Okay, yesterday was painful. There is no getting around that. Seeing Denard take a little bit of heat, though, I want to point out the following: Vince Young didn't beat Oklahoma until his senior year. And Troy Smith, as a sophomore, wasn't even the full-time starter. It wasn't until the Michigan game, the last of his sophomore year, that he really broke out and established himself. Denard made only his sixth ever start yesterday. To me he looked a little tight. This is understandable in only your sixth start and in a rivalry game.
Yesterday was pretty brutal, but I don't think it's crazy to think about the fact that it would have been a whole different game if Denard's endzone passes to Roundtree, Stonum, and Junior had all been only slightly more accurate. Greg Jones said himself that he thought it would have been a different game if Michigan had scored on its first possession.
As for the defense, are they really any worse than what anyone expected? The "guess the score" post on Friday had almost everyone picking a shootout. We didn't get one only b/c of the mistakes mentioned above.
Everyone remaining victory this year (assuming they happen) is going to be a shootout. This is as most of us thought it would be.
Next year, the defense will be much more experienced. Only Ezeh and Mouton will be gone. Woolfolk will be back. They should be better (not saying much, I grant). I realize this doesn't help this year, but again, who didn't expect every game to be a shootout?
Finally, b/c I can't resist, MSU has still only won 1/3 of their games against Michigan. Let them have their little moment of glory and their "Paul Bunyan lives in East Lansing" sign. Dantonio's demeanor and weird "winner takes all" remark before the game gave me the impression that MSU came into Ann Arbor yesterday expecting to win. He's happened to become coach at MSU just as Michigan is having a uniquely bad run...He's also a good (but not great) coach, I grant...But things will turn around in Ann Arbor. Pride will cometh before the fall for Sparty.