Now that was close. I just woke up and had the weirdest dream. Maybe it was more like a nightmare. I dreamed that the Appalachian State thing almost happened again. Oh wow, good thing that was just my mind playing tricks on me. Can you imagine if Michigan got beat by another MAC school in the Big House? Now THAT would be awkward. Crisis averted. My mind was just playing tricks on me.
Wait. What happened?
Noooooooo. It was just a silly dream.
No. That almost didn't happen. Nope. Not again.
Stop messing with me. For real? The was that close?
What?!?!? In the words of John McEnroe...
Okay, that's enough with the ranting for now. What a crappy Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor. After the high that unfolded in week two against Notre Dame, week three looked like a train wreck. Michigan, luckily, was able to escape with a 28-24 victory over the mighty Akron. Yes, that other powerhouse school in Ohio. Oh the Zips and there ways, they love to give near heart attacks to the Maize and Blue faithful.
Final: Michigan 28 - Akron 24 pic.twitter.com/WtILEqnWRu— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 14, 2013
(11) #Michigan HANGS ON with a goal line stand, 28-24 over Akron. Devin Gardner 16/30 249 yds 2 TD's 3 INT's, 128 yds on the ground 1 TD.— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 14, 2013
First things first. Enough with the turnovers. Devin Gardner has six interceptions through the first three games and there have been at least a couple of those returned for touchdowns. For all of Gardner's talent and personality, he is making the kinds of mistakes that are becoming troublesome. Gardner is in his first full season as the Michigan starting QB and has some sensational moments that show flashes of brilliance. However, he has been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde show.
Gardner is leading the Wolverines in passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
Gardner has passed for 704 yards and 7 touchdowns against two MAC school and Notre Dame. Gardner has rushed for 237 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The 7 interceptions have ill-advised on multiple occasions. Against Notre Dame and Akron, interceptions were returned for touchdowns in the second half. Soon enough, these interceptions will lead to a loss. Gardner is playing with fire and that's a dangerous way to play. In time, Gardner will need to know that punting on 4th down isn't the worst thing in the world. Better to take a sack or throw the ball away than to give away six or seven points to the opposing team.
Michigan's offense has been mediocre at best this season. The flashes of Gardner and Jeremy Gallon have covered up for what has otherwise been sub-par performance. Michigan is 50th in passing yards (254.3) and 52nd in rushing yards (195.0.) The offense is still a work in progress and with the first road game of the season next weekend at Connecticut, the Wolverines will have to display a cleaner offensive performance.
As bad as things looks on offense at times, Michigan has just as many issues on defense.
Remember when Michigan had pass rush on defense? Seems like ages ago. One of my Michigan friends said this after the game:
"This was Akron and we got no pass rush. That's scary."
Michigan misses Jake Ryan and there's no doubt about that. Ryan is the leader of the defense and his presence will continue to be missed until his (knock on wood) return in October. There are too many occasions where Michigan has given the opposing QB too much time under center. The Wolverines have as many sacks as they do interceptions.
The Wolverines have accounted for five sacks and five interceptions after three weeks of play. The secondary play has been fine and Countess has been formidable in his return from a missed season due to injury. Greg Mattison is going to have to get the defensive line to step up their play because this bend but don't break defense won't stay undefeated for too long.
Michigan knows it played a poor game and afterwards, the Wolverines weren't shy about their disappointing performance.
"This was embarrassing - we will not come out like this again." - Taylor Lewan— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 14, 2013
"We're not coming out like that again." - Devin Gardner— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 14, 2013
"I'm not here to celebrate - we have a lot of work to do." - Taylor Lewan— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) September 14, 2013
All in all, at the very least, Michigan can be thankful it came away with a fortunate win. Michigan is undefeated and that's more than the Wisconsin Badgers and Nebraska Cornhuskers can say. As bad as Michigan fans feels after that victory, imagine how those Big Ten teams are feeling. Nebraska blew an 18-point lead to UCLA and Wisconsin got screwed over by some poor officiating against Arizona State.
Now, for some comedy relief...
FINALLY SWEET REVENGE ON JIM TRESELL WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO— mgoblog (@mgoblog) September 14, 2013
A win is a win!— spike albrecht (@SpikeAlbrecht) September 14, 2013
Pickle drank. pic.twitter.com/NW4A3OvAYh— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOzone) September 14, 2013