Michigan got off to a great start with a 14-0 first quarter lead, 12 first downs and 198 total yards in the opening quarter. Michigan converted 4 red zones for 23 points while Connecticut earned 10 points in 3 red zone trips. Time of possession advantage was huge for Michigan as they took a two minute time of possession advantage to 8 and a half minutes after the big 3rd quarter. They ended up with nearly 14 minutes of time of possession advantage with a solid 2nd half, and the time of possession advantage let to a 15 offensive play advantage over Connecticut 83-68. Michigan scored 6 points off one Husky turnover.
Denard Robinson looked spectacular! He makes good decisions, plays quick, runs fast and has an excellent arm. It is no wonder he is the starter, he deserved to be. He rushed for 197 yards, 1 TD and connected on 19 of 22 for 186 yards in the air for another TD; this gave him 383 yards of total offense for his first game. Vincent Smith scored on a 12 yard TD run, had 14 carrries for 51 yards plus caught 3 passes for 18 yards and a second TD. Michael Shaw got the start and rushed for 46 yards in 15 carries and another TD. We end the game with 473 yards of total offense, 28 first downs, 15 of 21 on 3rd and 4th down conversions, no sacks and zero turnovers. Of course, it took a fumble recovery by Martell Webb when Denard Robinson lost a fumble to preserve the no miscues for the day. Daryl Stonum had 5 catches for 34 yards, Kevin Grady and Kevin Koger had 3 catches each, Martavious Odoms had 2 catches, and we had one grab each from Michael Shaw, Roy Roundtree and Terrence Robinson. Robinson's catch was a big 43 yarder setting up our last TD.
Defense only let up 10 points, but poor tackling was evident. Obi Ezeh had 9 tackles and a fumble recovery. Jonas Mouton had 8 tackles, J.T. Floyd had 6 tackles and forced a red zone fumble that Ezeh recovered and Jordan Kovacs also had 6 tackles to lead the defense. Craig Roh and Cameron Gordon had 5 tackles each. Brandon Herron came off the bench to contribute 4 tackles as did Ryan VanBergen. Jordan Todman netted 105 yards in 20 carries for a TD. It was pretty obvious that this group isn't ready for Big Ten competition yet so hopefully they'll grow up fast over the next three games. The defensive line accounted for only 4 solo and 5 assisted tackles for 9 total, and only 1 sack and that was when the quarterback fell down while Roh was nearby.
Special Teams were not impressive. Jeremy Gallon fumbled his first punt return, and luckily Brandin Hawthorne got the recovery so we had two fumbles on the day, but recovered both. Brendan Gibbons first field goal attempt of 43 yards comes up short, but he did make his second attempt of 24 yards. He made three of four PATs, but his miss was ugly. Gibbons kicked off 6 times with 2 touchbacks, and 4 squib kicks. Terrence Robinson fell down at the 8 yard line on our first kickoff return. Will Hagerup gets off a rolling 51 yard punt to begin his career. Luckily, we only had to punt once. We are not Big Ten ready on special teams so hopefully improvement will be immediate.
Did anyone feel sorry for Tate Forcier? It was pretty obvious that he was disappointed in the reality that he's 3rd string, and alienating himself from the team was another example of poor decision making from a player we, as fans, expect to be a team leader. Does anyone remember Tom Brady or other Michigan quarterbacks sulking off to the side as the TV cameras pointed out?
No real surprises on the player participation. Let's hope Carvin Johnson is o.k. He left when he was injured late in the first half when we didn't line up quickly as the Huskies scored their only TD of the game. The report is that he suffered a sprained knee, and will be week to week. Terry Talbott almost got an interception late in the 4th quarter, and Cullen Christian got his first tackle as a Wolverine.
Notre Dame smashed arch-rival Purdue, 23-12, with a smothering defense! Next week's game in South Bend will be quite a challenge!
Coach Rod Post Game Press Conference
Observations on the first half with Connecticut
Inside Michigan Football (Part II)
Schedule and Future Schedules
Official Depth Chart less injuries to Toussaint and Van Slyke
Game Notes for Connecticut
Connecticut Depth Chart for Michigan
Connecticut Game Notes
Big Ten Network Preview
Coach Rod Press Conference August 30
Daryl Stonum, Mike Martin, Steve Schilling and Roy Roundtree on August 30
Inside Michigan Football (Part II)
Coach Rod Press Conference August 25-Part I (Part II)