UMASS beat Stoney Brook under the lights on Saturday night by a final score of 26-21. UMASS put up 455 yards on the Seawolves, just 16 yards more than they put up on our fair Wolverines. The Minutemen intercepted a pass with a little over a minute to go to seal the victory in front of a Lavalle Stadium capacity crowd of...wait for it...8,136.
If you are looking for a defining moment for this team, for this season, right now it's the two touchdowns Denard orchestrated in less than 30 seconds to end the first half against UMASS. It was those two quick scores that took the wind out of the Minutemen's sails. They went into the locker room down by 4, and they could have, and should have, been up by ten. They didn't get their swagger back until the interception-turned-fumble in the 4th, which they followed up with a touchdown and a blocked punt...and another touchdown. Quickly it became a case of "if you seek an unpleasant Michigan fan with hands together on top of their head in disbelief, look about you." And though it wasn't a disaster, it became the sign of an impending one.
Is it really only a matter of time?
And then Bowling Green came to town. Shoelace broke another run for you to file in your mental highlight reel. Just a little something for you to tell your kids about. Then he went down hard, living up to the predictions of all of the haters that label him as Mr. Glass. But in came Devin, followed by Tate. And nary a beat was skipped. Sure, the breakaway speed isn't there, but these kids know the offense. Denard is the kind of talent that only comes around once in a while, but Tate is no slouch. He went 12 for 12 through the air, and allowed Denard to get the day off we expected him to have last week. In the process, Tate opened up the discussion of what the limits are for this scheme, this system. Will we see Tate and Denard together in the backfield? Will Devin be there too? Is that where this is going? I can't wait. And if the defense and special teams continue to be as embarrassing as they are, maybe Rich can't wait either, as Michigan is still near the bottom (93rd in NCAA) in total defense. We give up, on average, 175 more yards per game than the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The 11th ranked passing game in the nation is waiting for the Wolverines next week in Bloomington. Disaster seems so close. And yet, so does relief. Michigan only needs to win it's next two games to get a lot of monkeys off of their backs. Bowl eligibility...check. Winning the only really vital rivalry game...check. Momentum...check.
Sagarin ratings of our four opponents through 9/25 (Michigan is 26th):
Notre Dame 64th
Bowling Green 94th
Sagarin ratings of our next four opponents through 9/25:
Michigan State 41st
Penn State 22nd
Again, Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing. Eyes Right, Mind Right , Stay Hungry and Sell Out.
Pictures from the Bacon Tailgate are right here: