Where do I even start this thing? Seriously. When I first started this series I thought I'd be taking a look at one or two key plays within a game that either contributed to a loss or something that was just a huge question mark within a game...even if Michigan got the "W". Now? The entire program is in flames, as Zach rightly pointed out (and I'm stealing--sorry, Zach), and the best way for me to write the piece would be to say, "Just go watch the game again." I usually go back and watch the game a second and third time while writing this, but I just can't do it this time around, so I shouldn't ask you to do it.
It's not an excuse, it's a fact...
- Devin Gardner shouldn't throw a shovel pass when the only guy standing up in front of him is wearing green.
- Kyle Kalis can't spin around like a top while trying to figure out who to block. That should have been coached out of him by this point.
- Brady Hoke should have gone for it on 4th and 4 when they were down by 18.
- Everything else that happened.
That third one is the worst of them all. Things weren't going very well early in the season to begin with, and the Morris situation certainly did it's fair share of damage, but what we saw Saturday night was pouring gasoline on what was already a raging fire of ineptitude and cluelessness in the form of a now-untenable head coach. Every time it seems that fandom has hit its lowest point with this staff, something else comes at us with a fury. Making that 4th down conversion obviously would have sustained the drive...for a little while..which could have made a potential 21-10 deficit seem not so insurmountable. Not going for it not only guaranteed a failed drive, but it also let all of the kids on the field know that the coaching staff has absolutely zero faith in them. Remember that 2-point conversion attempt against Ohio State last year? That's what you do in rivalry games; you don't punt on 4th and 4 against a team that has owned you...and made fun of you while doing it. Fans and bloggers can be fickle; our trust in a team may waver from week to week, but when the coaches have no faith or trust, your program is dead.
Make no mistake, though, this conflagration we are witnessing will die down; it's only a matter of time...but how much more earth will get scorched in the process is anyone's guess.