Observations on the ugly win over Purdue, 27-16!
Michigan scored only 20 points in 4 red zones trips while Purdue came up with only 3 points in one red zone. Both teams have 5 turnovers, and Michigan captured a 14 to 13 edge in points off turnover. Each team converted long defensive scores, and it was Michigan's first defensive score of the season.
Offense looked horrible! In the second half, we had 4 three and outs, an interception, a fumble for two turnovers and a missed field goal until our final drive set up by a shanked punt at the Purdue 48. We went 48 yards to gain a two score lead with only 1:58 left in the game after the Boilermakers used all their time outs in the hopes they'd stop us. Denard Robinson had his worst game of the year! It was not a Heisman performance. He was 13 of 21 for 171 yards, 1 TD, but two interceptions that resulted in 10 of Purdue's points. He ran for only 68 yards in 22 carries, and fumbled the ball away 3 times for 5 total turnovers on the day. Vincent Smith had a solid performance gaining 99 yards in 18 carries for a TD. Roy Roundtree had 6 catches for 69 yards and a TD. We had 395 yards in total offense, 21 first downs and were 7 of 18 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. The offense did not win the game, but iced it with the final drive. Logan Link made 13 tackles for the Boilermakers. Ryan Kerrigan had 10 tackles, 5 for loss including 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Ricardo Allen took back the 94 yard interception return.
Defense had its best game of the season, and has now won two games in a row! We held the Purdue offense only 3 points in the second half, and since 13 points could be credited to their defense, they only had 3 points on the day from their offensive unit. Purdue only had 256 net yards in total offense, 12 first downs and were 4 of 20 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. We forced 5 turnovers, and forced them into 7 punts. Cam Gordon rambled 72 yards with a fumble recovery for a TD. Purdue's 3 quarterback look backfired on them. James Rogers comes up with 2 interceptions. Obi Ezeh had a great game with 8 tackles, two for loss including a sack. Kenny Demens and Ray Vinopal had 7 tackles each. Neither Mike Martin nor Jonas Mouton played so without our two best players, it was quite a performance for the D. Our new look 3-4-4 defense is working much better than the 3-3-5 concept. Kudos to Greg Robinson!
Special Teams looked horrible! Jeremy Gallon is the worst kickoff and/or punt return specialist in the last 50 years of Michigan football. He continues to make poor decisions that really cost the team field position. We might as well rush the punter with nobody deep, and on kickoffs use Smith, Shaw, Hopkins or anyone except him. 3 kickoffs for 54 yards on the day for Gallon while Purdue averaged 26 yards per return on 4 returns. I really don't understand why others aren't tried back on kickoffs. Will Hagerup made the play of the game with a 74 yard punt downed at the 4, but on the next play, we let up a pass to the 43; luckily, they fumbled on the next play and we recovered. Kevin Leach made a big play on the fumble recovery after Terry Talbott almost gave the ball back to Purdue on the punt fumble; otherwise, we may not have gone up 20-13. Purdue's Carson Wiggs hit all three field goal attempts, and Broekhuisen muffed another one. In addition, Broekhuisen missed a critical extra point which could have given us an 8 point lead. Our special teams are consistently poor with poor decision-making and poor execution.
It is hard to believe Rodriquez is so poor in clock management especially with being an experienced coach, but his clock management at the end of the first half was really, really bad and the 4th down play where Hopkins fumbled in the first half was so rushed it was obvious he should have taken a time out before running the play. One thing about his tenure over the past three years one can observe consistently is poor clock management on his part. A mark of Rodriquez's teams are playing "down" to the opponent. With a chance to go up 3 scores, 21-3, with a red zone opportunity at 14-3; we throw a 94 yard interception to change the game into a nailbiter, 14-10. That 14 point turnaround kept the game from being a laugher. We were fortunate the the defense came up big today.
Wisconsin and Ohio State will punish us, but the good news is we'll finish 7-5 and make a bowl game.