It's Really Not OK

I've racked my brain the last couple of days trying to figure out how the UMASS game was "OK."  It hasn't been easy.  I tried to tell myself that this is a game of emotion and momentum, and that the Minutemen came in fired up, had some early game success, and rode that wave into a great performance.  And Michigan was disinterested in this FCS opponent, created a defensive gameplan to combat the deep ball problems of Notre Dame, and was caught off guard by a bruising, in-your-face running attack.

The problem is, while some of these things might be true, the reality of the situation is we got our ass kicked.  UMASS dominated the line of scrimmage, often both on offenseand defense.  The way they attacked our defense is the EXACT way the teams of the Big Ten are going to attack our defense, the difference is that MSU and Iowa aren't going to be coming at us with transfers from Hofstra.  All signs point to Michigan being in some pretty deep shit.  UMASS dictated our offensive gameplan, forcing Denard to the air, when we should have been able to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.  Lucky for us, Denard was up to the challenge.

So the question remains, how long can Robinson hide all the things that are wrong with this team?  Last year I thought the defense would grow as the season went on...they regressed.  Why would this year be different?  Also, hands down the worst set of kickers, and that includes placekicking, kicking off, and punting, that we have had at Michigan.  And Jeremy Gallon must have pictures of Rich Rod shredding documents...there's no other explanation for why he continues to be the punt returner.  The defensive scheme rarely put players in position to make plays, usually because they had a UMASS player driving them right off of the field.  But when it did put them in a good position, they did a tremendous job of missing tackles.  Everything you thought was good enough now sucks.  We've been exposed.  And it's just a matter of time before our weaknesses are exploited.


We didn't lose.

Not losing makes this game go away, like 10-7 over Utah in 2002, 24-21 over San Diego State in 2004, or 34-26 over Ball State in 2006.  And even though there's that feeling that we've been here before (because we actually HAVE been here before) maybe we'll be like Iowa...

I can point to Iowa's 2009 season, which started out with a one-point win over Northern Iowa in which the Hawkeyes were outgained and had to block two(!) field goals on consecutive plays to avoid the killer upset. Four games later Iowa survived 24-21 against Arkansas State; they ended the year by whipping Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

Whatever.  I'm fairly certain the whole Big Ten sucks anyway, so maybe we have a chance to get that elusive 6th win.  But that is looking ahead, and if Saturday taught us anything, it's that we cannot look past the team in front of us.  So, ya...Bowling Green.  Here's to hoping we hold them under 400 yards.

Tailgate pics here...