Purdue First Half Thoughts

Bullets and stats from the first half at Michigan Stadium.

1st Downs156
Rush Yards13836
Pass Yards15683
Total Off.294119
• Purdue's first drive, all 1 minute and 24 seconds of it was very well orchestrated. The bubble screen they scored on was run to perfection...including some missed tackles by Michigan.

• Michigan's first drive attacked Purdue in every way. Bubble screens, power running, downfield passes in which Denard looked sharp. It was a very nice drive to counter Purdue's opening drive. Of course, at the goal line, when in doubt, give it to Denard. This marks the 5th game in a row when Michigan has scored on it's first drive. If Borges scripts the first 15 or so plays like I think he does, he's on to something.

• Denard's INT on the second drive was just a bad read by Denard, trying to force it to Koger and never took his eyes off him. The Purdue linebacker Joe Holland made a great play.

• After giving up a TD on the opening drive, the Michigan defense forced two 3 and outs. The second one was following the Denard INT. The Devin Gardner INT was just ugly. Poor throw. I bet Devin knew it was the wrong read as soon as it left his hands.

• Mike Martin's bullrush and sack for a safety, Michigan's first since Houston in 03, changed the entire feeling in the stadium. He's a beast!

• RVB also had a nice blast through the line to rush Marve's pass while was bobbled and intercepted by Avery on Purdue's 4th drive...which was moving along nicely.

• I really like what I'm seeing out of Fitz so far. He's got nice speed and good toughness. Michigan needs this guy to step up...which I think he's doing so far in this game. Clearly the play-calling, especially at the end of the half was pass first, mostly due to time, but I'd like to see Fitz get some more looks down at the goal line.

• Denard has played well aside from the INT, and maybe a bad throw here or there. But as a few in the pressbox have noted, and you probably have as well, he seems to be missing a gear on his running when he gets into space. He also seem a little hesitant at times. Clearly he's not the free-wheeling Denard from last year.

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