There's not a lot of beauty in a game like that. It wasn't the first ugly game Michigan's played, and it won't be the last, not with Maryland and Ohio State upcoming. But it can't be undone, so now we head into a bye week and the final stretch. Michigan is 5-5 and still bowl-eligible, but bowl eligibility is a distant second to playing with pride - and on that alone should the Wolverines keep fighting with whatever they can muster. Against the Buckeyes, some hatred and bitterness would also suffice.
We all know what has to be done. We all know the failures that have been made. An optimistic way to look at it is that there is plenty of work to do, and that work can be cathartic, transforming, and revolutionary. And, there is much to be done. It starts with seeing Hoke the door and it follows with holding the next coach to the highest standards of excellence, picking apart his every move. No more satisfaction with mediocrity.
Hitting the Links Needs a New TV
Haha... of course it's a puppy.
A great recap of all the craziness that happened in the M00N Game, and it was indeed a full moon shining over Evanston that night.
Obligatory: quarterback; 28 plays, 115 yards, 4.11 per play, 0 touchdowns, 2 turnovers; running backs; 28 carries, 151 yards, 5.39 per play, 1 touchdown, 0 turnovers.
To beat this horse to death, the league's absolute top running backs - Melvin Gordon, Jeremy Langford, David Cobb, Tevin Coleman, and Ameer Abdullah - have cracked 150 yards eighteen times this season. And, of course - they're great backs. But almost 40% of those games featured a per-carry average of 6.5 yards or less.
Great rushing numbers doesn't just come from having a star running back. It means dedicating yourself to the running game. Yesterday, it was De'Veon Smith, with 121 yards. The week before, it was Drake, with 122. The coaches are finally realizing - too late and too hesitantly - that they need to be a running team. Smith, Green, Hayes or Johnson have averaged 6.2 yards per carry eleven times in Michigan's ten games, but only once did any of them crack 150 yards.
Now, I'm not saying that we have David Cobb on our roster. But Drake Johnson's breakout 122-yard game was entirely unsurprising. This staff has done a terrible job of exploring and establishing our tailbacks, and that is the deepest root of how they have wasted such a high-caliber defense and so much talent.
Shaving off costly turnovers, marching down the field more, better field position, more touchdowns, better time of possession, and fewer opportunities for the opponent and a more rested defense are all potential benefits. They needed the ball more in this game, and they needed the ball more all season, even it's just five carries spread around per game.
Congrats to the players, by the way, on a mostly well-fought game. Mostly.
The highlights and lowlights tend to follow a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theme of defense and offense.
Northwestern's receivers are a little underrated, but our secondary is also a weak link on our team.
Not as pretty as home.