We were at the game tonight and decided to hang out after to watch the players come out. Normally, they head to the bus but tonight was like a giant family reunion. Many of the players had family there, and spent time talking to fans, too. My husband told me David Molk gave him the evil eye, but I sort of think he gives everyone the evil eye, myself included when I said "Good game" to him. When the players came out, they each grabbed a big foil pan off a table, which was dinner. Taylor Lewan's dad (who is as tall as his son), threatened to eat Taylor's dinner if he didn't hurry up. Also, Taylor's elbow was wrapped with ice - hope it's ok. Denard came out last, with security guys around him, and the state police behind him - rock star treatment.
It was great fun to see everyone hanging out. Would have loved to know what they got for dinner.
First off, YAY! 6-0 feels so good, and is quite redeeming after how difficult things have been as of late.
I know this has been hased out before, but it's late at night and there isn't much else going on, and we have one more game to add to the knowledge database and to discuss.
So 6 weeks into the season, patterns are becoming more noticable with a larger sample size. Aside from against Minnesota, Michigan has struggled in the first half, both putting up points and stopping other teams from doing so. The second half has been a different story.
I love Mattison and Borges, and their ability to make in-game adjustments. In my opinion this is one of the biggest differences from the previous regime (please, no bashing the previous staff. Not trying to start a flamewar here). My question is, though: what is causing this disparity between halves?
My personal opinion is that our coordinators are learning about these teams for the first time in a long time, and that may be leading to our slow starts. They are not as familiar with personnel and coaches as someone who has been around the league longer. I know that both Hoke and Mattison have played all of these teams before, but they were different teams with different coaches and different players. However, once they become more comfortable with an opponent's gameplan, they are able to change theirs around it.
What does the board think? Are we slow starters or good finishers?
Heart attack 45 minutes into the game. Let's hope he's ok.
So please rank in terms of complete suckitude.
1. Refs-Complete disaster. Missed holds on our dline all game, missed the Kovacs Facemask, Lewan false start etc etc etc..
2. BT Network crew- Continued suckitude. Wow I mean wow. Continued to call wrong names and numbers and teams.
3. BT Camera Crew- Way to send me over the edge in the 1st half with not being able to maintain a signal for more than 3 seconds. It was great considering we were giving up 10yds a play. I was happy. Must have been that tough weather.
4. Mich D- Couldn't get off the blocks...I mean holds. Terrible tackling. Nice cozy 10yd cushions. Total ineptitude playing the option. Thanks for the turnovers NW.
5. NW play caller- Since you were averaging 15yds per play running the option thanks for not calling any in the 2nd half.
1. For the most part, Denard's passing (ducks and horrors aside). He was more accurate than not, and given how NW was selling out to stop his running, it was essential that he get something going in the air. For the most part, he did...especially in the second half.
2. Devin Gardner. He wasn't in all that much, but I thought he was impressive when he was. It's good to know we have him to fall back on.
3. Second half adjustments on defense. How good is Mattison at identifying what's wrong early on and correcting it? I think he's got to be one of the best; it almost reminds me of what Chip Kelly does when Oregon struggles early on offense. Maybe that's getting ahead of things, but 28-0 in the second half against a potent offense like Northwestern's is mighty impressive.
4. Second half adjustments on offense. Okay, here it's not so much a schematic thing as an execution thing. We were sloppy in the first half, and coldly efficient in the second. Sure some things didn't work, but we always had something else to fall back on when they didn't.
5. The D-line and Demens. Interior running was a non-factor, and Persa had a nightmare of a day when he wasn't getting rid of the ball within 3 seconds.
6. The way our team actively creates turnovers. At this point, it's clear that our guys are coached to do this, and they do it with regularity.
7. Roy Roundtree. He made some excellent catches, and showed that he's still the man.
7b. Junior Hemingway. Some huge catches.
1. The first half. We were lucky to only be down 10 pts, and looked sloppy, confused and unprepared for a road game.
2. Interior running. Sure, we got some plays in, and that Denard scramble on the broken play was sick, but by the 3rd quarter we couldn't get anything going through the middle...and this against an undersized, non-elite front 7.
3. Defending perimeter running and passing. This was a serious problem, especially early on. Guess we adjusted to it well, though, as it was less of a concern later on. But it was worrying, and option teams like Nebraska could make us pay if we don't improve on this.
1. Denard's 3 interceptions. These were really terrible, and a continuing problem for him. We're lucky that they didn't hurt more than they did, but unless he can fix this problem, they'll cost us a game eventually.
1. We're 6-0 for the first time since 2006.