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