Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oy, Gevalt

Okay, there’s not much to say…but I’ll try anyway.  I categorically refuse to say “we lost because xyz,” because this was clearly a team loss.  Everyone (save Mike Hart) did something that helped us lose.  So.  Bullets:

  • First of all, that’s a really good football team.  They played smart, relatively mistake-free football, saw our weaknesses and capitalized on them.
  • And more importantly, they’ve been pointing at this game for eight months.  We, on the other hand, have been pointing at Oregon and Notre Dame for eight months.  I would guess that even this past week was spent preparing for those guys and that App State only got a cursory focus.  You can say that’s the fault of Lloyd Carr, or Mike Debord, and I won’t necessarily disagree any more than to say overlooking them was a completely, 100% natural thing to do – I’m not a player (obviously), but I didn’t think this was necessarily worth worrying about, either.  And if this was a problem of preparation, I guarantee you we prepared for this one the same way that Ohio State prepared for Youngstown State, or that Penn State prepared for whatever cupcake they had. 
  • I guess you could say that it’s an example of Michigan arrogance – we decided if we had to schedule a cupcake, we couldn’t quite go all the way – we still had to schedule a GOOD cupcake.  On second thought, never mind that one…I don’t even know what the hell that means.
  • Henne…oh, Chad.  He still can’t throw on the move, even when it’s a designed rollout.  He really only threw one good deep ball all day.  He had too much gas on the short balls, and he threw into coverage too often.  He did throw some breathtaking midlevel balls – released just before the receiver broke out of his pattern, hit them right in the numbers.  When he’s throwing in rhythm, he’s really, really, REALLY good.
  • And seriously – Mike fucking Massey?  You’ve got the best group of wideouts in the country – why the hell did Mike Massey get thrown to eight times?  Look – I like Mike Massey, I really do, and I thought his brother got way, way too much blame for a placid defense when he was here.  But you’re down and you need to make plays.  Mike Massey isn’t the guy to make them for you.
  • Is there anything Mike Hart can’t do?  I saw a stat – when he was in, we outscored them 26-6.  When he was out, they outscored us 28-6.   I still think Brandon Minor will be a good player – but man, are we going to miss Mike Hart.
  • Ron English looked a lot more genius-ey with Branch / Woodley / Harris / Hall, didn’t he?  Here’s a question – we were getting shredded, just running around aimlessly out there – did we substitute defensively at all?  Donovan Warren played a bit, and I think Ferrara came in even after Taylor came back from his injury, and Ezeh and Thompson alternated a bit, but I think that was it.  Brandon Graham didn’t make a play all day, but Patterson and Banks never got on the field…Patterson is really egregious – we burned his redshirt last season, and he’s not ready to play yet?  W.T.F.?  In any case – you’re defending a team that’s running all over the place – you desperately need fresh legs out there.  Let’s see what these guys can do.
  • I think there were only two freshmen who burned redshirts on special teams – Woolfolk and Vince Hellmuth – both of whom can be expected to get meaningful snaps as the season goes on.  Hellmuth may have played some fullback, but I’m not sure.
  • Placekicking – I know everyone’s going to be freaking out about how we missed two critical field goals and we need a new kicker, but I’m willing to wait and see on that.  I didn’t catch how the first got blocked, but the second was all on Crable.  He blocked outside when he had someone inside, and the one he let through smothered it.
  • Lastly – I was there (Camilla’s son is a trombone in the marching band), and I’m convinced – we have the worst, most fair-weather fans in the world.  If we ever slip to 5-7, 7-5 level, that stadium will be half empty…the constant carping, complaining, screaming about how Lloyd is the worst coach in the world and that we should go undefeated with this talent, and how we should get the baseball team out on the field because they’d probably be better than these guys, blah blah blah…I honestly can’t stand being around most of us.

 

As to what this means for the rest of the season – Call me a Pollyanna, but I still think we’ll win the Big Ten.  This was such an oddity, such an outlier…App State ran an extremely unconventional offense, even more so than Oregon and Purdue…teams won’t run on us, and I think our pass rush will be very good.  We won’t face anyone like them for a long, long time.

 

And as to what this means to Lloyd Carr – again, sometimes I’m ashamed to be a michigan fan.  If this was to be his last season (pointless internet speculation alert!), our “fans” are going to make it a completely miserable experience for him no matter what happens the rest of the way.  Yes, this one falls squarely in the “games we lost but shouldn’t have” category, along with a couple Notre Dames, an Oregon, a bowl game or two, a Northwestern, a couple Ohio States, etc.  But the man has earned a better swan song than this – whether you think this was his fault or not.

 

Oregon’s up next.  I like our chances.

1 comment:

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