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Sunday, September 04, 2011

WMU Post-Game: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Brady Hoke Era began yesterday in The Big House with a storm-shortened 34-10 victory over the Western Michigan Godfather Horse Heads.  Here's a quick recap of what we saw:


* Al Borges -  Some Michigan fans were so concerned about Michigan's new offensive coordinator vis a vis Denard Robinson, you'd have thought Borges had announced he was going to utilize Shoelace in the slot position wearing ankle weights and a blindfold.  But, when Michigan's offense started its first drive with three consecutive plays of Denard in the shotgun, one could almost hear the collective sigh of relief.

I think it's safe to say, no matter what he's done in the past or is "comfortable" with, Borges is smart enough to take advantage of the most unique talents to don the Winged Helmet in a long time.

* The Defense (the second "half" of the game) - So that's what adjustments look like.  After making WMU's QB, Carder, look like a Heisman Trophy favorite the first couple Bronco drives, Michigan started blitzing and putting pressure on the WMU signal caller.  He was never the same (or standing upright as much).  Put it this way, if there were still real grass in The Big House, Carder's jersey would have been green at the end of the day.

* Bradon Herron - I could've put this under the listing above, but his two defensive TDs deserve their own mention.  Due to the weather conditions and his performance yesterday, I officially dub thee Brandon "Lightning" Herron.

*  Brady Hoke - How could you not be excited for Hoke, watching him run out of the tunnel and under the giant M Club banner for the first time as head coach of his dream job?  The guy had a truly magical off-season.  Glad the real season started on the same note for him as well.  And no hat and no headsets on the sidelines, huh?  Do your thing, Brady!

* The Emergence of a Running Game - Yes, it's early.  It's one game.  And it's against Western.  But watching Shaw and Toussaint break free a couple times nearly brought tears to my eyes.  Help is on the way, Mr. Robinson!


*  The Defense (the first "half" of the game) - Be honest - how utterly horrified were you the first couple WMU drives?  Holy crap!  I kept looking on the sidelines for Gerg and his stuffed animals!  And make no mistake, the game was much closer than the final 34-10 score.  When the game was 7-7 and WMU missed an easy FG to end their drive, on Carder's pass into the endzone right before the kick on that series, there should have been pass interference on Michigan's DB (forgot who was covering, but on the replay it looked like he was trying to remove the Bronco dude's jersey).  That would have put them down first and goal and, well, who knows?  But it wasn't called they missed and the rest is history.

As good as the D looked at some points during the second part (since there was no second half, really) of the game, they looked equally as bad during the first part. 

* Special Teams - Oh crap.  That's all.  Just, Oh crap.  If I think about this further or say much more, I'll simply break out in hives.  Thus... Oh crap.

* Troy Wolfolk's Injury - I know it was said he could've come back if absolutely necessary, but watching him get carted off the field, I felt horrible.  Not even so much for the team, but for Wolfolk.  The poor kid had the injury last year and missed the entire season, then to have this happen in the first game was a cruel twist of fate.  Thankfully, at least, it doesn't appear to be too bad.


*  The Weather - That was biblical.  First the game starts in weather so hot, people from Phoenix would be appalled at the heat.  Then the storms come and rain starts falling from the side... while the sun is still shining... and the temps drop about 30 degrees.  And the pictures of an empty Michigan stadium were eery, though not as strange as watching a Michigan defense knock the snot out of an opposing QB and return two turnovers for TD.

*  Craig James Calling the Michigan Game - I prefer the shitty weather any day.

*  Notre Dame - I know Michigan didn't play them yesterday, but my goodness did they look AWFUL.  That's how NOT to prepare your team for the season, then panic, and then fall apart enough to lose a game you shouldn't have.  Again, while some may be saying, "We only beat WMU, don't get too excited," true.  But the flip side of that statement is the debacle in South Bend.  Unfortunately, I think this just puts more pressure on Michigan this week because Kelly and the Irish really have their backs up against the wall.  This is make or break for them.


Mikoyan said...

Just remember this about Craig James:


T said...

I don't agree about Borges. I thought Denard looked uncomfortable.

Yost said...

T, it wasn't going to be perfect first time out. He was 9 of 13 which isn't too shabby. Best of all, the entire game wasn't on his shoulders. I really think that's going to pay off down the road w/ a (hopefully) healthy DR.

Mikoyan said...

I know this is a Michigan blog, but I figure that since I'm a regular here. These are my pictures from the EMU game.


Andrew said...

Lets not forget...what one penalty & what no turnovers...what does that say...better discipline not playing scared...
Remember...3 years ago...a struggle the first game...
On a positive note, remember HOF Lloyd Carr's lasy year agaist ND where B Quinn was destroyed by our D...man...maybe we can see that next week...

Andrew said...

Sorry..do you guys still have that video of the UofM D detroying B Quinn? The benny hill music...thinking of that still makes laugh...

Dave said...

Just add "for heisman" in the search

Brady Quinn - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6M9fIincgM

Jimmy Clausen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLOtDB1SzSA

Andrew said...

Dave ...in the words of the late Harry Kalas. You are the man. Thanks..

Bigasshammm said...

I was real nervous at the beginning but I think what we saw for the D was a very generic let's not show anything D. I think they though based on talent alone they could hold WMU back. When that wasn't working the different blitz schemes and shuffling players around was unleashed and it looked like a different team out there. If they can keep that up all year and keep adding enough new wrinkles to keep offenses guessing they should be far better than the last 3 years.