Game Recap: Michigan Bombs
Michigan 16 Iowa 24
The refs bombed out about as hard as Michigan did starting at Noon Saturday. I knew it was going to be a tough go against Iowa. It was man, it was. I wasn’t like most of you. I bet most of you watched this whole game. Right? There have been two games this season that I have been unable to watch live. The first via an Atlanta wedding, Northwestern. The second via the girlfriend’s Grandma’s funeral Saturday morning to early afternoon, Iowa. For both, my score app was on a 30 second refresh. It is awwwfffffuuuullll seeing your team go downhill via iPhone. There were many under the breath arrrggghs and dambs.
At any rate, I did catch the end of the fourth quarter in its entirety. Is it me, or does Denard just look like he’s going about 70% sometimes? Not effort, but in explosiveness and speed. I don’t know.
What you do with :16 to go after getting a first down at the 3 yard line…
Hindsight, just sayin’, etc., but I don’t think the timeout should have been used before you give Denard a shot to either run a power play or rollout and find a running lane on 1st down. Ideally, Michigan hurries to the line of scrimmage, gets set faster than the defense, and off Denard goes. TD’s may have ensued. So, as the day would have it, Michigan calls their final timeout with 16 seconds left on the clock. At this point in the game, if you run a play and get tackled, you are putting yourself in a position you can’t afford because you have four downs on your side.
Hemingway’s catch wouldn’t have been overturned either way. The knee was down and he was inbounds – that was clear. It was really close to being a catch, but the ball hits the ground.
Roundtree was interfered with, that’s unquestionable. Image from an mgoblog thread:
I mean, damb man.
Has Michigan hit a ceiling with Denard Robinson at quarterback?
My answer would be no, but the thought has crossed my mind. This is a Michigan team that is playing at a level that indicates winning is going to be challenging from here on out. Michigan just can’t seem to pull off a win vs. a mid-level B1G team. I’d break it down this way…
Right now, Michigan probably isn’t beating: Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, Nebraska.
Michigan is probably beating: Purdue, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois(?), Northwestern.
Michigan is smack dab in the middle of a seemingly weak-ish conference having a not-so-good year.
What I don’t understand, is that Denard does not take off and abandon the pass when he has clear, open running lanes in front of him. Can this be explained? Maybe Denard just doesn’t see those lanes as he is working his eyes downfield. His tendency is to hang, hang, and hang some more in the pocket and launch. At least three plays in crunch time were not given a chance as Denard sailed the ball beyond his receivers’ reach.
Let’s talk more about Denard, but do it and do it quickly.
I was thinking after the game on Saturday about what I had watched in the fourth quarter – and I asked myself what single word I would use to illustrate what lost the game for Michigan. The word wasn’t Denard. It was Borges. I mentioned the poor clock management and use of the timeout after Roundtree got the first down. That took away the option to run Denard. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t roll out Denard to give him an option to punch it if given the running lane.
A trend lately throughout the games Michigan has lost – is hating some of plays Borges calls and questioning his approach. I have yet to see every play in the game, but I’ve gathered that there weren’t a whole lot of shotgun sets (where Denard opened it up towards the end) throughout the bulk of the game.
Denard must get better, no question. Borges also must get better – - more of this and gorgeous Al is going to catch a little heat.
Good job, boys. Now go out there and do it again next week! Defense could have played better, but played good enough to win the ball game. The offensive production void of 2011 is going to be the topic of conversation during this fine November week.
The situation of the boxscore resembles that of a ball game that would come down to the wire – and it did. Surprisingly, Michigan had seven more first downs than Iowa. Other than that, not a whole lot stand out.
MICH IOWA FIRST DOWNS................... 22 15 Rushing..................... 10 6 Passing..................... 10 8 Penalty..................... 2 1 NET YARDS RUSHING............. 127 131 Rushing Attempts............ 37 35 Average Per Rush............ 3.4 3.7 Rushing Touchdowns.......... 0 2 Yards Gained Rushing........ 157 153 Yards Lost Rushing.......... 30 22 NET YARDS PASSING............. 196 171 Completions-Attempts-Int.... 18-38-1 14-21-0 Average Per Attempt......... 5.2 8.1 Average Per Completion...... 10.9 12.2 Passing Touchdowns.......... 2 1 TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 323 302 Total offense plays......... 75 56 Average Gain Per Play....... 4.3 5.4 Fumbles: Number-Lost.......... 2-1 0-0 Penalties: Number-Yards....... 3-20 5-29 PUNTS-YARDS................... 5-197 5-200 Average Yards Per Punt...... 39.4 40.0
Time of possession was also right on par with a barnburner…
Possession Time............... 30:06 29:54 1st Quarter................. 8:09 6:51 2nd Quarter................. 6:47 8:13 3rd Quarter................. 8:53 6:07 4th Quarter................. 6:17 8:43
9-0! Because we all think it…
Michigan is a few plays away from being undefeated in a couple games where they were outplayed all day long. It’s a flawed team, no doubt about that. But, fans are fans, so I’m going here. Michigan gets that 4th and 1 vs. Michigan State – - that game is looking pretty good for Michigan. Michigan converts vs. Iowa and doesn’t play like shit the entire game – - that game is also looking to be in Michigan’s favor.
Oops, I forgot. Ifs are stupid. Why did I even go there?!
As you’ll hear this week and already from the post-game comments – November is championship football time. It’s still November, and Michigan has three big games in front of them. Getting two of the next three would please many Michigan fans, but not all.
Photo Cred Det. News.