Knees Jerking

For all that we can try and sugar-coat the Illinois game, and the Notre Dame game, and the Utah game...there is really only one way to describe those three games (and the 1st half of the Wisconsin game), and that is we suck.

I could start a tally of mistakes and miscues, but no need. 13 turnovers in the last 3 games. And for those keeping score at home, opponents have scored a total of 51 points in the past 3 games off of turnovers. That's 38% of the points we've given up this year.

We might have a good defense, but we're not that good. We can't make up for the total lack of leadership and experience on offense.

I'd give credit to Rich Rodriguez for stepping in and making due with the talent he has. But at the same time, we're doing things wrong that go way beyond coaching. Throwing the ball way over receiver's heads, running bad routes, dropping the ball all the time. Those things are basics. And by week 6 of the season, those things should be tightened up by now. But they aren't, that's bad coaching.

Sure, 13 turnovers in 3 weeks. That's more than bad coaching. That's just downright bizarre. You could argue that players are trying too hard and thinking too much, and that they ought to just relax and not let their emotions get out of control. But it was emotions that led the comeback against Wisconsin a week ago.

Now that we've played 1 good half, a couple decent quarters, and 3 bad games...I think it is safe to say that this team just sucks.

I'm sorry folks, we just do. And not in a "2005 or 2007: we have better potential and we're blowing it" kind of way, but in a "we're just bad all-around" kind of way.

I was cautiously optimistic in the off-season, like most Michigan fans. I thought we'd see some improvement by now.

Do I think we have some good players? Absolutely. They're just not ready. They don't know how to play together yet. The defense can hang together pretty well, but not carry this team. They could last year when we had some offense to throw out there...but not this year when we have no offense.

In year's past, you could just blame Carr or DeBord, or Jim Hermann. But who do you blame now? All of the coaches we have are good coaches who have had great success elsewhere. So the smart money is to ride it out and see where we're at recruiting-wise.

The only success gauge you can have on a first-year coach who is struggling is how well he can recruit. And so far, that is going very well. Only time will tell how things go for the 09 class.

But for Joe-Blow six-pack, who only cares how we play now...what can he do for the rest of the season? Well, ride it out. What's the alternative? Get drunker so you can pass out by halftime and not have to endure the rest of the game.

The only thing we have going for us is resiliency. We're young, and actually that can be an asset. Expectations for this season were low to begin with, and they're getting low as we move on. So we actually have the ability to sneak up on teams who may be overconfident and thinking we're a pushover.

Let's have a look at the remaining schedule...

10/11, Toledo
Don't let their 1-4 record fool you. They've played a killer non-conf schedule for a MAC school. They hung 54 on Fresno State, and lost by 1. Our undefeated record against MAC schools is in serious doubt this week.

10/18, @ Penn State
The ONLY chances we have to even stay close with Penn State is if they suffer a huge rash on injuries against Wisconsin this week, or if we can catch them looking ahead to tOSU the following week. Unless one of those things happens, we're in trouble in this game.

10/25, Michigan State
When little brother comes to town, we better hope he doesn't bring Javon Ringer. We do benefit from this being a rivalry game and we're at home, but we are going to be facing an uphill battle. They don't run a spread, which is good, and they don't have Juice Williams, which is better.

11/1, @ Purdue
Purdue is a disaster. Few teams are doing worse than Michigan. Purdue is one of them.

11/8, @ Minnesota
Our final trip to the Metrodome. Thank God! I hate playing there. We have a shot in this game. It will probably be close though.

11/15, Northwestern
In almost any other year, I'd love playing NW right before a trip to Columbus. They're a perennial great tune-up game. But now they're 5-0 and playing great football. This will be the final home game for the seniors we have on defense. That could be the best thing about it.

11/22, @ tOSU
Well, this game could suck much like the last 4 have. But I've said it before and I'll say it again, this game will play second-fiddle to the PSU-MSU game in Happy Valley.

All-in-all, I can see at least 2, maybe 3 wins in there. We need 4 to make it to a crappy bowl game.

It's up to our frustrated coaches, terrible offense, and over-whelmed defense to decide how well this season ends.

Either way, we still have to watch.

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