If i had gone to bed early enough the previous night to watch the 90s cartoons it could've been better, other than that it went beyond my wildest dreams.
Okay i'll admit it just like everybody else, and i know that every other blogger and their mother's written about it, but the first half offense sucked. More specifically the offensive line sucked, i was personally offended by how badly they were missing their assignments in the zone read allowing the tackles a free hand at the running back. Of course not all of the blame can be placed on the men up front. Steve Threet seemed to not be sure whether to hand off, throw it, try to run away or scream ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! They're chasing me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Wisconsin defensive line must have been thinking, "'cha those guys are too lazy, we can take 'em." While the Badgers thought the Wolverines were lazy turns out they were just resting. The first scoring drive was done mostly in the air, with a gutsy 4th and 1 call to Kevin Grady, who held onto the ball for five yards. In all honesty the pass Steve Threet threw to Kevin Koger looked like it should have been over his head, Koger made the best catch i've ever seen a true freshman collegiate tight end make in a spread option system. On top of that he knocked the safety down on the play.
After that the winged helmets really started to show how much they could fly, especially Brandon Minor, picking up the first down catch right before darting into the end zone. Thompson's interception was a surprise to everyone in the student section, being on the opposite side of the field i really didn't expect that the Badgers would start throwing the ball like crazy, but they did, and they paid for it.
Threet's run was also a huge surprise to everyone, gutsy move, but let's not give the credit to his feet, but more to his brain. Steve sold the fake to the Badger defense so well that seven men collapsed to the side of the field where Minor was going, Threet breaks a tackle and the safety had to chase him down. If Threet could run the play would've ended in the end zone. Michigan should be glad it didn't, because not only did it give them time to run down some clock it also gave Sam McGuffie the chance to make the world say a refrain that we'll be hearing for some time, wham bam thank you Sam.
The Michigan defensive line played one of the best games i've ever seen. They stopped the run, their pass rush was incredibly potent and didn't allow much time for Allan Evridge to throw the ball. Brandon Graham is a certifiable all-american and i were an NFL scout i would probably try and take a good look at this guy. The secondary improved substantially in their ability to cover a team passing out of desperation.
The secondary will be tested substantially by Illinois dual threat quarterback Juice Williams. A lot of people regard Juice Williams as simply a running quarterback who doesn't pass much, however, that was last year when the Illini had Rashard Mendenhall at tailback and they had a running game so potent, they didn't need to throw the ball that much. I'm not saying that Juice is one of the greatest passers ever, but he can throw the ball downfield and use his weapons as good as any quarterback in the big ten. Juice's abilities on offense are Illinois primary strength, their primary weakness is their defense.
The Fighting Illini defense has given up at least 17 points in every single game they've played in so far. Chase Daniels made them look like fools in the first game of the season against Mizzou. Eastern Illinois managed to score 21 points on them and they're a middle of the road I-AA team and this past weekend lapses in judgment absolutely killed Illinois against Joe Pa.
So, should we expect a Michigan victory, not so fast. They need to figure out a way to stop Juice Williams, which is easier said than done. They need to be able to cover an attack that is pretty similar to what was being run by Utah at the beginning of the season, and they need to stop them from scoring on as many possessions as possible. The latter can be accomplished by the offense not turning the ball over, keeping it on the ground, not missing their blocking assignments and not making any stupid mistakes.
Michigan will need this win to prove that the comeback was not merely a fluke but a statement that the winged helmets are not going anywhere away from the upper echelon of the college football scene. They also need to prove that their helmets are actually going to make them fly.