It looked like...Michigan, for god's sake!
So before we turn our attention full-time this week to that school in Ohio, we take one final look back to savor the "W" over "N."
MZone Autopsy Report: NEBRASKA
* Are you getting tired of praising this defense yet? Me neither. Nebraska didn't convert a third down until the third quarter. Sit back for a moment and try to wrap your head around that. Last year, U-M had the 110th ranked defense in the country (out of 120, in case you're wondering). Last year, this defense gave up 35.2 points per game, 107th in the country. This year, Michigan has the #14 ranked defense in all the land and is giving up 15.6 per game, 6th best in the country!
Want a little more perspective? In its 13 games last year, Michigan gave up 458 points. Through 11 this season, they've surrendered 172. In other words, to equal the punchline that was 2010, Michigan would have to give up 144 points -- in EACH of its remaining two games (OSU and the bowl).
Folks, that's not improvement, it's mind boggling. Because this wasn't some talent-laden group coming back. It was, well, the 110th ranked unit in the nation.
* Contrary to what you may have heard (a lot) by some, this genie-wish-like turnaround on defense has not come at the expense of the offense. This year, Michigan's scoring offense is ranked 25th, averaging 33.6 points per game. And last year? Michigan had -- pause for effect...keep pausing...wait for it...okay, keep reading -- the 25th ranked offense, averaging -- one more pause -- 32.8 points per game. Yep. The current coaching staff that some continually keep claiming are shackling or hurting or not properly utilizing Denard have actually, factually done no such thing.
Oh, and best of all -- Denard is still able to play at full strength and speed here at the end of the season because he's not getting the living snot kicked out of him each and every game.
Want more here, too? Okay. Last year through 13 games, Michigan scored 426 points (which includes the OT Xbox game vs. Illinois). This year through 11 they're at 370, meaning they have to average a very possible 28 points in each of their final two games to equal the offensive genius we gave up when Brady Hoke and Al Borges came to town.
Now, cut and paste the above and send it to all your friends who, for some reason, are still bitching about the current coaching staff and what they're "doing to Denard."
* In 2010, Michigan was dead last in kicking, making just 4 of 14 FGs. This year, they're 9 for 13 with two games to go.
* The most disappointing thing about the previous three seasons
* If Michigan wins on Saturday, Brady Hoke will have won just as many B1G games in his first season -- 6 -- as Rich Rod won in his three years at the helm.
* I think the fans -- myself included -- are having a harder time believing in the quick turnaround than the team as evidenced by my reaction to watching the Nebraska game. Even when U-M was up 21, I -- and the Wolverine fans I watch with -- were still nervous. Waiting for the other shoe to fall. It's like fan PTSD after The Dark Years. Although...
* That roughing the kicker call against NU was weak. Very weak. We were up 14 at the time, had been stopped on our previous two drives, and big mo' was wearing Big Red. But after the penalty, Michigan drove down and scored to go up 21. Game over. Still, it was a horrible call. I guess somebody felt they owed us for Iowa. Speaking of which...
* Denard's roll out TD down near Nebraska's 2 yard line is a play I'd like to have seen on that 4th down against Iowa. &%$#ing IOWA!
* Loved the fake FG call but would not have been in favor if we'd lined up to simply "go for it" on 4th down, if that makes sense. When we lined up to kick, I thought it was a smart call. When we faked, I thought it was genius.
* THERE IS NO FUCKING WAY THIS TEAM SHOULD LOSE TO OHIO!
|(HT: SG, although he was unsure original creator)|