spoiler alert: i linked this
Yesterday's game showed me just how different it can feel to be a college football fan. It was strange to question whether Michigan was legit, to wonder if we might be embarrassed by a blowout loss in our own Bigger and Newly Redecorated House. Every turn in our favor filled me with relief more than excitement. In the end I felt calm, with none of the jubilant, happy-dancing, shake my ass celebration that followed last year's blowout opener. It seems that the last two seasons, and especially last year's collapse, have allowed my brain to be more detached from the game emotionally. I am happy and relieved that we won, but I am afraid to jump on the wagon that could be heading for another cliff.
I do think this year will be different though, because I learned some things yesterday...
- Denard Robinson is so awesome, he deserves to have his name spelled out in its entirety whenever it is written or spoken.
- Michigan is capable of good turnover Karma after all, what with recovering all three bad fumbles/muffed punts committed. (Gallon, really? WTF?)
- Michael Shaw is possibly the best compliment to Denard Robinson at tailback because of speed. When the two of them come together for the exchange the defense almost has to commit before they know who has the ball in order to have a chance at stopping the play.
- UConn showed what happens when the defense does not commit. The combined speed of Shaw and Denard Robinson tears the defense asunder.
- We are spoiled at Michigan when it comes to sure handed receivers.
- GERG has installed the first defense I can recall that seems to actually "bend" but not "break." The lack of big, game-changing plays was refreshing.
- Giving up yards while making the other team sustain a drive can actually be a recipe for success. The one turnover of the game seemed almost scripted to illustrate the virtues of this defensive approach.
- Ipso-facto, I guess GERG is actually a good coach that maybe we can all have a little faith in.
- Craig Roh is going to be a huge factor in this defense's success. When left unmarked (or marked by a TB) he creates big problems in the backfield. Marking him leaves less beef to stop Mike Martin and Co.
- Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh are good at some things at least. Mouton can really deliver the wood, and Ezeh is a sure tackler. Hopefully they can show continued improvement. Our run D up the middle still looks pretty bad at times.
So the opener is a win once again (YAY!). ND may expose our defense more with their spread attack, but after watching them some yesterday I feel good about our chances. If Charlie was still their coach I would be penciling in a win. I think we should be ready for some regression on offense though. Studying the film from the UConn game will no doubt give the ND coaches an edge that UConn couldn't have. Can a defense focused on stopping Denard Robinson actually slow down this offense? There is still much to learn...
Shout out to Kovacs who looked even better than last year. Dude is still way undersized and gets dragged at times, but he was no doubt in great position to make plays.
Also let's all try to keep away from the Tate bashing. That is a 19yo that played his heart out for this team a year ago, only to be sitting at 3rd string now. I could plainly make out that he was simply trying to hide from the cameras at the end of the game and we should all try to have some respect for what he is going through. For all sorts of reasons this team needs him and I hope he feels that and stays.
Edit: I forgot to mention our lack of penalties. One personal foul at the very beginning and that was all she wrote. The discipline of this team, should it hold going forward, may be what keeps the results mostly positive.
Offense every snap video will be up late tonight or tomorrow.
BTN feature on Michigan Stadium renovation:
It's great! To be! -- WTF, Roh looks hurt:
Don Shane interviews Denard:
Rittenberg interviews Molk:
Rittenberg interviews Shaw:
Dear Michigan Fan,
I write to you right before the kickoff of the 2010-2011, my words might not be the ones you want to hear but have to be said anyways.
Thank you for being faithful to my cause, thank you for being there 110,000 strong at every home game, thank you for traveling for 10 hours to see me play away. Thank you for crying when I lose and for partying all around town when I win. We have many memories together, good and bad, whether it be Bo’s speeches, the comeback against Iowa in 1997, A-Train’s fumble against NorthWestern or Phillip Brabbs’ field goal against Washington. They are all moments that make our relationship stronger and that make us bond the way we have bonded in the past and the way we will keep on bonding in the future. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Friend, you have been angry at me recently and I don’t really know why? is it because there are less W’s? If so is our relationship one of self-interest? I truly thought you loved me for my inner soul and not for materialistic and cosmetic things, I thought you love me for what i mean to do and not just what I succeed at doing.
Well, don’t blame anything on the coach or the players, the university or yourself, there is nothing wrong, the spirit of this team is still there, I know it. Did you see Threet running against Wisconsin in 2008, did you know that he is actually a pocket passer!! Did you see Tate trying and trying and trying last year, did you see Rich crying? Did you see that Notre Dame game, or the attempt to comeback against MSU or Iowa? Yes we do not always succeed, but it will come back, sooner or later, so don’t give up on me not today or tomorrow. Win or lose we are all Wolverines at heart, feisty and fighting till the end.
Don’t worry about that missed tackle today, and don’t worry about that broken protection, none are intentional and in return I will give you much more glory in the future, just give me a real chance to prove it and cheer for that team as much as you can.
As for the coach, give him a chance, he really needs you and his players need him, so if anything lets all stand united against all those who doubt us and lets prove forever that we are all Maize and Blue and not just Wal-Mart Wolverines! And no matter what happens today next week or in November stand by me.
Go Blue and Hail to the Victors,
The Heart and Soul of the Michigan Football Team
Something has been bugging me for a while -- to wit, the fact that Denard Robinson always carries the ball in his left hand when running. Conventional wisdom would be to keep the ball in the "outside" hand to avoid getting stripped, but when a right-handed QB is running I'd imagine it would make sense to keep the ball in his right hand, to keep alive the possibility of throwing the ball before crossing the line of scrimmage. I noticed on one play during the spring game that he dropped back to pass, began running towards the line of scrimmage with the ball in his left hand, then tried to switch it to his right hand after seeing a receiver break open. That act, having to switch hands, would slow down his throwing motion considerably and could lead to increased fumbles. Is it possible he's been coached to do this? Is it perhaps a product of track relays, when he may have developed a habit of holding a baton in his left hand? Anyway, given that he's likely starting, it's something to watch for this season.
So Mark May, in his infinite wisdom, just posted this on twitter...
Michigan QB Denard Robinson will be the starter in the opener vs. UCONN
It was also re-tweeted by Forde...
Thought the MGoBlogosphere should be informed.
Let's here the predictions. Assuming that Denard starts. Will he rush for over or under 100 yds against UConn? Also, Over/Under 1,000 yds on the season? I personally think he'll rush for over 100 vs. UConn but just shy of 1,000 for the year. What say you?