As typically happens after a big loss, many people now think Michigan is a poor, talent deficient football team that will struggle mightily all year. But when you go inside the Bama "domination" you see a familiar story that just had a different ending because the casting director replaced Glass Joe with Clubber Lang.
Last night we trailed Alabama by 20 points entering the 4th quarter. Against eventual 8-5 team Notre Dame last year, in a game played at home before a wild crowd, we trailed by 17 entering the 4th quarter. Bama killed us on the ground for 5.5 ypc. ND posted 6 ypc. Returning national champion AJ McCarron completed 52% of his passes for 199 yards, with 51 of those yards coming on a play where the DB slipped and fell. No-longer-starter Tommy Rees burned last year's D to the tune of 69% completions, 315 yards, and 3 TD. On the whole, ND churned out 28 first downs and 513 yards at 7.1 per play. Bama posted 6.8 per play for 20 first downs and 431 yards. In both games Fitz didn't play. Against Bama his replacements picked up a meager 48 yards on the ground. Against ND they picked up just 10.
So let's keep things in perspective. Bama didn't help us out by fumbling twice without being touched by a defender (Bama turned it over one time at the end of the half to ND's 5) and the Denard magic never got going thanks to an overturned 4th down conversion. We didn't play our best and Bama didn't make any mistakes to help us out. But the fact is we looked a lot better against a far superior opponent. If we play up to our ability the rest of the year things look really good.