Posted on: November 19, 2011 3:48 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
MICHIGAN WON. Michigan turned a close game into a blowout in the second half, and the 20th ranked Wolverines slaughtered No. 17 Nebraska, 45-17. Denard Robinson was the man of the match the whole way through, finishing with 180 yards passing, 138 yards rushing, and four total touchdowns.
WHY MICHIGAN WON: Make no mistake: Michigan won this game and deserved it. But Nebraska's inability to get its defense off the field, particularly in the second half, meant that the Huskers were just never in position to make a game out of this one. In the second half alone, Nebraska fumbled two kickoffs, had a punt blocked, let a touchdown drive continue by allowing a first down on a fake field goal, committing a roughing the punter penalty (more on that in a second), and a Taylor Martinez fumble. Again: all in the second half. Michigan had a lot to do with those plays, obviously, but Nebraska simply can't play like that and expect to beat anybody.
WHEN MICHIGAN WON: Nebraska had cut the game to a 31-17 contest and forced Michigan into a three-and-out early in the fourth quarter, and it looked like a comeback was fully possible. But Nebraska committed a, shall we say, debatable roughing the punter penalty on the ensuing punt, and Robinson found Martavious Odoms for a 38-yard bomb in the back of the end zone, and this one was over.
Oh, then Tim Marlowe fumbled the ensuing kickoff for Nebraska. Like we said, the second half was pretty rough.
WHAT MICHIGAN WON: Michigan's bid for an at-large BCS bid is still alive as the Wolverines begin preparation for Ohio State. We're told that's a rivalry. What Michigan proved beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the defense is legit. Nebraska managed just 11 first downs and 254 total yards on the day, and while that's partly a function of the turnovers, it's also a function of Michigan's performance; the Wolverines forced 10 4th downs on 13 opportunities.
WHAT NEBRASKA LOST: Nebraska's last shot at the (sigh) Legends Division title is now officially gone; Michigan State beat Indiana 55-3, and with this Husker loss the Spartans have won the division. Also gone is any hope for an at-large BCS invitation, and now even a spot in the Top 25 is questionable. This is a tough loss for Husker fans to take all the way around.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Rex Burkhead had a very, very quiet day. The Husker workhorse didn't get into the end zone for the first time all year, and he set season lows in rushing yards (39) ... and rushes (10). The Nebraska offense is predicated on wearing defenses down over the course of a game, so why in the world is Bo Pelini giving his bruiser only 10 rushes out of 53 plays?!
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 7:46 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Michigan Wolverines released their first depth chart of the regular season on Monday, and although there's nothing as startling as last year's benching of Tate Forcier in favor of Denard Robinson (in retrospect, a very very good move, but still quite jarring at the time), there are a few head-scratchers as Brady Hoke gets ready to lead his charges into their first game against Western Michigan.
First, the depth chart in full, helpfully formatted by mgoblog:
First of all, the notion of a four-way tie at punt returner is just a little funny, isn't it? One would assume that the punt returner of the week would just be whoever's out of the rotation at WR, so as to keep legs fresh where possible, but still -- four punt returners!
But speaking of that rotation at wide receiver, that is definitely Martavious Odoms at third string WR2, with nary an "OR" to keep him in the conversation as a top reserve option. That's a little surprising; Odoms has 22 starts to his name through his career in the maize and blue, and although he ceded that starting role to Junior Hemingway in the early stages of 2010 after a season-ending foot injury, Odoms is still a much more experienced option than either Jeremy Gallon or the prodigal Kelvin Grady. Odoms has also been seen with a cast on his left arm for a while, and ice on his right shoulder; perhaps this is just a matter of a lack of practice time getting Odoms back up to speed? We'll likely know the answer to that question in about three or four weeks, provided Odoms stays healthy; if he's not moving back up the depth chart by then, we'll know Hoke has moved on to other options at wideout.
Past that, it's very nice to see Troy Woolfork atop the CB depth chart after the horrific dislocated ankle he suffered last August, ending his 2010 season before it began. His talent and experience were both sorely missed by an already comically thin Michigan secondary last year, so here's to Woolfork putting together the healthy and productive senior season he was supposed to have last year, and here's to modern orthopedic medicine turning a guy around from a dislocated ankle to back starting at cornerback in just 12 months. That's phenomenal.
Oh, and it'd be nice to know who's actually starting at tailback, wouldn't it?
Posted on: August 23, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 5:29 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The wide receiving corps at Michigan got a little thinner on Tuesday as junior wideout Je'Ron Stokes was granted his release from the football program, according to a spokesperson.
Stokes was a highly-regarded transfer from Tennessee who left the Volunteers when Phil Fulmer was fired, but his recruiting hype failed to translate into significant production on the field; Stokes had just one catch for 11 yards in all of the 2010 season (against Iowa, to be precise), and his 2009 campaign (two catches, 16 yards, all in the Delaware State game) was scarcely better.
Stokes' departure comes on the heels of fellow WR Darryl Stonum being suspended for the whole 2011 season by new head coach Brady Hoke, so after the top three wide receivers (Martavious Odoms, Roy Roundtree, Junior Hemingway), there isn't a whole lot of depth in the receiver corps right now. If Stokes is leaving this late in the process (rather than, say, spring or summer), though, it's probably the case that he wasn't in line to get much playing time, so his departure shouldn't be enough to make Michigan fans panic.
This, for the record, is the second departure from Michigan in as many days. Freshman offensive lineman Tony Posada departed on Monday, and while this doesn't exactly equate an exodus from Ann Arbor or any other major cause for concern, mgoblog correctly notes that it does mean there'll be something like 57 returning scholarship players next season for the Wolverines. Again, not terrible, but it does mean Michigan's going to need to hit its quota of 25 scholarships in the next recruiting class, then find a few more scholarship players (grayshirts, walk-ons, what have you) to get back to the 85 scholarship limit.
Posted on: January 1, 2011 8:00 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Mississippi State crushed an overmatched, undermanned Michigan defense, 52-14.
Offense: Quarterback Chris Relf wore #36 in honor of teammate Nick Bell , who passed away this season after battling skin cancer. He most certainly represented Bell admirably today, rolling up 281 yards on 18-23 passing and throwing three touchdowns. Michigan's secondary essentially had no answer for anything MSU wanted to do on offense. The Bulldogs' rushing attack was good for over 200 yards, even though it only gained 3.5 yards a pop. But above all else, MSU scored 52 points and gave Michigan its worst bowl beating ever. Grade: A
Defense: The MSU defensive performance basically defined "bend but don't break" today; Michigan gained 16 first downs and over 300 yards of offense, but only scored 14 points (all in the first quarter) and gave the ball up twice -- not including the partially blocked punt that gave TCU the ball on the Michigan 29. Only Ohio State held the Wolverines to fewer points this year. Grade: B+
Coaching: Dan Mullen went 5-5 on fourth downs in this game. 5-5! These weren't do-or-die situations, either; Mississippi State did beat Michigan by 38 points, after all. His team stayed aggressive even after it was garbage time, shutting Michigan out in the last three quarters. Right now, Mullen looks to be worth every penny of the $10.6 million he figures to make over the next four years. Grade: A
Offense: Michigan actually started the game on a roll, and led 14-10 at one point. Then Denard Robinson threw an interception, and things quickly went downhill. Robinson accounted for over 300 yards once again, but as per usual, the rest of the team didn't contribute much. Roy Roundtree and Martavious Odoms both looked solid at receiver, and both figure to be weapons next year. The Wolverines definitely missed Tate Forcier (ineligible) in the second half, when passing became the highest priority. Grade: B-
Defense: Statistically, this is the worst defense in Michigan history. This was Michigan's worst defensive performance in a bowl game ever. Greg Robinson should not only be fired, he should never coach defense in college football ever again. Michigan's defense was awful, wretched, putrid, horrific, horrible, and horrendous in every respect of the game. Grade: A new, worse grade than F should be invented and given to Michigan's defense
Coaching: Rich Rodriguez may have gotten himself fired with this one game. There were a litany of problems associated with Michigan's preparation and execution, as the 38-point margin would indicate, but let's just point this out: Michigan went 0-5 on fourth downs. Denard Robinson threw an incomplete pass on all of them. Robinson is the most feared rushing quarterback in college football this year; why is Rodriguez making him stand still and throw on every single fourth down? Use his legs, for crying out loud! Grade: F
This was not a good game for anybody but Mississippi State fans. It's great to see Dan Mullen breathe life into the historically inferior program, but it became quickly apparent in the second half that Michigan is just a mess. If it's Rich Rodriguez's last game on the Michigan sidelines, it's disappointing, but fitting. Grade: D
Posted on: October 11, 2010 5:12 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 5:12 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson struggled against the Michigan State defense in one of his toughest challenges yet on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the man who has single-handedly put Michigan back on the map is going to find his next opponent just as tough, if not tougher. Robinson will spend this week preparing to take on the Iowa defense that leads the nation in defensive scoring, only giving up 10.2 points per game. Scoring on the Hawkeyes will be made even more challenging without wide receiver Martavious Odoms, who suffered a broken foot in the loss to Michigan State on Saturday.
"Like we need another injury," Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday at his weekly news conference. "Not sure how (the injury) happened. It will be extended time for him being out."Rodriguez said it isn't clear whether Odoms' injury is season-ending.
Odoms is fourth on the team in receiving, and serves primarily as a big play threat. The talented junior has 15 catches for 214 yards on the season, and saw his career high this season with a 7 catch, 91 yard performance in the 28-24 victory over Notre Dame.
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