Monday, September 28, 2009

A Win is a Win

My son had a soccer game on Saturday, so I didn't get to the game until there was about 2 minutes left (just missed the winning TD). My impressions are from watching the replay.

-This game reminded me, in some ways, of the basketball team's come from behind win at IU in January. A young, rebuilding team playing a lower level conference squad they are supposed to beat. The young team gets pushed around, but somehow finds a way to win. In both cases, a loss could have really hurt Michigan's resurgence, and there are few positives to take from the win, other than the fact that it is a win. Given how last season went, maybe that's enough. With four wins, a bowl bid, and at least a three game improvement on last season seems to be there for the taking. How much more than that, we'll have to wait and see. Anyone who had visions of Roses after the first two games probably has fallen back to earth with the last two games.
-I don't know if there is one area of the defense I trust 100% right now. The D line was supposed to be a strength, but they are getting very little pressure right now. Teams are clearly attacking the side of the line that Brandon Graham is not on with regularity. We should move him around more. I also think getting some of the backups with more size (Sgasse, Banks, Campbell) in for more plays would help offset some of the rush defense issues.
-Upon first glance, the LBs didn't look as out of place this week as they did last week, but tackling still seems to be an issue. I saw a couple of occasions where a ball carrier was met at the line of scrimmage, but still gained five or six yards because the LBs didn't get proper leverage on their tackle and the RB fell forward instead of going back.
-Boubacar Cissako just looks lost out there at times. After a rough start, I thought Floyd actually did better. I am disappointed that five-star freshman Justin Turner isn't ready to play.
-The offense looked out of sync. Perhaps it was the new center, David Mooseman. Or perhaps it was injuries to Tate Forcier, but they didn't really seem to get on track. Still, it's a testament to the design of this offense that they can still score 36 points when they look bad.
-I was happy to see Denard Robinson get to run some different plays, although it still looks like the package of plays they have for him is quite small. If Tate is out for next week, they'll need to expand that package at least a little.
-I think it was only fitting that one of the top HS punters in the nation for 2009 committed to us on a day when Zoltan Mesko was out best defensive player. All hail the new Space Emperor!
-On the game-sealing interception that some people have complained about, there was no good view on TV of who originally caught the ball. The first time we see the ball is when the players hit the ground and the ball is in Donavan Warren's arms. I understand why Bill Lynch was upset, his team played a great game, and with the game on the line, his team ends up on the wrong side of a close call. But the announcer's indignation was totally uncalled for. This wasn't a "travesty of justice", Indiana didn't get screwed. There's no way to tell from the replay if Warren caught the ball cleanly or if the IU player had possession before they fell to the ground.
-Interesting similarities between this game and the famous 1979 game: Both games were homecoming, Michigan was a double digit favorite in both, IU outgained Michigan in both games, IU coach went balistic about calls late in both games, and freshman stars made big plays to win both games.

-Good job Jim Delany, your suspension of one of Purdue's starting OL for what should have been a 15 yard penalty probably cost them the game against Notre Dame.
-Nobody circles the wagons like the Virginia Tech Hokies. Is there a better homefield advantage in football than Blacksburg?
-Perhaps in Oregon. Can we once and for all put away any discussion of California ever being an elite team. It seems like over the last 5-10 years or so, every time they win a few games, and look like they are ready to make the jump to being a top 10 program, they pull out a stinker like this. I understand losing a road game in a tough venue like Oregon, but 42-3? 42-3?!? Have some pride and come to play. There was a time when I wanted Jeff Tedford to be the coach here after Carr retired. Boy am I glad that never came to pass.
-Great win by Iowa, who seems to have Penn State's number. Our game in Iowa City in two weeks could get ugly. I don't think they will win the league, however. They have to go to Columbus, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them lose to either Minnesota or Wisconsin.
-Golden Rankings coming soon, with a look at the battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy coming later this week.