3 Pieces of Crow Pie With LOTS of BBQ
Michigan 28 – Turley U 7
Thankfully, Kyle Turley most probably left Michigan Stadium with some piddly meaningless excuses as to why his Aztecs didn’t get the revenge he so ignorantly publicized during the week leading up to the game – and he bailed on a supposed scheduled call with 97.1 this morning. Should Michigan have lost that game, giving that lunatic more ammunition to open his mouth would have been as annoying as State fans thinking they have a legit program.
Let’s look at our 3 pieces of Crow Pie after a solid victory on Saturday …
1. The D Has a Pulse
So, we are now in October. Michigan is 4 and 0 and this September-to-October transition has an all too familiar feeling. There’s a lot to take away from the first four games in Brady Hoke’s book as Michigan’s head coach. “This year is different” is going to be the theme going forward for Michigan’s players as the media will assuredly pepper the players with questions on what they are doing to make sure the B1G conference schedule isn’t a failure.
But the deal is – this Michigan team is quite different than each of the 2009 and 2010 versions, but I’m not sure it’s going to make too much of a difference against the top teams in the conference. You’re seeing improvement in key areas – umm, last year’s D brought back memories of Friday nights where they play high school football. Right? Right. Last year’s defense was so pathetic at times that I’m confident I’ve seen high school defenses that appeared to tackle and play better. Now, this year’s defense actually has a pulse. This year’s defense is actually making some positive, game-impacting plays that were non-existent last season. Game adjustments. This year’s defensive coordinator uses in-game adjustments and his brain, not stuffed animals and terrible alignments.
So, this year’s defense is different, better, more skilled, more talented, more experienced, and better coached. Now, I probably need to pump the brakes a little bit. Michigan knew every little nuance about San Diego State and had them completely dialed up. Nevertheless, through four games, Greg Mattison has shown his ability to coach and make adjustments — something that has been absent in Ann Arbor for a number of years.
2. Denard’s Arm Will be … Ok?
Denard had yet another dismal day throwing the ball. His stat line …
8 Completions – 17 Attempts – 2 Interceptions – 93 Yards
Now, if Koger catches a couple balls Denard is over a 50% completion mark and probably over 100 yards on the day, but I am perplexed. Denard is missing throws he had no problem connecting on at times last season.
Michigan WILL need Denard’s arm to come through in B1G play, but that’s not to say that Michigan hasn’t needed Denard’s arm to date. Like, you know that one game a couple weeks ago under those new Michigan Stadium lights? So, I think people need to chill out a little bit on Denard’s arm. His stat line always seems to look worse than how Denard looked in the game. If Denard can stop overthrowing guys over the middle – this would still be an issue, but slightly less of one. His deep balls are a different story, which have been short, rarely on target, and mostly thrown long.
What should worry every Michigan fan, and coach for that matter, is that Denard is killin’ it with his legs. But here’s the thingy, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio State, Nebraska and those other B1G teams recruit a bigger, faster, and heavier front seven than the likes of Eastern Michigan and San Diego State.
3. Fitz Touss and V Smoov
I’m just a huge fan of these two. I’m a softee for Vincent Smith. He looks much faster to me this year and back to his form towards the end of the 2009 season before he was injured in the season finale. I think V Smoov is a different player this year. He can squirt through some traffic without the defense even realizing what is going on. And that fumble he had – more of a fluke than anything. Smoov has tight ball security and he is so damn small it’s hard to pop the rock out.
Then you have Fitz. I don’t think we’ve seen what Fitz is capable of yet. The dude keeps his legs churning and gets solid yards in between the tackles and through traffic. With these two guys in the backfield – Michigan is better off than they have been in a handful of years back there assuming they can both stay healthy through the meat of the B1G schedule.
Photo cred: Detroit News.