Penn State Review

The final score might have been 46-17. But for a while there, it was a game. The first half (especially the 1st quarter) was maybe one of the best halves offensively we've seen all year. It was only 17 points, but it was 17 convincing points, against a good team.

What happened after halftime was nothing more than just being outplayed and outcoached.

From the outset, I knew we'd lose the game. But what made it harder is the fact that we had the lead at halftime. Now I watched the Penn State - Wisconsin game last week, so I knew Penn State was explosive, and all they needed was to get started. They kind of did that on the last drive before halftime. I was hoping that the half would cool them off and Michigan would come out in the 2nd half and keep PSU on their toes. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

There has to be something wrong with Threet's right elbow still. And in the 3rd quarter, he kind of limped off the field after their opening drive. When Sheridan came into the game, I knew the game was over. Not only did Sheridan not know left from right out there, the play calling when he was in the game is an obvious sign that he just doesn't know the offense the same way Threet does.

I think Sheridan can be a good QB at a smaller school, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him transfer after this season. He has a good arm and can run with the ball if he has to, but he just doesn't have the head to run an offense like this. Especially against superior talent.

It's easy to point out things that didn't go well when your team loses 46-17, but I will take the high road here and focus on the positive. Why? Because we're 2-5 and I'm sick and tired of blaming people.

What I really liked was Michigan's opening drive. 14 plays for 86 yards, the end result was a 5 yard TD run by Brandon Minor, who looked about as good as he ever has...especially behind an inexperienced offensive line.

The first three drives really looked awesome. 30 plays in total, accumulating 191 yards. That's 6.37 yards/play. Easily the best this offense has looked all year. Brandon Minor has been banged up this season, but if he can stay healthy, he will keep having success running the ball as long as the line keeps playing like they did.

Kevin Koger is becoming a better TE than Butler and Massey combined. Speaking of which, Carson Butler is no longer a TE, he's a DE, and he switched numbers again...back to 85.

There was also bright spots on defense. Of course, forcing the fumble on Penn State's first drive was a huge momentum shift. But clearly, I think we have issues with every facet of the defense. When you go up against a good mobile QB, it really takes your good DL out of the equation. No question Daryll Clark is a good QB who can run and throw very well. Couple that with our defense being on the field way too much, and that gives a good Penn State offense just that much more time to make plays.

If you look at stats alone, Penn State went 50% on third downs. They had 482 yards of total offense, and scored 5 TDs. No doubt a bad game for the Michigan defense.

I guess the only bright spot, position wise, was LBs. They had their hands full all day with Clark and Royster. But we looked absolutely AWFUL when it came to tackling. We missed so many tackles. I mean not just one here and there, but multiple missed tackles on almost every play. Our guys just seemed out of position about 75% of the time.

It just comes down to basics. Penn State didn't do any one thing great, they just did almost everything well. There really isn't that many weaknesses in their system. And it shows.

All-in-all, this game went pretty much as well as I thought it would. I didn't expect a halftime lead, but I did suspect Penn State would have their offense on the field the bulk of the second half, and that would lead to too many opportunities for them, and way too few for us.

But, like I said, there are things we can build on, and obviously things we must work on. But it's a new week and a new opponent. It's Sparty week! And when you play a rival, record books have almost no bearing. Usually, that's good for Sparty, but this year it's good for us. And if we need a good reference as how to beat them, look no further than last week's disaster against tOSU.

And now, for your enjoyment, the stats for the Penn State game.


  1. I disagree greatly on Sheridan transferring after this season. He's a walk-on. He didn't come to Michigan to play, he came for his education. He earned a spot as a third/fourth string with hardly a shot in hell of making the field. All of a sudden a coaching change and some attrition comes along, elevating him to a 2-man qb competition. That does not translate into him transferring somewhere else to play.

  2. Ah yes, but you must realize that he'll likely be 4th or 5th on the QB depth chart next year should he stick around. He'll have Threet ahead of him, as well as S. Beaver and T. Forcier, should they both stay committed. And don't forget Justin Feagin, who is currently a freshman, who is a more pure spread/option QB than Sheridan is.

    Given Sheridan's experience this year, that would make him a great fit for a MAC team looking for a transfer QB. Long story short, Sheridan would be a good candidate for a scholarship and more playing time/success with a slightly lesser quality team playing a lesser schedule.

  3. Anonymous1:05 AM

    Sheridan had his shot. Time to give the other backups a chance. No shame in it. He gave it his best and deserves respect.

    Hope for the future: when Michigan can finally pull off a game where they play the first half like the Penn (#3) State game, and the second half like the Wisconsin (#6 at the time) game. Things look bleak now, but Michigan is on the road to becoming scary good.