SALINE, MICHIGAN SEPTEMBER 7, 2004 Michigan took complete control of the game in the 4th quarter with a series of Miami turnovers and ended up putting a big number on the Miami Redhawks. What the 43-10 score did not readily reveal was a few concerns that will need to be addressed as the season progresses.
First off, Lloyd Carr starting a true freshman (Chad Henne) blew my mind. The whispers around the program indicated that Henne was tearing it up during camp and pre-season practices. We’re still not exactly sure what happened to Matt Gutierrez, but we’ll have to assume that Henne will be the starter if he keeps getting it done.
They say Henne is a very confident guy. He must be: he was one of the top rated passers in high school, yet chose to come to Michigan where there looked to be a pretty stable quarterback situation for at least 2 years out (with Gutierrez and/or Clayton Richard). He looked very poised but we’ll see how that holds up next week at Notre Dame. Richard looked pretty sharp in mop up time.
The biggest concern for me is the running game. David Underwood just did not get it done. He averaged just 2.9 yards a carry versus a lesser team. I know Miami was highly ranked at the end of last year, blah, blah, blah – we should have been able to run the ball against them. True freshman ‘Michigan’ Mike Hart looked really good on his 3 carries – I wonder if we’ll see him vs. ND.
The other concern is punt coverage. It looked like guys were over-pursuing on the punts, leading to 1 TD (brought back by a flag) and another one that set up a TD. Again – no way this flies if Michigan wants to win the Big Ten.