Wolverines grind out tough one in State College
ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN OCTOBER 14, 2006 Michigan passed the biggest test of the season thus far, dropping Penn State for the eighth straight time by knocking out the Lions’ first and second string QBs. The PSU fans wore their lily whites in support of JoPa, and Lloyd Carr called it the loudest crowd he’s ever played in front of (sorry Oregon, but Carr would never acknowledge such an honor to a non-Big Ten stadium). Here are the takes on this game:
– Sack Men. Seven sacks, along with 9 other Tackles for Loss, 2 quarterbacks knocked out. Penn State didn’t know what hit them. The third string QB had absolutely no chance, the screen pass for a touchdown was a fluke. Chalk this win up to the defense. The M ‘D’ remained the #1 against the rush in the nation, with all the sacks and the domination of Tony Hunt netted PSU negative yardage on the ground. Here’s a link I found from the official NCAA site that updates team and individual statistics very quickly, and provides comparisons against a team’s league and all the other NCAA teams.
– Drops. If there was one downside to the game it had to be a the drops. Michigan had a few drops both by receivers and by the defense that would have sealed the game. TE Massey dropped a touchdown pass he should have hauled in, and Breaston dropped a first down that would have sealed the game. Michigan had a few opportunities to end the game with interceptions and dropped those. Against Penn State, these mistakes didn’t matter, but what happens when M is on the ropes against Iowa or Ohio State?
– No LaMarr Shirt?. On Sunday morning Ann Arbor News columnist Jim Carty wrote about some of the harrassment Michigan QB Chad Henne received by the Nittany Lion fans. Henne of course is a native of PA, and originally gave a verbal commitment to Penn State before coming to his senses. Some of the fans had T-shirts with all kinds of anti-Henne slogans and slurs. In that piece, Carty said that you won’t see any T-shirts with LaMarr Woodley’s name on the front. Ha! not so Jimmy. Inspired by an email I received last week, I produced this gem honoring #56.
– Tiger Drama. Magglio’s bomb to send the Tigers into the World Series occurred just minutes before kick-off. We were hunkered down at legendary Fraser’s Pub and witnessed it all. The Tiger’s have clinched the first 2 series alongside big Michigan wins this year [The Yankees win was during the MSU game], and it has been fun. It is still hard to believe that Detroit is in the Series!
– Iowa Limps In. The Hawkeyes are definitely struggling this year, squeaking by a bad Syracuse team and losing to Big Ten cellar-dweller Indiana on Saturday. This said, this should be an outstanding game this week. Win and you’ve got to feel that Michigan will complete the schedule undefeated heading into the big one. Speaking of the Big Ten, seeing Wisconsin crush Minnesota was a little bit of a surprise, and that win is looking to be quite a key W for the Blue.
– Polls and the BCS. Michigan moved to #2 in the AP Poll, #3 in the Coaches, and #2 in the Harris Poll as well. Someone voted the Wolverines #1 in the Harris. The latter 2 factor into the BCS formula. It is ridiculous to get worked up over this right now, but I can guarantee you that this or any season where the Big Ten has an undefeated team, that team will be in the BCS Championship game. It is feeling like that there will be 1 dominant undefeated team at the end of the year (Michigan or Ohio State), and probably a host of angry 1 loss teams and Boise State that will claim ownership of the #2 slot. Here are the current BCS Bowl Projections.
Here’s some video defensive highlights of the game, compliments of YouTube: