Speaking Jose…

Michigan Football Week 1- Utah
August 31, 2008, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , ,

Finally the college football season has started! Unfortunately, Michigan lost to Utah 25-23, but it was an interesting game to see Rich Rodrguez’s system in place for the game.

What was Good

  • Special Teams – Really the highlight of the game. There was a blocked Extra Point, good punts overall (except for Mesko shanking one in the 2nd half) and the return game did not lead to any fumbles or turnovers.  The only part that was still a little weak was Kickoffs, Wright is not getting enough distance that will lead to more touchbacks instead of returns.
  • 2nd Half Defense – Someone either wokeup the the Michigan defensive players or switched them for the Rec League guys playing in the first half. The Defensive Line was much better in getting to the quarterback and the defensive backs actually remembered how to play their positions. Only gave up three points in the second half and that was mainly due to good field position for Utah at the beginning of the series (where they went 4 yds in 3 downs). Obi Ezeh was the star of the game (15 tackles and 1 interception) and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

What was Not So Good

  • 1st Half Defense – Wow, for about 20 minutes I seriously wondered if someone had snuck in Eastern Michigan’s defensive players for the Michigan ones. But then I realized that the EMU players would actually know how to tackle or play the safety position.
  • Offense not Being Able to Move the Ball – Out of all the things that I saw on Saturday, this was the most disappointing of all. I think everyone expected there to be some learning steps and growing pains for the offense, but it was pitiful for most of the game. The biggest worry was that the running game could not gain any traction. Not sure if this is because they tried to go around the line too often instead of trying to power through the line. The passing game was out of sorts, but I think thats going to come with more practice and reps for the the Quarterbacks Sheridan and Threet.

What Needs to Improve by Next Week

  • Defense plays a full game – Miami of Ohio should not be a huge test for Michigan and should be a good game for the defense to become more cohesive and learn to play with more confidence. If the defense cant take advantage of this weaker opponent, then it is going to be a long year.
  • Pick a QB and Stay With Him – It makes sense for Coach Rodriguez to want to try out both QB options during the first game, especially since they were both pretty green when it came to game experience.  Now that both have had a tryout of sorts, Coach Rod needs to settle on one as starter and then stick with him for a while to help stabilize the offense.

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