Now that we're done with the good news, here are the things we know now that we didn't know before:
- Devin Gardner is good, but raw. Last week was supposed to be a learning moment for Gardner and his hasty decision making to avoid a sack. It wasn't. Gardner looked all sorts of flustered in this one, and by the second half it was clear that he had completely melted down as a passer. The running game worked for him, but the mistakes were too many. He ended up with four turnovers (three INTs) and a completion percentage just over 50%. This doesn't inspire confidence going forward.
- Fitz Toussaint needs blocking. When Michigan needed plays, it was Toussaint that made them, but too often he was met in the backfield by Akron defenders. He finished the game with 71 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries at 3.7 yards/carry. It felt like more than half those runs were dealing with a lot of pressure right away.
- The defense is still pretty good. There were some blown plays, and Akron hit a couple perfect passes to get into the red zone, but time and time again, the defense made the plays that were needed.
- The special teams isn't an asset. I'm not talking about Gibbons missing. He gets a pass on that. Wile doesn't. He shanked another one. Norfleet hasn't broken one and continues to toe the line between gutsy call and outright disaster.
- This team is young. We knew this, but the performance it put up last week obfuscated that fact for a little while. It seemed like they were older. But the team came out flat and never really regained its swagger.
You can breathe now, Michigan escaped. But it isn't getting any easier. Let's hope things improve from here.