Observations on the loss to USC,
1-USC creates 4 red zones, 3 in
the 2nd half, for 20 points plus 2 big play TDs for their total
of 32. Michigan doesn't create a red zone for the first 3 quarter;
then, creates one 4th quarter red zone for 8 points. USC gets
7 points off one Michigan turnover while Michigan does nothing
with one Trojan turnover. Trojan defense blitzes Michigan into
6 sacks, one turnover and forces 6 punts while holding the Wolverines
to 12 net yards rushing and 321 yards in total offense in 68 plays.
We got most of the second half yardage after USC went three scores
up, and went to a prevent scheme rather than a blitzing scheme.
2-Henne was 26 of 41 for 309, 2
TDs and one costly pick to Lawrence Jackson early in the 2nd half
with the score tied 3-3. Breaston had 8 catches for 115 yards
a late TD with one minute to go. Manningham and Ecker had 6 catches
each for 79 and 78 yards, and Arrington had 4 catches for 34 yards
and a TD. We had 19 first downs and were 7 of 16 in 3rd and 4th
3-The rushing game was non-existent
due to a stalwart Trojan defensive performance! Hart had 47 yards
in 17 carries and a 2 point conversion. Minor had 2 carries for
3 yards. Cushing led their defense with 7 tackles, 3 for loss
including 2 sacks and a forced fumble on Henne. Rivers had 9 tackles
and Ellis had 7 tackles, two for loss including one sack. Carroll
had them well prepared, and he is one outstanding coach.
4-The Trojans outplayed and outhustled
us on special teams holding Breaston to 52 yards in 4 kickoff
returns, and no punt returns. Their place kicker missed two extra
points, but they weren't needed; Danelo did make two field goals.
Buehler had 7 kickoffs and 3 touchbacks. There was no time of
possession or penalty advantage.
5-Booty was 27 of 45 for 391 yards
and 4 TDs with no picks. Jarrett caught 11 for 205 yards, and
2 TDS; he was obviously the player of the game. Smith caught 7
passes for 108 yards and 1 TD. Trent and Hall couldn't stay with
them for four quarters, and our safeties showed again our weak
link. Barringer and Adams do not play as if they are experienced
players. Engelmon and Mundy didn't play at all, but they didn't
play well in the Ohio State game and possibly they were injured.
USC was 8 of 16 in 3rd and 4th down conversions; they didn't
establish a running game, but didn't need to as they passed at
will. USC ended up with 21 first downs and 439 yards in total
Harris and Trent had 7 tackles each,
Barringer secured 6 tackles, Hall and Crable came up with 4 each.
Burgess only had 2 tackles and Chris Graham had none from the
WILL position. Branch thinks he can make it in the NFL, but he
only came up with 2 tackles, none in the second half. Woodley
did get a sack, but late in the 4th quarter with the game already
decided. It was a disappointing defensive effort to say the least!
6-I think I can speak for every
Michigan fan when I say that we are all thoroughly disappointed
by the effort of this team and the coaching staff in the second
half. We were outplayed, outhustled and certainly outcoached.
Our coaches didn't help our team with halftime adjustments, and
our game plan offensively was utterly ridiculous. Coach Carroll
and his staff knew exactly what we were going to do, and they
predicted and adjusted to our uncreative, unimaginative offensive
game plan and play calls. They prepared to stop our zone blocking
scheme and Michael Hart, and they were determined to blitz us
on every down that passing was a possibility. They succeeded in
their game plan, their game adjustment and they took the "wind
out of our sails" with their second half execution of big
plays on both sides of the ball.
7-I am happy now that we didn't
replay Ohio State in the BCS game; I think they would have beat
us again based on the performance today and probably by a larger
score. Our defense finishes the season by giving up 41 and 32
points in the final two games, methinks they have some work to
do in the Spring. We really need to come up with better safety
and linebacker play.
I see our starting line-up next
year on defense as: Jamison and Brandon Graham at the ends, Taylor
and Branch or McKinney at the tackles, Panter, Crable and Chris
Graham at linebacker with Trent and hopefully Ron Johnson at the
corners, Adams, Mouton and Stevie Brown, Engelmon and Harrison
fighting for playing time at safety. I also see Laterryal Savoy
and Charles Stewart moving to safety in the Spring. Perhaps Finch
can contribute as a frosh.
On offense, Henne, Hart and Minor
are the backfield with Arrington, Manningham and Butler at the
receivers. Our offensive line will be Long, Kraus, Mitchell, Boren
and Schilling in some configuration. I think frosh Hemingway,
Clemons, Maze and Webb will all get a chance to contribute at
receiver and on special teams.
Observations on the first half of the
Rose Bowl, 3-3!
1-USC has one red zone for 3 points,
and Michigan's offense creates zero red zones; however, the Wolverines
drive for a field goal to tie the score. Michigan creates one
turnover for zero points while USC forces Michigan to punt 4 times
with 5 first half sacks.
2-Henne is 8 of 12 for 85 yards,
Breaston has 3 catches for 42 yards and Manningham has 2 for 30
yards. Ecker, Butler and Hart also have catches. We have 6 first
downs and are 3 of 7 in 3rd down conversions. We hold a one minute
time of possession advantage.
3-The rushing game is non-existent!!!
Hart has 21 yards in 9 carries and after 5 sacks on Henne, we
have a net rushing total of -9 yards in the first half. Minor
has 2 carries for 3 yards. We have 28 offensive plays for 76 yards;
they have 29 offensive plays for 122 yards.
4-They are really coming after Mesko,
and have almost blocked two punts; he has a 43.5 average in 4
attempts. Breaston has one kickoff return for 17 yards, and no
punt returns. Rivas hits his 43 yarder and a 61 yard kickoff that
was returned for 28 yards. No penalties called in this clean,
5-Booty is 10 of 16 for 102 yards
with 6 completions to Jarrett for 58 yards. Gable has only 19
yards on 10 carries so we are doing a good job containing their
offense; they have 8 first downs and are 4 of 7 in 3rd down conversions.
Harris has 6 tackles to lead the defense, Trent has 4 and Crable
3 with a forced fumble. Branch has a tackle and a fumble recovery,
and Barringer has 2 tackles and a nice pass break up on a bomb
6-USC starts the second half on
offense, and our defense must continue to put the kibosh on the
Trojans! We must find a way to get the offense going, and that
may include a defensive score. We must find a way to protect Henne,
and Henne must exploit their blitzes by reading them and hitting
the open zone the defender has left open. I'm sure they have seen
this and practiced it.
7-This game is ours to win, but
we must win it by outplaying them. They have a great strategy
in stopping our run, blitzing us into mistakes and we must adjust.
Rose Bowl Preview: Michigan vs.
Although Michigan is the higher
ranked team, USC seems to be the predicted winner by most experts
and has the betting line down to even money. Why? The Rose Bowl
is practically a home game for them and they have an advantage
of five wins in nine games over Michigan and have won the Rose
Bowl 21 of 30 attempts. Michigan's Rose Bowl Record is 8 wins
in 19 attempts. Previous games have shown USC wins in 2004, 28-14,
17-10 in 1990, 17-10 in 1979, 14-6 in 1977, 10-3 in 1970; Michigan
wins in 1989 by 22-14, 20-19 in 1958, 16-6 in 1957 and 49-0 in
1948. History and home field advantage may play a part in this
game, but the team who executes the best and is the hungriest
for the win with sustained effort over four quarters will prevail.
On offense, USC has a clear advantage! Their passing offense averages
over 250 yards per game, and Pete
Carroll is arguably the best coach in NCAA football. Their
scoring offense is ranked 19th nationally averaging over 30 points
per game. 1st team All-Conference Quarterback, Josh
Booty, averages over 240 yards per game in total offense and
has thrown 25 TDs with 9 picks for a +16, and his favorite targets
Smith and Dwayne
Jarrett. The twosome average 11 receptions and 155 yards per
game with 18 TDs. Smith was the team's MVP in 2006. Patrick
Turner is their 3rd receiver. Michigan's cornerbacks, All-American
Leon Hall and Morgan Trent will be hard-pressed to contain them,
but USC doesn't have the depth that Ohio State showed with their
USC's offensive line is rugged!
They protect Booty while allowing 18 sacks on the season, and
provide power to support three running backs, C.J.
Washington and Emmanuel
Moody; Gable and Moody are true freshmen. USC is ranked 57th
in rushing offense with 134 yards per game with Washington running
for 9 TDs, Gable 4 TDs and Moody has 2 TDs. The "kiss of
death" in this game would be for us to let USC establish
a running game. I don't think any of their runners bolt for 50
yard TDs as we saw in the Ohio State game. Their offensive line
is led by tackles, Sam
Baker and Kyle
Williams plus center, Ryan
Khalil who was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy. Jarrett
and Baker were voted 1st team All-Americans; the other two starters
Radovich and Chilo
Rachal. The tight end is Toledo's Fred
Davis, and he has 35 receptions on the season which is similar
to Michigan's tight end production; also, their fullback is used
similar to Michigan's scheme of H-Back with Oluigbo, and their
fullback is Thomas
Williams. UCLA was able to force two sacks, one turnover,
7 punts, 14 first downs, thwarting one of two USC red zone opportunities
and holding them to 6 of 17 in 3rd down conversions, zero second
half points and 55 yards in net rushing in winning the Gauntlet
Trophy on December 2nd. Michigan's #1 ranked defense will have
to come up with an outstanding effort like the Bruins; they'll
have to force turnovers and sacks on Booty. Senior All-Americans,
Woodley, Hall and Harris, will have to come up big on New Year's
On defense, Michigan will have a tough time moving the ball against
a solid Trojan team that is led by linebackers, Keith
Maualuga and Dallas
Sartz. They are big, fast and active threatening the blitz
in every passing situation. Rivers leads the team with 3 forced
fumbles. The pass rush features ends, Brian
Cushing and Lawrence
Jackson, and tackles, Sedrick
Ellis and Chris
Barrett; the team has 34 sacks and 37 tackles for loss for
the season. Sartz and Jackson are their two leaders in sacks and
tackles for loss. Rivers, Maualuga and Ellis were named 1st Team
All Conference. If Henne does find the time to throw, USC has
great covers in corners, Terrell
Thomas and Cary
Harris. Thomas has 12 pass break ups and 2 picks this year.
Mays and Kevin
Ellison are very athletic and as big as most team's linebackers.
Mays leads the team with 3 picks, and was one of three players
chosen as Conference Freshmen of the Year. Our receivers, Breaston,
Arrington and Manningham will have to play their best game in
getting open and making big plays. Hopefully, we can even find
out tight ends: Ecker, Butler and Massey for some key first down
throws. The Trojan pass efficiency defense only allows 108 yards
per game which ranks them 19th nationally Mike Hart will also
have a tough time getting started against a Trojan defense that
is ranked 19th in the nation against the run allowing only 97
yards per game. The USC defense allows only 15 points per game
ranking them 13th nationally, and they are ranked 20th in total
defense; they were ranked first in their conference in most important
defensive categories. We will need to create time of possession
advantage by holding the ball while keeping the ball away from
Special Teams: Steve Breaston had a huge Rose Bowl in 2005 against
Texas with a record 315 all-purpose yards, and he may need to
have another big game on Monday. USC is ranked 96th in punt returns
and 75th in net punting, but is ranked 18th nationally in kickoff
returns with Gamble as their deep man. Desmond
Reed returns punts and kickoffs. Their field goal kicker,
Danelo, has made 11 of 12 with his longest being 43 yards;
he has made 83 of 86 point after touchdown conversions. Greg
Woidnek average 38.6 yards per punt. Troy
Van Blarcom kicks off and has 37 touchbacks in 69 kicks so
Breaston may have a chance to return some. Breaston, Mesko and
Rivas should give us an edge in this area, and hopefully this
will lead us to field position advantage.
USC has won three 4th quarter games
with Washington, Washington State and California while losing
to UCLA and Oregon State on the road in games decided in the 4th
quarter. I think this game will come down to who plays the best
in the 4th quarter, too. I think this game will be 14 to 10 Michigan
at half, and we convert three red zones plus one big play into
points while holding USC to 13 points in three red zone attempts
for the win. I think Michigan wants to win this game more, and
has more to prove after the Ohio State loss and poll votes.
Michigan 24 USC 13
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