Their record definitely does not show the talent level of this team. Once everyone gets comfortable with the schemes and gets more experienced this problems should basically disappear, IMO.
The strange thing about this year's team
Michigan has lost 5 of its last 6, but it has held a 2nd half lead in every game. I think this is both remarkable and telling.
It is not that our players and schemes are not good enough, or even as simple as us lacking consistency (if that was the case we would think we'd sometimes be down 20 at the half and then lose by 7). While our talent has some notable holes and our youth makes us up and down, there is something else going on, perhaps also having to do with youth.
We fade when the momentum swings big quickly. This happened at Penn State; it happened with Michigan State and with Illinois. We came out strong, looked better, gave up some big plays and then slinked away. I don't think that our guys quit or stop playing hard, necessarily, but the discouragement does seem to make them tight. It seems to make them doubt that they were really supposed to win. Minnesota is the standout game, we continued to play well because that huge swing never happened. It looked like it might until the Trent interception, but it never did. We pitched a perfect game. Unfortunately, we may be so fragile right now that that is what it takes.
It would be hard for anyone to like Kirk Herbstreit less than I do, but I think he was right when he predicted that Notre Dame would be defining for this team. That game was a perfect storm of bad luck, bad calls, and bad weather that magnified early mistakes and blunted a valiant response. In that game we did not pack it in even after a rapid three touchdown deficit. We clawed back and made some progress.
But in hindsight the ND game seemed to fatally scar our psyche. When Illinois started landing big-punches on us it was like the bad dreams came back. Long passes, missed tackles; here we go again. And since that Illinois collapse it has become a recurring theme. When we give up the huge plays we wither. This is generally true of college teams, but I have never seen it be more true than with 2008 Michigan. We are too young and unconvinced to weather the discouragement and embarrassment of the big plays. It cues a whole host of already-experienced moments that haunt this team. They keep fighting, but they lose their nerve. We throw to the other team, give up the next big play, etc. It is truly heartbreaking to watch.
But I think this is a reason to be slightly more hopeful regarding the future. This is not a typical 3 win team that is down 1 touchdown after the first quarter, down 17 points at the half, and never really challenges. We're close. Call me crazy, but I think that if the 2008 team had never acquired this wounded psychology it could have won at least 7 games--even with the deficiencies at QB and safety.
We are a team of haunted freshman. But a good start out of the gate next season and we will be watching swaggering sophomores. That is what I am looking to. Not sure what else to ponder...
....i had never looked at the big momentum swing angle until this.
Otherwise, I chalked it up to a lot of freshmen and first time starters who just hah a hard time maintaining the proper pace during a game.
Sometimes we just run out of gas. And, we struggle coming out of the lockerroom because its hard to be sky high, then calm down in the lockerroon, then get sky high again.....none of them are really used to that at this level of play.
But, you're right....we've had the lead in everygame in the second half since Wisco.....at some point, I figured that would manifest itself into some wins....maybe Saturday?
We're talented, for sure, its just not cultivated yet, but they're learning.
im new to the blogging world. just popping in 2 say GO Blue
OSU is going to go through UM like that L.A. fire did through the mobile homes. It's not going to be pretty. We will just have to wait until UM has a solid O and D to have a chance against the SUCKNUTS.
Every Suckeye fan around talks about how crappy we are. And I tell them all the same. I have noticed that almost every game except for the ND game (and Wisconsin), that we have come out the gates strong. Up early against all the big teams and stupid TO's give the opposing team every opp. to get back in the game. If NW didn't get the TO's we would have beat them too. It would be nice to do the same to tUOS and not lose the lead. Our defense can actually stand strong if it's not on the field all day. AND TERRELLE PRYOR SAYS HE WON'T LOSE THE GAME FOR THE SENIORS! THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GUARANTEE...This is still the biggest rivalry for a reason. Hopefully we will see what we saw against MINNESOTA!
Thank you, man. I was starting to think I'm the only Wolv left in the world who still gives us a chance
What about our limited skill set? We earn a first half lead because we execute on a limited number of plays. Other constraints (QB issues, number of underclassmen, &c.) keep us from doing much different in the second half. The other team then adjusts and we are thwarted.
if you want to call it that, in this year has been as you mentioned - UM has been competitive and in every game heading into the 4th quarter. 3-9 is still disappointing but I take some solace in the fact that UM has been in every game. I'd probably feel a lot differently if there were a handful of games where UM was getting blow out early and not coming back. However, like you said, often times UM gets the early lead, the opponent comes back and UM hangs in there only to seemingly run out of gas in the 4th.