Some Thoughts on Michigan vs Notre Dame


It is funny how all of the emotions of that game can be summed up in three letters.  I believe that game was the biggest roller coaster ride I have ever experienced.  Cedar Point and Six Flags were just put to shame.  I am so glad that Michigan came out on top in the end because losing that game would have been just disastrous, after the amazing comeback that Michigan had made.

I don't want to get ahead of myself here.  I have seen Michigan beat Notre Dame in the last two seasons as well, only to be disappointed at the end of the season.   The thing is, I cannot see this team in the same way that I looked at teams coached by RichRod.  They have a different attitude.  They are winning in a different way.

The Michigan offense is explosive, in no small part due to Denard Robinson.  You have the feeling that this team can score quickly and score often.  The way this game ended for the offense is what I was starting to see against Western Michigan as well, before the rain came.  It seems that Michigan gets better as the game goes on and the players are settling into what they need to do.  I believe, as the season progresses and the players gain confidence, the offense will find their groove earlier in the game.

Once again the defense started slow and let the other team march down the field.  Once again they hung tough and made plays to take away the football and keep their team in the game.  This is an opportunistic defense that makes big plays by surprising the opposition with the way they disguise the blitz and coverages.  I think the defense will also get much better as we go along.

While I am uncomfortable with the way the defense is getting stops through turnovers, I realize that might be what Greg Mattison has to do until he gets more dominant players.  Until then, the defense will need to be effective through scheme, execution, and taking advantage of opportunity. 

What impresses me about both games so far is how the coaches are keeping the Wolverines in the game.  They are no longer a fragile team that can be blown out if the opposing defense has a good half.   Greg Mattison is keeping his defense in the game and finding ways to be effective despite a less than ideal group of players for what he wants to do.  Al Borges is flirting with creating one of the most explosive offenses in college football because he actually does have some superb talent to work with.  Well, if anything, Michigan will be exciting this season. 

We have a good game to tune up the team next week against Eastern Michigan.  I love Ron English, but Eastern is going to have a hard time in this game.  They just do not attract the level of athletes they need to compete with Michigan, but this is football.  Anything can happen. So...


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