Michigan Football: Coach’s Corner — Michigan vs. Notre Dame — What Happened and What it Means — Part I
In a game that will stand in Michigan infamy, Denard Robinson provided Notre Dame the opportunity to score points and cost the Wolverines the opportunity to score on their end. The combination of the two factors provided the clear difference in the hard fought, old-style mid-western football classic.
There is no need to over analyze the game; Denard reverted to the turnover machine of the past. As stated here, over and over, Denard is a wonderful representative of the university with great skills and characteristics one must admire. He has been, depending on the day over the four years of his career, either a touchdown machine or a turnover machine. Last night some good pressure up the middle resulted in poor choices by the Michigan captain.
Notre Dame was in good coverage but Denard simply rolled the dice and let it fly hoping for the best. His throws found Notre Dame defenders dead on, excepting the one tipped ball. The announcers’ ad nauseam revisit to Denard’s footwork, mechanics, and decision-making was a revisit of the past for Michigan fans.
Manti Te’o caused much of Denard’s grief, but the super competitor Denard Robinson refused to take the sack and live to fight another day. And it cost UM big time. Denard’s mistakes are obvious and came down to choice and it is very disappointing that a player whose team was moving the ball and eating up time gave the Irish the opportunities to take advantage and win the game. But that is exactly what happened.
What this means is to get to another big bowl game, Michigan will need to keep improving and run the table. A bowl game is hardly secured with two wins. The Big Ten appears to have relative parity, some would say mediocre parity, with Michigan and most teams discussing/bemoaning areas of concern. And that is where the next part of the article heads: to the identified areas of concern as laid out in previous articles all season long.
Up front, the author wishes to state that Coach Mattison must be very disappointed in the loss, but the fact that Michigan’s defense held a team with numerous high level skilled players to 13 points should be considered a success. The edge was hit hard a few times and a couple of Irish pass plays hurt big time, but overall the view here is that the defense played hard and did as much as anyone should or could expect.The defensive ends got clocked a few times, but for the most part Q Washington and Big Will Campbell held up enough to force Notre Dame to go an alternate route. The linebackers at times got beat but collectively the group played better and the run defense was not gashed and gashed again for big runs. As mentioned the secondary had a couple of critical mistakes, but it is near impossible to play secondary in modern football without giving up plays to skilled players.
Al the alchemist was at it again, and with the exception of a five foot seven inch quarterback making a bad decision with a rocket ship linebacker in his face early in the game, the judgment here is Coach Borges had an excellent game plan. Continuing, as poster Higbe mentioned, the offensive line used pull schemes that yielded Denard Robinson’s legs some good yardage. Somehow, Michigan did not really account for Manti Te’o’s first half blitzes that ended up causing disaster. In the second half the fullback made an appearance in the backfield and provided better power football and a blocker for the A Gap blitz.
Part II coming later today.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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