This team is really good at winning the games they're supposed to win and losing the games they're supposed to lose.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Well, had you guaranteed me my beloved Maize and Blue would be 5-2 after the first 7 games, I would have signed on the dotted line. That would have meant a 2-1 result through UConn, ND and MSU – because believe me, at no point did I expect a win against Iowa. I’d be surprised if many of us had expected better than 5-2 at this point. And after 7 games, though a mixed blessing, we should all recognize that this year’s version of the Wolverines are exactly what many of us thought they’d be: improved on offense, unbearably young on defense.
It’s amazing what happens along the journey though: a lightening quick Sophomore gives you hope beyond reason by doing in 5 games what few others could accomplish in 10 and a suspect defense stops what many expected to be a top tier running game in the opener.
And suddenly, irrational emotions take over as visions of 10 or more wins replaced what we all knew to be true – 8-4 would be both a good step forward and likely a best case outcome.
Without memory of our August expectations, we’ve experienced 2 games we should have seen coming, but none-the-less: our lightening fast savior finally played like a Sophomore with only 5 starts to his name, our defense made spirited stops at times but couldn’t do it with consistency or when it mattered most, and our highly efficient offense gave the ball away 7 times.
Now our emotion has reared its ugly head in how many of us are responding, as we jump off cliffs: the offense is flawed, the defense is worse than anticipated and regressing and now every team in the Big Ten will torch us. To top it off, we’re looking for someone to blame for pushing us; Robinson, Rodriguez, anybody, because someone has to pay for our inflated expectations.
Two years ago, we were in some games for a half, then just blown away. Last year, it became a couple plays here, a couple plays there and we win a few more. For contrast, last week, we were two offensive mistakes from leading 14-0. And we can only speculate how crippling Lewan’s 1st quarter personal foul may have been this week, but despite playing as poorly as the team did, they were still very much alive in the 4th, and moved up and down the field on one of the best defenses in the country. Does that mean we should, would or could have one of the two games? Not sure, and it doesn’t matter.
What matters is this – this is your team, to encourage, to cheer, and to support. These are young men who appear to be representing the university with far greater class than some of us. And this team deserves our passion for them to succeed, without our inflated expectations for what we think they should be.
Here’s to win #6 in 2 weeks. Go Blue!
This team is really good at winning the games they're supposed to win and losing the games they're supposed to lose.
what does that bring to the table?
Anyhoo...Our D let up a total of less than 400 yards, which is good. If yards are the meter stick (see Mathlete, others) then this is an improvement. We also gained 500+ offensive yards, with a BACKUP in. The only failure on our part was to get the points, which was due to TOM. TOM (not vh) hasn't been on our side for only two games, but is largely random. This shall see a regression towards the mean and this means (pun intended) that we shall see da WIN da next 3 gamez!
when you are fielding underclassmen at the key skill positions (QB,RB). TOM and youthful inexperience go hand in hand. Unfortunately, we should EXPECT a high negative turnover margin given that we are fielding sophomores at 2 of the top 3 skill positions.
Less than 400 yards is not good, unless you're on a sliding scale.
Points are the measurement, not yards.
TOM is not completely random.
Truth be told, even after sev. wins, Magnus and Brian saw the reality of the defense, and never got totally "on board." We just aren't good enough to play bad and win.
FTR, this is why I never felt MSU & Iowa were "must win" games. Either would have been great games to win. And I sure hope that we win at least two of the remaining five gams. But we can't forget that even 6-6 is an improvement over last year, and will bring a bowl game.
Everyone is right! We had a punchers chance in the past two games, and we swung and missed. Opportunities have arisen to where maybe a more experienced team capitlizes. As I was having my typical Saturday afternoon hemorage I found myself seeing hope! Demens was good! Obi should not see the field the rest of the season. Can Stefan Hopkins get more carries? He is the most effective, plus the biggest! Denard needs to calm down, we have placed our whole entire football world on this young kid and that is not fair! We will beat PSU, ILL, PU, and possibly one of the 2 final games. We just need to put something together with no mistakes. I love Michigan, and I do not want Harbaugh! Rich Rod will get it done! DaVinci could not create the sistine chaple without paint! Give it a rest and be a FAN!
I'm not as willing to simply look past some of the glaring problems we have and consider our 5-2 start "better than we would have hoped."
I understand the offense gained 500+ yards yesterday. Don't you think that had ANYTHING to do with the fact that Iowa was up 28-7 going into the 4th quarter and, aside from the first drive, had kept us in check? After 3 quarters of defensive control (plus the fact that they knocked out Denard), I can understand Iowa getting a little complacent and losing focus. They prepared for Denard for 2 weeks and now were facing another QB.
And what about that? 7 points after 3 quarters? We drove down on the first drive and scored. Iowa made an adjustment and all of the sudden, we're unable to score. That has nothing to do with the defense or the kicking game. The inability to score lies solely at the feet of our offense.
gave up 19 first downs
178 rushing yards and
170 passing yards
For 348 yards and 29:51 TOP, then yeah, Iowa held us in check. Your post is fueled by emotion, not statistics.
We trailed 28-7 after 3 quarters. That is the very definition of holding a team in check.
Then I won't stop you. The point is, Iowa didn't "hold us in check". The interceptions were the fault of the QBs, not the magnificent play of the Iowa defense. Get just two of those turnovers back, and we would have scored at least one TD. That would have been enough.
I don't know what to say. I think we have a very solid team but this game was handed to us on a silver platter and we did everything we could to not win:
Worst special teams ever, horrid penalties, horrid turnovers, offense couldnt do anything on 3rd and 7+
Not to mention the plays where Iowa handed us a stop and we couldn't hold them:
Run on 3 and 14, screen on 3rd and long at the end of the game, 2 x JT Floyd 1v1 where he got torched on slants (1 fist down, 1 TD)
I'm gonna go ahead and forgive the penalties and turnovers bc those are mainly the fault of the players who are young and they will smooth those out with time. I'll also forgive the difficulty converting 3rd and long bc nobody does that against Iowa (at least so far).
However special teams is really a big concern and I wonder if lack of a special teams coach has left this unit out to rot. I really don't know if Iowa really needed the 150 added yards of field position but it sure as hell didnt help our cause. Some of the defensive play calls were leaving my mind boggled. GERG was lost when Ferentz was being Carr-esque with his predictable offensive calls. The play calling was all wrong on the big 3rd down plays. That in addition to RR and McGee not playing Hopkins in the redzone on 2nd and 2 (where Smith fumbled). I'm at a loss how we decided to go away from Hopkins and the running game in the second and third quarters after he was going 5 yards a carry on his first two drives (and then got yanked until the end of the game).
I'm feeling confident we will be fine but it's not just the players that need to get their mistakes ironed out, it's also the coaches.
It is true that if you had offered me 5-2 in the first seven games, before any of them had been played, I would have thought that was pretty good.
But when you still have games left to play, it matters HOW you got your wins, not merely that you got them. If you had asked how folks felt about going 5-0 followed by 0-2, I doubt that you would have received a favorable response.
What is more, expectations change with each data point. Given where Michigan was coming from, 5-2 in the first seven games didn't feel that bad, but those expectations legitimately change when you win all of the first five.
Of course, there are scenarios where this season ends happily. But the available data show losses against the only GOOD teams Michigan has played, and several rather weak wins against the others. (Indiana is a perennial cellar-dwellar, Notre Dame played without its QB for most of the game, and I assume I don't have to explain UMass.)
As disappointed as I am with the Iowa game - and I have many questions - we are right about where most of us thought we'd be at the beginning of the season. I posted 7-5 with a chance to be 8-4. We're still right there.
We're not as bad as we've looked in the last two games, and not as good as we looked in the first five games.
Awesome points...Ive been saying this all along from the start of most fans predictions they had them 6-6, 7-5 at best 8-4..with most likely a loss at ND and / or Uconn...but then they procede to go 5-0 and all hope is restored with a QB that is lightning in a bottle...now that the competition is Big 10 the players are faster and bigger than the pre schedule...most fans hope is lost and as usual the pitch forks get sharpened. Get ready for the Free Press to rear its ugly head with the allegations and accusations of a cheating coach and program.
Michigan fans hate to lose..hate to not play defense and hate to not be the best in the country. Understand but this team is far better than last years team then started the same...they are in ball games...they just make too many mistakes and you cant make mistakes with a bad defense.
Go Blue beat Penn St.
...the one I'm most perplexed by is the reticence to play Hopkins more. I don't doubt there something I'm missing that prevent s them from choosing him to run the majority of the interior, off-tackle stuff, but I can't guess what it is.
It will be interesting to see what the UFR shows, I thought Hopkins got more pt in this game than he had in any other this season
We will beat Purdue. That should be 6. We have a good chance at PSU. Illinois was in my win column but now, I'm not so sure. Wisconsin will depend on which Wisconsin team takes the field. But we should take at least one of the remaining 4. That's 7. We get some breaks we get 8. Rich Rod is safe for next year despite the rumblings saying he needs to go. And should we get 8 wins, he's here for at least 2 more.
And despite my utter displeasure at the T/O margin and special teams issues, I still have faith we can have a great second half to this season.
And didn't think we'd be 5-2 at this point. I thought to get there we'd need to be 6-1, because the first half of the schedule was easy. The only reason we can still get there is that Penn State has fallen off the mountaintop into a pit, but though no improvement of our own.
If we outgain the opponent in yardage and turn the ball over less than our opponent, then we win. Even if it is a shootout.
We only did one of the two yesterday.
we have poor special teams Our average starting position was the 23, theirs the 32 (which includes that end of the half punt downed at the 1). That's 9 more yards to go for 12 Michigan drives.
On top of that, we had 30 more yards in penalties and 4 turnovers.
Lose on special teams (kickoffs, kick returns, punts/ returns, and fg kicking, plus penalties, plus 4 turnovers) is the reason we lost. Fix these and the outcome may have been different.