What Are We Watching?

Michigan knocked off the undefeated and #14 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday 10-3, and in many ways that was an important thing. The first win that resides in the positive column of 2019’s resume. Something to hang your hat on, as long as you don’t share the box score. A festive homecoming crowd watched their team persevere with their backs against the wall, with the alternative to victory being worse than just defeat, perhaps a downward spiral that would have had the Michigan faithful using their fingers to see if there’s enough winnable games left to make the Wolverines bowl eligible.

The road ahead is tough, and despair is still very much in play. Because in both victory and defeat, Michigan does not pass the eye test. Cheers to the defense for returning to that 2018 mid-season form minus a seemingly endless number of converted 3rd and longs, but the offense wishes it was only as bad as it was last year. The biggest win of the year, and I’m sitting here telling you Michigan is in deep shit.

Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Shea is a mental mess, Jim is either completely delusional or press-conference-pathological. Shea surrenders the pocket collapse long before it actually does. Reads are rushed, passes are bad. He’s got no confidence in the OL, which I get because it’s not that good, but there are some opportunities in there. They hold the pocket long enough, some of the time. And it’s those times where it’s just absolutely criminal that the ball doesn’t end up in the air in the area of one of the many elite receivers just running around back there ready to out maneuver, out jump, out body any member of the defensive backfield. The consensus best QB in the B1G going into the season is floating around the bottom. He is the #11 rated passer in the conference. And only 3 QBs have fewer touchdowns. I don’t know how you fix this.

But of course, I don’t mind winning while we wait to see if things can turn around. Pretty nice to have an opponent come to town and NOT have their best game or some miracle play that ends up punishing Michigan for not putting them away when they should have. And Michigan certainly DID NOT PUT THEM AWAY WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE, LIKE 100 TIMES. And they almost paid for it, when on the last play, Stanley, falling backwards switched the ball to his left hand and completed a pass that had middle finger to Michigan written all over it. Didn’t happen this time though. Survive and advance?

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Trap game in Illinois on the horizon. The Illini are serviceable and need a season maker. Michigan is everyone’s favorite season maker.

Don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen in Happy Valley. And I accidentally caught the 2nd quarter of MSU - OSU, where I pondered what the record is for all-purpose yards by a quarterback in a game, and by how many yards Fields is going to surpass that record Thanksgiving weekend.

Get Better Blue. Surprise me.

Way Back When-sday Has Seen Michigan Win in Iowa

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October 22, 2005: The crew gathers before Michigan’s 23-20 victory over the Hawkeyes. This was the first back to back wins of the season, moving Michigan to 3-2 in the Big Ten and 5-3 overall. That’s all kinds of meh. I had kind of forgotten about the details of the 2005 Wolverines and their 7-5 season, the worst under Lloyd Carr. Interesting year that included losing the little brown jug at home and that Alamo Bowl loss to Nebraska, but also included nipping MSU in East Lansing in OT, and battling a top 10 OSU team, leading them by 9 with less than 8 minutes to play before choking it away.

I'm Not Force-feeding Myself a Steak At 4:30 to Save A Couple Bucks: An Iowa Preview

The above is in reference to the fact that I’m old, and I’m going to bed with Iowa up 10 with 15 min to play. So if it’s Illinois, fill in your own Lovie Smith jokes here.

The thing about Iowa is, it’s like a cult. The whole state. People born and raised within the state lines cannot function outside of its corn filled confines. It’s hard to put a finger on it, what it is exactly that makes it weird, but there’s no doubt it is weird. Some kind of mix of alien body snatching and incest. Everyone there has a face with a “you can’t know my struggle” look on it. I think if challenged significantly, the people of Iowa can join bodies to make a single giant being, like a Godzilla, or an Attack of the 50 foot women type situation. “Interesting trades” are the preferred form of currency.

But about the basketball team. The coach’s son plays on the team, which is weird. 75% of their players look like Buddy from Hoosiers. Oh and they beat Michigan by 1000 in Iowa City. How did they do it?

1) Michigan was coming off an emotional home win over OSU where the cockles of the hearts of all in attendance were warmed by several arena echoing renditions of a “Fuck Ohio” chant. Michigan’s arms were sore from patting themselves on the back.

2) Iowa went on a 21-2 run in a 3(!) minute span of the first half

3) Michigan died by the three. UM had 2 more three pointers than Iowa on the night…but it took NINETEEN MORE SHOTS. 8/33 vs 6/14.

4) Out-rebounded, out-hustled, committed more fouls…basically both MSU games.

5) The team water and food provided by Iowa contained bacteria and spores not found outside of Iowa and of which non-Iowa based life forms cannot properly process, thus causing illness and dehydration.

Here comes the run. Three games, three days. Go Blue.