Hey - remember last week when I said that Michigan would win? Remember when I said this?
Michigan wins early and easily, final score somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-13. Denard only plays the first half. We see significant Gardner, and Tate gets his first series of 2010. Mouton kills somebody, Cam Gordon rebounds to have a nice, confidence building outing, and Kovacs gets an INT.
Yeah, that was fun. As it turns out, the video posted of the App State HORROR blocked field goal was much more apropos than the drubbing of Delaware State. That's why it's fun to play these 1-aa teams; you're never quite sure what you're going to get! Wheee!
This week, Michigan takes on Falcons of Bowling Green State University, which until last week was another game for Denard to get his shake on before the Big Ten conference, but after last week has become a game that we're all probably a little more nervous about than we'd care to admit. Michigan and BGSU have played once before, in 2000, and the score was 42-7. Here's hoping. The line is Michigan by 25.5 points, so Vegas seems to think that Michigan's in good shape.
The Falcons, as BGSU are known, are an FBS team out of the MAC conference who play in the East division. Prior to 2008, Michigan could claim that they had never lost to a MAC team, but in our post
apocalyptic Lloyd Carr world, we can no longer say that. Last week, I posted a video of App State because I wanted to make it seem like the Umass game was important and that we could lose. After the giant poop of a game performance last week, I probably don't have to post the highlights of Toledo to make it seem that this is an important game, but here they anyways because...I guess I'm sick like that. The lyrics are probably NSFW. I didn't stick around long enough to find out.
So yeah, that happened.
BGSU has had their share of success in the MAC, but haven't taken home a conference championship since 1992 when they went 10-2. They beat Nevada-Reno in the Las Vegas bowl that year, which, woo? Their latest bowl game came in 2009 (hey - that's better than Michigan!) when they lost a heartbreaker 43-42 to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Rivals for Bowling Green include Toledo (shudder) and Kent State. They play Toledo for the "Peace Pipe" which is among the more awesome things I've read today. I can picture Brent Musberger calling the game now: "And we're back at the BATTLE OF I-75 where Bowling Green and Toledo will be playing for the Peace Pipe!" I am PUMPED.
"He’s going to be out this week," BG coach Dave Clawson said. "He will not play against Michigan, and at this point we’re ‘wait and see’ as to when we’ll get him back.
The starter for Saturday hasn't been announced, but is between Sophomore Aaron Pankratz or true freshman Trent Hurley. They run a spread offense, but with Pankratz at 6'6" 221 and Hurley at 6'5" 210 lbs, I don't foresee a lot of spread and shread. If Schilz's stats are anything to judge by, expect a lot of passing attempts; Schilz was averaging over 35 attempts per game, and completing them at at close to a 65% rate. However, before visions of 3-step drops and zippy little throws to receivers who hang out under 10-yard cushions start causing you to get a little weepy, neither Hurley nor Pankratz are Schilz, who was the starter for a reason. When your coach is saying this:
"This year, a clear No. 2 never really emerged," Clawson said. "I said at the end of pre-season that the issue wasn’t, ‘Who is our starter?’ It is ‘Who is our back-up?’ Really it was between Trent and Aaron.
Well, take it from a Michigan fan who has experience with such matters...it ain't good. However, when Hurley took the reins for BGSU last week against Marshall, he directed the offense for 121 yards, so maybe he's a little better than I'm giving him credit for. For their part, the BGSU offense has been mediocre, ranking 52nd in the nation at just over 30 points per game (Michigan is 37th). How much this matters with a non-established back-up at the helm remains to be seen. For Rodriguez's part, he's not taking them lightly (Freep link, if you care):
"They have really good skill players," Rodriguez said Monday. "All their wide receivers make plays. I'm really impressed with their running backs, their quarterbacks have been good. They're going to pose some of the problems we've had this season, we're going to see that this weekend."
While this sounds mostly like Coaching boilerplate, it is true: if Bowling Green runs their offense they way they want to, they will exploit some of the problems that Michigan has had this season - namely the fact that our corners have spent much of their time in a 10-yard deep shell while allowing the exact kinds of 5-7 yard passes that BGSU wants to run. Rodriguez is likely most concerned with senior receiver Kamar Jordan who leads the nation(!) in receptions at 37. Meanwhile, the Michigan secondary has allowed 61 catches for 808 yards and 4 TD's. This matchup will be one that BGSU will try to exploit.
As for the running attack, BGSU is languishing at 111th nationally, averaging only 83.3 yards per game. The first two games they played, they were behind and thus throwing more, but still...that's not good. Leading the attack is Willie Geter, a junior out of Miami Florida. Also, PRISON ABS: