With just under nine minutes to go in the first quarter, Michigan had scored on their first two drives. The first was nearly perfect and resulted in a touchdown. The second, which commenced as a result of a Red Hawk turnover, ended with a 47 yard field goal from Lopata. After the way things went just a week ago, there was a brief moment of optimism. Maybe we were going to put something together here. Unfortunately, about two-and-a-half hours later in real time, and three full quarters later in game time, we had only mustered a missed field goal and six consecutive punts. Fortunately for Michigan, and for my sanity, an anemic Miami offense went all day without finding the endzone. It took until 11 minutes remaining in the game for Michigan to put together another scoring drive and end a game that was akin to chewing razor blades.
It was ugly. There's no other way to describe it. Last week, we couldn't run the ball. This week, we couldn't throw a pass over the line of scrimmage. But it was a win. A win that was no doubt the result of a weak opponent rather than a result of improved execution. However, in the end, it was both imperative and historic. Imperative because in this season of change, it's the lay-ups that make the difference between 5-wins and the end of the nation's longest bowl streak, and 6-wins and a trip to Ford Field. Historic because it was win number one for Rich Rodriguez, and hopefully the first of many that will come over a long and successful career.
The Lions would like to ask you..."What about right now?" That is still an unanswered question. Can Michigan improve enough to compete in the Big Ten? Probably not. But after watching the upstart (just laughed a little) Aztecs of San Diego State give Notre Dame more than all they could handle, I think we can compete next week. The Wolverines will be looking to end the Big Ten preseason in South Bend in what might be the worst matchup talent wise of Michigan and Notre Dame...ever. After that, a bye week. Maybe, just maybe, they will improve dramatically before hosting the Badgers.
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. - A.Chalmers
And if you are a Michigan fan...they fit all three.