Observations on the greatest comeback in Michigan football history, 38-35!

1-We were down 7-28, but not out. We have never come back from that far down to win. Give the game ball to John Navarre! He ended up 33 of 47 for 353 yards, 2 touchdowns and one pick plus one catch for 36 yards and a touchdown. Chris Perry was our leading receiver with 11 catches for 122 yards; he also ran for 85 yards on 20 carries with one rushing and one receiving touchdown. We created four red zone opportunities in the second half, and cashed in on all of them for 24 points. Still, we almost lost the opportunity for the win with the late fumble by Perry recovered by Massaquoi. Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good!

Offense ended up with 79 plays for 483 yards in total offense; we were 9 of 18 in 3rd and 4th down conversions and 21 first downs.

2-Minnesota created three red zone opportunities and converted all for 21 points, and had the two long scores by Maroney and Abdul-Khaliq. Apparently, they thought the game was over. Barber ran for 197 yards on 21 carries, Abdul-Khaliq had 106 yards on 9 carries, Maroney had 81 yards on 9 carries; the Gophers had an unbelievable 424 yards on 53 carries (a record against a Michigan defense; previous record was November, 1968 vs. Ohio State for 421 yards). Abdul-Khaliq was 8 of 18 for 71 yards, but those 2 picks including the TD by Stewart really stand out. Minnesota was 7 of 12 on 3rd down, and had 495 total yards in 71 plays with a 2 minute advantage in time of possession. Minnesota had a great game plan, was well-prepared, executed well, but gave up too early and "ran out of gas." Eli Ward led the Gopher defense with 11 tackles including the forced fumble that almost led to our demise; Ben West had 10 tackles and the Gophers did get credit for one sack.

3-Our special teams improved. Rivas hit all extra points and the game-winning 33 yard field goal.Our net punting improved with Finley averaging 35.7 yards on 3 punts. Thank God Carr changed the wide gap scheme after our first punt was almost blocked. Nienberg did a nice job on kickoffs with most not returned as touchbacks. Breaston continues to make a difference with 3 punt returns for 46 yards. The best thing we can say is that we had no punts blocked, and this was our best effort on turnovers and mistakes that didn't kill us.

4-Lawrence Reed and Pierre Woods led our defense with 10 tackles each. True Frosh, Lamarr Woodley, had 9 tackles. Shazor was in on 8 tackles. Our defense rose to the occasion and made some big stops after looking completely incompetent through 3 quarters. Leon Hall did a good job in the second half with LeSueur out still. We had no sacks on defense, but we did force 6 punts and had the two picks.

5-This win will give us momentum coming back home to beat Illinois and make us 3-1 in the Big Ten and 6-2 overall going into the Purdue game. That game should be a low scoring affair; hopefully this win will give us what we need to improve so we don't continue to embarrass ourselves.

Observations on the first half with the Gophers, 0-14!

1-No red zone opportunities=no points! Navarre is 7 of 13 for 50 yards, no picks! Ecker has one catch for 23 yards; Edwards has two catches, Perry, Mingery, Breaston, Thompson have one catch each. Perry has 52 yards on 12 carries. We have 97 yards in 29 plays, and 6 first downs. We have been forced into 4 punts, and are 4 of 9 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Our best play so far has been Navarre on the sneak; he has netted two first downs. The only good thing that can be said is that we have no turnovers. Our offense is not only unimpressive, but defenses don't even take us seriously anymore.

2-Minnesota has had two red zone opportunities and converted both. Those opportunities were created by a fabulous running game that has netted 186 yards on 26 carries for 11 first downs and two rushing touchdowns. Abdul-Khaliq is 3 of 6 for 29 yards, but his scrambles and improvisation has netted 31 yards on 5 carries. Barber leads the Gophers with 96 yards on 6 carries

3-Our special teams continue to look unspecial. Our net punting continues to struggle. Thank God Carr changed the wide gap scheme after our first punt was almost blocked.

4-Marlin Jackson and Pierre Woods lead our defense with 5 tackles each. Reid, Shazor and McClintock have 4 tackles each. Our defense looks ill prepared, and will probably give up at least 300 yards rushing. The only good thing we can say about the defense is that we've forced them into 2 punts.

5-Make your reservations for the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac! It looks like after the Gophers take the Jug, we have further losses to Purdue, Ohio State and possibly Michigan State. On the bright side, we should beat Illinois and Northwestern; also, Navarre will be our starter and leader for only 6 more games.