02 December 2009

The Maize Rage is on haitus for now

I'll get back to posting here whenever my desire to do so returns. This'll likely coincide with me getting some of my QBs back.

01 December 2009

Black Shirts Stifle Bearcats as They Assist Charles in His First Start

All eyes were on true FR QB Mark Charles as he made the first start of his career in only his 2nd game. After being rushed into last week's game after Forcier was injured, Charles put up disappointing numbers as he threw 3 interceptions. While he showed once again that his passing game is in dire need of improving, he showed that the hype given to his rushing game was well deserved.

Michigan's offense was far from efficient, but they played well enough to get the job done on the road against a very good "A" rated Bearcats team. They only gained 341 yards of total offense and were really poor on 3rd downs as they only converted 2 of 7. Most of the Wolverine offense came on the ground as is the custom for them. They rushed for 196 yard and 4 TDs while Charles only managed to pass for 145 yards. He also threw his 4th pick of the season while he still has yet to throw his first TD pass. Mike Shaw, who missed most of his JR year due to injury, ran the ball well between the tackles as he gained 58 yards on 9 carries including a 17 yard TD run where he ran over a Bearcats' defender. Last year's leading rushing, Vincent Smith, was completely shut down in this game as he was never able to turn the corner on any of his runs and was tackled for a loss on 5 of his 7 carries. The story of the day on the ground, however, was Charles. Things were scary at the beginning of the game for Wolverines fans though. On his second carry, he was blasted by a Cincinnati defender just like Manti Teo hit him last week and knocked him out for a few plays. Luckily, he bounced right back up as he showed his toughness. For the game, he ran for 62 yards on his first 13 carries for a nice 4.8 yard average. It was his final carry of the game, however, that really left Michigan fans salivating. He took the snap on a QB power run off tackle and scampered, untouched, 44 yards for his 2nd rushing TD of the day as he left all of the defenders in his wake. He ended the day with 106 yards and 2 TDs on the ground.

While all eyes were on Charles, it couldn't go unnoticed that the reason Charles was able to do his thing was because the blackshirts played so well. They only allowed 10 points and they scored as many TDs as the Bearcat offense. They only allowed 18 rushing yards on 27 carries and only allowed 3 of 10 on 3rd down conversions and stopped both Cincinnati 4th down conversion attempts. They also forced 2 fumbles, 1 of which was returned for a TD by LB J.B. Fitzgerald. While they shut down Cincinnati's running game, they need to do better against the pass. Cinci's QB was nearly superman as he completed 24 of 29 passes for 310 yards. Everyone on the Wolverines' defense was flying all over the field as they were lead by 4 players who had 9 tackles. They also played most of the game in the Bearcats' backfield. While they only had 1 sack on the day, they tallied 18 TFLs.

The Wolverines are now preparing to take on a ranked Virginia Tech team in their final game before they begin their Big Ten title defense.

Here are the highlights from week 3:

Game Statistics

First Downs1616
Total Offense341328
Passing YDS145310
3rd Down Conv2-73-10
4th Down Conv1-10-2
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds5021
KR Yds68129
Total Yards459478

23 November 2009

Michigan Loses Opener and Loses Forcier for the Season

This game was a perfect example of Murphy's Law for the Wolverines. Everything that could've gone wrong did. On their 3rd play from scrimmage, starting QB Tate Forcier would get injured. This would thrust highly touted QB recruit Mark Charles into the spotlight immediately in his first collegiate game. Forcier would return a few plays later to continue to run the offense. Later in the 1st quarter Foricer would get injured again and this time would have to miss the rest of the 1st half. Forcier would return for the 2nd half, but would get injured 1 final time, this time it will cause him to miss the next 11 weeks which will put him out for the rest of the regular season. Fans can only hope that he can return for the bowl game and be ready to play.

The vast majority of the time that Charles was in the game Michigan was pass only situations so fans never got to see Charles' running prowess which as been so hyped (he only carried the ball twice during the game and 1 of those was a scramble after he couldn't find a receiver). Charles did not throw the ball well at all as he threw 3 picks against ND's very good defense which was playing the pass the entire time he was in the game.

The stats of the game were surprisingly close with the only anomoly being Charles' 3 interceptions. Michigan had slightly more total offense than ND and they threw for more yards than ND (mainly because they were playing catch-up for the majority of the game). They were also tough to get off the field as they converted on 8 of 11 3rd down conversions.

Forcier played well for the short time that he was in there. He completed 8 of 11 passes for 117 yards. Other than him, no other offensive player stood out at all. The defense was lead by SR MLB Kenny Demens who was flying all over the field as he racked up 14 tackles. Michigan's defense played okay and they held ND to only 5 of 11 3rd down conversions, but still they only forced 1 punt the entire game. Also, Michigan's defenders dropped 2 potential INTs that hit them right in the hands, including 1 by starting impact corner (and fastest guy on the team) Boubacar Cissoko which would've been a pick 6 to end the 1st half. In addition to those, Michigan also forced a fumble, but failed to recover it. Michigan is going to have to make the big plays if they want to win the big games.

Michigan will have to lick their wounds as they travel to Cincinnati next week. That week will officially begin the Mark Charles regime in Ann Arbor, 1 2 years earlier than anticipated. This will make things interesting for the rest of the year as he will certainly make some true freshman mistakes. Hopefully Michigan's outstanding defense can help pick up the slack and take some of the pressure off of the Wolverines' new signal caller.

Game Statistics
CategoryNotre DameMichigan

First Downs1920
Total Offense325330
Passing YDS230256
3rd Down Conv5-98-11
4th Down Conv1-10-1
2pt Conv0-01-1
PR Yds07
KR Yds96151
Total Yards421488

19 November 2009

2011 Season Preview

2010 was a breakthrough year for the wolverines as they went 12-1 with a Rose Bowl victory over the California Bears. 2011 looks to be another great year for Michigan fans everywhere. While they did lose some key players from last years team, the Wolverines have reloaded and will be ready to take the college football world by storm.

A moment of silence for our dearly departed...
Michigan lost some good players from last year. FB Mark Moundros was a great blocker to have in the backfield and Steve Schilling will be sorely missed at guard, but they are the only offensive starters to leave. On defense, we were hit harder. We lost leading sacker Ryan Van Bergen who opted to leave a year early for the NFL. We also lost both starting OLBs who accounted for 105 tackles and 11 sacks. The secondary was hardest hit as we lost superstar corner Donovan Warren, and both starting safeties. These 3 players accounted for 10 of Michigan's 21 interceptions last year.

Welcoming back some old friends...

Michigan returns some real studs for 2011. Offensively we have 9 starters returning, including the leading passer, rusher and receiver. They will be lead by JR QB Tate Forcier who had a very solid 2010 campaign. Mike Shaw, the starting HB returns after sitting out most of last season with an injury and he will be backed up by Vincent Smith who lead Michigan in rushing yards last season and led the Big Ten in rushing TDs. Forcier will have some very good targets to throw to as Michigan returns every WR from last season and the starting TE. This receiving core will be anchored by a trio of seniors in Martavious Odoms (the team's leading reciever), Darryl Stonum, and Junior Hemingway. The offensive line is very stout and is lead by superstar David Molk and stud bookends Pat Omameh and Mark Hyuge.

Despite losing some key defensive players, Michigan's defense should be very good this year. The defensive line is ridiculous with Anthony LaLota, Mike Martin, 1st team All American Big Will Campbell, and Craig Roh starting. #1 recruit A.J. Keller will provide some very good depth at DT. The LBs will be tackling everything in site as they are led by 2 SRs and a JR. The secondary will be led by shut down corner Boubacar Cissoko, but with the departure of both starting safeties, this is the weakest part of Michigan's defense.

Looking to the future...
When coach Jello took the reigns of this team Michigan was very young. Now those young players have matured and have blossomed into some very good football players. Everyone is expecting very big things from Michigan and it is up to coach Jello to get his kids to fulfill their promise. We will see very early if Michigan can play up to their potential as they take on the #3 Drunken Irish in their first game of the year. Michigan faces a very tough schedule as they play 5 teams ranked in the preseason top 25. If Michigan can avoid injuries, costly turnovers, and boneheaded mistakes, you can expect them to have a very good year. Coming off of a 12-1 season, there isn't a lot of room to rise, however.

Honoring the outstanding...
Here are the Wolverines that were named to the preseason All Big 10 and All America teams:

1st Team All-American

1st Team All-Conference

2nd Team All-Conference

16 November 2009

Michigan Tames Da Bears in Rose Bowl

Michigan completely routed the Cal Bears in coach Jello's first Rose Bowl. The #4 vs. #12 matchup promised to be a competitive game, but this isn't how things played out at all. Michigan's offense was unstoppable as their starters scored a TD on every single possession. As if that weren't bad enough, Michigan's starters on defense held the bears scoreless as well. In fact, the only points Cal would muster was in the 4th quarter when Michigan's subs were getting some experience and backup HB Fitzgerald Toussaint fumbled the ball deep in Michigan territory and Michigan's 2nd string defense couldn't stop the Bears starting offense on such a short field.

Things got off to a bad start for the bears. After going 3 and out on their first drive, Michigan marched down the field for a TD. On the ensuing kickoff, the bears would return the kick 97 yards for a TD. Or so it would appear. During the run back, coach Jello pointed to the ground on which a yellow hankie sat. This momentum changing 97 yard TD was called back due to a clipping penalty. The bears never recovered from that moment and never got anything going on offense or defense.

Michigan's running game was firing on all cylinders as they racked up 265 yards on the ground including 81 yards and 2 TDs by QB Tate Forcier. In addition to pounding the ball on the ground, Forcier was perfect through the air, connecting on all 14 of his passes for 162 yards and 2 TDs. Michigan would convert on 7 of 9 3rd downs while holding the bears to 1 of 6. All of these factors contributed to Michigan holding the ball for over 20 minutes while the bears' offense was only on the filed for 7 and a half. This totaled to 67 offensive plays run by Michigan to only 32 for the bears.

Forcier dominated the game on the ground and through the air

Game Statistics

First Downs258
Total Offense438167
Passing YDS17395
3rd Down Conv7-91-6
4th Down Conv2-20-1
2pt Conv2-20-1
PR Yds170
KR Yds29135
Total Yards484302

15 November 2009

2010 All Conference and All American Teams Announced

2nd Team All Big 10:
QB Tate Forcier (SO) - 2nd best QB rating in conference, 2,005 passing yards, 365 rushing yards, 25 total TDs, 68.7% completion percentage

HB Vincent Smith (rFR) - 823 rushing yards, 6.6 yards per carry, 13 TDs, 9 20+ yard rushes

C David Molk (rJR) - 12 pancakes, 2 sacks allowed

LE Ryan Van Bergen (rJR) - 57 tackles, 28 TFL, 13 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF

ROLB Marell Evans (SR) - 65 tackles, 11 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR

CB Donovan Warren (SR) - 33 tackles, 4 INT, 1 FR, 1 TD

FS Michael Williams (rJR) - 50 tackles, 4 INT, 1 FR

1st Team All Big 10:

DT William Campbell (SO) - 40 tackles, 13 TFL, 10 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF

P Shane Johnson (FR) - 40.1 average, 34.0 net average, long of 59, 11 inside the 20

Freshman All American:

HB Vincent Smith (rFR) - Vincent began the year as the #2 guy on the depth chart. After losing #1 guy Mike Shaw in week 4 to an injury Smith stepped in as the starter. He was then injured for 3 weeks himself. When he returned, he took over as the #1 guy for essentially only half of the season. Since he's been healthy, Big 10 defenders have been chasing him all over the field. In his limited playing time he's managed to amass over 800 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He did this on only 124 carries which averaged out to 6.6 yards per carry (4th best in the country). He was an explosive back as he had 9 rushes for over 20 yards which was 3rd best in the nation.

Returner Jeremy Gallon (rFR) - Redshirt receiver Jeremy Gallon didn't see much action at WR (he only caught 12 balls this year) but he was the Wolverines' main threat in the return game. He racked up 712 kick return yards and 263 punt return yards. He didn't return any for TDs, but he did have a 63 yard kick return.

1st Team All American:

DT William Campbell (SO) - In only his 2nd year with the Wolverines, Campbell has been selected to the 1st team All America list. He had an impressive 10 sacks this year which was 4th best in the nation for a DT. He also had 40 tackles, 13 of which were for losses. As a freshman, Campbell was 2nd on the team last year with 7 sacks and he clearly didn't suffer from a sophomore slump as he has improved on those numbers this year. He is a very highly rated player (one of the best on our team) and all hopes are that he will return for another dominating year as a JR. We will have to wait and see and this reporter suggests that the fans enjoy his playing while he is still there. At 6'5 and 334 lbs, very good strength, tackling ability, a devastating power move and incredible block shedding ability, there's no doubt that Big Will is going to be a terror at the next level.

08 November 2009

Michigan Finally Snaps 6 Game Skid vs. Hairless Nuts

Just 1 week after clinching a spot in the Rose Bowl, the Wolverines played the 1 game that matters the most in Ann Arbor. The hated silver bastards from down south came into town, and despite their terrible record, they came ready to play. The Wolverines looked shell shocked in the first quarter as they were just blitzed by the hairless nuts. They jumped out to a quick 21-7 lead and you could almost hear a collective "not again!" come from the 106+ thousand fans in attendance. The 1st quarter saw the nuts score on a 73 yard TD reception from Pryor to Sanzenbacher and a 96 yard kickoff return by Thomas.

The wolverines were able to weather this opening storm, however as their defense would shutout the nuts for the next 2 quarters and only give up 7 points in the 4th. Michigan's offense was fairly consistent the entire game as they scored in every quarter. In the end, the would come away with a 35-28 victory and snap an excruciating 6 year streak of losses to the silver guys.

Never has a victory formation tasted so sweet

As is often the case with Michigan, this game was decided on the ground. Michigan managed 230 yards on the ground while holding the hairless nuts to a stupefying -47 yards, thanks in part to 6 sacks. While the nuts couldn't run the ball, Pryor was scary through the air as he passed for 319 yards and 3 TDs, but also 2 interceptions. Forcier was not to be outdone, however. He was very efficient passing the ball as he completed 14 of 18 passes for 139 yards and 2 TDs, while also rushing for 64 yards. The main weapon on the ground was freshman Vincent Smith who ran for 113 yards and 2 TDs.

Despite their 11-1 record, 8-0 Big 10 record, their #5 ranking and their Rose Bowl bid, everyone in Ann Arbor knew that a loss here would make this season yet another failure. Now that coach Jello has gotten the monkey off of Michigan's back, things are finally looking promising in Ann Arbor.

Game Statistics
CategoryOhio StateMichigan

First Downs822
Total Offense272370
Passing YDS319140
3rd Down Conv3-109-12
4th Down Conv3-30-1
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds920
KR Yds232118
Total Yards513508

05 November 2009

Michigan Clinches a Trip to Pasadena in Coach Jello's Second Year

While it was an extremely tough game, the Wolverines were the ones celebrating in the end

#7 Michigan traveled to Camp Randal to battle the #25 Badgers in a game that took everything that Michigan could muster to pull off the win. This game was back and forth all day and wasn't decided until there were 10 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. Things started off slowly as the score was 3-3 after 1 quarter. Wisconsin outscored the Wolverines 10-7 in the 2nd quarter to take a 13-10 lead going into the half. The 3rd quarter saw an offensive explosion of 35 points where teams had their offenses, defenses, and special teams making huge plays.

Michigan started the scoring with a 34 yard TD pass from Forcier to Odoms. Wisconsin answered back on the ensuing kickoff with a 97 yard return by Anderson. Later, Wisconsin's defense would capitalize on 1 of 3 Michigan fumbles in the game and return one for an 87 yard TD. Not to be outdone, on the ensuing kickoff, Michigan's Terrence Robinson would return the kickoff 91 yards for a TD. Wisconsin finished the 3rd quarter scoring barrage with a 3 yard TD pass to take a 34-24 lead into the 4th quarter.

Michigan's defense played good enough to get the victory

Forcier would hit Roy Roundtree for a 20 yard TD pass 30 seconds into the 4th to cut the lead to 34-31. Wisconsin's defense would toughen up, making it very difficult for Michigan to move the ball. On the one drive where Michigan was finally gaining some yards, Terrance Robinson would fumble the ball yet again to end their drive. Wisconsin added a FG midway through the 4th to take a 6 point lead. Late in the 4th quarter, Forcier would do what he does best as he orchestrated a beautiful 85 yard drive which he capped off with a 2 yard TD run with 10 seconds left to give Michigan the victory and a Rose Bowl birth.

Forcier proved once again that he is the man!

Michigan's #1 ranked rushing defense got the job done, holding a very good rushing team to only 34 yards on 23 carriers. Michigan's #2 ranked rushing attack, however, never got going as they only rushed for 180 yards on 40 carries. Luckily, Forcier was an absolute beast in the game. He completed 18 of 22 passes for 243 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 Ints. He also racked up 48 rushing yards on only 12 carries (2 of which were sacks) and had the game winning TD run. This was enough to garner him Big 10 Player of the Week honors. Michigan's defense, while giving up a season high 38 points, was very disruptive as they amassed 6 sacks and 3 interceptions during the game.

Big Will Campbell and the Wolverine D put a hurting on Wisconsin

Now Michigan will prepare for the only game that really matters of the season as they will host the silver guys from down south next week.

Here are some highlights from the game. (Windows 7 came with a new movie maker which is very, very different from the old one so I'll have to get used to it before I can make some more highlight reels)

Darryl Stonum TD reception

Roy Roundtree TD reception

Terrence Robinson's kick return for a TD

Martavious Odoms TD reception

DE Anthony LaLota interception of a screen pass

Game Statistics

First Downs1812
Total Offense423299
Passing YDS243265
3rd Down Conv6-114-11
4th Down Conv0-00-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds3838
KR Yds255257
Total Yards716594

01 November 2009

Michigan Dominates Minnesota to Hang on to The LIttle Brown Jug

Michigan had no problems with Minnesota as they beat them for the 20th time in their last 21 games. Forcier was on fire, hitting 15 of 20 passes for 215 yards and 2 TDs. On the ground, the 2 headed rushing attack of Vincent Smith and Terrence Robinson combined for 148 yards on 23 carries while Martavious Odoms accumulated 94 yards of receiving which was a season high for any Wolverine receiver.

Michigan's defense dominated as they held the Gophers to only 40 rushing yards and 199 passing yards. They also allowed only 3 of 10 3rd downs to be converted. This win means that Michigan only needs to win 1 of their final 2 games to win the Big 10 title outright in only coach Jello's 2nd season.

Game Statistics

First Downs1420
Total Offense239421
Passing YDS199215
3rd Down Conv3-106-10
4th Down Conv0-00-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds2242
KR Yds23372
Total Yards494535

29 October 2009

Michigan Holds Onto the Paul Bunyon Trophy

3-5 (0-4) Michigan State gave Michigan all they could handle in East Lansing today. They started off hot in the 1st half and went up on the Wolverines 14-0. Michigan couldn't seem to do anything right. Finally, with 38 seconds left in the half, the Wolverines scored on a 6 yard TD pass from Forcier to Stonum. Michigan was able to force a 3 and out on MSU's next possession. Fitzgerald Toussaint, in his first punt return of his career would take it back 52 yards (a Michigan record under coach Jello's watch) to the MSU 13 yard line with 7 seconds remaining. Michigan had 1 shot at the end zone and Forcier would connect with Jeremy Gallon for a 13 yard TD to tie the game up at the half.

The 3rd quarter went back and forth as Michigan outscored the Spartans 14-10, thanks to 2 rushing TDs by Vincent Smith, including a 45 yarder. Forcier would connect with freshman Je'Ron Stokes for his 3rd passing TD of the game which tied a career high. Sr LB Marrell Evans earned player of the game honors as he tallied 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble and had 3 of Michigan's 6 sacks. Offensively Vincent Smith had a big game, rushing for 136 yards and 2 TDs on 16 carries. For MSU, their 4th string true freshman QB had a surprisingly good game. He completed 15 of 21 passes for 251 yards and 2 TDs. Michigan's defense, despite giving up 32 points and 251 passing yards, played well. They held the Spartans to only 16 yards rushing on 25 carries and sacked the QB 6 times while forcing 2 turnovers.

Game Statistics
CategoryMichiganMichigan State

First Downs1414
Total Offense340267
Passing YDS147251
3rd Down Conv5-95-8
4th Down Conv1-10-0
2pt Conv0-01-1
PR Yds529
KR Yds171239
Total Yards563515

27 October 2009

Michigan and Iowa Battle For 1st Place in the Big TenMichigan and Iowa Battle For 1st Place in the Big Ten

**Due to some technical difficulties uploading vids and pics, there will be no footage from this game**

Michigan and Iowa faced off this Saturday in a pivotal Big 10 matchup. The winner would be in 1st place and would have the inside track to the Big 10 crown and a trip to Pasadena. This game featured to 2 highest scoring teams in the Big 10. In Iowa, it also featured what is, by far, the best defense in the Big 10. Iowa had only given up 91 points through 7 games while Michigan's porous defense had given up 158 points (4th highest in the Big 10). This game, played @ Iowa's Kinnick Stadium, would see Michigan's high power offense finally get shut down by Iowa's stifling defense while Iowa's prolific offense continued to roll over the top of Michigan.

At least that's how it looked on paper. Things didn't turn out so well for the Hawkeyes on the field as they were manhandled by the #6 Wolverines 49-10. Michigan started each half on fire as they put up 21 points in both the 1st and 3rd quarters. Tate Forcier was brilliant as he completed 12 of 12 passes for 180 yards and 2 TDs. The subs got to play for Michigan as they had 11 different guys rush the ball. Starting FB Mark Moundrous scored on a 2 yard TD run which made him the 9th Wolverine to score a rushing TD this season. The Wolverines' offense was just firing on all cylinders as they scored over half as many points in 1 game as the Hawks had given up through 7 games!

This win gives the Wolverines a 2 game lead over the next closest teams in the Big 10 race (they're only 1 game up on PSU, but Michigan holds the tie-breaker). As long as coach Jello can keep his young team focused, they have a great shot at playing in the Granddaddy of Them All at the end of the season.

21 October 2009

Vincent Smith Named Week 7 Big Ten Offensive PotW

Vincent Smith, in his first game back from the injury list, was named the Big10 Player of the week after his performance against Purdue. The 5'6, 165lb HB had a huge game as he rushed for 164 yards and 3 TDs in 18 carries which included a career long 82 yard TD run.

20 October 2009

Forcier Gets Beaten Up Against Purdue

Michigan came away with the 42-17 victory in this game, but it must've been very frustrating for coach Jello, and especially QB Tate Forcier. In the first half, Forcier would go down to injury, but he only missed 1 quarter of play. While he was injured, true FR Ian Heffner took his place until he was knocked out of the game due to injury.

Overall Michigan's running game was working as they rushed for 224 yards and 4 TDs on 42 carries. Michigan's stout defense held the Boilers to only 23 rushing yards, but gave up over 300 passing yards. The true frustration came for Michigan in the 2nd half. Purdue started stopping Michigan's running game on 1st and 2nd down which forced Michigan to have to throw more. During the 1 1/2 quarters that Forcier played in the 2nd half Forcier was sacked 7 muthafuggin times! These also weren't coverage sacks or all out blitzes either. Purdue usually only rushed 4 or maybe 5 and was still smacking Forcier in the mouth within 2 seconds of the snap of the ball. It was beyond frustrating.

Hopefully the offensive line can step up their game when they travel to Iowa (for the 2nd year in a row) in 2 weeks.

Game Statistics

First Downs1421
Total Offense347423
Passing YDS324199
3rd Down Conv4-115-11
4th Down Conv1-23-3
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds741
KR Yds16175
Total Yards515539

18 October 2009

Michigan and Penn State Play One For the Ages

Michigan and Penn State went back and forth all night in a game which was decided in the final 15 seconds of the game. Both teams' defenses had their hands more than full tonight as both offenses were basically unstoppable. The Wolverines converted on 5/6 3rd down conversions while the Nittany Lions converted on 8/10 conversions. The 1st quarter flew by as there weren't even 2 complete drives in it. PSU had the ball first and they marched down the field to score a TD. During this drive they converted on a lot of key 3rd down conversions. Michigan's defense played well on 1st and 2nd down, but no matter what they tried on 3rd down, they just could not get PSU off the field.

On Michigan's 1st drive, they drove down the field with ease. Early on Penn State had absolutely no answer for Michigan's option game. Michigan would end the drive with a nice TD pass from Forcier to Stonum.

Penn State would once again be unstoppable as they marched down the field to take a 14-7 lead. Michigan would then score on their next drive to tie up the game up with only 24 seconds left in the half. Penn State would get greedy as they would try to get into field goal range and FS Michael Williams would make a huge interception off of Kevin Newsome to stop the drive and give the Wolverines great field position with 7 seconds remaining.

Forcier would make 1 quick pass to get the Wolverines closer as they called a timeout with 1 second left. Kicker Brandon Gibbons would kick a career long 53 yard FG to put the Wolverines up 17-14 at the half.

Michigan's Forcier drove down the field to start the 3rd quarter, but an untimely interception would force the Wolverines to go scoreless in the 3rd quarter. The Nittany Lions would add a FG in the 3rd quarter to tie the game up 20-20 after 3 quarters.

On Michigan's first drive, they drove into PSU territory, but Penn State, who had figured out Michigan's option game forced the Wolverines to punt for the first time. PSU, who began the drive inside their own 15, would go on a very long, extremely frustrating drive from there. No matter what Michigan tried, they were incapable of getting PSU off the field. Eventually they would get into the red zone where Michigan finally made Penn State fail on a 3rd down conversion for only the 2nd time in the game. Penn State would have to settle for a FG to put them up 20-17 with only 1:05 remaining in the game, and Michigan was without any timeouts.

Penn State chose to kick the ball deep and freshman Jeremy Gallon would field the kick 2 yards deep in the end zone. He would break through a tackle at the 20 yard line and ended up returning it for 45 yards which allowed Michigan to start at their own 43 yard line.

Tate Forcier would lead the Wolverines on the most memorable drive in coach Jello's 1 1/2 years as head coach. He would hit Roy Roundtree for a 16 yard completion. Then, with Penn State dropping just about eveyone into coverage, Forcier would then scramble up the middle on 3 plays in a row for 11, 14, and 10 yards, the final one taking the Wolverines to the PSU 7 yard line with 15 seconds remaining. Forcier would then connect with Roy Roundtree once again, and Roundtree showed his toughness by holding onto the ball for a 7 yard TD which put Michigan up 24-20 with 12 seconds remaining.

Coach Jello chose to squib kick it so as not to let the dangerous PSU return men return the ball. Penn State would take a couple of shots at the end zone, but Michigan's prevent defense did the trick and they escaped with the 24-20 victory.

Forcier was a real beast today. He completed 12 of 14 passes for 134 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. He also lead Michigan in rushing as he rushed for 86 yards on 14 carries.

Forcier was the man today

Game Statistics
CategoryMichiganPenn State

First Downs1719
Total Offense277303
Passing YDS134231
3rd Down Conv5-68-10
4th Down Conv0-00-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds01
KR Yds14465
Total Yards421369

17 October 2009

Following the Illinois Game, Michigan Signs 2 More Recruits, Including a Huge Catch

Ann Arbor-- Today Michigan signed two more huge recruits. The first is 6'5, 312 lb guard Brandon Whitehead from Texas. The Wolverines graduate 2 guards this year so Brandon will add some much needed depth. His blocking attributes are very high for someone ranked as low as he was and coach Jello expects him to be able to produce after only a couple of seasons.

The other recruit signed this week is a huge catch that is expected to make several huge catches for years to come. He is the lone, non-bonus allowed the Wolverines Greg Banks. Greg is a 6'5, 183 lb WR from Maryland. Banks is a huge target at 6'5, but on top of this, he is the 2nd fastest player at any position in this year's recruiting class. That size, combined with that height should make for a brutal combination for opposing defenses. He should be able to run by anyone tall enough to jump with him and jump right over anyone fast enough to run with him.

Banks, who has played basketball all of his life, has only been playing football for the last 2 years. Because of that, even though he's a recruit, he's a bit of a project. His skills will need a lot of work, but physically he is a freak of nature. Coach Jello will glady take this rough project and mold him into a standout receiver.

During the press conference, Coach Jello made this bold prediction. "I would bet that before he leaves, Greg will have earned the right to wear the coveted #1 jersey at Michigan." Clearly, he has very high hopes for this kid.

15 October 2009

Wolverines and Illini Battle Until the Very End

#13 Michigan opened their Big10 schedule by hosting Illinois. This hard fought game went back and forth and wasn't decided until the fat lady bellowed. Illinois started off very strong as Eddie McGee connected with Hawthorne for a 70 yard TD to put Illinois up 7-3 after 1. The 2 teams would alternate TDs in the second quarter and they ended up with 2 apiece to give Illinois a 21-17 lead at the half.

After losing starting HB Mike Shaw last week for the season, things got even worse for the wolverines in the first half as 2nd stringer Vincent Smith went down with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Michigan would have to finish the game with their 3rd and 4th string running backs.

The 3rd quarter was the turning point for Michigan as they held the Illini scoreless. Midway through the quarter, Michigan's punter Shane Johnson would pin the Illini inside their 5 yard line. The weather, which had been rainy all game, caused another of many miscues during the game. As you can see in the highlight reel, QB McGee, would slip and lose his balance while dropping back. This allowed LB Jonas Mouton to sack him for a safety. Michigan would add another TD to take their 1st lead since leading 3-0.

Early on in the 4th quarter Michigan would use a Tate Forcier 5yd TD run to take a 33-21 lead. Illinois would score another TD with 1 minute remaining to cut the lead to 33-28. Illinois would not recover their onside kick so Michigan got the ball on the Illinois 35 yd line. All Michigan had to do was run out the clock. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, Michigan was stopped short of the first down on their 1st 2 tries as Illinois used their TOs to stop the clock. On 3rd and 2, Michigan ran a QB blast play and Tate Forcier was stood up at the line by a jarring hit which popped the ball loose and Illinois would recover it. With no TOs left, Illinois would pass the ball and eventually get to Michigan's 30 yard line before the time ran out to seal the Wolverine victory.

Michigan will now have to lick their wounds and prepare for their trip to Happy Valley next week.

Game Statistics

First Downs1621
Total Offense420394
Passing YDS387190
3rd Down Conv4-84-13
4th Down Conv0-12-2
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds116
KR Yds148122
Total Yards579522

14 October 2009

Wolverines Beat Boise, But Lose Shaw For The Season

Starting HB Mike Shaw broke his elbow and will miss the rest of the season

Things got off on the wrong foot for the Wolverines as Boise State HB Harper would take a handoff on the 2nd play of the game and scamper for a 40 yard gain. BSU would use this momentum to score on their opening drive to go up 7-0. That would be the only lead the Broncos would have during the game as Michigan's offense continued to click while their defense got their heads on straight and shut the Broncos down for the remainder of the game.

Every Wolverine fan held their breath during the 1st quarter when starting QB Tate Forcier went down hard during a run. He ended up missing over a quarter of the game, but luckily he came back. While he was out, in a surprise move, coach Jello went with true FR Ian Heffner (Hugh's grandson) instead of rsSR Nick Sheridan. Heffner played well, completing 4 of 6 passes, including a TD pass as well as running 10 times for 41 yards.

While the Wolverines dodged a bullet when Forcier returned halfway through the 2nd quarter, they weren't so lucky later in the game. On an 8 yard rush, starting HB Mike Shaw landed awkwardly and broke his elbow. He will miss the remainder of the season. The Wolverines go 5 deep (not including their redshirting freshman) at halfback, so they've got plenty of backs to replace him, but he's clearly the best back that Michigan has and will be sorely missed. This comes at a terrible time as the Wolverines begin their conference season next week.

Game Statistics
CategoryMichiganBoise State

First Downs1715
Total Offense457294
Passing YDS185239
3rd Down Conv7-104-14
4th Down Conv0-00-1
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds300
KR Yds56216
Total Yards543510

13 October 2009

Black Shirts Dominate Once Again While the Offense Finally Gets it Into 5th Gear

Michigan's front 7 (the Black Shirts) along with the secondary were dominant once again for the Wolverines. After getting torched for 55 points against Notre Dame last week, they got things turned around against lowly Duke, 56-10. In this game, the offense finally hit their stride as well. Michigan would gain 450 yards of total offense while holding Duke to only 232, including only 9 yards of rushing. Michigan's ground game was nearly unstoppable as they rushed for 256 yards and 6 TDs.

After a terrible outing against Notre Dame, QB Tate Forcier had a good game completing 14 of 19 passes for 170 yards and 2 TDs. The rushing attack was a 2 pronged attack led by jr HB Michael Shaw who had 121 yards and 3 TDs and QB Forcier who gained 63 yards and had 1 TD.

The Wolverines will need both their offense and defense to be clicking once again this week as they travel to the smurf turf where the Broncos are very tough.

Game Statistics

First Downs1319
Total Offense232450
Passing YDS223194
3rd Down Conv4-129-14
4th Down Conv0-10-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds3421
KR Yds24851
Total Yards514522