Sunday, September 25, 2011

San Diego State Post Game

I didn't expect this game to be boring.  I thought it would be a back and forth battle between two high powered offenses.   It turned out one offense was high powered in the first half and the other struggled the entire game.  The Michigan defense played well, maybe their best game since the opening win against UConn a year ago. 

Their counterpart on offense was a bit confusing all day.  Just like everyone wanted, the Michigan offense started fast and scored a quick 14 points in the 1st quarter and added one more touchdown in the second.  A 21-0 halftime lead seemed comfortable to the fans and maybe even comfortable to the players as the Wolverines slept through most of the third quarter.  They lost that quarter to SDSU and didn't put the game away until they won the 4th quarter 7-0. 

So Michigan started fast and started to fade late but found enough to win the game comfortably.  I'm not sure I understand the game plan on Offense.  I agree that it would be nice if Denard doesn't carry the ball 21 times a game and that Michigan gets some yards out of the RB position.  But where the hell is the short passing game?   Where are the screens?  Where are short routes?   I understand Denard is struggling throwing the ball but Michigan can't just rely on him running the ball and beating teams.  A good defense will take Denard away and what does that leave us?  Right now not much. 

Maybe Big Al isn't showing us everything? Maybe he is keeping things tight for Big Ten play.  Either way it looked like Michigan ran the same 3 plays most of the second half.  Those plays should be called Denard Go, because this offense is him and not much else.  Michigan had a total of 413 yards on offense and Denard had 293 of them.

On the other side of the ball, I thought the Michigan defense played one of their best games in recent memory.  They continued to stop Lindley (253 yards) and Hillman (109 yards on 21 carries) when Michigan would turn the ball over and give the Aztecs great field position.   This type of effort will go a long way in winning conference games, which start next week with the Little Brown Jug game.

Cheers and Jeers

  • Holding SDSU to 7 points after losing the turnover margin 3 to 2.
  • Craig Roh and Mike Martin putting pressure on Lindley all day.
  • Welcome Blake "The Count" Countess! He had a very nice game for a true freshman.

  • Denard and his running ability
  • I thought the entire DL played well

  • One dimensional/person on offense
  • Troy Woolfolk and his ankle, hand, and other injuries.
  • The 3rd quarter
  • Turnovers
  • Missed field goal
  • The Passing Game
  • 2nd half play calling on offense
If you had told me, Michigan would lose the turnover battle against SDSU I might have thought we had lost the game.  Instead, Michigan gave up just 7 points and 376 net yards.   Which is a testament to either a SDSU offense that had an off day or an improved Michigan defense.   I think the answer is somewhere in the middle between the two.   

Michigan's turnovers were not pretty, I feel bad for Stephen Hopkins because his last two carries have been fumbles and I expect his new role will include being a blocking FB for the rest of the year.  Denard also made some poor decisions on his two interceptions and missed some wide open guys. 

So Michigan is sitting here at 4-0 with still lots of work to be done.  The key is to get better each week and I clearly see improvement from the defense, now can the offense make the leap to be more balanced?  The schedule will only will get tougher as Big 10 play starts next week and the Wolverines will eventually have to go on the road at some point.


uncle ron said...

"Big Al" is calling just enough new plays to win with. No reason to tip our hand yet. I think a whole new offense is about to burst on the Big 10 scene. Hang on to your hats boys this going to be one hell of a ride.....

Bob said...

I hope your right Uncle Ron.

uncle ron said...

Big Bob, you can almost tell by the way they carry themselves on the field that they have to make these plays work, because there's nothing else in the bag this week. It seems like "Big Al" only wants to show enough to make people aware that they have these new plays each week before the new stuff comes out for next week, you concentrate on what is or get burnt on what might be coming out...pick your poison. Defenses can't settle in on one look....just saying