Sunday, September 14, 2008

A surprisingly optimistic post on the Michigan-ND game

That six turnover loss was pretty embarrassing, especially the two turnovers in the first five minutes. Jimmeh! dropping TD bombs on the secondary was pretty bad, too. I never like losing to Notre Dame, and some of my worst semi-memories of undergrad came after a ND loss.

The embarrassment of losing to ND is compounded by Ohio State's poor showing in California. I picked Ohio State to at least beat a 10 point spread. I don't think I'll score out well on my picks this week, either. Oh well, it's a long season. Plus, it makes games that I could care less about more intersting, like Cal-Maryland.

I'm conflicted about Ohio State - on one hand I want to enjoy some schadenfruede at their defeat. On the other hand, they currently represent the best of the Big Ten and continually make the rest of the conference look awful. It's not like Michigan has helped lately, of course. I can't wait until Michigan gets back on its feet so I don't have to watch Tressel keep screwing things up. Mostly though, I'm pissed at Ohio State for not beating the spread. Hey Tressel, thanks for making me look stupid. Asshat.

Having said all that, I'm actually mildly okay today. Sure, Michigan lost in a pretty embarrassing fashion. But the offense looked good for the first time all season. They actually out-gained ND 388-260 yards. McGuffie looked great - his youtube clips were no joke. He torched the ND defense (25 rushes, 131 yds, 4 rec., 47 yds, 1TD).

Threet probably solidified the starting position. He was hitting guys downfield a bit, including a few really tough passes into tight spots as well as a few nice downfield balls. Threet's numbers are pretty good, especially considering he got pulled for part of the second half (16-of-23, 175 yds, 1TD, 0INT). He seems to have a hard time holding onto the ball. Each of the last two weeks he's had a ball slip out of his hand while going back to pass. Gotta stop that.

More concerning to me were the deep bombs that the defense allowed in the first half. Our secondary looked really ugly on those. I'll have to wait for MGoBlog's UFR to see who the culprits were. ND didn't try to do much the second half, just pounded the ball on the ground. They didn't really try to challenge the Michigan defense, so there isn't much to take from the second half. Still, zero offensive touchdowns isn't anything to sniff at. The new defensive coordinator seems to be good at making half-time adjustments, which is a great change from the past.

1-2 isn't a great start to the season, but if the offense keeps improving at the rate it has so far we'll win a few Big Ten games. We've got an off week, and if Threet gets all the 1st team reps in practice I'm looking forward to his progress. I'm not optimistic about getting to a bowl game, but I feel okay about the long term prospects for the team.

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