Observations on the win over
the Huskies, 33-17!
1-Michael Hart looked like an All-American
with 117 yards on 23 carries and 4 catches for 49 yards with one
touchdown. Jason Avant had 9 catches for 127 yards, one TD and
was voted Chevrolet Player of the Game. Grady scored his first
TD as a Wolverine, and finished with 9 carries for 42 yards although
he did fumble in the red zone for our only turnover. Jackson,
Martin and Bradley added another 38 yards on 9 carries.
2-Chad Henne looked poised and prepared,
and was 20 of 31 for 227 yards and 2 TDs (no sacks, no picks)
with Avant and Hart. Offense looked solid with 29 first downs
and 447 yards in net offense on 81 plays for 5.5 per play. We
created six red zone opportunities for 24 points. Henne threw
to seven receivers. Our offense was 11 of 17 in 3rd down conversions,
and dominated time of possession by over 10 minutes because of
the four turnover advantage. The time of possession advantage
resulted in 24 more offensive plays.
Overall, we had a good offense with
a solid running game, and dangerous threats with screens to Hart
and quick tosses to Breaston. Avant is our "go to" guy
on 3rd down, and in end zone tosses and he is a sure-handed receiver.
Massaquoi give us a great crossing option. As the season progresses,
Grady and Manningham will contribute more along with Ecker and
others. We should be a definite offensive threat, and we'll need
it to keep the time of possession advantage to keep our defense
off the field.
3-Defense is another story! If someone
stops our offense this year, I'm not confident that our defense
can get the job done. Northern Illinois had 20 first downs, and
211 net yards rushing with 411 yards in net offense on 57 plays
for an average of 7.2 yards per play. We only forced their offense
into one punt. That is not good defense. Horvath was 17 of 25
for 200 yards with one pick and one sack. Six players caught passes,
but no TDs were caught. Garrett Wolf was the Chevrolet Player
of the Game with 148 yards on 17 carries including the 74 yard
scamper for a TD. They were 4 of 8 in third down conversions,
and created three red zone opportunities for 17 points. The difference
in the game were 5 Husky turnovers compared to only one by Michigan.
Our weak side was exploited and
our safeties were non-existent on the long run by Wolf for a TD.
Mason doesn't look like a great corner, and Leon Hall did have
a pick (tipped by Massey), but our secondary has a lot of work
to do. Burgess dropped a sure interception that could have been
returned for a TD. Where's the pass rush? One sack, and only two
tackles for loss. It was a disappointing first game for the defensive
line that let the Huskies net over 200 yards rushing, and only
managed one sack.
4-Special teams were decent overall.
We blocked a field goal (John Thompson), but had one blocked.
We made two of three field goal attempts by Rivas. Ross Ryan had
some nice kickoffs, and five touchbacks in 7 attempts; he also
beat out Frosh phenom, Mesko, for the punting job. Breaston, Mason
and Arrington handled three kickoffs for 15 to 17 yards each.
We punted once for 41 yards, and forced a fumble on nice coverage
by Hood; Ross Ryan recovered his punted fumble. They only punted
once out of bounds. Rivas missed an extra point blocked; however,
he made three.
5-Bad news with Arrington leaving
the game with ice on his ankle! Hopefully, it is not serious.
Riley and Kolodziej were alternating at right tackle, and Riley
played with the second unit at Right Guard. The pass protection
was solid, and Henne was almost sacked twice; however, they gave
him plenty of time. We took 4 penalties for 31 yards, Riley jumped
once, Woodley got a personal foul and Mason was caught for interference
for three of those. Terry Taylor did see his first action at Nose
Tackle. Heralded "nickel" back, Charles Stewart didn't
see action for some reason, but Brandon Harrison did see action
on special teams. Dustin Utschung led the Husky defense with 13
6-It looks like Chris Graham led
the defense with 10 tackles while McClintock had 9 and Mason had
8. Engelmon, Burgess and Hall had 5 each. I expected much more
from Burgess, and it was disappointing not to see David Harris
in the middle; hopefully, his injuries are not serious so he may
return for Notre Dame. Gabe Watson has not and is not worthy of
award recognition; he is a very mediocre player, and the expectations
that he would be a leader on defense were answered today. Watson
is not capable of putting on a pass rush, he can be blocked in
rushing schemes and it looks like he'll never be the All-American
we'd hoped he'd be. I didn't see much of Pierre Woods today either.
It looks like he made one tackle, but if there are some high school
defensive line recruits out there, please contact Coaches Carr
and Stripling immediately as they will need help next year. It
was nice Jeremy Van Alstyne got the start after his injury problems,
but we didn't hear his name called much.
Those who continue to knock Jim
Herrmann might consider what Bo said on the air, and that was
that perhaps our speed and talent on defense is simply not that
good. Our tackling continues to be atrocious, and Bo definitely
pointed that out. We could definitely use some cornerbacks and
safeties immediately, and it would not be surprising for some
new faces back there next year. Somebody needs to step up and
become our defensive leader.
If you were to ask any Michigan
football fan who they were most impressed with defensively, the
response would probably be "nobody" from most fans.
Observations on the first half
with Northern Illinois, 27-10!
1Michael Hart is looking like
an All-American with 83 yards on 19 carries and 4 catches for
49 yards and one touchdown. Jason Avant has 7 catches for 104
yards and one TD. Grady scored his first TD as a Wolverine.
2Chad Henne looks poised and
prepared, and is 14 of 20 for 174 yards and 2 TDs (no sacks, no
picks) with Avant and Hart. Offense looked solid with 19 first
downs and 289 yards in net offense on 48 plays, and created three
red zone opportunities for 21 points. We scored on every possession
except one, and Henne threw to five receivers. Our offense was
8 of 10 in 3rd down conversions, and dominated time of possession
by over 10 minutes.
3Defense is another story!
Northern Illinois has been watching the game films of our last
years weaknesses and capitalizing. If someone stops our
offense this year, Im not confident that our defense can
get the job done. Northern Illinois had 9 first downs, and 125
net yards rushing with 206 yards in net offense on 26 plays for
an average of 8.6 yards per play. That is not good defense. We
could only force them into one punt! We did get a turnover that
helped late in the first half to stop a drive. They are one of
three in third down conversions.
Our weak side is being exploited
and our safeties were non-existent on the long run by Wolf for
a TD. Mason doesnt look like a great corner, and Leon Hall
isnt doing much. either Burgess dropped a sure interception
that could have been returned for a TD. Wheres the pass
rush? No sacks, and only two tackles for loss.
4Special teams was hot
and cold. Ross Ryan (beat out Mesko) had some nice
kickoffs, and three touchbacks. Breaston, Mason and Arrington
handled kickoffs o.k. We punted once for 41 yards, and forced
a fumble on nice coverage by Hood; Ross Ryan recovered his punted
fumble. They only punted once out of bounds. Rivas missed a field
goal, and had an extra point blocked; however, he made three.
5Bad news with Arrington leaving
the game with ice on his ankle! Hopefully, it is not serious.
Riley and Kolodziej are alternating at right tackle.