28 September 2009

The Black Shirts Dominate CMU

Michigan's Black Shirt defense was all over CMU all day long

Enroute to beating up the Chippewas, Michigan's defense looked very good while their offense showed a serious need for improvement. This isn't evident by just looking at the final score of 44-14 however. Michigan's starting defense didn't give up a single point and they didn't give up a single rushing yard while they were on the field. Michigan scored early as FR(RS) HB Vincent Smith would take his first carry of his career 56 yards for a TD. Shortly after this FR(RS) return man Jeremy Gallon would fumble a punt return and CMU would return it for a TD to tie the game up 7-7. This would be as close as the Chippewas would get, however, as Michigan would continue to dominate and take a 24-7 lead into the half. CMU wouldn't score again until they faced Michigan's 2nd team defense early in the 4th quarter.

The black shirts would hold CMU to 17 yards on 25 carries, 155 yards of total offense, 1 of 13 3rd down conversions and would force 2 turnovers while sacking CMU 6 times. There wasn't anything that the defense didn't do and didn't do well. On the offensive side, it was a different story. Michigan would only complete 17 of 32 passes, thanks in no small part to 7 drops by Wolverine receivers. Michigan was also only able to convert 3 of 13 3rd down conversions.

With their game against a highly ranked Notre Dame team next week, coach Jello is going to have to get the offense clicking and in a hurry.

Here are some highlights of this week's game:

Game Statistics
CategoryCentral MichiganMichigan

First Downs920
Total Offense155465
Passing YDS138244
3rd Down Conv1-133-13
4th Down Conv1-13-3
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds014
KR Yds22635
Total Yards381514

27 September 2009

2010 Season Preview

Expectations are high in Ann Arbor as this new season is about to begin. The Wolverines, who began last season unranked, begin 2010 ranked #12 in the country. Coach Jello hopes to improve upon an impressive 2009 campaign in a couple of key areas. First and foremost, he must beat the silver guys from down south. In addition to that, his goal is to win the Big 10 and to play in a BCS bowl game. The wolverines will get an early chance to see if they've improved during week 2 when they travel to South Bend. Last year the Wolverines were embarrassed against the drunken Irish and they must make some improvements in order to win this game.

Offensively the Wolverines didn't progress as much as coach Jello wanted during spring and fall practices. Several defensive players and most of the offensive line have shown some real improvements, but the offensive skills players seem to be having trouble getting settled into the new system. It is very possible that the defensive unit will have to carry the offense this year. Of special concern is the quarterback position. As we all know, Denard Robinson has transferred away to Army and this leaves Forcier as the only QB capable of running coach Jello's offense. Forcier has not progressed like Jello wanted and he has no decent backup so things could get hairy quickly there. The defense lost their 2 best players last year in MLB Obi Ezeh and LE Brandon Graham. MLB Demens and DE Van Berger are poised to filled their shoes, but Michigan is still searching for a solid #2 DE. Michigan's LB corps is clearly the strongest part of the entire team and they should be exciting to watch this year.

Michigan didn't get much love from the All Conference and All American voters. Here are the preseason team members for the Wolverines:

2nd Team All Big 10
WR Darryl Stonum (JR)
DT William Campbell (SO)
CB Donovan Warren (SR)
FS Michael Williams (JR)

1st Team All Big 10
DT Mike Martin (JR)
CB Boubacar Cissoko (JR)

2nd Team All American
CB Boubacar Cissoko (JR)

18 September 2009

Michigan Routes Ole Miss in Capital One Bowl

Brandon Graham celebrates after setting a Michigan record with his 13th sack in the season

Michigan, still seething after a 31-10 whooping at the hands of the silver guys from down south took out their frustrations on the Rebels of Ole Miss in the Capital One Bowl. This game was really never close. Michigan only scored 1 TD in the 1st quarter, but they were up 20-0 at the half. They tacked on another 14 points in the 3rd quarter to go up 34-0. Ole Miss would score their only points on a TD midway through the 4th quarter. On the offensive side of the ball, the Wolverines were led by QB Tate Forcier who had missed half of the season with an abdominal strain. He was his usual great self as he threw for 191 yards and 1 TD while also rushing for 36 yards which was the 2nd highest on the team. Sr Brandon Minor would end his career on a high note by rushing for 108 yards and 2 TDs on only 15 carries.

With as impressive as Michigan was offensively, it was on the defensive side of the ball where they were truly dominant. The 1st team defense didn't give up a single point. They held the Rebels to -7 yards rushing on 27 carries and only 212 yards of total offense. They allowed the Rebels to only convert 27% of their 3rd downs (compared to 57% for Michigan's offense). This domination helped Michigan hold the ball for almost 17 minutes compared to only 11 minutes for Ole Miss. They also forced 2 interceptions against the Rebels. This defensive effort was lead by the usual suspects as MLB Obi Ezeh had 11 tackles (giving him over 100 on the season and, in his final collegiate game, Brandon Graham had 8 tackles, 6 of them for losses, and 2 sacks. These 2 sacks set the single season record for Michigan. All told, the Wolverines racked up 6 sacks in the game.

Michigan will now look to continue recruiting to shore up their lineup and look to have a better year than they had this year.

Here are the highlights of the bowl game.

Game Statistics
CategoryOle MissMichigan

First Downs1320
Total Offense212396
Passing YDS219191
3rd Down Conv3-114-7
4th Down Conv0-10-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds1024
KR Yds025
Total Yards222445

16 September 2009

Wolverine All Conference and All Americans

No Wolverine was named to 1st or 2nd team All American, but freshman DT William Campbell was named to the Freshman All American team. The 6'5, 330 lb Campbell tallied 28 tackles (14 TFL) and a whopping 7 sacks during his first campaign. Joining Campbell were the following All Big Ten Wolverines.

SR HB Brandon Minor (793 rushing yards, 13 TDs)
SO WR Darryl Stonum (584 receiving yards, 7 TDs)
FR DT William Campbell
SO FS Michael Williams (55 tackles, 2 INTs)

SR DE Brandon Graham (58 tackles, 23 TFL, 12 sacks, 2 FF)
SO DT Mike Martin (39 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 FF)
JR MLB Obi Ezeh (95 tackles, 16 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 TD, 2 FF)
SO CB Boubacar Cissoko (46 tackles, 4 INT, 2 TD, 1 FF)
SR SS Stevie Brown (65 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 INT, 2 TD, 1 FR)
SR P Zoltan Mesko (47.2 avg, 41.0 net avg, 10 inside 20)

05 September 2009

Wolverines Thrashed by Silver Guys

Michigan, playing for the Big 10 title, could not get it done today against the silver guys from down south. This game was decided by the normally stout defense of Michigan being completely incapable of getting the silver guys off the field. The silver guys converted 11 of 13 third down conversions, including every one in the 1st half. Michigan's defense, who was ranked #2 in the country in rushing defense gave up an inexcusable 212 yards and 4 TDs on the ground. Brandon Saine would rush for 130 yards and 3 TDs while Terrel Pryor was extremely efficient, completing 17 of 19 passes.

On the other side of the ball, Michigan was unable to get their running game going as they only gained 33 yards on 14 carries. Starting QB Tate Forcier missed his 6th game in a row due to an abdominal injury so Nick Sheridan got the start. Hewas okay as he threw for 145 yards and 1 TD, but he threw his first 2 interceptions of the season as well. There really wasn't much good to say about Michigan in this game. When asked to comment coach Briggs said "This is a major disappointment for us. This game is the one I looked forward to all year. Yes we've gone from 3-9 to a much more Michigan like record. Yes we've finished tied for the Big 10 title. Yes we're going to be playing in a January bowl game. But with our inability to win this game, this season has been a failure."

Week 12 Highlights

Game Statistics
CategoryOhio StateMichigan

First Downs178
Total Offense365178
Passing YDS153145
3rd Down Conv11-133-8
4th Down Conv0-00-0
2pt Conv0-00-0
PR Yds420
KR Yds71174
Total Yards478352

03 September 2009

Wolverines Outlast Badgers

Today Michigan faced off against the Badgers of Wisconsin in this huge Big Ten showdown. The Badgers, however, were playing without their coach Raz who was reportedly at home with a case of explosive diarrhea. The game was an up and down affair all day. Wisconsin marched the ball downfield on their first possession and seemed unstoppable until the Wolverines finally held on a crucial 3rd down and forced Wisconsin to settle for a FG. Michigan would score on a Brandon Minor TD to take the lead only to give it away when QB Nick Sheridan, who was starting for injured Tate Forcier, had a fumble returned 44 yards for a TD. This put the Badgers up 10-7 after the 1st quarter.

In the 2nd quarter, starting WR Martavious Odoms was injured which forced the Wolverines to reach deeper into their depth chart. This resulted in WR Junior Hemingway catching his first 2 TD receptions of the season. This put Michigan up 21-13 at the half. The third quarter couldn't have started off worse for the Badgers. Michigan's Terrance Robinson took the opened kickoff and scampered 99 yards (while breaking the ankles of the only Badger defender in his way) for the first kickoff return for a TD on the season for the Wolverines. On Wisconsin's next drive QB Sherer was nailed while throwing the ball and had his pass intercepted by stud DE Brandon Graham. Brandon Minor would then finish things off with a 10 yard TD run.

At this point Michigan led 35-13 and due to time constraints the game was supersimmed. During this supersimming Wisconsin would score 2 TDs and failed on a 2pt conversion cut Michigan's lead to 35-26 after 3 quarters. Then coach Briggs retook the controls for the 4th quarter. Wisconsin's offense, thanks to the momentum from the 2 supersimmed TDs was unstoppable in the 4th quarter. They would score 2 more TDs while, luckily Michigan got 1 of their own. Michigan won by a final score of 42-40 (thank goodness for the failed 2 point conversion).

Game Statistics

First Downs1716
Total Offense354416
Passing YDS141352
3rd Down Conv5-107-13
4th Down Conv0-10-0
2pt Conv0-00-1
PR Yds40
KR Yds24227
Total Yards600443