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

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