Observations on the gift win at
1-I'm so glad that Brett Bell made
the decision to go to Wisconsin. What a colossal mistake! In his
defense, it could've happened to anyone, but it was a coaching
error to even send back blockers on that punt. Sometimes, it's
better to be lucky rather than good! We certainly weren't good
2-Navarre looked terrible. He has
zero mobility! He is easy to read for a defender, and he does
a lousy job reading defenses and adjusting. In his defense, Walker
has dropped a few sure catches. Walker did not exactly having
a banner game except for the blocked punt. Navarre finished 11
of 24 for 58 yards and one pick plus one touchdown catch. We were
5 of 16 on 3rd down conversions and had only 12 first downs. We
had 164 yards in 64 plays, and Wisconsin had 7 minutes more in
time of possession because of our ridiculous offense led by an
3-Our defense and special teams
won the game with 2 blocked punts and 13 points scored. For those
Michigan football "fans" who continue to rip on Jim
Herrmann, I hope you noticed that his defensive calls and schemes
not only kept us in the game, but eventually won the game for
us. Unfortunately, it looks like LeSueur and Jackson were both
injured in the game and we are already extremely thin and weak
in the backfield. Our defense need one more blocked punt to tie
a team record from 1950; today, Illinois scored first on Ohio
State with a blocked punt.
4-Wisconsin is probably the 10th
worst team in the league and we kept them in the game because
of our poor offense. Sound familiar? Washington and Michigan State
beat us because of our offensive inability to move the ball, maintain
possession, score, etc. Wisconsin will play Minnesota next week
for the honor of the worst team in the league; how can we be ranked
11th and be considered for a BCS bowl when we keep cellar dwellers
in the game? I guess it is because all the other teams also have
similar problems; nobody is invincible. The Big Ten is really
a weak conference this year; did you see where Bowling Green beat
Northwestern? There are at least 3 teams in the PAC-10 better
than either Michigan or Illinois (Oregon, UCLA, Washington) and
possibly 5 teams (Stanford and Washington State)! There are 6
teams who could finish 4-4 in the conference this year: Ohio State,
Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
5-I can't believe we aren't recruiting
a kicker. Epstein never consistently hits field goals, and I don't
think we have any walk-ons (Brabbs) who can give us a game-winning
effort. Epstein did win this game with the field goal, but his
punting really tailed off in the second half. He finished with
a 36 yard average on 8 punts after having a 45 yard average on
2 first half punts.
6-Our defense did a nice job on
holding Evans to 3 catches, but Davis had 103 yards rushing on
27 carries. Ohio State is going to run Wells down our throats
7-Our rushing effort was typical,
just over 100 yards (105 to be exact). We simply can't rush against
the good defenses, and Ohio State will show again how pathetic
our rushing game is next week. Askew had 58 yards and Perry had
53. The only team we could gain over 200 yards rushing this season
on was the cellar-dwelling Gophers; we certainly won't gain 200
yards rushing against Ohio State (and probably not even 100).
8-Victor Hobson led our defense
with 8 tackles, Larry Foote and Todd Howard had 6 tackles each.
Howard led our defense with some nice coverage on Evans (only
3 catches for 31 yards). Heuer had a nice game, too with 5 tackles
including 2 for loss. I hope Orr's thumb is o.k.; he left the
game for a while in the first half, but returned. Frysinger had
a rough game jumping offsides quite a bit and having no tackles.
9-Kudos to Wisconsin! What an effort!
They were very well prepared! It's too bad for them that their
punting game was so horrid! The bye week really helped them to
prepare and heal up. They really stopped our "big plays."
Wow, that Griesen was awesome, 16 tackles. He really stuck some
of our players. Starks also did a nice job in pass coverage and
with the one pick. Obviously, Echols did a great job on Walker.
Bollinger was only 7 of 17 on 3rd down conversions and 14 of 29
for 133 yards. He had 77 yards rushing, but only 57 net because
of 3 sacks.
10-In my opinion, the turning point
in the game was when Navarre called the time-out after we had
a first and goal at the 4 after the 2nd punt block. It took away
our momentum and gave their defense some time to re-group and
hold us to a field goal. Yes, Seymour was also caught for holding,
but Navarre really blew it with that time-out! We're up 17-7 rather
than 21-7, and they came right back down to score to make it 17-14.
They outgained us 292 to 163, more first downs 16-12, 10 more
plays in 7 minutes more time of possession. We had 4 fumbles,
but only lost one to go with our one thrown interception for two
turnovers. They only lost the ball once until that final "fumble"
off the punt, but it did cost them the game. (I would not have
liked our chances in OT)
11-I am not real confident for next
week's Ohio State game. We made Michigan State's season, and almost
made Wisconsin's and Iowa's. Navarre hasn't show that he can lead
our team in pressure games. Yes, he did a great job in the Illinois
game, but against good defenses in big games, he hasn't done the
job. Hope I'm wrong! Ohio State didn't look good against Illinois,
but they do have a tough defense and that coupled with our pathetic
offense spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E! Our defense will shut down their
offense, too, but they will run all game long with Wells and that
new recruit from Florida (freshman).
12-Next weekend is our first big
recruiting weekend with Maurice Stovall, Stephon Heyer, Curt Justus,
Julian Jenkins and others in. First, we need a win over the Buckeyes.
Second, we need to get Banks, Edwards or Gutierrez visualizing
the great opportunity they'll have to lead our team in 2002 or
2003 because Navarre is definitely not looking to be the answer.