Excuse the hiatus. The butt-kicking Alabama gave Michigan in the ‘Cowboy Classic’ made it tough for Wolverines fans to do much of anything besides put their heads in the sand. The Crimson Tide were heavy favorites going in, but that doesn’t make a 41-14 loss hurt any less. The loss wasn’t embarrassing for just Michigan fans, though.
This hurt the Big Ten Conference as a whole. It’s no secret the SEC has dominated college football over the last decade plus. Michigan was the highest rated team in the ‘B1G’ to start the season; it would have been nice for them to make a game out of it and at least give the fans their money’s worth.
Even with the Wolverines rated as high as they were, it was obvious heading in that Alabama was well ahead of Michigan. Nick Saban’s squad has won two of the last three national championships. Michigan has had more losses in the last four years than ‘Bama has in the last seven.
The Wolverines seemed off for most of the game and a lot of that had to with defending champs flexing their muscles. Starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint did not suit up for the game due to a suspension. Even if the team’s leading rusher from last year did play, he wouldn’t have put much of a dent in the 27-point deficit.
He will play in the team’s next game, when Michigan hosts Air Force. The best thing for the Wolverines to do is put the crushing loss in the rearview mirror. As bad as it was, it won’t affect their chances at winning the conference and playing in a BCS game.
When the team takes the field against Air Force, look for them to establish the run right from the get go. The aforementioned Toussaint should get the ball early and often. Quarteback Denard Robinson also should play a bigger role in the ground game.
‘Shoelace’ carried the ball just 10 times for 27 yards. His longest run went for 9 yards. That’s just not going to cut it. In order for him to be an affective passer he needs to teams to be fearful of him breaking a big run against them. If they can contain him on the ground, they will be able to contain the offense as a whole.
That being said, the receivers need to do a better job of hanging onto the football. Robinson’s accuracy is not his strong suit. The pass catchers need to do him a favor and hang onto the ones that get to their hands.
Even though ‘Bama put 41 points on the board, the defense wasn’t all that bad. Michigan’s offense and special teams allowed the Crimson Tide to start right around midfield or closer on the majority of their possessions. Michigan does need to do a better job of tackling.
That will really be important as Air Force, ironically enough, had the most rushing yards in the nation last week. Granted it was against Idaho State, but 412 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns is a lot no matter who the opponent is.
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