I don't know how I missed this Michigan football blog post series, but over at the U-M Alumni Association page, check out the one penned (keyboarded?) by Jim Brandstatter. This week he talks about turnovers, special teams snafus and other mistakes.
If the game proves one thing, it's what I've been saying for quite a while about this team....they cannot afford to turn the ball over and win. It's pretty much the same for everyone who plays this game, but clearly this year for Michigan it is the most important factor in their success or lack of it.
The real disappointment in the comeback was the special teams perfomance. Twice, when they couldn't afford it, Michigan kicked the ball out of bounds on a kick off. The Hawkeyes started with great field position on both occasions, and it seemed to help them gain some momentum, and pull the game back in their favor. When you are fighting back from three TD's down, special teams, offense and defense must all make plays to make it work. In the case on Saturday, the offense and defense held their end up but the special teams, the kicking game in particular didn't not come to the party. The kicking game hurt rather than helped. A missed field goal, and then two kickoffs out of bounds is will cost you, and yet we saw it on Saturday.
Look, this team after seven games is much improved from a year ago. The answer to their troubles is simple. Turnovers, penalties, kicking game snafu's, and defensive missed assignments and tackling have cost them. If they eliminate these things and play a complete game, they'll win. They will be very hard to handle. These things are all correctable. They are not regressing. They are very close. When they get it all right...they will win some of these games, and we won't have to be as frustrated as we are now.
Seems about right to me. You'd think the guy had been following Michigan football for decades or something.