that's unfortunate, but at least the interest is there on both sides
Michigan vs Illinois
So I have two things that I really need to say something about:
#1: I sit in Section 16 at Michigan Stadium for every home game. I have a buddy that likes to paint his body/face for the games and when necessary he gets really into the game and tries to help the team. At the beginning of the Toledo game he stood up for one play in a primarily sitting section and an old guy 2 rows back told him to sit down. He wanted to yell at the guy but I told him to just sit down and not say anything back. I told him why pick a fight in the Toledo game when maybe during the MSU game in a couple weeks he could turn around and say, "I sat down for you the entire Toledo game so maybe you can stand up for this game." My buddy agreed and sat down. Then in the 4th quarter when we were trying to come back the section starting at field level began to stand and so my buddy stood up again for one play and at this point the stadium was getting as loud as it could for Toledo and the old man then yelled to sit down again. So my friend now turned around and told him we were at a football game and not a polo or croquet match. I kind of laughed and then my buddy sat down and said, "sorry but I had to say something." I told him he was in the right there. I always knew why we were a quiet stadium but I got to experience first hand the problem.
#2: Ok this has more to do with play calling. In the Illinois game we had the ball on the 1 yard line and McGuffie was left in to try to run the ball in and we lost yards. Then we gained a couple back on the next play with Threet keeping the ball on a shotgun snap but he didnt get in after the replay. So then I am thinking either put Kevin Grady in or QB sneak the ball. What do we do? A halfback sweep with McGuffie and get stopped. And then on 4th and half a yard we had to throw the ball to score the TD. I couldn't believe we didn't do a QB sneak but I just figured it was a one time problem. But then during the Toledo game we needed one yard and instead of doing a QB sneak we hand the ball off 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage and get stopped. Now I do not claim to know as much as the coaches and I still really like the off season hire but can anyone tell me the reason we do not QB sneak when we need a yard or less? To me it makes no sense to run backwards 3-5 yards after the snap to hand the ball off especially when our line is not that great. It just makes more sense to take the snap and more or less fall forward. One friend of mine told me that we didn't QB sneak because we don't want our QB to get hurt but I don't buy that because we run an offense where the QB gets alot of carries.
If anyone has any insight into the QB sneak thing please let me know because I would like other points of views because that is driving me crazy.
Michigan's lineup has fluctuated throughout the year, and I expect that it will continue to change until Michigan plays with more consistency - which may not happen until 2009. Note: Only players who have a viable backup will be chosen to lose their jobs. For example, Threet likely will not be chosen because Sheridan has been a complete disaster.
OFFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Martavious Odoms, WR/KR. Odoms was Michigan's best player on Saturday, with the exception of a late fumble on a kickoff return. Odoms had 7 catches for 129 yards (18 yard average) and 7 kick returns for 183 yards (26 yard average). He has shown the best ability to get open repeatedly, and he creates yards after the catch. He breaks a lot of tackles and runs very hard for being only 5'9" and 171 lbs. In his first action this year as a kickoff returner, he showed better acceleration and decisiveness than any other returners have shown this year.
OFFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
David Molk, C. This might be a little harsh, because Molk has a lot of good qualities. He is quick and strong, and he's a redshirt freshman, so there's plenty of time to improve. But Michigan's offense started to stall when Illinois started to blitz and blitz and blitz and then blitz some more. The center is the quarterback of the offensive line and needs to make the line calls, and the offensive line just didn't get the job done. Illinois hit Threet early, and you could see that he felt rushed and a little tentative later in the game. Threet actually played pretty tough and didn't get as rattled as a lot of young quarterbacks would, but any quarterback is going to get a little gun shy when he gets hit frequently. Perhaps Molk should move to guard and allow David Moosman, a redshirt junior who has been around a little longer, to slide over to the center position.
DEFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB
Obi Ezeh, MLB. After giving up 45 points and 500+ yards in total offense, it's hard to say any defensive player should keep his job. Defensive backs blew coverages, the linebackers couldn't tackle, and the defensive linemen failed to record a single sack. Statistically, Ezeh was the biggest bright spot with 15 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. He did miss a few tackles, but he's still young and looks like a heat seeking missile at times. Out of the current crop of linebackers, I actually think Ezeh would be a better fit at SAM with Thompson moving to MIKE. Thompson is practically useless as a blitzer because of his stiffness. Ezeh is quicker and more agile coming off the edge. Either way, Ezeh has been the most consistent defensive player this year.
DEFENSIVE STARTER WHO SHOULD LOSE HIS JOB
Steve Brown, FS. This category is tough, because very few players played well on Saturday. And instead of just picking on a player, I feel it's necessary to offer a viable solution. It's time for Steve Brown to lose his job. With the exception of the Wisconsin game, he has been consistently beaten in the passing game. The last straw was when Illinois running back Jason Ford beat Brown on a go route down the sideline; fortunately for Michigan fans, Juice Williams made a slightly inaccurate throw and Ford made a poor adjustment and dropped the ball. Brown consistently gets caught looking in the backfield and reacts too slowly. He has tremendous physical skills (witness him chasing down Juice Williams from behind on what looked to be a sure touchdown), but his recognition skills are poor. Charles Stewart made a poor effort on the 77-yard TD pass, but that's the first time this year that Stewart has looked bad. Redshirt freshman Michael Williams has played well on special teams. One of those guys deserves a shot at the FS position, and instead of bringing in a third safety in nickel and dime situations, Boubacar Cissoko and/or Troy Woolfolk should enter the game. Odoms got removed from the KR job for Avery Horn after the former fumbled, but Brown continues to play after allowing big play after big play. Those standards seem inconsistent.