5 Takes From UConn

This guy...

Thank you MVictors.

Taking the high road
I can be like everyone else and come on here to write about all of the short-comings of this team the last 2 weeks, but that's not what I'm going to do. It's easy to pile on the criticism of the O-line and Devin's struggles, but I don't see it the same way most folks do.

What I've seen the last 2 weeks is a Michigan team that has won, albeit closer than it should've been, two games against what are probably two of the worst teams on the 2013 schedule. But in those wins, this young Michigan squad gained some perspective, and more importantly, some experience.

For reasons passing understanding, I never for a second thought Michigan would lose to UConn. Even when the score was 21-7, I didn't think they would lose.

I think the Akron letdown was due primarily to the ND hangover. Which then carried over into the first half of UConn. Like a bad penny, the mindset of playing down to their competition was tough to shake for this young offense...mainly the linemen.

It was just weird
This was a weird game. It was a weird opponent. It was a weird atmosphere. It was a weird kickoff time. It was weird that it was on ABC. It was all just weird.

It was also UConn's Super Bowl. They packed 42,704 people into that stadium, which is the biggest crowd ever at Rentschler Field. Regardless of what happened the week before, I think this game would've been an uncomfortable win for Michigan no matter what.

Michigan rarely does well against weird. Bring on Notre Dame.

Schedule woes
I truly think that Michigan is much better than they've shown the last two weeks. Like an F1 race car...if it's not driven to the edge of it's capabilities, then it's a disaster. Like a pack of wolves...they don't want to be fed, they want to hunt. The cure for Michigan's blues lies in a tougher schedule. Play better opponents, and you'll see a sharper, more focus team.

Sometimes, good teams just play bad against bad teams.

Some M fans flipped out to Ohio State's 76-0 victory over Florida A&M on Saturday. I recall a Michigan squad on October 17, 2009 which beat Delaware State 63-6...and then went on to lose the last 5 games of the season and not make a bowl game. I'm sure Ohio State will win again, but blowing out FCS schools is not as impressive as it may seem.

What did Ohio State learn from that win on Saturday? That Kenny Guiton is a good backup QB? I think they already knew that. They learned nothing. Going forward, all that game will serve as is to pad the season stats.

That OSU score was a Rich Rod score.

Against the wall, they respond
If there's any bright spot from the last 2 weeks, it's that when forced to make a play or score points, Michigan has responded and done so convincingly. I thought Fitz looked very good in the second half against UConn on his way to a nice 24 carry, 120 yard day. I'll take 5.0 yards per carry for Fitz any day.

A game ball goes to Gibby to knocking in the 21-yarder to win the game...his 3rd game winning FG of his career, if memory serves me?

And of course the play of the game was Desmond Morgan's one-handed INT early in the 4th quarter. He earned a hug from Hoke on that one...

That play turned the tide and led to Fitz's 12 yard TD run on the very next play to tie the game. Which leads me to...

Turnovers, man
They'll absolutely kill you. They've killed Michigan the last 2 weeks. Michigan currently ranks 114th in the country in turnover margin at -5. 3 lost fumbles and 9 interceptions through 4 games simply will not cut it.

The biggest thing Michigan needs to work on over the next two weeks is ball protection. If Michigan keeps the ball 6 out of the 8 turnovers the last 2 weeks, they win both games by 3 touchdowns.

It's really that simple.

POINT AFTER: The defense
Man the defense played better. I don't care if it's UConn. They played with some intensity and it showed. They held UConn to only 206 total yards, including just 47 yards rushing. That's what you're supposed to do against a team like that, and they did it.

The pass rush was a welcome sight as Frank Clark got 2 sacks. Ray Taylor, Jibreel Black, Mario Ojemudia and Chris Wormley all got credited with half-sacks as well. I love the zone blitzes dialed up by Mattison in this game.

With all of the Michigan turnovers and the resulting positions it put the defense in, they still only gave up 14 points (and 7 came 2-plays after a turnover, the muffed punt). They also helped Michigan dominate the time of possession, especially in the 2nd half when it really mattered most.

Michigan's defense will win some games for them this season. And that's how it should be.

UConn Post-Game Presser [Video]

No comments

Post a Comment