Observations on the loss to Wisconsin, 21-37!
1-Wisconsin comes up with 7 red zones for 37 points including 14 off 3 Michigan turnovers. Michigan gets one red zone late in the first half on their last possession after a simultaneous catch rule for 7 points, and convert 2 big plays to make the game close at 21-23; however, Frosh quarterback Mallett forced an interception that changes momentum back to the Badgers.
2-Mallett was 11 of 36 for 245 yards, 3 TDs, 2 interceptions and 4 sacks. Henne was 3 of 5 for 25 yards and one interception before he left. Michigan managed only 17 first downs, 7 of 17 on 3rd and 4th down efficiency, and 320 total yards. Arrington had 7 catches for 101 yards, and Manningham had 3 catches for 113 yards and 2 TDs.
3-Carlos Brown starts and gets 38 yards on 9 attempts. Brandon Minor nets 26 yards on 9 attempts. Wisconsin outrushed us 232 to 47. No Hart, no Henne, no offense, no win!
4-Badgers completely own our defense, and came up with 24 first downs, 7 red zone conversions, are 6 of 15 on 3rd down conversions, amassed 477 yards of total offense, and dominate time of possession by 15 minutes resulting in 10 additional plays. Tyler Donovan was 14 of 27 for 245 yards and 1 TD plus 6 rushes for 49 yards and the other TD. Zach Brown had 108 yards on 27 carries, and Lance Smith-Williams added 52 yards on 10 carries. Paul Hubbard had 7 catches for 134 yards, and Travis Beckum had 6 catches for 106 yards and a TD when we overpursued and Donovan threw across the field to a wide open Beckum. The Wolverine managed zero sacks! Brandon Graham, Shawn Crable and Tim Jamison did a lot of running around, but came up with a futile effort. It took 15 quarterback hits on Donovan to finally knock him out of the game, and Ezeh finally did it. Ezeh led the defense with 10 tackles including two quarterback hits, Jamar Adams and Terrence Taylor had 9, Chris Graham had 8. Shawn Crable had one of his worst games if not his worst game as a Wolverine.
5-Special teams looked bad. Mesko punted 7 times for a 37 yard average, only one inside the 20 and four fair catches while they punted 7 times for a 45 yard average, 4 inside the 20, and one fair catch. We returned 4 kickoffs for a 16 yard average; they returned 4 for a 25 yard average, and they had 4 touchbacks compared to zero for us. Wisconsin totally outplayed us on special teams, making 3 field goals, showing better kickoff and punt coverage. Badgers created great field position on almost every possession. The only mistake the Badgers made on the punt return, we couldn't convert or capitalize on.
The Badgers played a near perfect game: They dominated time of possession more than any team I can remember since the 1960s, beat us in turnovers 3 to 1, scored 7 points off turnover compared to zero for us, earned and converted 7 red zones compared to one for us, outrushed us, outgained us, outplayed us, outhustled us, outperformed us, outcoached us, etc. Kudos to the Badgers! They have now beat us in Madison two games in a row, this is the first time they have ever done this. Shane Carter comes up with two interceptions. Jack Ikegwuonu blankets Manningham most of the day, and comes up with 4 pass break ups. Speed kills and he was faster and more physical than Manningham. Ma Shaunessy comes up with 7 tackles, 2.5 for loss including 1.5 sacks. Nick Hayden gets a sack over Jake Long. Still, we had a chance to win in the 4th quarter if only our defense comes up with a stop.
6-The people who see Mallett as our quarterback of the future could be right, but I see an undisciplined guy who doesn't have the confidence of the players on the team. Yes, he can throw bullets, and heave the ball 80 yards; however, he isn't composed, poised, confident. He is cocky, undisciplined and isn't a good game manager that has the confidence of the players. Every time I watch him, I am wary of another turnover. He refuses to stay in the pocket, and holds the ball so a defender could easily pry it loose. I'm looking forward to the competition with Wienke and Threet in the Spring and Summer, and am not satisfied with his performance even though he is a freshman.
7-As poor of a performance as we saw today from Michigan, please remember that next Saturday we are still playing Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl to face Oregon, USC or Arizona State in a BCS game. We can finish the season as Big Ten Champs, 9-3, or finish the season 8-4 with a trip to the Capital One Bowl to face Georgia, Tennessee or Florida. Henne and Hart will play the entire game next week, win or lose. I still like our chances in this game. Ohio State is definitely a good team, but anything can happen in this rivalry and we are playing at home.
Observations on the first half with Wisconsin, 7-20!
1-It looks like we are heading for a loss! Wisconsin comes up with four red zones for 20 points including 7 off turnover. Michigan gets one red zone late in the first half on their last possession after a simultaneous catch rule for 7 points.
3-Carlos Brown starts and gets 29 yards on 7 attemps. Brandon Minor nets one yard on 5 attempts. Wisconsin outrushes us 106 to 22.
4-Senior Captain Shawn Crable has had a horrendous first half! Crable takes two personal fouls in successive plays on Wisconsin's first TD drive, and the first negates an interception to Jamar Adams giving us the ball at the Badger 35. The Badgers have run by Crable and passed over Crable in their two scoring drives. Badgers completed own our defense, and come up with 10 first downs, 3 red zone conversions, are 3 of 6 on 3rd down conversions, amass 216 yards of total offense, and dominate time of possession by 4 minutes resulting in
5-Special teams look bad. Opening kickoff returned to 35 after kick was 3 yards deep in end zone. Mesko is not punting well, and punt return team looks bad. 3 punts for 101 yards. Wisconsin totally outplays us on special teams, making two field goals, showing better kickoff and punt coverage.