Quick Thoughts on the Purdue Game

Just a few quick thoughts on today's loss to Purdue. We'll have much more to say in a complete game wrap-up coming maybe tomorrow or more likely on Monday, but these are my overall impressions from watching the game from the pressbox.

Clearly this is a very tough loss for Michigan. As usual, plenty of blame to spread around. But I think this loss can be chalked up to just not making enough plays on defense. Our linebackers and secondary especially were just Swiss cheese today. Mouton made some very bad reads, and Jordan Kovacs and Kevin Leach were consistently playing out of position. I don't question the formations, just the execution. Call us small, call us young...those are all reasons for our struggles on defense. Today was no different.

However, the offense looked much improved and played inspired football today. Brandon Minor ran like he did against Notre Dame. He was quick, got through to the second level almost at will...and showed his speed and toughness with a couple beautiful touchdown runs in the 1st half.

Tate also looked much improved. His stats were much better than in the previous 4 games. He looked much more confident and poised. His decision to pitch the ball to Minor with the Purdue player in the way was really his only really bad decision all day.

Let's face it, 36 points ought to be enough to beat a team like Purdue. But just like last year, it turned into a shootout. I think the only thing you can take away from this game that is good is the offense played well above their inexperience. They looked loose in the first half, and made as many plays as they could in the 2nd half to make it a close game.

But the 3rd quarter shift in momentum really punched this Michigan team in the gut...just like the Illinois game. And that's really when things went south. I think we'll get better over time dealing with teams making a 2nd half charge against us...but with youth comes the ability to get shaken when things start going against you.

In the post game presser, the media was a little surprised to hear about Purdue head coach Danny Hope's comments to Rich Rodriguez after the game. Apparently, Hope met Rodriguez at midfield to shake hands, but instead introduced Rodriguez to #75 LG Zack Reckman.

Rodriguez said this was because Reckman was suspended a week after Jonas Mouton was suspended. I don't really know what the two suspensions have in common, but I do know it wasn't because of anything Rodriguez did. But, apparently Hope wanted to rub Rodriguez's face in it. After watching the broadcast replay of the end of the game, this was definitely a coordinated effort by Hope and Reckman to seek out Rodriguez and have him meet Reckman.

Very low class on the part of Hope.

At the post-game presser, Rodriguez was visibly very upset and confused about the whole situation.

This just takes Joe Tiller's "snake oil" comment and adds a ton of fuel to it.

Much more on that, and the complete game wrap-up to come.

Also, thanks to Greg @ MVictors for the links above. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Greg at today's game. For the complete audio from Rodriguez at the post-game presser, head on over to check it out.


  1. "Rodriguez was visibly very upset and confused about the whole situation."

    The confused statement seems to be Rodriguez's mo.

  2. In the post game press conference, Dick Rod attempts to take the attention away from the loss - so he spends a few minutes weeping like a baby about how his feelings got bruised by the opposing coach.
    And you call it "low class" by the Purdue's coach Hope. What an idiot. You cannot see it for what it is? Dick Rod (and you) say "it wasn't anything I (Rodrigues) did". When in fact the rest of the Big Ten knows that he made an issue of it after Jonas Mouton was suspended.
    At least Danny Hope had the decency when asked about it, that "it is between Coach Rodrigues and myself".
    But I guess that is "low class" also. I usually like your blog, but you are way off base on this one.

  3. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Dave, you honestly believe that's a kosher thing to do? What the hell does it have to do with anything? So the kid got suspended for something he DID do, and thats bad?

  4. I'm not saying what Hope did was "kosher". What I am saying is that our coach should talk about and take care of his own house. This is only an issue because Rodrigues made it an issue. No journalist asked about it, instead our beloved Dick Rod brought it to light in his first sentence of the press conference. What a baby. Why didn't he talk about how well the Wolverines played, that it was a close game that was determined by some special teams plays.
    I guess this is the new Michigan way. We are so used to winning, that when we lose (which we do a lot lately) we have to change the subject and deflect the attention to something else.