Maybe we can hold it right next to the Kovacs Fan Club.
We used to cringe at JT back there. Way too slow.
WHen we saw him lined up one-on-one vs ND's Michael Floyd, how many like me worried that Mattison was a crazy gambler?
But, like Kovacs, the guy is a gamer. Plays smart & WAY above his ability.
What are your thoughts following this game?
- Denard is struggling running this offense...HOWEVA, I think we can get him on track if we went no huddle a little more
- Fitz is the #1 back --- We knew this already, now the nation knows
- Our offensive line is the key to our offense. (Yes, any offense can say that, however when Devin and Denard have time, when Fitz has a crease, when we control the line...we're good. When we don't, we're not good. It's that simple. We don't have a QB who can win with average/bad line play by hitting the slants and quick passes.
- Mattison is king.
- Our defensive line is damn good. You say, "no shit." Not so fast my friend...think back to the beginning of the year. They struggled. Roh was a non-factor. Brink and Heininger were not good. RVB couldn't get a pass rush. These guys are GOOD now.
- Floyd is the most improved player on the team. Take away his best play (the INT) and his worst play (the holding or PI call)...he had a GREAT game. I don't care if it shows in the UFR or not. Floyd played well. Got away with a few things, but still, he was right there.
All in all, you can't complain too much about a win. But that 2nd and 3rd quarter was just BAD offensively. We should've won that game 47-14...EASILY. Maybe even 51 or 55-14. Our redzone playcalling has to get better. I think Borges got too conservative after the Iowa game. Those calls weren't bad 3 of the 4 could've/should've been TDs.
Teams are starting to do the same thing vs. us...Jam the WRs at the line and blitz the house. Jamming the WRs causes timing issues and allows the blitz to get through. We have to be able to hit the slant route like we did to Roundtree vs. MSU. Or throw a fade like we did so many times vs. ND.
One thing that pissed me off was Craig James whining about our redzone offense. We started the year like 18 of 18!!
- Why don't we use that play where Denard runs to the line and throws to the slot
- Why don't we use the original Fritz package anymore?
- Great job by Mattison with the zone blitzes and showing 7-8 at the line and rush 4.
- I don't know if Frank Clark will ever start...but he's a passing rushing MACHINE!
- The last two plays of Illinois opening drive of the 2nd half were 2 of the most beautiful plays I've ever seen in football.
- That game was loooooooooooooooong.
- Craig James, please...just stop talking.
....your immediate thoughts ABOUT THE GAME?
36-35 @home against TCU. Missed a FG as time expired, TCU went for two with a minute left to take the lead. Patterson talks about how he feels bad considering how much Boise has done for mid-majors, but clearly is overwhelmed with joy. Does Boise drop froom the BCS at large race as well? I think so
1. The defense. Though they slipped a bit by the end of the 3rd quarter, and though we're not quite Alabama yet, this was still one of the better performances by a Michigan defense in years. It felt...right. Like order has been restored to the universe. Mattison even had the front 7 pulling some NFL-style disguised coverages...and doing it right too!
2. Fitz’s first half. Another stellar half game for one of our tailbacks…unfortunately it didn’t last. It was still good enough to power those first two touchdowns, and then he got his mojo back at the end. Good stuff, though I wish he hadn't been stopped for all those losses in-between.
3. JT Floyd’s MASSIVE interception and Gardner’s HUGE touchdown pass. I’ve been down on Gardner for several weeks, but that was a game-saving throw…set up by Floyd’s monster grab. Hope his injury isn’t serious.
1. Our offense from midway through the second quarter on. They went from F1 racecar to Trabant in a hurry. The lack of adjustments to defensive adjustments by good Big 10 defenses is now a trend, and one that goes back to 2009. It's not as bad as it was then, but it may be worse than it was in 2010. We're lucky that we have a defense to count on now, but this feels correctable, and the inability to do so is frustrating. It's what stands between us and really taking it to the next level.
2. Going backwards on offense. We did this much too often today.
2. More stupid turnovers. Self-explanatory.
1. Injuries. Denard’s apparent injury being the worst. He might be in a second-year starter’s slump (think Henne 2005), but he’s still Denard. We need him. Ditto van Bergen and Floyd. All the best to all three.
2. Leaving too many points on the field. Twice denied in the red zone, we should have put this one away, but instead allowed Illinois to hang around. Having started the season uber-efficient in the red zone, we seem to have regressed lately. This is another frustrating phenomenon from the RR era that looked dead and buried, only to return in all its ugliness.
The Immensely Gratifying
1. We finally know, for sure, that we are better than we were last year. Though the offense hasn't been as good as we've hoped, the defense has been better than we could have dreamed. So it’s time to admit this to ourselves: we are better. We. Are. Better. Sure, we are still, as of this moment, only one game better, but we have reached 8 wins for the first time since 2007. Time to break out the cheap bubbly (the good stuff can wait until after we beat Ohio).
Good games tonight. And we can enjoy them. 8 wins. What people predicted us to do. With 2 left. Time to come home and overachieve. We're better. Enjoy the night, and crack one open for a toast.
I just don't want to deal with the Liveblog today. And there are a number of good games in all 3 slots for a change. No #1 vs. #2, but a lot of depth this weekend.