It feels great, this inner calm that envelops me this fine Sunday morning. Yesterday's was a game that brings hope that all things are possible for the Wolverines in 2009. There will still be pitfalls for our guys but the fear of last year repeating itself is all but totally washed away. I was left wishing there could have been a 3rd half somehow, that we could have seen just a few more Tate-led drives to further soothe the soul. What we witnessed was just a teaser after all and next week we will really see how we stack up.Five Things:
- Our chances for a New Year's Day bowl rest on the health of Mr. Forcier. He was everything this offense needs at QB and really lit the fire under this offense. None of the other quarterback options looked ready to lead this team IME. Robinson looked great with his feet and roped a couple of short passes well, but he looked tentative late in the game and doesn't keep his eyes downfield when on the run. Sheridan and The Coner were abysmal, as was expected I think. I do think that RR was right in testing every option in the second half. It only further demonstrated that we have a clear #1 though.
- Our defensive starters are pretty darn good. The defensive line got great pressure on the Western QB and when our starting D-Backs were in Michigan was very effective in stopping a potent passing attack. JT Floyd demonstrated what kind of dropoff there is when starters are pulled. Donovan Warren looks much happier but needs to focus his energies better. I was impressed with the gameplan, even when we were playing off of the receivers and giving up short dink-and-dunk passes. While frustrating, this style was completely appropriate for the situation: big lead, only way to lose was to allow big plays. I didn't even really notice our safties which is probably a good sign.
- I can't really tell from this game how good our O-Line really is. I do think it is safe to say that they have picked up nicely from where they left off last season. When every single running back that touches the ball is impressive, that speaks volumes to the play of the linemen. Of course I do think that our backs were solid as well. I was especially impressed with V.Smith running hard through defenders for tough extra yards.
- The fundamentals were there. Great tackling, route running, downfield blocking, coverage by linebackers, not fumbling punts... What A RELIEF! I am very up on GERG and the rest of the coaching staff. This was a well prepared team despite all of the possible distractions.
- Zoltan Mesko really is from Space. And he wants every football here on Earth to eventually be there for him when he returns.
Every game on the schedule looks winnable now. This doesn't mean that I expect to win every game, but 8 wins sure looks doable. We need the kind of coverage we saw early in this game against ND and we need the D-Line to murder Jimmah! as a result. I love how vanilla our offense was in the second half against Western and expect that RR has many more tricks up his sleeve for Fatty Weis and Co. Add Wisky and Illinois to the probable wins, they looked terrible. Oh, and Iowa too for that matter.
I hope that everyone was able to enjoy this game and that everyone made it home safe and sound. Have a great week.