What positives can we take away from the Alabama game?

Submitted by UMgradMSUdad on September 1st, 2012 at 11:39 PM

The game was not pretty; it was a beat down.  I do, however, see some areas for hope.

Dennis Norfleet looks to be an emerging star on kick off returns.

The team fought to the end.  

We got this loss in our first game, and it's the most talented team on our schedule.

Any other positives you can think of?




September 1st, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

We won't play a team anywhere near that good again this year.  That's the first and most positive thing.

Norfleet looked dangerous, against less talented teams I bet he breaks one.

Fitz is back next week.

Hopefully we will have excised EvilBorgeous for a while.

snarling wolverine

September 1st, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

Gallon and Gardner showed some ability to get separation downfield.  Gallon was terrific, making plays on the ball when he had the chance and picking up YAC.  Gardner is still raw - he needs to get better at adjusting to the ball - but that TD should give him confidence.





September 1st, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

Screen passes!

Denard to Devin!

Sporadic DL pressure on a veteran OL!

An epic beatdown every now and then is good for you.

Bad: Countess injured, Lewan injured, Denard injured(?)


September 1st, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

and work on getting better instead of cruising into the conference schedule riding high and getting brought back down to earth then.


September 1st, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

The run blocking was terrible, Robinson threw two horrible interceptions, the run defense is going to be a problem all year, and the tackling looked like Eastern on a really bad day, but there were some positives:

1. The pass rush was good.

2. Gallon

3. Robinson stepped into his deep throws instead of arm-punting them off his back foot.

4. Hagerup




September 1st, 2012 at 11:58 PM ^

We didn't miss much by not getting Dee Hart?

EDIT:   ....and I don't have to change my signature line to read, "I am a douchey, negative Nancy."


September 1st, 2012 at 11:53 PM ^

Maybe someone needs to bring me to reality, but I'm not really worried about Big Ten play.  I think we can win the division and then the championship game.  This outcome didn't change my stance.  Maybe because I completely expected this to happen, so it doesn't bother me.  

One thing though, I'm thinking that we have a realistic shot at winning the B1G still, but I'm sitting here watching this Oregon game... oh boy, that wouldn't be fun.


September 1st, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

1. We stayed injury free. No one of importance got hurt.

2. Denard looked pretty impressive - leaps and bounds better than last year.  And even when he got hurt or didn't play, the backups stepped up and performed quite adequetly.

3. Run game impressed. Even without Fitz, we were able to run all over the field.  I was really impressed by Rawls and Smith.

4. CBs - Played some lock down coverage all day.

5. Our offensive line gave Denard awesome time. And opened up massive holes for the RBs. And like 0 OL penalities - so that was pretty good.

6. Our front 7 was able to shut down those Alabama RBs.



September 1st, 2012 at 11:55 PM ^

As said above, Dennis Norfleet looked pretty good. I also think DG will be a good wide receiver long term for us, and maybe we'll remember that Denard has to be able to run sometimes.


I'm reminded of our losses last year to Iowa and MSU. We didn't really deserve to win either game, and we didn't. If we had, we would have won our division, and gone on to get destroyed by Wisconsin in the B1G title game. That would have been much larger national exposure/much worse for us than a couple midseason losses. We then went on to a better bowl game because of it.


I recall reading here that this game was schedule shortly after Hoke took over, and while it's good to schedule the best, it's an issue of timing. If this had happened later this year, or a year or two from now, the team might have gelled more, and/or more of Hoke's guys would be in, we would be deeper, bigger, etc. This was a bad loss, however, it's only the conference games that determine if we go to the Rose Bowl or not, so we have a chance for a good season, but it lets us know that we're not ready for an NC yet.


September 1st, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

1)  Jimmies and MF'in Joes, man.  That was an NFL roster just waiting to be drafted.  Nobody else on our schedule will be even remotely as talented.

2)  This has no impact on whether or not we win the B1G (unless Lewan, Countess, etc. are out for extended periods of time).

Wolverine Devotee

September 1st, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

  • Denard coming back out of the tunnel, refusing to rest up when the game was out of reach and keep fighting until the end brought a tear to my eye I will admit. I love this kid, he's a warrior. He deserves his status as team captain.
  • Devin Gardner burning an alabama DB for a TD really interested me
  • Dennis Norfleet is bound to return a kickoff for a TD this season, no doubt
  • Will Campbell has really improved
  • Let's all pray Countess and Moore are okay.
  • Can't wait to see Toussaint and Clark next week. I hope Toussaint runs like a madman.

Michigan is a really good team that played a really great team tonight. They were one of a few teams in the country to actually have some balls and schedule a big opener, against an SEC team, that happened to be a national power.

They didn't take the easy route and schedule savannah state, miami university, north texas etc. I commend them for this.



September 2nd, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

Gallon - looked the best of the bunch. He caught four passes. I believe 2 of those were bubble screens. So he caught 2 actual passes. No other wide reciever on the team did anything. Gardner caught a pass...after his CB fell down. Roundtree had 2 short ones in garbage time. Dileo had one impressive grad, but that's all he contributed. Jackson/Robinson were non-existent. The WRs looked really weak to me.


September 2nd, 2012 at 12:12 AM ^

Gallon looks really good.  Roundtree is good, just don't know why he doesn't seem to be involved.  Gardner looks like he can be a beast.  I feel like some of his routes were pretty bad,  specifically two times early in the game where it looked like Denard threw an inaccurate pass, but I thinkg Gardner just didn't complete his route/get to the open space.  We'll see in the ufr I gues


September 2nd, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

He wasn't targetted until the last 5 minutes of the game. And he's supposed to be our #1 WR. It's looking like this year is going to be a repreat of his 19 reption season last year.  Gardner had a chance to bring a couple more receptions in. And the one he did catch - well, no one was within 10 yards of him. He sure looks the part, with his speed and height, but he proved nothing to me in this game. We'll get a better feel for the WRs once Denard learns(?) to throw the ball in their direction.


September 2nd, 2012 at 12:00 AM ^

Gallon is good.

Norfleet was good/very good in the return game and our punter was very good at times but out kicked his coverage.

The DLine played good against the best OLine in the country. Roh was disappointing but the rest played well. I know others will disagree but we had pressure and couldn't tackle.

Lastly, This is the best team we will play.


September 2nd, 2012 at 4:36 AM ^

We can all settle down now and let the team grow.  Don't forget, they are only a season out from being rolled just as badly by teams like Wisconsin and Ohio State.

We're not there yet.  We can stop talking about it and focus on improvement and recruiting.  Lightning struck last year, we were very lucky to go 11-2.  But the next realistic step for this team is not 13-0.   It's steady improvement and depth.



September 2nd, 2012 at 12:02 AM ^

1. Norfleet looks good

2. James Ross looks good...I feel like he will replace Demens at some point

3. Pipkins looks good and will replace Washington at some point

4. Gardner looks good and will look even more so against non 6'1" 200lbs DBs

My question: Why is that we seemed to get knocked back on both sides of the ball.  My first instinct is to say they are bigger, but I don't think thats always the case.  In one instance in particular I remember their DB Sunsari #3 had a collision with Rawls and decleated Rawls.  When their DBs are decleating our bruising/physical RB that is not good, but I digress.


September 2nd, 2012 at 12:08 AM ^

That was one of my major takeaways from the game today. Coach Hoke talks about playing physical and Rawls running angry. He go blown up by that safty (#3 I think) whom it out weighed by at least 20 lbs. One of many times where we didn't play or look physical. Not good in the long run.