Did the Real Michigan Just Stand UP?

Who's been hiding this Michigan team from us all year? We're tackling now...we're catching passes we didn't used to...and the defense is flying around the field like they have (to quote Bob Ufer), a hot herring in their cumber bun.

I don't know where this team has been all year, but allow me to welcome them back.

This is how they've been supposed to play all year. The defense especially is making plays that we could only dream of 6 weeks ago. We're pressuring the QB better, covering the middle better, and our linebackers and D-line, now healthy, are getting into the gaps and stopping the run.

The offense is seeing itself get back to what they do best. I could tell from the first play this week, when Chad Henne faked a hand-off and ran a play-action pass as he rolled out to the right hitting Carson Butler for a 13 yard gain...that this game would be better. Whens the last time Michigan threw the ball on the first play of the game?

But we're finally starting to get back to what makes our offense so successful. Balancing the attack with the passing game. Henne has the ability to see the whole field so much better than he used to. He checks off at the line and reads blitzes very well. It almost reminds of me of Tom Brady and how he directs the Patriots offense today, except Brady is usually in the shotgun.

Mario had his first real game of the year last weekend. Exposing the lack of speed by the Purdue corners, he was able to out run and out-jump them all day long. When you have 3 really good deep and post threats like Mario, Arrington and Matthews, that really opens up the running game.

So about that. Obviously we don't know much about Hart and his ankle. In true Michigan fashion, Lloyd was very standoff-ish when it came to the health of his top two running backs at the post-game presser. But from what Chad said and a handful of other players, it sounds like Mike should be back no later than the Minnesota game in two weeks. Hopefully we'll see him back by this weekend at Illinois. We need some depth a RB. With both Hart and Minor bruised up, the weight of the position falls on the shoulders of Carlos Brown, a sophomore from Franklin, GA. He carried the ball well last week in the 2nd half. 66 yards and 2 touchdowns in what is clearly his biggest game so far at Michigan.

If Hart can, in any way make it back for next week, I'm sure he will. I can safely assume that this senior will not let a sprain keep him from what is so far, a tremendous season in which he leads the nation in rushing yards and yards per game. I had a lingering sprain my senior year when I was a player. Its definitely an injury that you can play through. But the problem is it lingers for a while. But with good rehab and enough stretching and strength conditioning, he'll most likely be fine. I'm sure the Michigan training staff will be on top of it.

But anyway, I'm happy with the effort. I'm also happy this is the last time we're going to be on BTN. I like BTN, now that I get it. But their broadcast is lacking the depth of ESPN or ABC. They just need to tighten the screws a little. A lot of times we'd just see the end of a play. They need to work on their timing of graphics and cutting away to interviews. I'm not sure who the the commentators were, but I'm not such a big fan. But all in all, not too bad. I'll take ESPN anyway though (except Pam Oliver).

Have a good week everyone and hopefully I'll get to my (apparently not-so-intimidating) Illinois preview soon. Have a good Monday everyone.

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