What a relief. Yes, this is a below average Illinois team but it’s still a win in a Big Ten road game and you know we don’t have many of those the past few years. If you were gripping in the second half you weren’t alone—Michigan had many shots to put that out of reach and didn’t until the end of course. Props to Gardner for coming in and taking it home—he deserves a lot of credit for getting it done.
Seems like Al Borges got the message to ease off the pro-style pedal a bit and let Denard do his thing. #16 seemed much more comfortable despite the mistakes. I still think he’s missing a gear, but he played a better game and we’ll need him even better against Nebraska.
This sets up a nice one next week against the Huskers (I’m so glad they beat PSU)—you’ve got to be jacked for Saturday. Showdown at noon and it’s going to be good.
- Obviously doesn’t tell the whole story but the NCAA data is nice to see: #11 rushing offense, #33 total offense, #17 total defense, #7 scoring defense. Of course Western Michigan isn’t included.
- J.T. Floyd (or “T.J.” per the BTN postgame show) turned into Chuck Woodson today, shades of Nick Sheridan turning into to Tom Brady at Minneapolis three years ago. If the MVP doesn’t go to Floyd, it goes to Van Bergen or Martin for there perpetual motion machine attack, constantly in the backfield disrupting whatever Zook was trying to do.
- Denard has started to make better play fakes after handing the ball off and he needs keep working on this. I think this is critical—Denard has to the power to freeze those linebackers on occasion with a good fake and it might be enough to get the runner into the secondary.
- It’s such a relief that we’ve got Gallon safely fielding punts the way he is. If you see him on the street give him a bear hug. Then split.
- Refs. They obviously made a decision to only call holding if the offensive lineman actually removed the jersey of rusher. And on the play where Avery picked up the ball and scored the touchdown, they made three bad mistakes on a single play. The unholy trinity: 1. It wasn’t a fumble in the first place, that’s somewhat forgivable. 2. If it was a fumble, Avery was clearly on the ground (and thus down) when he picked it up, but they gave him a touchdown. 3. They didn’t adjust the clock after the play was reversed, should have been 19 or 20 seconds left instead of 14.
- I tweeted this before the game, but there is a Michigan man memorialized on one of the stadium columns in Champaign. Lt. Col. Curtis Redden died in WWI and played on Yost’s point a minute teams. Yost donated out of his pocket to round out the $1,000 necessary to name someone on one of the columns when the stadium was constructed in the early 1920s.
- Speaking of memorials, maybe there’s space for Zook on one of the columns because he’s done-zo. Maybe he’ll take Craig James with him wherever he’s going.
- Fashion foul? My wife and her friend swear Hoke was wearing black pants with his blue shirt. Apparently that’s a no-no. I asked her how she knew the pants were black (vs. navy blue), she said, “Because it hurts my eyes.” At least Hoke rocked the Terminator shades. Speaking of family comments, my young son asked me if Michigan won this morning. After I told him what happened, he asked, “How come Michigan beats every team except sometimes Michigan State?”. Ugh. Ugh.
Extras: Maize N Brew recap, Freep summary, Game Balls from AnnArbor.com, mgo-Muppets
Extra Large: Bo Pellini [sic] Says The Nebraska And PSU Should Not Have Played Saturday << correct, good for him for saying it
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