Observations on the win over Air Force, 31-25!
The Falcons converted six red zones into 25 points including 7 points off one Michigan turnover. Michigan converted two second half red zone opporunities into 10 points. Air Force dominated time of possession by nearly 11 minutes which resulted in 34 more offensive plays for Air Force.
Offense gained 422 yards, 214 on the ground, 19 first downs, and was 5 of 11 in 3rd down conversions. Denard Robinson gained 218 yards on 20 carries for 2 TDs, 79 and 58 yards runs, and 14 of 25 for 208 yards and another 2 TDs. He had 426 yards of total offense. Devin Funchess had 4 catches for 108 yards including a 30 yard TD. Devin Gardner has 5 catches for 63 yards. Fitzgerald Touissaint had 7 yards in 8 carries.
Jake Ryan came up with a big play on 4th down with just over a minute to go ending the Falcon upset plans; he had 11 tackles in the game plus two pass break ups to lead the defense. Air Force gained 417 yards including 290 on the ground with 26 first downs, and were 14 of 25 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Freshman Joe Bolden came off the bench to get 10 tackles. Connor Dietz was 10 of 19 for 127 yards. Cody Getz had 26 runs for 130 yards and 3 TDs.
Brendon Gibbons nailed a 31 yard field goal. Matt Wile had 6 kickoffs with 3 touchbacks. Dennis Norfleet had 3 returns for 77 yards. Michigan was forced into 3 punts.
We didn't look good, but we'll always take a win even if it turned out to be a nailbiter. Overall, we look like a mediocre team who will have to work hard to end up 7-5 or 8-4 tops, and get a bowl bid. We just don't have much talent this year, and we are awful young with a great deal of reliance on freshmen and sophomores. We will be hard pressed to beat Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State on the road, and will probably struggle against Purdue as well. Michigan State will be tough to beat at home, and both Iowa and Northwestern may be much like the Air Force game. Of course, I hope I'm wrong, and will eat crow because I'd love to see us finish 11-1. Go Blue!