Thoughts After First Game and win over Western Michigan: The Good and the Concerns!


1--We have a quarterback: Tate Forcier. He can run, throw, throw on the run, etc. He has poise. He is an accurate passer. He doesn't have "snap" issues. He is only going to get better and may very well start 48 games in a row. He will have a great career at Michigan. Let's hope he doesn't get injured!

2--Denard Robinson is every bit an awesome athlete as he was reputed to be. He is fast, quick and very dangerous. He can play quarterback, wide receiver or running back. He adds a new dimension to Michigan football, and had Antonio Bass not been injured, Bass would have contributed the last four years in the same manner. Forcier and Robinson like each other and can share the role for the benefit of the team. It looks like Sheridan plays less, and less and less as the season ensues unless we have injury issues. Quarterback is a much, much improved position this year, and our opponents will have much more difficulty preparing for us as well as defending our attack.

3--Carlos Brown is no Brandon Minor.

4--Offensive line was not nearly as strong as I had hoped. If they can't plow out Western Michigan, we'll have trouble establishing a ground game against quality Big Ten opponents.

5--Slot position was a disappointment. Martavious Odoms caught only one pass and was flagged for a penalty. Kelvin Grady caught two passes and had one run for 24 net yards. The slot position netted us 30 yards of total offense against the Broncos. We need to have more production at this position. If Roundtree, Robinson and Gallon sat most of the game, this could be a long year offensively unless we get more production out of the slot position in Coach Rod and Coach Magee's offensive schemes.

6--J.R. Hemingway is our "go to" guy!!! He looked great! He is fast, quick, sure-handed.

7--It looks like Koger and Webb will also be big contributors to this offense in 2009!

8--It really hurt our offense to lose Kirk Moundros early in the first quarter.


9--Linebacker play was impressive, much better than I expected in the first game. Ezeh, Mouton, Brown, Roh and Herron are a solid group!

10--True Frosh Craig Roh starting over 3rd Year Redshirt Sophomore Brandon Herron was a big surprise! Roh is very quick and when he adds to his frame from becoming Barwisized, he'll really be outstanding. Both did well in the game, and the position and scheme (Quick OLB-Spinner) are working.

11--Western Michigan's game plan was to keep Brandon Graham from being a factor in the game, and while he did cause many hurries in the first half, he was as big a factor defensively. In other words, might other teams employ the same type of game play to neutralize Brandon Graham from disrupting their offenses, passing attack, etc.?

12--Donovan Warren is no Charles Woodson (then again, who is?)! Two interference calls and a personal foul penalty does not show leadership!

13--Troy Wolfolk got burned for a 73 yard TD bomb signals no real improvement at the free safety position. Michael Williams was steady, but not spectacular. To be a championship team, we must have championship safety play.

14--Defense came up with two sacks and three turnovers! The Broncos scored zero points in two red zones! We are a much improved defense under Greg Robinson!!!

Special Teams

15--Kickoff coverage was good, but when Moundros left, there was decreased intensity. Playing starters on special teams can be very costly.

16--Punt phase of the game is as good as there is in NCAA Football with Mesko's incredible hang time allowing our flyers to get down in coverage.

17--Punt returns are incredibly boring with Greg Mathews, but it looks like Coach Rod just wants him to catch the ball so the offense can get going.

18--Kickoff returns are very mediocre with Odoms and Stonum so we shouldn't look for many long returns this year. So long as we don't fumble two times in the first 3 minutes of the game to give the Irish two red zones, it is fine with me.

19--Jason Olesnavage's 45 yard field goal and Bryan Wright's solid kickoffs give us hope for a solid contribution this year from our placekickers.


20--We really don't have a lot of depth on this team, and any injury to a starter will be problematic, more so on defense than offense. Big drop off from Cissoko to Floyd at corner. J.T. Turner did not play. Witty will not be on the team due to NCAA Clearinghouse. The defensive backfield is a big concern especially from a depth standpoint. Walk-ons and True Freshmen are factors at several positions especially on defense: Forcier, Robinson and Sheridan at QB, Vincent Smith at Running Back, Stokes at Wide Receiver, Roh at Quick Linebacker, Simmons and Jones at OLB-SAM, Leach at ILB-WILL, Heinager at Defensive End, Emilien, Kovacs and Van Slyke at Safety, Olesnavage and Gibbons at Placekicker, etc.