The game went from being an easy first half to a frustrating, yelling, second half. Yeah, it feels great beating Notre Dame for the second consecutive year in the final seconds, but for once can Michigan make things painless for its Diehards?
- Denard Robinson cannot get hurt. Robinson rushed twenty eight times against ND, one less than the UConn game, but it worries me he won’t be able stay healthy through the entire year continuously taking blows. Opposing teams now know that our offense is all Denard Robinson, so they will look to take hits on him that may cause injury. Rich Rod needs to slow Denard’s carries because loosing Robinson won’t bring bring a heisman trophy to Ann Arbor, but more importantly, may kill our bowl chances.
- This might be the only time you’ll ever hear me talk about Michigan being lucky, but last Saturday, I think they were. On Notre Dame’s first possession they scored a touchdown, easily moving the ball. I figured that was it, our defense had no chance of holding them and we were toast. However, Notre Dame’s quarterback, Dayne Crist, stayed on the sidelines for the remainer of the half because of a bizarre eye injury which, just so happened, opened the game up for Michigan. ND had to go to two freshman quarterbacks, both in their first college action, each throwing an interceptions and struggling to move the offense at all. Michigan capitalized and held ND scoreless after Crist’s injury and took a 21-7 halftime lead that was just enough in the end.
- It was apparent we cant run the ball, other than for a guy named Denard Robinson. It wasn’t much of a problem against ND that starting running backs Vincent Smith and Michael Shaw combined for twenty nine yards on twelve carries a 2.4 carry average. I would give most of the credit to Notre Dame’s defense, with a stout group of linebackers, but it’s something to keep an eye on and hopefully is a one game thing.
- The obvious choice is Denard Robinson, but I’m going with the guy who got Robinson to Michigan, Rich Rodriguez. With players that fit his system like Robinson, Rodriguez in my mind, has what it takes for this program to become a national championship contender once again. The rumors of Rodriguez being in his last year should be put to rest, and prove the theory he needed guys who fit his offense. Well done coach, 2-0 is as good as it gets.
- Jonas Mouton. I have to give it up to Jonas Mouton, who last season seemed like a total waste of potential to me. Mouton brought his A game, recording thirteen tackles and picking off the flea flicker that led to Michigan’s first TD. I really like the improvement I saw from the senior who should also lead the team in tackles this season.
- Thomas Gordon. Gordon, out of Cass Tech, had a huge sack in the fourth quarter, his only of the game. Taking the place of injured Carvin Johnson, I thought Gordon performed well for a redshirt freshman, recording 5 tackles, two of which were for a loss.
- The Offensive Linemen. Offensive linemen usually get noticed only for something wrong, but their play was huge in the offense. On Robinson’s 87 yard touchdown run, two linemen, Patrick Omameh and Perry Doreinstein (two guys who get a lot of heat for penalties) made huge blocks that allowed Robinson to get to the second level. The holding and clipping calls are not too big a deal, as of now, but they contained ND and opened up the holes for the big plays.
- Cameron Gordon. Gotta give the guy some credit. He didn’t actually lose the game, just seemed to have, on the 95 yard touchdown that put ND ahead. Gordon, a freshman and former wide receiver, was out of position on Notre Dame’s two big passing plays, but thankfully, still has a few games to gain some experience and confidence before big ten teams target him.
- Brandon Gibbons. Gibbons, a scholarship kicker, is going to give me a headache every time I see him on the field. Completely missing two field goals and getting replaced by walk- on, Seth Broekhuizen, Michigan needs Gibbons to show up or else this will be a huge problem every game.
Next Week: Massachusetts. see 2007: Appalachian State.