It’s clear that folks are reeling over this one and the focus is turning to the future of this program. Lloyd Carr is still mum on his plans and I think the fire Carr brigades realize he’s not going to be sacked. There’s still a season to play and much to play for/preseve. Mike Hart has already come out and said that he’s going to help turn this around and guaranteed victory over Notre Dame. Here’s some takes on this mess:
– Mallett and Henne. The young freshman saw his first action on Saturday after Henne went down. There was some loud cheering when Mallett went into the game for the first time. Some interpreted this as cheering for Chad Henne’s injury – it wasn’t. It was simply some excitement over Mallett and for a change. Most the stadium didn’t even realize Henne was banged up.
– What the injury means. For any M fans feeling good that Mallett is probably going to start against Notre Dame, you shouldn’t. While the young guy has an incredible arm and a lot of promise, but he probably knows a quarter of plays that Henne does and DeBord won’t open up the offense with the kid in there. Bottom line: Michigan’s best chance to win is far and away with Henne.
– Toughness & Conditioning. Maybe the most embarrassing thing about this is that Michigan got pushed around the field in every sense. A common dig at Carr and Michigan is that they haven’t adpated to the speed of the game, sticking with a grind-it-out philosophy. Well, were definitely not even that right now. The last thing I expected is to see Oregon come out of this game as the tougher team but they were. As for our overall conditioning, it was clear that these guys couldn’t keep their breath against the Ducks. Some of the best D was in the middle of the first quarter and at the beginning of the second half when the guys out there were rested. After that it was a mess.
Recruiting. You have to wonder about the long term impact of this death spiral. I caught Coach Carr greeting a bunch of recruits and their families (above) prior to the Oregon game. Whether it’s the confusion on the field or the boos reigning from the stands, why would any of these guys choose the Maize & Blue?
Giving Up? While admitting they didn’t see all of the game, last night a few folks on ESPN suggested that Michigan players ‘gave up’ at the end of the game. I didn’t see any players throwing in the towel or going less than 100%. In a funny way I almost wish you could say they did, but they didn’t. No way. I don’t think this team will give up on Carr or on the season.
Irish. Each team limps into this game after embarrassing defeats. There is a pep rally at Elbel field Friday evening that will feature coaches and players. You’ve got to wonder how many folks will show and what kind of reception Carr and the coaches will receive. Same goes for Saturday’s game. I heard a bunch of folks leaving the Oregon indicating they had Notre Dame tickets for sale.