. Ha Ha.. Night everybody. Almost quitting time here. Enjoy your Monday off!

  43. I still can't believe nobody is talking about the lack of penalties Michigan had. We had one damn penalty, that's it. To me, this speaks louder than anything else we saw on the field Saturday..... Oh, and it IS a free ball after 10 yards, the receiving team doesn't have to touch it. I can't believe that was even a discussion.

  44. Brandon,

    The penalties are a big deal. But its only a big deal because the D started looking better. If the D stayed the same as it did on the first WM drive things would have been alittle different. The team did do a great job with the penalties.

    I am with you on 1-3. The QB spot is up in the air for ND.If UM can get to him fast and hard. ND will be turning the ball over again and again.. UM O line is going to need to open up huge hole and move the line. DRob just needs the manage the game like he can. A wwek ago I had ND winning this game now I am leaning the other way.

  45. You MAY have a point, Brandon. But, a sign of good coaching, or a one game fluke? (I doubt it, too) Playing too tight? (I don't really mind an off sides on D a couple times).

    I know what I'm hoping!

    And, you bring up a point I missed last night: ND's performance was a penalty marred fiasco. I hope they keep up the good work.

    THE single thing I came away with last night (Reviewed part of the game after work) was improved defensive coaching. They went with a plan, and it did not work. They adjusted and tweaked, until they hit a run of success. IN GAME ADJUSTMENTS! What a refreshing concept!

    The failures on D were almost always due to failed execution, not D play calling.

    And Brandon, I respectfully request that you lighten up on the 10 yard thing.

    There are men, women, boys, and girls posting on here. Benji's a Brit, for God's sake! Ever try to watch, learn and discuss cricket or rugby?

    Everyone has different levels of football knowledge, different insights, and opinions. There's even one idiot that keeps posting about Ron Thompson being the second coming of Mike Williams!

    The greatest thing about this site, in my opinion, is that we are all ravenous Michigan fans. The second, is that the site lacks trolls, cyber bullies, and the other assorted cretins so rife on other sites.

    And, relatively speaking, one persons mistaken interpretation of a rule, is really no different than my admittedly complete layman's interpretation and opinions regarding almost anything to do with the game, compared to a professional FBS coach or former player.

    Let's just all have fun, learn together, and keep Going Blue!

  46. How do you play cricket anyway? I finally learned the rules for Futbol (soccer). I work with alot of Spainish guys and they got me alittle hooked on soccer during the last World Cup. Once you learn offsides your good.

  47. what a game! the heat was horrible though, till it finally rained on us! Defense looked lousy in the first quarter, slowly got better. Drob looked OK, but not great. RB's looked good, WR play looked pretty good as well. I think we are going to miss Stonum though.

  48. Want to learn how to play crickett? Watch Dhani Jones tackles the globe: Jamaica. Great show created by Former michigan LB Dhani Jones. In the Jamaica episode he leans crickett. So get a netflix account or go to watchseries.Eu and watch it!

  49. Side note: Played rugby for Grand Blanc one of the hardest sports I've ever played. Constant running and constant hitting with no pads or even blockers. I'm 6'4 252 and one rugby game was harder than any football game I played in on the dline in 4 years for real lol.

    Mich-42 ND -21

  50. Re: Penalties

    Illinois had NONE in it's win.

    Maybe the Big Ten crews are calling it loose this year!

    D- Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out. LOVE DJ! One of my former partners was an Indian from the UK. He got me into cricket, and the other "football" sports.

    We had some fun playing cricket with a bunch of guys from the local Indian community. Rugby? Let's just say I gave up B-ball 15 years ago because it was too hard on body!!!!

  51. Hey BlueMarrow hope all is well. Night shift....a long night shift last night and now trying to hang with my kids on this last day of summer vacation.

    Sorry to be so long getting back to you on Wile and now I do so without a real answer. I never really paid attention to his hang time (should have). As I recall the kicks were neither lob balls or bullets, they just sort of were. I know it's not much of an answer. What I will say is really looked like we had enough time to get downfield. We just didn't execute when we got there. You just got the feeling that Wile was kicking the ball where he was told to. I'll make a point of watching better at the Notre Dame game and let you know how it looks.......I'll also tell you all about Wile's FGs next week.

    Brandon - thanks for mentioning the lack of penalties.....slipped my mind but a nice change from last year as well.

    Now for my pick (made months ago). This was one of my toss ups. I had us beating ND 20-17 and beating Iowa 24-20. The catch was I expected an upset in one of those games which is why my 9-3 season was trimmed to a realistic 8-4 season. My prediction now..... I still think we can beat them by three but expect more scoring. I don't think we saw the best of UofM or ND. Each team has something to prove and I can't wait to get under the lights.

    27-24 BLUE

  52. BlueMarrow

    Don't know how the called the Illinois game but Michigan really played clean ball. They really did a couple of things right.....this week!!! The other thing I forgot to mention was our receivers.....nothing fancy but unlike last year, if it was catchable they actually made the catch. Nothing was bouncing off of the teflon numbers!!!

    Hoke is just really improving on the basics.

  53. Does anybody know who will be out against Notre Dame

  54. I don't think we saw the REAL DROB against WMU, somebody in an earlier post nailed it. They said the coaches should "hide" Drob against WMU so ND doesn't know what to expect, and I think they did just that. After raving about how Denard has adopted to well to the new system, and developed so well as a passer, they ran shotgun 70% of the time, and only threw the ball 13 times. Denard only had a couple designed runs, and it was usually just to pick up short yardage for the first. I mean, did anyone realize that NOBODY had a good game catching the ball? Other than Hemingways 37 yarder, Drob never threw the ball for more than 10-15 yards tops. And he didn't single out any one receiver.

    I think the reason our Defense was better in the second quarter/half was because Mattison wanted to see what he had and where, and after the first drive or two, he knew what needed to be tweaked. once he corrected it, WMU had nowhere to go. Since we got that preseason game out of the way, I expect our defense to turn it up a notch against ND. Woolfolk will play, and he was doing a damn good job before he went out, he was layin lumber!

    I think with our new found optimism/attitude, our disguise on offense, along with the offensive frustration/confusion that ND has right now, Michigan will walk out with a solid win. The atmosphere in AA is going to be UNMATCHED saturday night, I don't think any opponent would be a clear favorite in the big house that night. Only time will tell however, Michigan 38, ND 28.

  55. I agree lalondtm. Especially regarding DRob and Woolfolk...and Mattisons adjustments....and this weeks anticipation.

    Yup. What lalondtm said. I think it will be a close one, though. ND is really going to want to make up for last week. If Woolfolk can make a respectable show on Floyd Michigan will keep it under control.
    Michigan 28, ND 24

  56. @NW Wolverine, ND is also going to want to make up for the last two years, losing both games with about a minute to go. They still have to be stinging from that.

    Just curious at how you watch Michigan football. Do they broadcast the games there or do you watch online?

    This kickoff coverage has to get better. And our cornerbacks were never able to turn around and swat away a pass. Or I didn't see any.

    Go Blue!!

  57. GBN-

    Thanks for the follow up. All the best to you, too. I hope you, like me, are recharging on a day off, with family.

    Upon review of a portion of the game last night, it did seem that the kick off coverage issues were not kick trajectory related.

    I have to say, though, I had really hoped for a deeper ball from Wile. Then again, the kid is probably 18, and played his first game in the Big House.

    A lot of us, myself included, get very jaded. Some of these kids are lucky enough to go on to the NFL. They then play in front of crowds that are sometimes 1/2 the UM attendance!

    I envision Wile booming it out of every every end zone, in the future.

    I'm torn on my semi-objective ND game projection. On the one hand, I believe Michigan may have not yet shown a portion of their deck of cards, let alone their best hands. On the other, I have to acknowledge that they struggled to defensively dominate two Juco Txfr OL, and their adjacent MAC substitute players for at least a half.

    I believe it will be feast or furious fisticuff: Either ND will implode in self strife laden divisiveness, or two similarly rebuilding, sprouting titans will stand toe to toe until the bitter end.

    I think the former is more likely. But, I have uncomfortable recollections of Brady Quinn coming to age, like a newly tempered sword, against us.

    I don't think it will click for them for some time, if ever, under the current tyranical leadership. But, you never know....

  58. Bluemarrow

    though our special teams didn't seem capable of this...Detroit intentionaly kicks it to the 1yrd line-goaline, and have stopped the opponent inside the 20, and done so very well. Idk if that's what they were trying to do? (doubt it) but when your coverage is good, it's a good strategy, kick it high start them on thier own 10-15.

    If one of our corners (wilfolk) shuts or hold Floyd down we're going to kill them!!

  59. I think some of you are really under rating ND and what they have. They put up over 500 yards of offense and dont forget 2 of there turn overs came inside the 5! I think we are going to have a VERY hard time slowing down there offense. Also don't forget it took Denard having a 500 yard game himself last year to beat them with their back up QB's! I still think we lose this game but boy do I hope I'm wrong.

  60. @BlueMarrow
    Wile's kick offs looked like line drives on TV, same with his punts. Sometimes it's hard to tell on TV. I don't know if the cover just could not get down there quick enough because of that or if our coverage was slow running. I will say, most of you probably agree, after that first drive by WMU I was getting very nervous. Western has a good QB and an excellent receiver that were eating up yardage. I was wondering if we would ever get a stop. Things looked much better in the second half, too bad the game had to end early.

    Feel about the same regarding ND. I am not sure who will show up or what to expect from them. Kelly better get a grip on his control issues or he's going to have an aneurysm.

    Rece Davis, Mark May and Lou Holtz are saying Michigan will not do much against ND.

    One more thing, Ohio State played against one of the worst teams in the MAC. (sorry Akron) So it's hard to tell what they have as well.

    Go Blue!

  61. @Worm
    ND could really be tough. We have a good chance of losing that game. Hope Hoke and crew have a good plan. Have to get to their QB early.

  62. NM, that's what it initially looked like to me. I have not reviewed the film/timed the hang/ to know if the perception is reality.


    I, for one, am not in any way NOT concerned with defending ND.

    Floyd will have a 130+, 3 TD game.

    The real question is whether or not MI can post the necessary greater than 21 points, as well as contain some other potentially great running and receiving personnel.

  63. @worm

    Yes drob had to put up 500 yards, but it wasn't against their backup QB, because that backup qb just earned the starting job

  64. Actually, Nate Montana played the majority of the 2nd quarter after Crist got hurt. Tommy Rees was also a TRUE freshman and it was Week 2 of the season. I am sure he is a TON better than he was a year ago.