Friday, October 15, 2021

Michigan Friday: Expectations

We all had expectations at the beginning of the season.  Being undefeated at the halfway point probably beat most Michigan fans expectations outside of Schembecler Hall.   Here are the areas where Michigan either beat, met, or is less then my expectation when the season began. 

Record: 6-0 

This record beat my expectation starting the season.  I had Michigan 5-1 with a loss to Wisconsin on the road.   The must wins of Washington and Nebraska was hit and Michigan winning on the road in Madison for the first time in 20 years is a huge plus.   Moving forward I had MSU chalked up as a win and now that one is highly in doubt.   I also still have concerns at Penn State at night and that team Michigan finishes the year against. 


This position group has met my expectation at mid year.  I thought Michigan would be a power running team with a good deep offensive line.  Cade would be a game manager and I had concerns about the WR position.  Ronnie Bell looked like an All American in his limited time against WMU and others have stepped up.   Blake Corum is going to be a superstar.   JJ and Donovan Edwards are getting good reps.  Michigan will have to pass to win football games as the solid defenses left on the schedule will not let Michigan run the ball right at them.   We need big production at TE and WR health is going to be an issue.   I've been very happy with Cade's deep ball even though it wasn't great against Nebraska.  Would like to see a true freshman WR to surprise us in the 2nd half. 


This position group has beat my expectation.  This unit was horrific last season and Mike Macdonald has done a tremendous job playing zone and keeping the action in front of them.   The defensive line play has been a pleasant surprise as Hutch might be the best defender in college football.  Mazi Smith and Chris Hinton are greatly improved and David Ojabo is really becoming a strong pass rusher.    Dax is an All American and the safeties are playing at a high level with Brad Hawkins winning play against Nebraska.   The CB's seem a little scary still but improving each week.   I know transfer big man nose tackle Jordan Whittley has been banged up, but would like to see him more in the 2nd half of the season to stuff the run.    This unit will be the difference between making it to Indy or not.  

Special Teams:

This unit has beat my expectations.  Moody and Robbins have done a great job at kicking field goals and punting.  Outside the bizarro Rutgers 2nd half, those two guys have been excellent.   Kickoff return is good with Blake Corum, but punt return is still a bit of a concern after Ronnie went down.   I think AJ will be fine, but lacks confidence in catching the ball with some punts.   I'm worried that a muffed punt will change a close game.  


100% improvement everywhere.  The team is "jumping around" and having fun playing football.  They are focused and playing winning football.  The new hires have made a huge impact to my eyes.  

Michigan will have a very difficult road to Indy as they have 3 top 10 teams out of the 6 remaining games.  2 out of those 3 games will be on the road against an instate rival and a white out at Penn State.  

  • The Michigan Coaching Staff has been on the road this week, watching games of commits and guys they are still chasing.  
  • Jimmy and staff are making 5 star 2023 QB Dante Moore from Detroit King a major priority in the next class:  “They always text me,” Moore said. “Coach (Jim) Harbaugh has been texting me every week. Coach (Ron) Bellamy, Coach Clink (Steve Clinkscale) and Coach (Matt) Weiss always talk to me. I’m enjoying my talks with them. Michigan was the first school to put me on the watch list in seventh grade. I appreciate them.” “It’s crazy hearing from a head coach every week, especially Coach Harbaugh” Moore said. “It’s phenomenal. I’m enjoying talking to him every week. It’s a great process. He’s doing a great job at Michigan and is turning things around.”


Chowman said...

My only disagreement is with coaching. It's been solid, but room for improvement. I think Mike McDonald has put together solid game plans, but as the game wears on, and the opposition adjusts, he hasn't seemed to make the counter adjustments. Specifically I'm talking about the Washington, Rutgers, and Nebraska games. UofM pretty much shut them down in the 1st half, but after half time, those teams make the needed adjustments and made the UofM D look, well pedestrian. I'll give the Rutgers game a pass as the D looked lost after Josh Ross went down. But Wash & Neb 2nd halves were a bit concerning.

Offensively, I still hate the play calling at times. Bringing in JJ is on 3rd down is telegraphing he's keeping it on the read option. Instead of down by down, let both QBs have series where they can run the show for a whole drive.

4goblue said...

chowman just has to be negative (maybe a bucknut or spartan)

MichiganMan said...

Chowman..I have to agree with you. Defense does look like a suspect in second half. Mike McDonald looked like a deer looking at a head light in second half of Wisconsin's game. If Michigan have any shot of beating the big 3s (MSU, PSU, and OSU), they better make some adjustments in the second half. I do like your idea of QB's switching it up a bit once we have a comfortable lead.

Blue for Life
Hire L. Riely, fire Don Brown...Hire Rich Rod

szanreno said...

What a surprise post. Like clockwork. What a douche. Hahahaha....