Michigan looked inept, scared, and downright awful on Saturday. Chad Henne looked rattled and inaccurate, and bounced passes off of helmets in what could only be classified as a Navarre-esque performance. Steve Breaston continued to fall from his redshirt freshman year peak. Mike Hart played injured and looked like it, right up until he left with further injury aggravation early in the game. The offensive line looked like the constant shuffling has begun to effect them. The offensive playcalling was suspect, and seemed to feature tight ends and fullbacks, instead of our supposed skill position juggernauts. With all of the questions we had coming in to the Notre Dame game, it seemed like we forgot the most important one..."How do we score?" Michigan managed only one touchdown, and that came late, ending the game with both their first home loss and lowest point total in nearly three years.
Michigan was not Michigan on this day. They folded under the pressure of the game, and fell apart in the red zone. The fans were classless, specifically the student section, whose frustration erupted late in the game in the form of the throwing of trash onto the field. You couldn't help but be a bit embarrassed as a Michigan fan. Your team, ranked #3, folding against a far inferior opponent, while your fans made you look like something out of East Lansing.
There are still 9 games remaining on Michigan's schedule, 10 if you are optimistic enough to guarantee a bowl game. There is room to improve, get better, play with a chip on your shoulder, etc. The march towards a National Championship is not over. We haven't even played a game that counts towards our chance for a three-peat as Big Ten Champions. But it's tough to think about any of those things when your team looks so horrible. It feels almost exactly like a year ago, when Michigan fell to Notre Dame and looked just as bad. We managed to move forward then, with a less experienced and less touted team, and we will move forward now.
All the Big Ten's big boys fell this week, with Iowa losing to Iowa St., and Ohio St. falling to Texas. So maybe we should all stop listening to the idiots that make the predictions before a game is played and concentrate on the game in front of us...um...like the big one this weekend against Eastern Michigan. A loss to the Eagles would mark the biggest fall in the history of college football, from #3 in the country to #2 in Washtenaw County. The trouble is, there is no question in my mind that we have significantly more talent than Eastern...I'm just not confident that we won't be outcoached.
Wow, We Can Tailgate
The tailgate once again far outshined the game. It was one of the largest crowds we've ever had, and it was easily the biggest spread of food we've ever had, with tons of Irish Themed delights from several tailgaters filling our 60 feet of table space.
Next Week's Theme
Next week's theme is Eagle Barbeque Picnic. More of an open barbeque theme, but with a slight lean towards eagle...er, I mean chicken.