Michigan Monday vs. MSU is up at the Ozone. LINK: http://theozone.net/football/2012/PennState/michiganmonday.html
Tis a very good column. Really, go read the whole thing, especially commentary on Michigan vs. MSU (quoted from below.) Give Gerdeman credit: I haven't read a better description anywhere of the nature of this rivalry.
Big Brother finally rose from the ashes and bested Little Brother with a field goal with five seconds left in the game. Michigan's 12-10 win over the Spartans was ugly from the get go, and to me that's why it was just about perfect.
Michigan State and Michigan are supposed to brawl. Everything has to be next to impossible, or else it's just not right. Of my four favorite college football rivalries, Michigan is involved in three of them. [EDIT: what??? Michigan is 3 of your 4 fave rivalries, and you're an Ohio fan? what's up with that??] I love this rivalry because there is such a level of hate that respect can't permeate.
There is something to be said for the kind of hate that eats out your gut and invades your sleep. Mark Dantonio has it for Michigan. Dantonio lost, and there is no team that he would less want to lose to. It's that Little Brother Syndrome which has spiked this rivalry since Dantonio's arrival. He hates Michigan, and has done so long before he was ever the Spartans' head coach.
When it came down to it in this game, he had Michigan State playing as well as they could have expected to, and the Wolverines still came away with the win in a game where they never even reached the endzone. There's beating your rival, and then there's trolling them. On Saturday, Sparty got trolled.
Some bullets from the offense:
- Spartie did a great job vs. Robinson forcing him downfield . . . with the exception of Dileo.
- Speaking of Dileo, he was an excellent security blanket, and should be looked at more the rest of the season.
- Again, why isn't Gallon targeted more? The throwback screen is so effective, but was only called once.
- Dileo & Gallon, 2 little RR holdovers, are the best playmakers in passing game.
- Funchess reminds Gerdeman of Kellen Winslow. [EDIT: we should be so fortunate! May it be so.]
- Denard has issues with passes being batted down at the line, and also with linebackers (like Bullough) in the passing game.
- Other than his 38 yard run, Toussaint had 14 yds in 9 carries, along with 3 yds in 2 receptions. Not good.
Michigan on defense:
- Bell is one of the most tackleable players in the country. Elusive, Bell is not.
- MSU did a very good job of attacking downfield, but Maxwell just couldn't quite hit open receivers.
- Floyd is vulnerable, beaten deep twice, with 2 TD's if Maxwell was more accurate.
- Raymon is doing a very good job & getting better.
- Eventually, Michigan's secondary will get burned with the lack of a good pass rush.
- The DL only has 4 sacks this season, which won't cut it. Ryan can't do everything.
- If Nebraska, NW, & Ohio complete half their deep passes, Michigan's in trouble. If not, Michigan wins out.
- When your best offensive play is a fake, you're probably going to lose.
- Kicking game was stellar from field goals to punting.
- With Gallon returning the ball 26 yards, why doesn't he touch the ball more?
- Michigan found a way to win against a team with a pulse when things didn't look good.
- The point of Michigan's lack of TD's is this: the key to stopping Denard is to make him one-dimensional. No one remaining will attack defensively like MSU, but if Denard's big plays can be minimized, Michigan's scoring will go way down.
- Defensively, the game against Nebraska is key, because Michigan hasn't faced this good of an offense. If Michigan can rough up Nebraska, "then it's time to declare Greg Mattison a witch and have him tried."
- If Michigan beats Nebraska, put them in the Big 10 Championship game.
This was Gerdeman's best "Michigan Monday" of the season, imhe. Again, go to the link and read the whole thing if you want more analysis. My props to the Ozone for some of the best Michigan coverage out there.