Michigan Football: Central Michigan at Michigan — What Happened and What It Means — Part I
GBMWolverine Review Of The Central Michigan/Michigan Game
Openers are great, and the blue faithful were treated to some very nice moments and a few not so nice ones as well, on Saturday.
First, a discussion centered on what happened.
Michigan deferred and put the defense on the field first. This will likely be an automatic decision if the coin flip goes Michigan’s way going forward. Michigan gave up a few minimally meaningful plays early on as the coverage on the boundary was a little soft and the Central runners found the edge a few times.But Central did not move the ball too far and had to punt on the first possession. Michigan sprung a planned special team block scheme and the very athletic Dymonte Thomas nailed a no-doubt block and Joe Reynolds picked up the Christmas gift for an easy touchdown.
Central Michigan again punted and Michigan was pinned deep in Wolverine territory. Then, Devin Gardner threw a little out that was easily read and jumped by the Chippewa defender; a major mental boo-boo caused either by not reading the primary defender or just deciding to quickly throw the ball without thought of consequence.
The defense did a nice job of responding and held Central to a mere field goal.
Many times early in the first half Michigan went to the short passing game. This seemed a little strange. Central was moving the safeties up quite a bit, but one would think UM would want to power the ball a little more. Experimentation may be the answer.
Gardner showed all in attendance and watching on TV why he is so dangerous. Picking good timing, Devin took off a few times and made running for yards and a score look all too easy. Let us all hope that trend continues.The running game started to click in the first half, many times from a one back set. Later, the pistol formation and the classic two-back set yielded good but not great results. Michigan ran the stretch play several times with decent but not overwhelming success. The stretch play needs quite a bit of practice and Michigan will not give up on the play since so much time has been expended putting it in place. Michael Schofield did a nice job of giving a running back a chance.
Some in post game espousals have been critical of the running back stable. Personally, based only on eyeballs from the stands, and binocular vision for geezer eyes, this observer concluded that the backs did not have a bad day. This automatically means that the offensive line did at least a sufficient job. Fitz has again been assailed for dancing, but frankly I thought there was less dancing and his running could best be described as an average to slightly above average day Division 1 day. He was tripped up by hand tackles a few times but did exhibit some burst to the hole. Fitz will break a few this year and his final role may not yet be determined.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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