Update 9/24: Added scholarship available due to Sears dismissal; now up to 19. Added FL S Karnell Hatcher, removed WA DE Kavario Middleton (dropped us), AZ CB Marc Anthony (Cal), KS LB Arthur Brown (dropped us), NJ S Will Hill (UF), PA QB Terrelle Pryor (dropped us). Linked to articles on NC CB Spencer Adams, TN CB JT Floyd, PA KR/WR Cameron Saddler.
Editorial Opinion: Slow week. Hatcher visited for ND and seemed to have a good time, so I added him. Personally I think it's doubtful he comes north but a visit means business.
The major news of the week: AZ CB Marc Anthony committing to Cal. That hurts. Anthony had declared Michigan his leader after camp and was looking like Michigan's best bet for a high-profile corner in the class to pair with Cissoko. Attention now focuses more heavily on Adams and Floyd. Adams just took an official visit:
"It went really well," he said. "I met with some of the coaches and the academic adviser. The game was great. It's the biggest crowd I've ever seen. It was a great atmosphere. I could see myself having a good time and playing there."
Clemson is also mentioned as a school of serious interest.
Floyd, meanwhile, remains the world's softest Tennessee commit, and with Phil Fulmer seemingly on the way out that can't be good for UT's chances. Status:
He has scheduled an official visit to Michigan for November 16th when the Wolverines host Ohio State. Floyd said he's very interested in Michigan. "They are near the top," he said. He also will set officials to Tennessee, Maryland and NC State.
PA WR/RB/KR Cameron Saddler is very good at what he does...
Saddler, a senior, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns Friday against Norwin to give him seven for his career. He had five last year.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the national record for most kickoff returns for touchdowns in a career is nine, set by Trevor Mote of Kingman, Ariz., from 1994-96.
...and opening up his recruitment...
A running back/defensive back/kick returner, Saddler has rethought his college decision and is now considering "probably 10 schools."
He had previously narrowed his choices to West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia and Syracuse.
"The coaching situations at some of those schools were getting a little scary," Saddler said. "I didn't want to be down to schools with shaky coaching situations."
Hopefully Michigan can get Saddler and Hale in for an official visit sometime in the near future; the package deal that once seemed so likely has faded as an option with Michigan's opening struggles.
PA WR Jonathan Baldwin on said struggles:
Aliquippa receiver Jonathan Baldwin has Michigan on his final list of six colleges. When asked if Michigan's start might affect his thoughts on the Wolverines, Baldwin simply said, "Ehh."
Uh... okay. I won't even try to parse that.
The three huge five star guys who went off the board were real longshots; Middleton apparently wants to play TE in college. We are obviously full up there.
Note: Banner above is the fine work of Fred Simmons. Given the ill fate of Baxter Allen's banner and the overarching awesomeness of Mike Hart, a change felt warranted. Thus ends the rotating bannerage. Blog: stabilized.
Presser News. Audio at The Wolverine. News: no Mitchell, Ciulla doubtful, MacAvoy likely to start. Savoy, temporarily off the team, has returned after his acquittal.
Corso's where it's at. If, by some chance, Hart runs for like 2000 yards and Michigan wins a bunch of games and Mike Hart wins the Heisman...
...it started with Corso and we should adopt him. (Is this going to happen? No.)
Carr embedded. Now on the tubes: Carr's Penn State postgame.
Schrodinger's awesome recruit. Do I overuse that metaphor? Maybe. But it's very apt in this case. Michigan has picked up a hockey verbal from Luke Moffat, a class of 2010 forward who is the slam-dunk #1 player in his class and very likely to be a top NHL draft pick. This guy is a Jack Johnson-level recruit. But NSFMF!
"I've just not made up my mind," says Moffatt, "the NCAA route is very exciting, but I'm going to take my time before making a decision."
And to Moffatt's credit, he admits that the school he commits to (that being Michigan), will know the situation right up front.
"Yes, they will know the drill, that it will be a commitment pending my decision to play either college or in the WHL. This will make things easier for me though. It will either be Kelowna, or (Michigan)."
So this is a quasi-commit. Moffat will be with the USNTDP this fall and may or may not show up in 2010 with an evil gleam in his eye. Here's an article from the Phoenix Coyotes' site (Moffat is originally from Phoenix, though he's playing for Detroit Honeybaked at the moment.)
No cheeseburgers in space! Varsity Blue highlighted this from the open thread comments:
Our space emmporer should start aiming for the corners.
Mike74 | 09.22.07 - 4:30 pm | #
There are no corners in space
KBlow | 09.22.07 - 4:31 pm | #
Awesome. Personally, I think our gunners should start doing something useful; Zoltan has been great.
This is the part where I pull at my tie in agitated fashion. Like that Billy Idol video. You know the one. Apparently, the open thread also contained some "helloooooo nurse" comments regarding the new, non soccer-mom-y uniforms in general and this upstanding young woman in particular:
Autumn Thunder compares this with last year's outfits; it's as lopsided as your typical Notre Dame game. A comment on that post says these might not be permanent:
Unfortunately, I've been informed that the unis we saw the last two weeks are "just for maize outs" ... perhaps given positive feedback, the thinking will change on this? Somebody e-mail the athletic dept / whomever runs the cheerleading program...
I maintain no opinion on this. You are all treating objects like women, man.
Uh... what? I can't find this on MLive to confirm this, but MVictors reports that Jim Carty reports thusly:
Let's say Michigan beats Penn State, Penn State beats Ohio State, and Ohio State beats Michigan. All three teams end up with one conference loss. In that scenario, the Lions win a tie-breaker over Michigan and Ohio State because those teams played I-AA opponents. That's right, playing a I-AA team can eliminate you from the Rose Bowl. It's a little-discussed Big Ten rule instituted prior to the 2006 season.
I find this impossible to believe, since this would be a huge change in the tiebreaker process that would basically preclude any Big Ten team that takes itself seriously from scheduling a I-AA opponent. The tiebreaker procedures haven't been updated since 2001 according to the Big Ten's website... anyone know details on this?
Update: article here. Still find this somewhat hard to believe.
Oy vey. Braves & Birds takes on the Lloydball win we just ground out:
Thus, Michigan got away with running almost exclusively on downs other than second and third and long. (Excluding its drive that started with 90 seconds to go in the first half and its kneel-down at the end of the game, Michigan had 34 first and tens in the game and threw on exactly eight of them. How Carr and Debord think it's a good idea to "protect" a true freshman quarterback by forcing him to throw mostly on obvious passing downs is beyond me.) Michigan also got away with forgoing the chance to kill the game off on its final offensive possession, mainly because Anthony Morelli is not a good quarterback and Penn State's offense is fairly easily defended.
I co-sign and will provide a fuller opinion in UFR.
Etc: Stadium and Main on the game; Adams is co-defensive player of the week. Dan Wetzel trashes the Big Ten and says Miles would be stupid to leave... didn't he write this exact article like two weeks ago?
9/22/2007 - Michigan 14, Penn State 9 - 2-2, 1-0 Big Ten
Adrift on a sea of bodies, legs gone, head yanked back, enemies all around and pawing, Mike Hart stretches for the inch he needs and gets it. When Hart is gone and I am old and my mind flips through the rolodex of players past, this will be the image that lingers. It's his career writ microscopic. He takes his natural ability, and stretches it to its breaking point, and Michigan has a season again.
Somehow Mike Hart still feels like a secret. In some extremely obvious ways he is not: one of Michigan's vaunted triplets going into this season, he is widely acclaimed as the best back in the Big Ten and one of the best in the country. Anyone claiming the "no respect" card for Hart is going to have to make a strong case indeed. Everyone knows he is good. Maybe even great. But they don't know.
No one who doesn't live and die with Michigan's program can really know. He came off the bench, this freshman from upstate New York the size of a flea, against San Diego State and helped Michigan avert an Appalachian State disaster, and since then he has been the linchpin of Michigan's offense. A few games later Abdul Hodge stripped him as he dragged three Hawkeyes from the ten yard line to the four; this was the last time he lost a fumble. In that time we've watched Max Martin and Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown and Kevin Grady cough up seemingly every other carry they get, but Hart has not fumbled. Sometime this week or next he will become Michigan's all-time leading rusher. When he breaks into the secondary his arm starts pirouetting, orbiting around as he seeks his balance to cut behind an overaggressive safety. Last year against Notre Dame he ripped off a 21-yard run in the closing minutes, dove to the ground as he neared the sidelines, and made the run-the-clock hand signal as he got up. Sometimes four defenders claw at his body and end up yards from where they should be. He runs out to block when Michigan only has ten guys on an extra point attempt. He cheats at cards. His high school graduating class was like a dozen people, six of them women and three of them Canadians, and Hart dragged them to multiple state championships. Whenever he's not on the field I am alarmed at what might happen.
So you can watch him intermittently, whenever your team plays Michigan or when you're flicking through the game on a crowded Saturday afternoon, and not really comprehend what he is to the program. Set aside the rushes, the yards, the relentless pounding he took while battling some sort of flu or strep illness. Sometime midway through the second half he limped off, battered, then reversed course and told Minor to get off the field. It was third down and too far to run. As Mallett dropped back to pass, Dan Connor, Penn State's all-everything linebacker, blitzed right up the middle. Hart, eight inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter, clocked him. Ran right up into him and stopped him dead in his tracks. The blitz picked up, Mallett converted the third down. Hart would stretch for the winning points a few plays later.
Mike Hart does not care. He does not care that he is the size of Toad and runs about as fast as Richard Nixon, who is dead. He does not care that Michigan ruined everything the first two games of the season as he rode a bike on the sideline. He does not care that some people think he should shut up. He does not care that his legs are on someone else's legs and there is no possible way he can worm the ball to the goal line. It takes someone like this to pull you back from despair and ennui, to turn emo week into something other than emo year.
Mike Hart does not care what came before.
Bullets that, if Keith Jackson had done the game, would no doubt have been dubbed "hoss" several thousand times:
- Count me in with the people upset about the offensive playcalling. I do not think it was a coincidence that Michigan came out of its shell when PSU put up its second field goal; it was a pure "scoring offense" situation and one that demonstrated the effectiveness of, you know, throwing on first down every once in a while.
- The thing to be most upset about: a give-up-and-punt on third and long that gave Penn State one last opportunity. There's really not much difference between 2:10 and 1:34 in that situation for the offense. With no timeouts they must pick up big chunks of yards either way. If it goes well they won't have issues with time. If it doesn't, time won't matter because it'll all be incompletions anyway. Giving up the chance for a game-killing first down was frighteningly reminiscent of the Year of Infinite Pain.
- Mallett was 8-20 in the first half and 8-9 in the second. The third down conversion on the final drive to Mathews was a play about four people on the planet could have made. Henne's still better, but if you assume Mallett has a standard progression curve... holy crap.
- That said, man... throw it to wide open Arrington in the endzone plz.
- Yay missed 29-yard field goal!
- Brandon Graham appears to be the best player on the defense, possibly by a wide margin. Five sacks in basically two games of starting, even against those two offensive lines, is an impressive accomplishment.
- Very disappointed to see Penn State's defensive line get so much push against our OL. Don't know if that was just guys getting beat or us tipping our plays or what; will be a focal point in UFR.
- Hey... we 1) ran opposite the shuffle, 2) passed off the shuffle, and 3) threw with Clemons in the game. Did any of these plays work? No, aside from one third-down conversion.
- No deep balls all game. Odd. If they were really in three-deep the whole game we should have been hammering them underneath. This is a major problem I have with our offensive design: we don't punish people from loading the box and playing soft behind it. Those easy completions to Manningham at the start of the first touchdown drive are there all the time.
- I erroneously termed some of Appalachian State's QB draws "Incredibly Surprising." This is an incorrect application of my own nomenclature: a true ISQD is one in which a running back or wide receiver lines up alone in the backfield and takes off, like Junior Hemingway did against Penn State. I hate ISQDs. They are stupid.
- If we ever, ever punted from the 31 my head would explode. JoePa remains even more ossified than Michigan is, and that's the primary reason we've owned them for the past 9 games. If you line up and come right at us, you die. Many teams have figured this out, but JoePa is old and only interested in pudding and Betty Grable.
- UFR will be Wed-Thurs this week if all goes well... I forgot to tape it and the MGoVideo guy's kid changed the channel. So tape is delayed but coming.
Platonic Mancrush 2004-2007:
Platonic Mancrush 2008-2010:
Not Mancrush But A Fine Player In His Own Right:
Five Sacks In Two Games:
Carr presser is not embeddable but is here.
And this showed up on YouTube late, but here it is: Lloyd and Russell Crowe:
Anthony Morelli's brain does not work.
Note for the diaspora: There is a sopcast broadcast of this game. URL:
To watch sop:// links, download and install the sopcast player. Then just copy and paste the link into your browser or open sopcast, copy it into the address box and click the blue arrow.
(Thanks to MGoVideo.)
First, Alan Weymouth's take on the ND game and the PSU game:
I watched the Notre Dame game twice over, and there really is very little we can learn from it. The Irish O-Line isn't very good, and we absolutely dominated the LOS.
With poor offensive line play, and a QB who didn't run, our LB reads where quick and decisive. Thompson looked like Harris out there, and while I've been a critic of C.Graham, I think he played his best game for Michigan. But in all honesty, the LBs just weren't pressed much last week. I still think Graham has issues tackling physical ball carriers, and dealing with OLs. He just doesn't get off or around blocks very well. He does seem to handle FBs better than he deals with linemen, probably because he's so short and doesn't see around OLs very well. Our LBs did a much better job of taking on blockers correctly, and turning the play back to help..I.E Leveraging the football as Coach Carr said.
We probably learned the least about our secondary. We might have corrected a few things there, but who really knows. With the DL parked in Notre Dame's backfield all day, it's impossible to tell.
I think our DL can once again put alot of pressure on Penn State. B.Graham is a gifted pass rusher, and we saw Tim Jamison absolutely own five star recruit Sam Young last week. Again, the pressure of having to contain a running QB showed how effective our front four can be, now if they'd just learn the proper techniques involved in containing a guy like Dixon. It's a tired coaching cliche, but shutting down Penn State's run game will be paramount. DLs have to keep our mediocore LB unit clean.
My biggest concern for this game, is the secondary. Donovan Warren is a talented dude, but I think he has trouble tackling in space. I'm betting my bottom dollar, that Penn State trys to isolate Warren against Derrick Williams in space. They'll use bubble screens and short passes to test Warren over and over.
Offensively, I think we can run the ball on them, provided we can control the numbers in the box. If Mallett starts, Penn State will load the box and really try to stop the run...this is obvious. We'll run alot of 3 wide to try and keep this under control..also alot of two TE with motion etc. Can the Penn State LBs cover Massey and Butler in man? Will UM show alot of Shotgun and try to run and throw from it? I've seen a few newer plays from the Gun, there might be more on the way.
Personally though, I am expecting Henne to lace 'em up and play this weekend. If his swelling is under control and he feels mobile enough to move in the pocket(lets face it, he doesn't really run anyway) why not? He'd like nothing more than to go 4-0 against Penn State. I really don't think his injury was that debilitating..but we'll find out Saturday.
Now on with the show:
Run Offense vs. Penn State
Though Michigan's rush offense has been the one area of the team that has not disappointed, it has not faced a stiff test. Penn State will provide one. Probably. This will be a common theme: well, Dude, we just don't know. Penn State is currently the nation's #1 ranked rushing defense but has played FIU, Buffalo, and Notre Dame. Michigan is currently ranked the nation's #24 rush offense but has played Appalachian State, Oregon, and Notre Dame. Neither team has an inkling of what will happen against actual opponents.
The Penn State defensive line is young and small but well-regarded by recruiting gurus. There are problems at defensive end. Linebacker Jerome Hayes has moved into the standup DE spot occupied by one of the many Shaws on last year's Penn State team; redshirt freshman Aaron Maybin sort of holds the other spot. Both are light, slashing types. (Obviously, in the case of Hayes.) Inside, Abe Koroma is out and Jared Odrick and Ollie Ogbu start. Both are sophomores -- Ogbu redshirted, Odrick did not -- who check in at around 28o or 290. They are likely to play better than poor Pat Kuntz.
Penn State is starting three sophomores and a linebacker on its defensive line, and they have met no one like Jake Long yet. Justin Boren was outstanding against a veteran and good DE/DT, Trevor Laws, last week, and Adam Kraus spent the day making flapjacks of Kuntz. Schilling hasn't screwed up yet. Alex Mitchell? Well... he's been okay. This should be somewhere between a solid area of advantage and a massive blowout.
Then it's linebackers versus Hart, hopefully with blockers. Dan Connor and Sean Lee are both very good, but Mike Hart...
... is Mike Hart. He was bottled up in the first half last year, but ripped off multiple long runs to set up Michigan's final touchdown of the game and finished with 112 yards on 26 carries. From the relevant sections of the offense, Michigan has lost Rueben Riley, Mark Bihl, and Obi Oluigbo. Penn State has lost its entire defensive line save Josh Gaines, who is not good and not starting, and Paul Posluzny. Hart's 4.3 YPC would be a sure bet to increase except for that whole Henne injury thing. If Penn State does the logical thing and loads up to stop the run, Hart won't find the going much easier than he did last year.
Key Matchup: Michigan OL versus quick penetration. The zone game can be stymied by little guys who dart up into gaps, something Michigan has been much better about this year. If Hart's dodging guys four yards in the backfield, Michigan loses.
Pass Offense vs. Penn State
I don't know how much we can take from this, but though Penn State sacked the hell out of Jimmah Clausen much like Michigan did, most of the PSU sacks were directly on Jimmah for holding onto the ball way too long. (I rewatched the PSU-ND game last night.) In terms of time-to-quarterback, Michigan outperformed Penn State against Notre Dame for large portions of the day. With an entirely new defensive line this is about all we have to go on as far as pass rush goes. Michigan, on the other hand, was a perfect 22/22 in UFR protection terms against ND, something which Penn State could not say. I tentatively suggest that pressure from just Penn State's front four will be between minimal and moderate.
Given that, Ryan Mallett -- the assumed starter in this preview -- will either have time or be blitzed. The former seems terribly unwise against a true freshman starter, but Penn State has displayed a remarkable capacity for numbnuts coaching decisions in recent years. See Quinn, Brady. This year they seem to trust their secondary and came after Clausen frequently. The bet here is that they come. Michigan has done a good job picking blitzes up thus far save for a couple busts that seemed to be first-year starter Justin Boren's error. With Boren presumably at guard for Mallett-snap-related reasons, he won't be the one making the calls.
As for Mallett himself, he was adequate when called upon against Notre Dame. There were a couple moments of inaccuracy or shakiness but those were coupled with delicately lofted touchdowns. He will find the going much tougher against Justin King, et al, and mediocrity would probably be a win. This seems achievable.
Key Matchup: Mallett versus blitz reads. He dumped of a short crossing route to Greg Mathews when Notre Dame sent the house last week; more of that will be necessary. Carson Bu
tler will be an important target.
Run Defense vs. Penn State
Michigan's performance against Notre Dame vaulted them all the way up to 76th in rush defense from dead last but probably means little in combat against actual I-A opponents. However, Penn State's rushing offense has faced Buffalo, FIU, and Notre Dame... no actual I-A opponents here, no matter the designations technically applied to them. This is a great unknown. Please take all comments here with a grain of salt.
The comments: Penn State fans are universally non-alarmed at the absence of senior guard Jim Shaw, but they might be after the game. Sticking a in a true freshman in place of a senior who was a returning is going to be a dropoff. Meanwhile, we have a guy who lost his job at LG playing LT and unheralded new starters at RT and LG. (Center AQ Shipley is quite good.) This could be a turkey shoot for Michigan's defensive line. Or it could be an ugly festival of second-and-three like the first two games of the year.
Meanwhile, RB Austin Scott has been disappointing so far, fumbling four times and getting yanked for fellow fifth-year senior Rodney Kinlaw, up until this point a career backup and kick returner. Neither is going to move a pile or pick up much in the way of yards after contact. Given a seam, both can fly, but Penn State's running backs are average at best.
So, then, it's the Michigan "run defense" against a straightforward opponent with a pulse. Terrance Taylor and Will Johnson were very disappointing in the Oregon and Appalachian State games, rarely delaying offensive linemen long enough for the linebackers to have any advantage and never getting sufficient penetration to disrupt any of the zone read handoffs both teams ran with frequency. Is this an aberration based on the spread game or a sad confirmation that Taylor (and Johnson) were beneficiaries of playing next to Alan Branch and nothing more? We will find out here.
Key Matchup: DTs Terrance Taylor and Will Johnson versus Penn State's interior OL. Notre Dame showed that when left untrammeled Chris Graham and Johnny Thompson can run to the ball with the best of them; Oregon showed that when blocked they are useless. Taylor and Johnson have to absorb double teams and let the linebackers do the rest if they expect to hold down the Penn State run game.
Pass Defense vs. Penn State
Anthony Morelli may or may not continue to suck. Against Notre Dame he alternated horrible interceptions he shouldn't have even considered throwing with accurate post lasers with inaccurate simple throws with would-be interceptions. The end results were statistically ugly: 12-22 for 131 yards. Jimmah actually had more yards, albeit on ten additional attempts. The going has been easier for Morelli against the other tomato cans, but from what I've seen Penn State is still relying on him to not lose the game.
Penn State's receivers remain mostly bleah, but sophomore Chris Bell is emerging into a complete threat and the Nittany Lions welcome back tight end Andrew Quarless from an underage drinking suspension. Both could be threats against the Michigan secondary, especially Quarless, who is poised to exploit the potentially iffy coverage of Michigan's linebackers.
Meanwhile, Michigan's secondary was torched for a billion long touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season and got a functional DNP against a Notre Dame team that thinks a three-yard swing pass is a monumental achievement. In Oregon game, in which Dennis Dixon was suffered to sit in the pocket and leisurely pick out wide open receivers running 40 yards downfield. Michigan, burned time and again by the Duck running game and Dixon's legs, reverted to the frustrating contain-but-don't-rush style it deployed ineffectively against Troy Smith.
This is unlikely to happen against Anthony Morelli, who was occasionally snowed under by Notre Dame's inept front seven. This is a leap of faith, but I believe the constant hype on Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham will come to fruition in this game against medicore at best offensive tackles and Morelli will spend the day running away from determined pursuit. I expect the defense to hold Penn State down.
Key Matchup: Tim Jamison, Brandon Graham, and Shawn Crable versus Cadogan/Orhnberger/etc... if Michigan is going to win the game they have to win this battle. It looked like a sure Michigan blowout in the preseason, but given the performances against Oregon, etc., that seems less of a slam dunk. Pressure Morelli and he dies harder than most quarterbacks -- it's the whole "my brain was eaten by Joe Paterno" thing" -- but our secondary remains shaky-ish and I'm afraid of a huge safety bust.
Penn State has a major advantage in the return game. Derrick Williams took a punt 76 yards for Penn State's first touchdown against Notre Dame; AJ Wallace returned a kickoff to the 25 to open the second half. Both are dangerous with the ball in their hands, and Michigan's kick coverage unit has been very sketchy thus far. It gets worse if Bryan Wright can't go, as most of KC Lopata's kicks have come down around the ten after iffy hang time. It may behoove Michigan to give up on kicking like a man and just go with squibs and up-man popups that get fielded around the 20 or 25 and have zero long return potential.
Punt returns won't be so easy to mitigate, but Zoltan appears to be shaking off his inconsistency and really emerging into the destroyer of worlds his ill-fated birth signs (and the prophecies) predicted. Most punts have had great hang time. This is still a danger area.
Kevin Kelly returns at kicker; he's okay but maligned for missing important stuff. Think Garrett Rivas. Penn State has a slight advantage here.
Key Matchup: Kick coverage versus Wallace. There is a not-insignificant chance this could turn the game.
- Penn State starts every drive after a Michigan score at the 50.
- We tip the direction of our runs. This is bad, bad idea against a small, darting line.
- Second and long happens.
Cackle with knowing glee if...
- The line blows those kids off the POA.
- Jamison and Graham make a living in the backfield.
- Morelli does his Morelli thing.
Fear/Paranoia Level: 6 out of 10. (Baseline 5; -1 for We Own Penn State, +1 for We Also Suck, +1 for No, Seriously: The Suck, -1 for I Believe In Trench Advantages, +1 for Oh God, Something Horrible Is Going To Happen On Special Teams ).
Desperate need to win level: 7 out of 10. (Baseline 5; +1 for We Do Have Something To Play For, +1 for And Goddammit Mike Hart, Man, Mike Hart, -1 for Yeah But Go Apps And All That, +1 for Continuing To Own Penn State == Fun)
Loss will cause me to... descend into wild tinfoil-hattery about the refs and how they robbed us of the game.
Win will cause me to... grumble less about the upcoming trip to Northwestern. Woo. Roadie.
The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:
I have no idea what's going to happen. Variables so undefined I can't justify predicting either way:
- Will Henne play?
- Will Michigan's pass rush obliterate?
- Is Michigan's OL capable of crushing an actual opponent?
- Will Penn State r
ip off more big returns?
- Can Michigan stop a conventional run attack that's not Notre Dame's?
Vague answers that could well be horribly wrong: no, yes, yes, yes, sorta. I think both Penn State lines will be hard-pressed to handle their Michigan opponents and that neither Anthony Morelli nor Jay Paterno is clever enough to deal with this. And I have signed on the Michigan Has A Crushing Ground Game Express. A Bo-style victory against one of the few who allows Michigan to get away with that stuff.
Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Hart: 35-180-2
- Four sacks, two interceptions of Morelli.
- 23-14, Michigan.