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The Wolverines played about as well as they could for the first 22 minutes in all three phases. Michigan's opening drive on offense, in my opinion, ended up being the key to the game. Consuming so much clock and capping it off with a touchdown really sucked the energy out of the stadium, and put Purdue's offense in catch-up mode from that point forward. That caused Purdue to press even more on offense, which meant the Boilermakers never really established any rhythm offensively.
Defensively, the Wolverines continued their upward trend. Michigan was content with not giving up the big play and forcing Purdue to execute over and over, which the Boilermakers were unable to do.
The turnover at the end of the first half can't happen, as that gave Purdue some life for the first time all day.
Denard still didn't look overly comfortable throwing the ball, but he made some phenomenal plays with his feet. Especially early in the game, whenever Purdue needed to make a 3rd or 4th down stop, it seemed like Michigan converted, and Denard was a major part of that.
I've been critical in the past of Al Borges for his play calling, so it's only fair to give credit today for putting Denard in better positions to succeed much more frequently than he did in the two losses.
Funchess really has a bright future, especially as the passing game improves and he continues to develop physically. He's really a dangerous threat down in the red zone.
Lastly, it's never easy to pick up a road win in the B1G, especially against a team that had looked pretty good in its nonconference games. To win so comfortably was just icing on the cake.
Thanks for the input.
What do you think of Fitz right now? Too much dancing? Time to give Rawls a chance?
I thought our passing game looked solid today. Gallon, Gardner, and Funchess all look like great targets for Denard.
I think it looked much better than it has in the past. I agree with you that those three have proven they can make plays in traffic, and Denard is clearly becoming more and more confident in them.
My one worry is that it never really comes easily for Michigan in the passing game. Even when receivers are wide open, Denard isn't consistently accurate enough to make the defense pay by putting it on the money and enabling his receiver to make a play after the catch. The accuracy issue worries me because against better defenses, those windows will be much tighter, allowing for less margin for error.
The great thing is that with as athletic as Denard is, I think Michigan can still have a dangerous offense as long as Borges puts him in position to succeed.
My thoughts are: this is what happens when we base our offense out of shotgun spread with the current personnel. I think Borges' offense looks good from what I've seen, but we just don't have the players to run it right now. Denard can be the most dangerous player in the conference, but he has to be used correctly. And they did this game; even into the teeth of Purdue's DL with Short.
On D, man, I have few complaints. Possibly, the lack of tight coverage when they're going quick passing, but holding the the opposition to under 200 yards of offense until garbage time for the second straight week means few complaints. Jake Ryan is a beast. And Taylor actually got off of blocks, which was...surprising...
Denard had 235 yards on the ground today? Holy crap, it did not seem like that much. If that's true, it's his 2nd most ever (behind ND in 2010) and the 7th most in Michigan history.
Also, one of my main takeaways from the game is that Jeremy Gallon should not be returning punts. I'd prefer Norfleet or Drew Dileo. Gallon does nothing.
I would say yes. I don't know if it was the time off, or he just has a hard time with the way the blocks are being set up. But he doesn't seem to ever pick or find a seam and hit it. He dances around looking for a bigger hole that never comes. With his size and strength he can find a small gap and hit it for 3-4 easily. I like what Rawls did even though it was when the game was over and Purdue had thrown it in.
Looks like he suffering from Michael Shaw Bounce syndrome
My thoughts: UM took Purdue to the woodshed. That is what happens when you use Denard correctly. Let him and the RB run the ball over and over again to set up the pass. The defense like I said in week 1 is great. Mattison will not let these Big 10 teams run the ball, they will have to beat up passing. Teams will have to put together drives and string together successful plays to score. I love what I saw and think its a recipe for a Big 10 championship. Keep it up BLUE
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
I'm really starting to get impressed with Raymon Taylor. Countess and Him might be the best CB combo we have had a in a long time. He is really coming along as the season goes.
I was quite happy with the effort, the coverage was a little loose at times but when they did throw it wasn't often for many yards and we didn't allow much yac. The DL looked pretty good, stuffed the run pretty well and got some pressure. LB's were flowing to the ball and making plays sideline to sideline. We finally went with an offensive gameplan that works for Denard. The OL still needs work as they did not consistently get a push on run plays but they do seem to improving week to week so hopefully that will continue. Outside of that there were a few bad throws by Denard and the the miss by Gardener when the ball hit his hands but all in all the team has made major improvements and dominated a team thats looked like one of the better in the B1G. If we can continue this upward trend a B1G championship is a very good possibility.
Rewatched the game, I'd like to see Norfleet back on punts during the Illinois game. Hopefully we will be up enough so he can get some in game practice without making a game changing mistake. Funchess will be a STUD even on that one play along the sideline where he was called out of bounds, dude went right over the corner to grab the ball. Raymon Taylor also has shown to have serious potential this season
Also, anyone catch any Danny Hope quotes after the game?
This post was edited by Aces High 18 months ago
Sorry for missing this earlier. Michigan really struggled running the ball with anyone other than Denard. While everyone shares some blame in that, I think it has more to do with the offensive line than with the backs. The backs have to be able to trust that the hole will be there, and I don't think Michigan's offensive line is consistently creating displacement at the point of attack so as to earn that trust. Denard, being a freak of an athlete, is able to make something out of nothing, or a lot out of a little. But in order for Michigan to successfully run the ball with the running backs, I think the offensive line needs to take the next step.
I completely agree with this.
I am about the watch at least some of the game again. I think there were some holes there where Fitz could of gotten some yards but just doesn't hit the hole and take what he can get. Now i am not saying there are huge holes to run through but I think some of the problems in the running game are on the RBs.
Raymon Taylor is developing into quite the CB.
Guys, Fitz is slow. Like maybe the slowest back in the big ten slow. Go back and look at film from last season. He's a lot bigger and as a result a lot slower. Compound that with the fact that he's going east and west and usually goes down on first contact and we see the result. It's a simple matter of physical limitations. He's not the same player he was last year and to continue to throw away play after play based on what he did last year is hurting the team. It's time to go to the bullpin.
Looks like we will be in position to prevent Ohio with an undefeated season for the game
It sure looks like it is setting up for that.
I think we're definitely on the same page. By no means were any of the backs perfect. I just meant that, in order for the backs to consistently see the hole, they need to be able to trust that the offensive line will consistently create one.
It definitely could end up that way. However, I'm still not sold on OSU this year. I think Wisconsin and Penn State will both give them a run for their money.
Miller and their O is definetly getting better. The OSU defense is still really suspect at this point. I think it will cost them a game at some point in the season.
The offense is definitely improving, but I thought it was more a case of Nebraska's defense not being very good last night. I think Wisconsin and Penn State will both play better defensively against the Buckeyes.
And like you said, the defense isn't overly impressive by any means at this point.
I agee about Nebraska's D not being very good last year. I was more speaking about Miller getting more comfortable with the offense and the WRs/TEs starting to make more plays for OSU.
Gallon doesn't do much but he never has any room to wiggle away. The reason he returns punts and you will continue to see him do so is because he never drops the ball. Never. The coaches want ball security more than an additional 5 yards per return and that is what Gallon provides.
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