Observations on the GREAT, GREAT
win over Minnesota, 27-24!
1-What a great win! This is one
of the great wins in Michigan football history! We really "grew
up" today, and got a huge victory over an excellent opponent.
I think all Michigan fans are incredibly proud of this victory,
and most of all, how this victory was earned. Henne and Hart played
like 5th year seniors today, and our offense has matured into
a formidable, come from behind team. We overcame three costly
turnovers while Minnesota didn't give us one to get the win. Outstanding,
truly outstanding team play!
2-We had 4 red zones, all created
by our offense, for 20 points; they had three red zone (one created
by their special teams and two by their offense) for 17 points.
Big plays have done it for the Gophers keeping them in the game:
an 80 yard run, then a 19 yard run, and a 26 yard TD pass.
3-Our offense was incredible, one can see the obvious improvement.
Henne was 33 of 49 for 328 yards and two TDs (plus two picks).
We had an unbelievable 29 first downs and 518 yards in total offense
in 94 plays against a solid Gopher defense; this gave us a 14:30
time of possession advantage, and a 33 play advantage for our
offense. We were 9 of 19 in 3rd and 4th down conversions.
4-Hart had 160 yards on 35 carries
for one TD and 53 yards on 6 catches. We were forced into 5 punts.
Edwards had 10 catches for 98 yards and one TD. Avant stepped
up with 6 catches including several crucial 2nd half grabs for
87 yards. Massaquoi had a solid game with 4 catches for 31 yards,
and of course, Ecker caught the game-winner with the 31 yard TD
with less than 2 minutes to go. Our offensive line was improved
with only one sack on Henne. Riley starts at Left Guard in place
of the injured Henige while Baas stays at center. It was nice
to see Adrian Arrington catch his first pass as a Wolverine.
5-Minnesota has a devastatingly
deadly running game. They rushed for 189 yards including 2 TDs,
but we held them to 16 net yards in the 2nd half. They have 13
first downs, but we held them to only 5 of 19 in 3rd and 4th down
conversions. Cupito was 8 of 22 for 156 yards (no picks), and
Ellerson had 6 of those catches for 83 yards including the TD.
Maroney has 19 carries for 145 yards ((18 for 65 yards if you
take away the 80 yarder) while Barber was 13 carries for 40 yards;
both have TD runs. Credit our defense with outstanding play in
the 2nd half to limit the Gophers to 10 points, and stopping their
outstanding running scheme.
6-Our special teams were outstanding
except the fumble by Hall that led to a field goal and the block
in the back by Hood that gave us a start on the 13 for our last
drive. Rivas hits two field goals including one on a bad snap
and hold that he "willed" though, and and 3 extra points.
Finley had 5 punts including a 53 yarder and 2 downed inside the
20. Nienberg had 6 kickoffs, three for touchbacks, and we did
an outstanding job on kickoff coverage. Our returns had their
moments with Breaston returning a kickoff for 43 yards and Hall
got a 26 yarder on a punt return. Alijah Bradley almost blocked
a Lloyd punt.
7-Fraley had 14 tackles, Sims had
11, and McKenzie, Campbell and Banks had 10 each. That was a sound
defense we beat. Shazor had a big game with 12 tackles including
four for loss. Reid, Watson and Massey had sacks. We have forced
Minnesota into 8 punts.
Observations on the first half
with the Gophers, 17-14!
1We had three red zones, all
created by our offense, for 17 points; they had one red zone for
7 points. Big plays have done it for the Gophers keeping them
in the game. No turnovers for either team, a well played game
with our offense gaining an 8 minute time of possession advantage.
2Our offense really looks
good, one can see the obvious improvement. Henne is 17 of 23 for
132 yards and one TD (no picks). We have 13 first downs and 206
yards in total offense. Hart has 49 yards on 14 carries for one
TD and 33 yards on 2 catches. We have only been forced into two
punts, and are 5 of 10 in 3rd down conversions. Edwards has 7
catches for 43 yards and one TD. Massaquoi has had a solid game
with 4 catches for 31 yards. Our offensive line is improved with
no sacks on Henne. Riley starts at Left Guard in place of the
injured Henige while Baas stays at center.
3Minnesota has a completely
deadly running game. We cant stop it! Just like last year,
we are getting blocked and beaten soundly. They have rushed for
173 yards including 2 TDs on 17 carries. They have 9 first downs,
but are only one of six in 3rd down conversions. Caputo is five
of 11 for 87 yards, and Ellerson has 4 of those catches for 48
yards. Maroney has 6 carries for 125 yards while Barber is 9 carries
for 36 yards; both have TD runs. Our defense must do better in
the second half or the Gophers may prevail.
4Our special teams have been
outstanding. Rivas hits a 38 yard field goal and 2 extra points,
2 punts by Finley, a 42 yarder and a touchback. Nienberg has 4
kickoffs, two for touchbacks. Our returns look great with Breaston
returning a kickoff for 43 yards and Hall getting two chances
for 30 yards on punt returns.
5McKenzie and Fraley have
7 tackles each to lead Minnesota; we have 5 tackles from Shazor
including two for loss. We have forced Minnesota into 3 punts.
5This game will be determined
by who plays the best in the second half; both teams are well-matched,
and the outcome will simply be who rises to the occasion.