Michigan continues focus on running game heading into big one in South Bend
ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN SEPTEMBER 9, 2006 This one was over early, as Michigan quickly established the run on the overmatched Central Michigan Chippewas. Nothing much was learned from week 1 to week 2. We know the running game looks better as does the defense. Meanwhile the Irish crushed Penn State all over the field and head into Saturday as a 6 point favorite over the Blue.
Here are the takes on this game:– Lightning Delay. We experienced the first ever weather-related delay in the history of Michigan stadium, pausing for 1 hour in the second quarter as a few bolts came down within 6 miles of the stadium.
– Passing Game. A few things have to bug you here. First, Michigan really hasn’t shown it can effectively beat a team through the air. The good news is that they didn’t need to against the first two opponents. But they’ll need to air it out against Notre Dame to win – this is a given. In addition, Henne saw a lot of pressure from CMU and Vanderbilt. If he’s getting pressured against these chumps, what is going to happen when the Irish are rushing him?
– Sec. 22 Sightings. It’s always interesting to witness the comings and goings in Section 22. Here’s this week’s version:
During the rain delay, we met Michigan legend Jamie Morris underneath the press box entrance between sections 21-22. He told us personally that Crisler Arena was open for the fans to hang out during the delay. I assume this is a part of their general emergency plan.
At the end of the game the dean of Michigan coaches Carol Hutchins walked up the aisle with some of her softball team. She spotted Grummy’s Buckeye visor and simply asked, “Ohio State?”. Embarrassing. I told the Coach that Brent was ok.
Some guy yelled, “COVER THE SPREAD”, about 20 rows up from us. A truly classic statement: relevant and irreverent. It inspired this T-shirt creation.
– Irish Next. I’ve heard a lot of commentators talking about a Notre Dame blow-out of Michigan. No way! Michigan must win this game, there is no moral victory in a close battle with the Irish. The keys? I think the D will play well, and M will run the ball just fine. The key is keeping people off Henne and the QB executing in the passing game. That’s it. I say close but the seventh straight loss in road openers for the Blue, 21-17. Either way, as Bo says, ‘To Hell with Notre Dame’. One final note on the game, I’ve casually followed the game line this week. It started at 6 1/2, rose to 7, and has sharply dropped as low as 4 on some boards.