MZONE AUTOPSY REPORT: Iowa
1. Michigan didn't deserve to win. Sad but true. Iowa played their best game of the year while Michigan played its worst. I'll even go so far as to say worse than MSU because this
2. There were some
And the last play of the game...WTF?! How was that NOT flagged for PI? As HSR said, "there have been efforts on Dancing with the Stars with less contact."
Yes, that's probably the worst end-of-game-in-the-endzone-non-PI call against Michigan since MSU in 1990 (go to the 7 minute mark, watch, get pissed again like it still matters).
And I'm not even bringing up things like, oh, the long PI flag that was thrown against Iowa...then picked up.
I know, Don't put the game in the refs' hands and you don't have to worry about this stuff. True. And even if we'd scored there at the end, Michigan still had to get a 2-point conversion just to get to OT. True. But still... &^%@!
3. Immediately after the game, Michigan fans took to the Interwebs, blogs, boards and Twitter to trash (or snark) the U-M coaches, mostly Al Borges and the offensive play calling. Even I was "that guy." In talking to my former MZone co-hort, Benny, in the aftermath, I was bitching about how easily U-M marched down the field its final two drives out of the shotgun. I gave Benny the most cliched, uninformed fan lament; one you've probably heard or will hear a lot this week: "Why didn't we do that the entire game?"
Benny's reply: "Because they weren't in the same defense they'd been in all game." His point was that the reason Michigan had an easier time on its last two drives was because Iowa was in a looser D. Up two scores with under 10 minutes left, they just didn't want to give up the big play.
But can I at least bitch that -- especially on the last play -- Denard should've been rolling out for a play that gave the most electrifying runner on the field a run/pass option rather than calling something in which he had to thread the needle?
In defense of the coaches, I will say that you can't blame the play calling for the missed XP, Denard laying the football on the turf, or throwing into double coverage at the end of the first half, or receivers dropping balls right in the numbers, etc. etc. You take away those glaring mistakes and, with the same game plan, we probably don't need an end-of-the-game miracle or have to worry about shitty calls.
SIDE NOTE: In looking for the clips above, I stumbled upon some dude bitching in the comments of an M/Iowa video about how Borges and his crew have ruined one of the best offenses in cfb. He then went on to state that if RR were still around, we wouldn't have this problem.
Yeah, life would be all lollipops and gummy bears.
|Remember: he's a Buckeye!|
Is it "ruining" Denard's rhythm by inserting Devin each game? Honestly, I don't think DG is playing that much for it to be a problem. Plus, with Denard's propensity to get injured, U-M needs a back-up who can step in and play. Who hasn't just taken a couple knees during mop up duty. I think it's more of an execution problem.
5. Michigan is making progress and is a better team than last year. Before the season, I said to Benny that I thought Michigan would finish the regular season around 7-5, but be much closer to 9-3. This was in contrast to last year in which Michigan was 7-5 but, in my opinion, closer to 3-9. Put it this way, in both of Michigan's losses, the Wolverines had a chance well into the 4th quarter (and right until the last play against Iowa). Last year, when Michigan lost, they lost. You didn't have to worry about the refs or the calls at game's end because it was long over by then.
So I still believe we're headed in the right direction. However, 7-5 would now leave a bad taste in my mouth. I need a) a road win next week against Illinois and b) a victory over either Nebraska or OSU. Yes, I'd like wins against both, but I don't see that happening. Which isn't a slam because...
6. What did you expect? While it's good to be disappointed after every loss -- expectations in A2 should always make that the case -- did anybody really think U-M was ready to contend for the B1G title this season? While I always hoped for that, I certainly didn't realistically expect it. But we are making progress. Keep the faith, as hard as last Saturday was (and it certainly sucked balls).