Navarre struggles. TA coming to town on Saturday.
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN SEPTEMBER 7, 2003 Oh yes, it was sweet being back at Michigan Stadium after missing Game #1 at the DALMAC. Jess and I arrived in our seats about 20 minutes before the start, just in time to see the band and the team come out. The weather was perfect: literally no clouds and a mild mid-70s.
As for the game, it is tough to give any good takes due to the quality of the opponent, but I will say that Houston crushed a team (Rice) the week before, and many good/great teams (e.g., Ohio State, Purdue) struggled or lost against so-called patsies.
The Michigan Wolverine defense looked much improved, which probably had something to do with the return of Shazor and Jackson. They both played great. The Houston offense really couldn’t do anything; only mustering a field goal after converting a 4th down. The holes created by the M offense were as big as I can remember. The M fullback, Dudley, had some great blocks for Perry and Underwood and the rest of the runners. “Duds” was the player of the game of WJR.
John Navarre looked average. I felt the receivers could have made a few more catches, but Navarre wasn’t putting the ball in a good place. I’m concerned that I haven’t seen a tight end emerge as a semi-go-to guy. The passing game will have to improve next week. He’s got to be more accurate.
One more item: John Navarre tends to look down at the plays on scripted on his wrist when he is going to pass (during the huddle). He doesn’t look at it every time before he passes, but every time he looks at it he throws a pass. At least I’ve never seen him look at it without passing. I don’t know if the defense would have time to react to this information.
As for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, they were lucky to win vs. Washington State. I think the jury is still out on Coach Willingham. He did the wrong thing by kicking the 40 yard field goal in overtime on 3rd & 8. They barely made that field goal – they should have run the ball one more time and tried to get closer.
I think M goes into this game as a better overall team once again, but they have to get it done.
Memo to the city of Ann Arbor: Word on the street is that Timmy Adams is coming back into town with one of his drinking buddies from Boston next week for the Notre Dame game. Watch out!