It reads the same, week after week: Michigan looks like they can play with anybody early, then something happens to shake their confidence, then the second half rolls over them, the end.
With all of the mitigating circumstances, it is really no shocker that
this team might have confidence issues. This may be their biggest
problem all year actually, both from a long term and short term view.
Looking from the long view: The first half of the season this team had
the "moxie" required to come back in the face of adversity. Then
something happened to shake their fragile confidence. Fellow poster
Brhino has given light to this: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/michigan-has-gone-rally-team-fall-apart-teamVs. Notre Dame
First Half: M 17, ND 20 (-3)
Second Half: M 21, ND 14 (+7)
Michigan rallies in the second half for the win.
First Half: M 21, IU 23 (-2)
Second Half: M 15, IU 10 (+5)
Michigan rallies in the second half for the win.Vs. Michigan State
First Half: M 6, MSU 10 (-4)
Second Half: M 14, MSU 10 (+4)
Overtime: M 0, MSU 7 (-7)
[Second Half + Overtime]: M 14, MSU 17 (-3)
Michigan rallies to tie at end of regulation, but loses in overtime.Vs. Iowa
First Half: M 14, Iowa 20 (-6)
Second Half: M 14, Iowa 10 (+4)
Michigan rallies in the second half but comes up just short.
The loss to Little Brother in overtime
cracked the armor and the loss at Iowa finished the job The loss to Little Brother in overtime
cracked the armor and the loss at Iowa finished the job. Surely other circumstances like losing Molk had an effect as well, but after the Iowa game this team lost that early season "Moxie" that carried them to improbable comebacks against ND and Indiana. Each game became a microcosm of the season as a whole. Every game Michigan comes out with its swagger back, just to have one swing play kill their confidence again.Against Penn St:
(Drive notes swiped from the Worldwide Leader)3rd and 16 at MICH 2 - Team rush for a loss of 2 yards to the Mich 0 out-of-bounds for a SAFETY.
And then the very next play...1st and 10 at PSU 40 - Daryll Clark pass complete to Andrew Quarless for 60 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
BOOM! Confidence shattered and lying all over the field. Second half implosion ensues.Against Illinois:
|1st and Goal at ILL 1 -||Carlos Brown rush for no gain to the Illin 1.|| || |
|2nd and Goal at ILL 1 -||Carlos Brown rush for no gain to the Illin 1.|| || |
|3rd and Goal at ILL 1 -||Carlos Brown rush for no gain to the Illin 1.|| || |
|4th and Goal at ILL 1 -||Brandon Minor rush for no gain to the Illin 1.|
And the next drive...1st and 10 at ILL 30 - Mikel LeShoure rush for 70 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
BOOM! Confidence shattered and lying all over the field. Second half implosion ensues.Against Illinois:2nd and 10 at MICH 32 - Tate Forcier rush for a loss of 13 yards, fumbled, forced by Brandon King, recovered by Prdue Brandon King at the Mich 19.
And the very next play...1st and 10 at MICH 19 - Ralph Bolden rush for 19 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
BOOM! Confidence shattered and lying all over the field. Second half implosion ensues.
And then there was yesterday's game, which I am sure you all remember just fine thank you. First and goal from the six leads to a blocked FG. Third and long converted against us time after time... Maybe no BOOM! but confidence shattering moments littered throughout leading to a second half implosion.
Maybe this is a manifestation of having a young team. Perhaps having to start walk-ons contributes to this. Some amount of it has to be attributed to coaching, both good and bad. It is admirable that the coaches are able to get this team feeling good enough after each loss to have confidence going into the next game. It is somewhat distressing that the first hint of adversity sends this team over a cliff.FiveThings:
- Am I the only one that was disappointed, to say the least, that we did not use our timeouts on defense during the final minutes of the first half? Instead of having all of our timeouts with 1:09 left we could have easily had two timeouts and two full minutes left. This seemed like terrible clock management.
- The replay officials continue to baffle. It sure looked like conclusive evidence that Clay was not in on the replay of Wisky's last TD of the first half. I am ready to give up replay altogether and just live with bad calls at this point.
- I get that the opposing defense can counter rolling Tate out to throw, but couldn't we try rolling him out anyways? He was awesome on the plays designed to roll him out and once again getting killed in the pocket. Here's to better protection next season.
- Roy Roundtree and Vincent Smith are going to be incredible. Those two put on quite a show yesterday and should hold their heads high.
- Should we be sad for Fat Charlie (no) or for ourselves (yes) if he is fired?
There is not much left of this season. There is sure to be some adversity faced in The Game and there is not much evidence at this point that Michigan can overcome it. Anything can happen in this rivalry, but Michigan looks to be blown out. I, for one, will be screaming at the TV just as hard as ever and hoping against hope for strange things to happen.
Next season is an enigma. Does Michigan have anyone on defense that can fill in and turn this ship around? Can GERG show his worth and get what we have to improve? The offense is going to be really, really good... good enough to beat anyone on the schedule. It is going to be heart wrenching to watch the defense gack up games where we score 40 points, but maybe we can at least make a bowl game. Hopefully this team will be another year older and have found what it really needs to win.
Find a way, any way, and beat them Buckeyes.