Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"Well, A win is a win"

One of my closest friends always says something akin to that whenever we pull off an ugly win. The implication being that outside of getting the "W" there wasn't much astetically pleasing about the game. I get the feeling that just about every game we win this year will elicit a similar sentiment.

We had to leave the game early to get to my son's first soccer game of the season, so most of these observations were gleaned from watching the film.
-There was some improvement from the offense, but you could probably measure it in inches when we are miles from where we'd like to be, and its entirely possible that the improvement was due to a lesser opponent. The RBs and WRs seemed to be more decisive with their cuts, ran better routes, and did a better job of blocking on bubble screens and quick outs. You can definitey see how kids like Shaw, McGuffie, Odoms, Hemingway, and Stoneum will be key cogs in a potent offense someday.
-Unfortunately, I don't think that day will be this year, due mostly to the QBs (although the OL is a work in progress). We have one QB (Sheridan) who can't throw the ball more than 20 yards and has a tendency to make really horrible reads, and another (Threat) is somewhat slow of foot (although he did look better saturday) and couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat. By my count Threat missed at least three wide open receivers that could have resulted in TDs, and had countless other passes where he didn't hit receivers in stride, preventing them from getting any yards after the catch.
-Despite the fact that Sheridan was at the helm for the second half TD, I would rather Threat played more against ND. He clearly has more physical gifts, and if he could improve his accuracy just a little, the offense would improve by leaps and bounds.
-I like the fact that we used some I formation, and even ran the FB some, although I did not appreciate the return of the shuffling fullback
-The penultimate Michigan drive that resulted in the game securing TD looked very much like the Carr / Debord offense. I formation sweeps, draws to the RB out of the shotgun, and a screen to McGuffie.
-The loss of Ortmann will be huge, although the walk-on Bryan Norwicki held his own in this game. I'm guessing that Jon Tenuta and Notre Dame this week will be moving a lot of people around and will send all sorts of blitzes to try and confuse our young line.
-Defense looked like what we saw the second half against Utah: very very solid. It remains to be see if they can be a "great" defense that can win games by themselves.
-Stevie Brown really needs to take a crash course on pursuit angles.
-Thompson and Mouton looked a lot better than Evans and Panter at LB, but you can tell they struggle when the drop into pass coverage. Thompson had at least one rather egregious play where he had a bubble screen dead to rights for no gain, and he totally wiffed on the tackle and it turned into a 10 yard gain.
-Jesus, can we face any more ridiculous punters this year? 54 yard average? Warren should be replaced at punt returner. Cissiko looked fast fast fast returning kicks, love to see him on the punt team.
-The announcers were god awful. They kept talking over and over how Michigan stopped doing what was successful in their first drive. It didn't occur to either of them that the struggles were due to Miami crowding the line of scrimmage because we couldn't complete anything deep.
-Then of course there was that ridiculous little piece about the poor economy in Michigan. Do me a favor, ESPN, leave the political analysis to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.