Week three is gone but not forgotten. For any Michigan Wolverine football fan, that can only mean one thing:
TIME TO MOVE ON!
If we've learned anything from last week, it's that you can't take it easy on any opponent. That, and pickle drank.
The calls of Appalachian State were all too familiar in week three for the Wolverines. It was the first time in the Brady Hoke era that you could say that Michigan came out flat and with a lack of focus. U of M was lucky come away with a win and keep it's big hopes for the 2013 season alive. However, at the end of the day, the Wolverines came away with a victory and that's the ultimate result every fan desires.
A win is a win no matter how it comes— Frank Clark (@UMclark57) September 16, 2013
Look at it in a different perspective than you'll see it more clearly.— Antonio Poole (@apoole_40) September 16, 2013
Michigan received a lot of praise after it's convincing victory over Notre Dame in week two. On a national stage and under the lights, the Wolverines played up to the national spotlight against the Fighting Irish. Fast forward one week later and it looks as though Michigan was a team that was over-confident and possibly a little too full of themselves. That's a harsh truth but it was a reality check for the Wolverines who haven't won anything thus far in 2013. You could hear the Michigan Men of team #134 own up to their poor performance in week three.
Schofield: we let last week's praise and predicted dominance get into our head— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) September 16, 2013
James Ross says everyone was embarrassed Saturday, and now everyone's ready to show back up again and prove itself.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 16, 2013
Ross: big plays are a result of a lack of focus. If we focus, that won't happen— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) September 16, 2013
The Maize and Blue faithful have a lot to be upset about. However, it's important to keep things in perspective. Michigan is 3-0 and still ranked #15 in the country. If you want to be upset, you could be like former Wolverine Steve Hutchinson and get upset over hypothetical rankings of college football coaches names in the rap world.
Steve Hutchinson is mad at Orson for ranking Brady Hoke too low on a list of CFB coaches as rap names. #internet— mgoblog (@mgoblog) September 17, 2013
Michigan has been saying all the right things since the embarrassing victory over Akron. A loss in week three would have altered this team for the worst but the victory can also be beneficial. Team #134 seems to be more focused than ever in this early 2013 season and the leaders have stepped up and taken on a larger role of accountability.
Leaders like Taylor Lewan and Devin Gardner have taken a lot of the blame and made sure to hold other players accountable as well. In a situation like this, a coach can only ask that his players don't soon forget how close the team was to a lost season. Hoke even took the situation into his own hands by having the Wolverines practice hard on Sunday and it appears as though the players were receptive to the extra work.
when did Hoke decide to hold practice Sunday: "at about 4:07" on Saturday post-Akron— angelique (@chengelis) September 16, 2013
Hoke: from the leadership part of it, Taylor and Devin, Jake Ryan has been unbelievable— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) September 16, 2013
"We're going to prepare like no team has ever prepared before." - Lewan— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 16, 2013
Hoke says seniors leaders/captains have "pushed it" since the Akron game -- getting a lot of leadership from Jake Ryan— angelique (@chengelis) September 16, 2013
The Wolverines will shift focus to week four of the college football season...
MICHIGAN @ CONNECTICUT 8 P.M. EST. TV - ABC
The Wolverines will travel to an unusual destination on Saturday when they go on the road for the first time in the 2013 season. Michigan will head off to New England to take on The University of Connecticut football team on Saturday night. It will be interesting to see what kind of focus the young Wolverines come out with. As we learned last week, no opponent can be taken for granted and Michigan will need try to come out with their first road victory. As good as Michigan has been at home with Brady Hoke as the head coach, the road results have been less than stellar.
Michigan is 4-5 in true road games under Brady Hoke. The four wins were 2011 Northwestern, 2011 Illinois, 2012 Purdue, and 2012 Minnesota.— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) September 18, 2013
Truth be told, Michigan will only go as far as Devin Gardner can lead them. For all of the struggles along the offensive and defensive lines, Gardner's erratic play comparing The Incredible Hulk and his alter ego, Bruce Banner. Since Gardner has taken over as the starting QB at Michigan in 2012, he has yet to play one game without an interception. Let me repeat that: NOT ONE GAME AS THE STARTING QB AT MICHIGAN WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION.
It's unusual for a mild-mannered guy like Gardner to play so out of character. If he makes a mistake, it appears as though he tries to make up for it enough of just moving on. Think about baseball and the greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera. For as many times as he has succeeded in critical situations, he has also failed time and time again. However, if Rivera is to blow a save, he will be out there the next day and have already forgotten about the past. Gardner needs to live in the moment and focus on one drive, one play, one snap.
Hoke on Devin: Sometimes when make first mistake want to make a better play to make up for it... needs to let game come to him— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) September 16, 2013
Hoke says Michigan isn't going to "shrink the playbook or anything" to protect Gardner, he just has to be better.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 16, 2013
Hoke mentioned Saturday Gardner was banged up, said that had nothing to do w/ his turnovers, though. He's fine.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 16, 2013
It seems as though Gardner is saying all the right things and is ready to hit the ground running on Saturday. One would hope that all the built up frustration will not cause Gardner to try to be too perfect. #98 found advice from someone who knows about being a young quarterback in the national spotlight...
Johnny Football. Yes, you read that write. Gardner says that Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel and Clemson QB Tajh Boyd reached out to him.
It's been an interesting week for the University of Michigan. First, the close call against Akron was a tough pill to swallow. However, if you're looking for a bright spot on the Wolverine radar, there was some good news for the Maize and Blue faithful.
The new Miss America is a former Michigan Wolverine.
Congratulations to @michiganalumni Nina Davuluri, the newly crowned Miss America!— UniversityofMichigan (@umich) September 16, 2013
I'm still looking for a Miss Ann Arbor! 😍😍😍— Blake Countess (@BlakeCo18) September 16, 2013
If that wasn't enough, take a look at this graphic that should bring some joy to any Michigan Man.
In the words of the WWE's Daniel Bryan...
UConn may not be a powerhouse football program but it will surely be the largest non-conference opponent to visit the Huskies in some time. Whatever the outcome may be, it will be good for these young Wolverines to get out of Ann Arbor and bond on the road. The head coach at UConn spoke about Michigan and what the visit will be like for the university.
Coach P "exciting for everybody in Conn to play Michigan. #UMvsUConn— Jeff Jacobs (@jacobscourant) September 17, 2013
WEEK 4 SEE-IT-TO-BELIEVE-IT CAN'T MISS COLLEGE FOOTBALL
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21
ESPN's 'College Gameday,' is going off the map this week. No SEC tailgates or rowdy fans from the state of Texas. This week, Gameday is going north.
Excited for my first time in Fargo for @CollegeGameDay! Putting away my SEC Sperry's & Polos. What do y'all wear up there?— Sam Ponder (@samsteeleponder) September 16, 2013
Welp. Looks like I'm wearing overalls, camo, flannel, orange & uggs. Thanks guys!!— Sam Ponder (@samsteeleponder) September 16, 2013
MICHIGAN STATE @ #22 NOTRE DAME 3:30 PM EST. TV - NBC
What a time for these two teams to meet. Michigan State has been dealing with offensive struggles all season but may have found some clarity at the QB position. It appears as though Connor Cook did enough in week three to take the spot as QB1 for the Spartans. Notre Dame, on the other hand, is coming off a close call at Purdue last week and, much like Michigan, will be looking to get things back on track.
Both of these teams have their issues at QB but they both bring formidable defenses to the table. Ask any Michigan fan and they'll tell you about that Notre Dame defensive line. It's good. Filthy good.
Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has a brand of defensive football. This season the defense has actually been playing so well that it's actually better than the own team's offense at times. The Spartans and Fighting Irish will slug it out in a defensive battle and it may come down to which QB can limit their mistakes. Connor Cook will be taking his first snaps as a Spartan QB on the road and South Bend can be an overwhelming environment.
Dantonio: "You're going to find out a little more about football team (against ND). Hopefully we caught fire a little bit. Impt. to cont."— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) September 17, 2013
Dantonio: "Impt. game. We can go 4-0 and set for a week (w/bye) before going into conference. It's a marquis game which we'll see more of."— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) September 17, 2013
Will Michigan State-Notre Dame be the first game to ever go to quadruple-overtime via nothing but defensive touchdowns— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) September 16, 2013
Highest avg sold college FB ticket resale prices on @TicketsNow this week: 1. Michigan St vs ND $253, Kansas St vs Texas $197.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 18, 2013
TENNESSEE @ #19 FLORIDA 3:30 P.M. EST. TV - CBS
Remember when these schools were the powerhouse programs in the SEC? It seems like ages ago that Peyton Manning was at QB for the Tennessee Volunteers or Tim Tebow was bring multiple national championships to the Florida Gator fans.
Fast forward to 2013 and you have a Florida team who has underachieved and a Tennessee team that just got owned by #2 Oregon. Speaking of Oregon, why is no one talking about this team? Granted, Chip Kelly is off leading Michael Vick and the Eagles in the NFL, but Oregon is still Oregon. This is a team that shouldn't be overlooked and considered a serious BCS title contender.
I'm not saying Oregon would destroy every SEC school. You people are freakin crazy. Seriously. You're nuts. Simply said the can compete.— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 18, 2013
Oregon's social media command center called The Quack Cave pic.twitter.com/inXHrrJ7D0— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) September 17, 2013
Okay, enough about Oregon. Back to Florida vs. Tennessee. One of the funniest things on Twitter is the parody account of Florida coach Will Muschamp.
Who names their kid "Butch Jones?"— Will Muschamp (@Will_Muschamp) September 16, 2013
Florida has one of the best defenses in the country, if not the best defense in country. Unfortunately, it also has an offense that is mediocre at best. QB Jeff Driskel has not lived up to the hype he brought in as a highly touted recruit. There are future NFL stars on the Florida defense but it's offense played a horrific game against Miami in a loss in week two. It could be an ugly game between the two.
Muschamp on Tennessee's loss at Oregon: "We have to worry about Florida. We'll get [Vols] best effort this week."— Chris Harry (@GatorZoneChris) September 16, 2013
Will Tennessee snap their 8 game losing streak to Florida this weekend in the Swamp?— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 18, 2013
From @pat_dooley in Gainesville: UT returned 3500 of its allotted 8000 tickets to Florida.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) September 18, 2013
Want a free ticket to the Florida-Tennessee game? A Florida man is offering one but there's a catch. http://t.co/NtmWcmE7SC— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 18, 2013
Driskel will likely be back at QB and here's hoping that Will Muschamp gets fired up. There's nothing like a good Muschamp explosion on the sidelines.
#23 ARIZONA STATE @ #5 STANFORD 7:00 P.M. EST. TV - FOX
There might be no one happier than the Arizona State defense. In case you were living under a rock last weekend, you missed Arizona State basically stealing a win from Wisconsin in week three. An Arizona State player decided to lie on the football and the officials let the clock run out on Wisconsin.
Im not saying they are going 2 but what if Wisconsin runs the table now & Ariz St is their only loss?— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) September 17, 2013
Pac-12 reprimands game officials in Wisconsin-Arizona State football game http://t.co/3oIseIlZo8— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) September 16, 2013
Larry Scott: "We have determined officials fell short of high standard in which Pac-12 games should be managed"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 16, 2013
Arizona State might have their luck run out on them this week when they go on the road those smart kids at Stanford. If there's any team that may be able to compete with the Alabama Crimson Tide in a title game, it may well be Stanford. They play a physical brand of football that has continued on even as former coach Jim Harbaugh is off coaching the 49ers in the NFL. Is anyone noticing a pattern of former Pac-12 coaches leaving college to go to the pros lately? Pete Carroll, Chip Kelly and Harbaugh? Okay, enough about that.
This should be an interesting game that features big difference in style of play.
SOME OTHER COLLEGE FOOTBALL FUN TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THIS WEEKEND: