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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Michigan-Minnie Recap

Random thoughts on the college football weekend...

* Don't be fooled by the final score. The game could have been a killer if Michigan had played anybody decent. Only 13-10 at the half and 20-10 until the fourth, I admit, I had ugly thoughts going through my head more than once.

* Ryan Mallett is not a savior, just a freshman QB with cannon arm and potential. Michigan won despite him the last two weeks. Yes, he threw some nice long balls in the second half, but his erratic play in the first half would have been deadly against anybody but the worst team in the Big 10.

* Really impressed with Carlos Brown and Brandon Minor. Both are finding a groove that will prove critical down the stretch - even with Hart back - and key for next year. However, Brown has to hold onto the ball. I know his fumble-itis early in the year was due to the cast but throw in a couple more, like the one yesterday, and it becomes a mental thing that is hard to shake. Must, must, MUST hold onto the ball (and learn to switch it to his outside arm as he did not do on the fumble).

* Take away Mallett's TD giveaway and the defense looked very good. And Minnesota, while ass-awful on D, is (or was) good on offense, ranking around 25th in the country coming into the game.

* I said naughty, naughty things about Ron English after Oregon. Now I must give him props for righting Michigan's defensive ship. He's made a solid unit out of them.

* Yes, he was up against (I believe) freshman, but Mario Manningham, when he has his head in the games, is explosive on deep balls. He creates separation as well as anybody I've seen. With a healthy O line, Hart and Henne, this offense is oh-so-close to being as good as advertised before the season started.

* You have to be happy for Lloyd Carr and his staff. I've said that before and I'm going to keep saying it. This team should have gone in the toilet. Now, here we are, with three games to play, and in better shape than many teams who we would have traded places with just over one month ago.

* Yes, Appalachian State will forever go down in the annuls of sports as one of the biggest upsets of all time. However, while an ugly loss, the Oregon game sure as hell can no longer be called a bad loss. That is a great football team. We still shouldn't have lost by as much as we did, but there is no shame in the loss (Appy State - still shame. Lots and lots of shame. Heaps of shame. Shame on top of shame).

* Interesting thought - if Michigan wins out and makes the Rose Bowl, and Oregon wins out but doesn't make the BCS title game, rematch, anyone?

* For M history buffs, this team, dare I say, is starting to remind me a bit of Bo's 1980 squad. Michigan had lost it's last two (or three?) games of '79. In '80, they opened with a shockingly close 17-10 win over Northwestern (when they were the worst team in all of college football). They followed that up with back-to-back losses to ND and South Carolina.

At that point, many were writing off both Bo and the team. Saying that, with 4 losses in their last 5 games, the game had passed them by.

That Michigan team not only went undefeated the rest of the season, they didn't give up a single touchdown in the last 5 1/2 games including on the road in Columbus and in the Rose Bowl against Washington, Bo's first bowl victory.


Katie said...

I had the same horrible thoughts in the first quarter. I also agree, Mallet isn't horrible, just a freshman, and he did settle down and that arm........he will make a sweet QB for Michgian if he keeps working at it. Brown and Minor, they showed us just how great our game can be next year. Props to them for hanging in behind the great Hart. Mario, truly is awe inspiring...that catch was spectacular!

It always makes me nervous to hear everyone say we don't have to worry about a team. Even Carty before the game said, Minnesota is horrible, our grandmother could beat them. I cringed when he said that, Appy State kept playing in my mind. We can not start slow for the rest of the season, I hope this was the last game that we used to work out our "bugs", now let's play ball and run the table! GO BLUE!

Katie said...

I forgot to mention KC! He is 8 for 8 now! He is also fun to watch after he kicks it, he has fun and that is what CFB is about when you boil it down.

Reed said...

I was hanging out with two Oregon fans last night. With a smile, they exclaimed, "I'd love to play Michigan again!" They are obviously hoping for a trip to New Orleans, but seem supremely confident they would trounce us again. I can't say I blame them, but I do think we'd fare better a second time around.

DaBraylon17 said...

i say screw you to all the mallett haters. i know we michigan fans are hard to please, but you have to have patience. mallett will be much improved next year. the kid is frosh and is making frosh mistakes. he will get better after ha matures. i think his deep ball is aMAIZEing and he moves around in the pocket fairly well, but methinks he needs to work on his shorter passes. there were some that were batted down at the line and some that were underthrown. i don't understand how his passes get hit at the line. we had fuckin MINUT BOL at quarterback and his passes were gerring knocked down. reminds me of john navarre, who was, what, 6'6" or 6'5"? mallett also needs to stop fumbling.

DaBraylon17 said...

and i don't want to play oregon again. they would crush us, again. dennis dixon is playing even better and they have a much faster team. they would kill us again. that is why i am hoping it's going to be oregon versus lsu in the championship game.

Bo said...

Hey, as long as we're hoping for things, why don't we hope that Oregon AND App St. go on to win championships and we'll take the Rose Bowl victory, having gone 11-2, with our only losses to Division 1 National Champions!

Jennifer said...

aah, if only, but appy state is a ways away from the top of division 1-aa. i know this primarily because my mother is oh-so-excited about the university of northern iowa making their run for the championship again (after losing to appy state in the top game 2 years ago ;)...

standing in the student section yesterday, i was very frustrated with some booing, etc. directed at mallett...

zolton was out the whole game yesterday, right? i missed him.

chazz said...


Henne vs. Boeckman

Hart vs. Chris Wells (Both healthy or gimpy)

Manningham vs. Robiske

Arrington vs. Hartline

Michigan O vs. Buckeye D (group)

Michigan D vs. Buckeye O (group)

Backups on the Bench

Home vs. away (Hint: ask PSU)

Special teams.

Kicking game.

Coaching. (play calling)

Feel warm and fuzzy???? Me too. See you in a few weeks.

Matthew said...

Are you telling me that Michigan has a 0-1 record all-time versus South Carolina?!

I actually didn't know that.

...for shame

Bo said...

ok, chaz... since you asked:


Henne vs. Boeckman? HENNE

Hart vs. Chris Wells? HART

Manningham vs. Robiske? MARIO

Arrington vs. Hartline? ARRINGTON

Michigan O vs. Buckeye D? TIE BECAUSE WE'LL BE HEALTHY

Michigan D vs. Buckeye O? TIE


Home vs. away? TOSU

Special teams? TOSU

Kicking game? TOSU

Coaching? TOSU

That'd be 5-4-2 in favor of Michigan... just don't go ruining things by losing to Wisconsin...

Katie said...

Nice Job Bo! I would beg to differ on the kicking ....I think we have that one with Zoltan (who did play yesterday btw Jennifer)

Bo said...

I dunno, Katie... we have the better kicker but our coverage has been "suspect," to say the least.

kowisja said...

rematch with UO/dennis dixon NO WANT

whetstonebuck said...

Hey, Penn St. brothers:

Don't want to be bragging plus this thread is about Michigan's victory over the Gophers, but...
From the "Hey, That Buckeye Looks Familiar" thread on 10/23.

Is this the place where we predict the score?

tOSU - 34
PSU - 17

October 23, 2007 9:32 PM

Only missed it by three points.

WingRG said...

don't bother, although that was a pretty good call. They're too busy reminding themselves that their quarterback is as good as Boeckman, or that their kicking game is as good as ours. Last i checked, only one kicker made a 50-yard field goal yesterday, and his initials weren't KC. :-)

Katie said...

True Bo, our coverage is suspect, but all hail Zoltan!

whetstonebuck said...


Whenever I see your avatar, I take my hat off and observe a moment of silence.

You are truly the glass half-full guy. I respect that: a true partisan. Still I'm shaking my head over these...

Henne over Boeckman (I suppose you are going with experience, but I think Boeckman's stats speak louder)

Michigan O tied with OSU D (healthy schmealthy. This is just good ol' wishful thinking. I hope I don't live to regret that)

Hart vs. Wells (I know this is sacrilege, but I would call this a tie. Wells is quickly coming into superstardom. I’ll predict this: Wells has the better game on the 17th)

Regarding the starting receivers, you might be right estimating sheer individual ability, but as an offensive threat, I would have to give tOSU the nod. I think our guys operate more effectively within their system.
It’s the intangibles that will rule the day when we meet.
Neither of our teams is out of the woods yet. Ambushes aplenty.

You still have Wisconsin and yer buddy Sparty.

I won't breathe easy until we get by Wisconsin & Illinois.

It's shaping up to be the event we all live and die for.

Good luck.

Katie said...

Just when it started getting all cozy, Whets and Wing have to go and remind us that they are tOSU fans.....LOL. SIC, you were right, they are in sheeps clothing, just waiting to pounce!!! ;o)

whetstonebuck said...

Katie, Katie, Katie,

Don't give SiC any reason to spout more conspiracy theories. I think I'm on the verge of winning him over enough to buy the next round.

Look, you all ain't crap without us to kick around. And vice-versa. We need each other.

*When you are finished vomiting please gargle with something pleasant.

surrounded in columbus said...


all it took was time for them to reveal themselves. pure evil can only manifest the appearance of good for so long before they have to drop the mask.

won't be long now before sweater boy's horns start showing up on the negatives of pictures and someone eventually notices that he's had all the mirrors removed from his house, the locker rooms, and the woody hayes facility (which also explains why he likes night games so much).

Katie said...

Scope anyone? (I prefer cinnamon flavor please) ;o)

whetstonebuck said...

Well, well, well.

Speaking of night crawlers, look who surfaced.

Goes to show. Sprinkle a little innocent blood around and SiC rises from the grave.

Matt said...

Never speak too soon. I hope and pray every day for a victory over OSU. It won't be easy. Penn State is a decent team, I think, and OSU just ran all over them. Anything can happen of course. But Michigan needs to want this game more than anything. This goes for everyone--the players, the coaches, and the fans. I hope to be at the game (might not because of travel difficulties), and if I am there I hope to lose my voice. We need that game. Everyone must get pumped. As said before, we control our own destiny.

whetstonebuck said...

Sorry Matt,

We control your destiny. Get used to it.

I didn't get any blow-back from my team analysis as compared to Bo's. I figure this thread is dead, but I still felt compelled to poke the bear.