Sunday, September 1, 2019

MTSU Post Game: Not a Finished Product

Mike Mulholland |
If Michigan Football is a house build, the foundation has been poured, drywall is up, and the roof is on but still needs a lot of work before its ready to show.   The upside is the neighborhood is great and we are expecting big things.  Michigan won the game 40-21 but it was clear this project is not ready for an Open House.

I thought Shea played pretty poorly for his first start in this new offense.   He fumbled the first play of the game after a long run,  held the ball too long which led to a number of sacks,  under threw Black on the wide open bomb, and had a number of issues with the snap/handoff.  He threw for 197 yards in the first half and finished with 203.  Not to mention Harbaugh said he had an injury issue at half-time which I believe to be a rib issue (which he grabbed at during the first half).

I also hated the two QB thing, what is the purpose of that?  I know McCaffrey is a good runner but he is not Denard or Cam Newton.   I hope they scrape that as it just led to confusion and bad plays.

The defense had a few question marks of their own giving up 300 yards of offense and 3 TD's.  Some which we will hit in the cheers and jeers.

There is still a lot to like here and teams have no bigger improvement  gains larger then from Week 1 to Week 2.

  • Zach Charbonnet looks like a future superstar and got the start.   All the RB's played and blocked well.  This is a deep unit and many guys will play.  "The fine wine" finished with a team high 90 yards, with a team stat of 233 yards on the ground. 
  • Loved to see Black back and catching everything near him.   He cramped up but prior had a very nice game with 80 yards, 1 TD on 5 targets. 
  • CJ Johnson got in the 2nd half and was very impressive.  
  • Vincent Gray made some nice plays in his first start and looks much more then a late recruiting throw in and is the clear reason Myles Sims transferred. 
  • You could see the glimpses of the Speed in Space offense and its power.  
  • Great to have Ambry Thomas back, he had a pick and a fumble recovery.   
  • Ross showed his speed and coverage ability at LB
  • Also great to see Mike Dana impacting the game at DE 
  • Have to start with the injuries.  DPJ is in a walking boot, Dwumfour with a cast on his hand, Jon Runyon with a back issue, and Donovan Jeter didn't play at all.   Those are important players and we hope they are ready to play next week or at Wisconsin (after the bye).
  • We hit Shea pretty hard above and hope his injury is minor. 
  • The Michigan turnovers were not good and even fumbled a few times where they recovered.  
  • The defense looked good at times but struggled with the running QB and the screen game for most of the game. 
  • Michigan WR's dropped a few catchable balls 
  • LaVert Hill dropped an easy pick 6 and muffed a punt
  • The offense looked confusing at times and didn't move as fast as expected
  • The defense continues to blitz and rush the passer which can lead to big plays in the screen and short passing game. 
You have to give the Middle Tennessee coaching staff a hat tip.  They were not afraid to come into the Big House and play with the #7 team in the nation.  Scott Shafer's defense blitzed Shea all day and Michigan had some unexpected troubles on both sides of the ball.   Including a 60 yard pass TD and run on the Wolverines #2 defense with a minute left on the clock.  

There is plenty to work on, which is good because Army struggled on Friday against a 2 win Rice team this weekend and then Michigan has a bye week before the Big Ten season starts.  We all know what it feels like to be a Tennessee Vols fan today, so lets be happy we don't have that punch in the gut feeling and hope the sloppy play gets better next weekend.  Hell, maybe it was the night game curse! :) 


MichiganMan said...

Thanks Bob for all the good work you do here and we all appreciate that.....
1) I'm back for another season of exciting football
2) everything that I was talking about last season how conservative Harbaugh was you guys all summed it up after the Ohio State game
3) this game was little bit of exciting at times but it's still it felt like our team lost at the end of the game

I hope that we see more Slants and Crossing pattern down the middle

Goblu said...

Hoping that playing a non-pushover team will help the future and also make the house slightly more built than appears!

I’ve liked Shea, but do wish we would go with Dylan. He seems much better suited for Gattis.

dude1984 said...

First and foremost, Michigan is a legacy program and Michigan Stadium is an iconic stadium. Teams are going to bring their A+ game. Mid Tennessee State did their homework and brought a max effort for 60 minutes. Michigan did not. Once again they started flat. It's a chronic issue.

Offense played pretty good for their first game in a new system. Obviously they went with a limited playbook. It was nice to see them attack down field. What is very concerning is 4 fumbles (recovered 2, lost 2) on a dry, mild night. Ball security needs to be a priority at this week's practices.
-Charbonnet looks like he could be very good. All of the RBs did a great job in pass blocking.
-If the receiving corps can stay healthy they have to be a top 5 grouping. The Big 3 looked great. Hopefully DPJ will be ready for Army. Bell was inconsistent. Cornelius Johnson made some nice catches.
-The O-line did a pretty good job considering the near constant blitzing.
-Patterson's play was okay. I don't like them using McCaffery (or Patterson) as a WR.

The defense played pretty good considering MTSU did their best to copy tOSU and Florida's game plan. They gave up 301 yards, but 80 of them were in "garbage time" with the backups out there which is pretty good. MTSU was getting the ball into space quickly, so two sacks isn't that bad. What is a little concerning is MTSU going 2 for 2 in the red zone. One TD allowed was sloppy attempt to tackle. The other was from DBs getting crossed up from crossing routes. They really need to run more zone coverage in the red zone.

Special teams was pretty solid outside of the muffed punt return.

I'd give Michigan a B- for game 1.