Michigan Football: The Soul of the Wisconsin game

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Michigan football did it again, flopping against a quality opponent. But did we learn anything important from the final tune-up before Ohio State?

This song has been running through my mind since sometime after the game started, and with apologies to Willie Nelson for spoiling his sweet love song, I’ve rearranged some lyrics:

Wiscy football take the present

We won’t be needing it this year

Please win out, make us look good

We’ll settle our differences next year

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Sorry, never claimed to be a songwriter. I do hope Brandon Peters is OK. When it comes to this injury I think the future is much more important than the present. Am I throwing in the towel to Michigan’s main rival for one more year? No, I’m not doing that. But I do think the future of this team is much more important than what happens this year.

We saw a lot of good things from untested players Saturday. Peters looked like a real solution. Yes, he still needs to work on ball placement downfield; if you can’t be totally accurate, some placements are better than others. And to my untrained eye, that’s the easiest thing to fix with his passing.

In the pocket, he seems to feel pressure from his blind side better than he does from his right side. And Juwann Bushell-Beatty, the best hope for a right tackle without digging too deeply into the youth movement, seems to prefer to block down rather than watch what’s going on to his right. This is not a good combination. Something needs to be fixed there.

There are some things Peters does well in the pocket and some things he doesn’t. He needs to just keep accentuating the positive and improving the negative. The offensive linemen, and its coach, needs to do some soul searching in the offseason and come up with a good plan for keeping the quarterback of the future safe.

But how about some of those good signs from the youth? How bout the only touchdown from my favorite Michigan fullback in my lifetime, Ben Mason. Yep, a bold statement for a true freshman, but I see a very bright future here. When was the last time we saw a full back go into the end zone and not only score, but run through and around everyone and never go down? I guarantee it, you have only witnessed the tip of the iceberg with this kid.

Quinn Nordin did make his next one. Good sign. True freshmen like Jaylen Kelly-Powell were out there playing in a big game and making an impact.

Jaylen Kelly-Powell got burnt on one play for a long, important catch. But he also had some good plays. Aubrey Solomon looked like a veteran and the best option at nose tackle. I hope Bryan Mone takes the offseason seriously and can make an impact in his fifth year, but if not, I think the young guys have got this.

Wisconsin really crumpled us up and round-filed Michigan late in the second half. It’s what they’ve been doing to everyone they’ve played all year. Paul Chryst is an old friend of Harbaugh’s and the Harbaugh family. Chryst runs a manball outfit, like the Harbaugh clan. This is what Michigan is aiming at, with one big difference: The Wolverines will have the skill players they will never get.

Make no mistake, Michigan fans, once this deathstar is totally operational, little things like whether the refs see that Donovan Peoples-Jones had his left foot down first are not going to matter. Neither will the ancient history of how rivals dominated the record between such and such a time period.

Sorry to come at you with that tired old cliché of Michigan fans that has been going around forever, but wait until next year!

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But really, who’s got a future better than us?