Sep 14, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Akron Zips offensive linesman Henry Orelus (55) celebrates after recovering a fumble by Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (98) in the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Akron at Michigan -- What Happened and What It Means -- Part III


Posted at 7:00pm — 9/17/2013

Michigan Football: Akron at Michigan — What Happened and What It Means — Part III

Bad Day-Ugly is Ugly
Akron Turned Away From The Gates of Glory
Michigan Embarrassed- But The Season Continues

Clearly, it is unfair to bash the back seven considering the ample time Pohl had to throw. The game plan was to funnel pressure up the middle and clean up on the perimeter. Again, like last week, the defensive ends were buried in a pile, so much so that many times the number on the jersey could not be seen. Contain was lost and Pohl gained more time to attack the secondary.

Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Jehu Chesson (86) during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Fourth, the broken record of the running game again shows the same deal, different day scenario. The conclusion is that Michigan’s line was not prepared sufficiently to deal with Coach Amato’s game plan. Coach Amato brought some pressure and tricks that the line could not deal with successfully. There is little else to say other than again the group will continue to work and improve. Blame here is worthless, the group just needs to work and learn on the job.

Fifth, Jehu Chesson mentioned during a post-game interview that every player in the locker room would agree the team did not prepare well. Like it or not this is almost a certain result of the mentally intense Notre Dame game. The coaches did the usual no let down spiel but the message did not stick, a result that is not that unusual. This factor, combined with all of the above, especially the quarterback turnovers, provided the ingredients for a strange brew.

An interesting scenario is emerging: the play of Lewis, Stribling, and Hollowell in the secondary. Here are three young corners who are playing at a decent level. Here also are three players who appear to be very equal concerning what they bring to the defense. Michigan football followers need only watch the NFL action to see how defensive backs are getting toasted with regularity. Considering the “leader” of the unit is a red-shirt sophomore (Countess), the future may be bright. But that does not help the here and now.

Team leader Taylor Lewan described the events of Saturday’s game as embarrassing. Michigan is not the first team in history to escape a close shave against an opponent judged, perhaps falsely, as being inferior. Coach Hoke is correct when he stated that it does not matter if the opponent is Saline or the Superbowl champ, turnovers are a killer.

Having experienced both ends of the close shave scenario, the best formula for the future is to quickly flush the residue down the drain and get to work. This team may be embarrassed, but a road trip is in store for next week. There is no time for pity or developing a lack of confidence. Having a punter in a funk before going on the road is not ideal. Coach Hoke has a decision to make this week that may be of importance going forward.

There is time for work and improvement. This will start at the top with the coaching staff and extend to Devin Gardner. The ball is in his hands, in more ways than one. The touchdown machine of Gardner’s legs helped bail out Michigan on Saturday, the turnover machine made the late four play drive necessary.

The really only good result of Saturday was that Michigan could have wilted and folded on both ends of the ball. That did not happen as both the offense and defense, even by the narrowest of margins, held up.

As the McKenzie brothers would say- “take off, eh” and get ready for the road challenge at Connecticut. Michigan’s record on the road has not been spectacular over the last decade and much work is in order.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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