a terrible blight on our fine country
As typically happens after a big loss, many people now think Michigan is a poor, talent deficient football team that will struggle mightily all year. But when you go inside the Bama "domination" you see a familiar story that just had a different ending because the casting director replaced Glass Joe with Clubber Lang.
Last night we trailed Alabama by 20 points entering the 4th quarter. Against eventual 8-5 team Notre Dame last year, in a game played at home before a wild crowd, we trailed by 17 entering the 4th quarter. Bama killed us on the ground for 5.5 ypc. ND posted 6 ypc. Returning national champion AJ McCarron completed 52% of his passes for 199 yards, with 51 of those yards coming on a play where the DB slipped and fell. No-longer-starter Tommy Rees burned last year's D to the tune of 69% completions, 315 yards, and 3 TD. On the whole, ND churned out 28 first downs and 513 yards at 7.1 per play. Bama posted 6.8 per play for 20 first downs and 431 yards. In both games Fitz didn't play. Against Bama his replacements picked up a meager 48 yards on the ground. Against ND they picked up just 10.
So let's keep things in perspective. Bama didn't help us out by fumbling twice without being touched by a defender (Bama turned it over one time at the end of the half to ND's 5) and the Denard magic never got going thanks to an overturned 4th down conversion. We didn't play our best and Bama didn't make any mistakes to help us out. But the fact is we looked a lot better against a far superior opponent. If we play up to our ability the rest of the year things look really good.
- Campbell - The big guy looked decent, even quick on his sack. He will look even better against the rest of the schedule.
- Gallon - The little guy had a big game, going for over 100 yards receiving and would have had more had Tacopants not been mirroring his routes.
- Gardner - More than at any point before, I think we saw his athleticism in this game. Cleaner routes would have opened him up for several more receptions; the tools are clearly there.
- Norfleet - This guy will be special on kick returns. Seemed to almost always on the verge of breaking it with his speed.
- Denard - Again, the dude never quit. He only completed 11 of 26 passes, but looked more fundamentally sound than last year IMO. It made me sad to see him not smiling.
Time to look to next Saturday.
LT - 6'5 260 - Kons
LG - 6'3 255 - Kerber
C - 6'0 250 - Husar
RG - 6'3 260 - Eason
RT - 6'6 250 - Husskisson
TE - 6'5 240 - Briehlman
DE - 6'1 240 - Champaign
NG - 6'1 260 Miller OR
6'2 240 DeJulio
DE - 6'4 265 Fitzgerald
OLB - 6'5 240 Means
MLB - 6'1 220 Niklas
MLB - 6'0 220 Kusan
OLB - 6'2 220 Jones
Think we might have a bit of a size advantage.
SO this may have been why Hoke has allowed nobody in practice, but for what reason I do not know. Mealer was at Center last night and Barnum was at LG. Any explanations??
If you are like me there were several surprises last night, but as another thread says I dont think we'll know how good/bad our D-line is until around game 5 or 6. Oh, we also played every defensive lineman on our roster.
Norfleet looked great, but it all depends on if the other team has a kicker who can kick.
Gardner looks like he could be really good at WR.
Royce Jenkins-Stone is NOT redshirting, all 206 lbs of him played special teams.
Last thought: In order for us to complete the stated goal of B10 and Rose Bowl we dont need this game. For all of you that wanted Denard to tote the rock 30 times more than he did just remember he would be dead. Brady Hoke will say all the right things, but mark it down he did NOT want to play this game this year. 2 or 3 years from now I think he'll play anyone anywhere kind of thing, but with no D-line and not his recruits or style of play he knows better.
If you were wasted last night (and judging from Twitter, you were), you may want to re-watch this and see what actually happened, but probably not.
1st half (720p still processing):
2nd half (720p available):
All the talk about Roy Roundtree having a boom year and possibly All-Big Ten, and then the newfound talk about Gardner being our best WR by a mile..... well, Jeremy Gallon to me has shown to be our best WR, and the chatter on him is hardly existent. Gallon never seems to drop the ball.... he made a few Bama defenders look stupid on those bubble screens and got alot of yards after the catch. It is time that the collective masses realize that it is Gallon who is our best WR.