Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te

Michigan Football: Wolverines Help The Irish Beat Themselves -- Quick Thoughts

Posted at 7:00am — 9/23/2012

Michigan Football: Wolverines Help The Irish Beat Themselves — Quick Thoughts

The Irish probably feel like they were owed one or deserved one after the last three previous games of being beaten by Michigan within the last minute of the game. Well this is the payback because Michigan gave this game away clearly. Michigan Wolverines had the ball inside the red-zone six times (one came out after being sacked) and only came away with six points. That clearly will not win you many football games along with having six turnovers in a game.

By the way, Manti Te’o is one hell of a college football player if people didn’t know that already. He was everywhere and what Michigan has been lacking in the middle of their defense for many, many years. He was all over the field by creating pressure on Denard on blitzes and forced Denard to throw the ball before being ready, he had a couple of intercepting, along with going sideline to sideline making tackles including several when he was on the opposite side of the field when the play started. He has had a couple of bad week personally and has had two of his better weeks on the field playing football.

As many fans know Denard Robinson didn’t have a very good game with four interceptions and one fumble, but you cannot put the entire game on his shoulders. As many fans know, but don’t like to admit the quarterback gets to much praise when a team wins and gets to much hate when they lose. The game of football is the ultimate team game and many other players made crucial mistakes as well that either cost Michigan points or lead the Irish to their points as well.

Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose guard Louis Nix (9) grabs the shirt of Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson (16) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Here are just five moments in the game that either cost Michigan points or allowed Notre Dame another chance for points and were crucial mistakes at key moments.

1) Vincent Smith threw an interception that cost Michigan points near the goal-line.

2) Brendan Gibbons missed a field goal from thirty-three yards early in the game.

3) Quinton Washington who probably played one of his better games jumped offside on a critical third down call that gave the Irish a first down.

4) Jarrod Wilson had a holding call in the end-zone on third down that if he wouldn’t have held would have forced the Irish to kick a field goal. Instead the Irish got the ball on the two yard line and then next play they scored a touchdown. The kick-off Wilson was flagged for holding after a very good return from Norfleet who averaged twenty-nine yards on kick-off returns.

5) Tackling and not getting pressure (sacks) on the quarterback is still two huge issue for this team. We still have players over-pursuing and trying to one-arm tackle defenders and one player that keeps coming to mind is Thomas Gordon who did this several times during the game.

These aren’t to shelter Denard Robinson because clearly he had a very bad game and as he said in the press conference he was embarrassed by his performance in the game. As we mentioned before as being part of some type of football for many years either playing the game or coaching the game this is the ultimate team game.

Seemed like whenever Michigan was getting positives yards and moving the ball they shot themselves in the foot someway, some how and made a mistake that either ended the drive or gave Notre Dame another chance.

September 15, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess (19) runs the ball after making a reception for a twenty six yard touchdown during the first quarter against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Five Positives coming from the Game:

1) Coming out of a six turnover game and Michigan still had a chance to tie/win the game in the fourth quarter is quite amazing especially when last week Notre Dame beat Michigan State 20-3 at Spartan Stadium.

2) The defense even though they had some bad moments especially in the fourth quarter played very well overall or better than expected.

3) The Big Ten conference isn’t a very good conference this year and Michigan still can reach one of their goals. We have seen Michigan State struggle against the Irish at home and Eastern Michigan, Ohio State has struggled against mediocre teams so far this season and several other Big Ten teams haven’t looked very good.

4) Young players are getting key experience that will only help them later this year and beyond. At this point it doesn’t matter if they are freshman or not anymore. They are playing so they need to step it up and play Michigan football.

5) Michigan won the battle in the time of possession, rushing yards, total yards, first downs, but lost the war which is the only thing that really matters the “W” at the end of the game.

Earlier in the week, CoachBT had keys to winning every game or a chance to win games and they aren’t rocket science.

1. Win turnover battle … lost that one.

2. Play Solid Special teams … push … had a few penalties, but overall didn’t do bad.

3. Don’t give up big plays … lost that one at a key point with several big plays late.

4. Limit Penalties … didn’t have a lot of them, but the ones Michigan did have were killers either by stalling a Michigan drive or keeping the Irish’s drive going and scoring off of them.

5. Score when your in the red zone … do we need to even list that we lost this one big-time.

The only other thing to add is Michigan needs to get back to playing fundamentally sound football because that is the only way they can beat teams this season. They aren’t talented enough yet to just show up or get by with several mistakes and expect to win games.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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