At Least We'll Have Penn State

In a season bereft of really anything worth feeling good about, along comes Penn State….good ole' Penn State (puts my arm around Penn State's neck, pulling him in for a good-natured squeeze).

A win against them feels good because they're Penn State. But this Penn State is not so good, so that's unfortunate. But until the Nittany Lions showed up, Michigan had yet to sniff victory against a power 5 opponent since Northwestern last season. So we'll take the good with the bad.

But here we are, going into a bye week fresh off a much needed win…and staring down the barrel of another daunting trip to Michigan State in two weeks. I don't know if "duck and cover" sums up the attitude of the fan base at the moment, but I'd say it's pretty close.

Normally, we look back at the previous game…dissect it a bit, talk about things that went good, things that went not so good…but when you're 3-4 and its highly probable that the entire football program/administration will be receiving pink slips at year's end, its tough to do the minutia.

But we'll give it a shot. Here's some Michigan-Penn State drive-by bullets:
• Night games yay!
• Matt Wile made 3 field goals (and won the game, really) yay!
• 2014 Christian Hackenberg is defective and should be taken in for service.
• Russell Bellomy...what would ya say…ya do here?
• Feel great for the M players, they deserve this.
• Norfleet stole the show with choreographed Atomic Dog dance.
• Gardner's left leg is a hot mess along with his head and rib cage, but he's a warrior and we love him for that.
• Defense did things, and almost all of it was really good. Jake Ryan reengaged Manster mode.
• Student boycott was not really a thing and didn't achieve what intended to achieve.
• Football alumni on the field pregame was pretty cool and isn't being discussed enough.

But, at the end of the day™, Michigan is hugely flawed. In so many ways. Most of it on offense.

Devin Gardner really is a warrior and that can't be overstated. Screaming his head off on the sideline to pump up his teammates was Novak-esque in it's insanity mixed with pure heart-felt passion. It was great to see, but also a little unsettling at the same time. But even in pregame, Devin had a different look to him…more pissed and determined.

The "win is a win" mantra is acceptable here because its our only choice. But, there are upcoming games against teams so much better than Penn State (i.e. all of them) that its difficult to sit back and truly enjoy this bye week. I don't know what Michigan does to prepare for Michigan State other than find new places to stow body armor on Devin Gardner. Maybe this Michigan State team is not quite as good as last year's squad, but that probably doesn't matter.

The general concusses is that this next game is the last chance for Hoke. This trip to East Lansing has a certain definitiveness to it. Win, and judgement is postponed until Ohio State. Lose, and thats all she wrote. They won't fire him mid-season…they would've done that by now. Fair or not, that's the business of college football these days and business doesn't get any bigger than Michigan.

Related MBN clicks:
• Penn State Pregame Photos
• Michigan 18, Penn State 13

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