Well, we just lost convincingly to the best team in the Big Ten. That being said, I noticed a lot of positive/neutral things in this game and I'd be curious to know what you all think as well. Please save bitching, sarcasm and FIRE RROD for other threads. This thread is meant to be a change of pace from the tsunami of negativity otherwise on the board.
That being said:
- Denard broke 2 NCAA records today: He is the first 1500/1500 NCAA QB in history, and now holds the NCAA major college single-season rushing record for a QB
- Michigan scored 28 pts in a half against Wisconsin-- perhaps we were more warmed up by then, or Denard's deep ball was finally falling? Either way, hopefully we can carry some momentum forward to next week
- The defense forced 2 turnovers against a team with 7 on the season (!)
- Drew Dileo and Darryl Stonum were returning kickoffs more so than Gallon. Following the injury to Stonum I think we see why he doesn't regularly return them, but after seeing Gallon's fumble, I think we might be seeing a turn towards the safer and more reliable Dileo.
- No disastrous picks from Denard in this game; his balls batted by Watt were unfortunate, but not dangerously thrown. The facepalm underthrown balls of the past few weeks were greatly cut down this week.
- Denard did a better job with QB draws and otherwise attempting to run when everyone was covered this week. It was a refreshing positive to see the coaching staff notice and presumably address his poor (non) running habits during designed pass plays this week.
- We were in a horrifying position at the end of the first half following Gallon's fumble inside our 30, but James Rogers baited Tolzien to throw and then picked off the pass, preventing a sure TD. Nice to see some mindgames being played by our secondary for a change; bodes well for the development. Also, way to respond! Our defense has heart/swagger this year even when things are going badly.
What else did y'all notice about the game in the positive/neutral category?
Just now on Sportscenter, Kirk Herbstreit shared a few thoughts on our QB.
Kirk: In terms of actual performance against quality opponents, he is on top. Most impressive over 2 weeks, long way to go though.
Denard also won the Capital One Cup Performance of the Week with 65% of the vote, Landry Jones of Oklahoma was second with 15%.
When I made this topic, I was hoping for something more interesting, but there it is. I guess that's why you wait til after these segments to make it =p
I love the play Michigan is running where Denard fakes a run to the left, which draws in the DBs, and instead throws the ball downfield while still on the run. Roundtree scored on this vs. Notre Dame - it keeps the defense guessing even more.
Question to the more informed: how far can offensive lineman advance past the line of scrimmage during pass plays? I thought they weren't allowed to at all; am I way off? Because on these plays where Denard fakes the sweep, the linemen have been advancing at least a couple of yards downfield. How far can they go downfield and block before the ball is thrown?
Thanks in advance guys.
In case anyone cares, the Sportsnation poll on the ESPN college football front page asks the nation's opinion on the "Cap One Cup Impact Performance of the Week". Denard Robinson's performance against ND is on the list along with the following:
- Ohio State's Cameron Heyward INT stops Miami drive.
- South Dakota's Dante Warren 3 passing TD, 2 rushing TD in win vs. Minnesota.
- Oklahoma's Landry Jones throws for 380 yards , 4 TDs vs. Florida State.
The numbers for Denard (in case you live under a rock) are 258 rushing yards and 244 passing yards (not even a mention of his TDs, WTF?!). Denard is the obvious winner with 64% of the votes (currently). Dilithium is indeed impressive, and it's always good to see him getting some love outside of the Big Ten and the Michigan fan-base.
Also, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, and Go Blue!
An emotional roller coaster today, but awesome win. Cannot put my love for Dilithium into words. And I think both sides of the ball will only get better, and special teams certainly can't get worse. We are gonna f*ck some people up.
After two weeks I cannot help but dream about how dynamic the offense could be with a real RB threat. It's early, but neither Shaw nor Smith have really done it for me. Which leaves me with two questions:
1. By the end of the year, are we going to have a clear-cut top back(s)?
2. If so, who will it be?
I loved Smith last year, but I think he's still recovering from the injury. I have an intuition that Cox or Fitz will emerge (if Fitz can get and stay healthy). I think Cox is the guy.