Saturday was supposed to be a nice stress free day for me and instead I got to stand at the edge of chaos early in the afternoon. Michigan did not show up for Akron and it nearly cost them a win and their fans to be driven to insanity. As someone who got to witness App State live on the field as it happened I had all of those feelings creep into my mind once again as Akron charged down the field to win the game. I was this close to hopping in my car going on I-79 North until I found Santa Claus.
Luckily they got some help from Akron’s time management and Michigan is 3-0. It ain’t pretty but thats where we are.
I was able to then be brought back to life by Bama/A&M which lived up to the hype as well as some other good games from around the country. Let us get after it.
1. Michigan goes as Gardner and Gallon go: Gallon had a decent game but Gardner was the new Denard with his Jekyll and Hyde performance. He was able to make plays to help generate scores but he had four horrible turnovers including one pick six that got Akron back in the game. The rest of the Michigan offense is not consistent enough to pick up Devin if he is slacking. If that was anyone but Akron Michigan would have lost.
2. The interior run game was embarrassing in the first half as they averaged 2 yards a carry. Fitz got going in the 2nd half but still, if Michigan can’t run on Akron then how on earth will they do versus real front sevens. (Luckily the Big Ten has about 2 of those.)
3. #InvertedVeer: Michigan broke out the IV yesterday with great success. The IV was Michigan’s best play with Denard the past 2 years and they leaned on it heavy to get the run game going. Gardner had his first 100 yard rushing day and I hope they continue to use it. It is a weapon.
4. Chesson/Butt/Funchess: Each showed flashes yesterday of being a threat opposite Gallon but no one was there consistently. This is a must over the course of the next four games prior to November.
5. Why no Dileo?: No catches for number 9. This should not happen.
6. Borges Grade: B. I didn’t think his play calls were bad just that Michigan kept turning it over. Only real criticism was the screen that led to the pick six and it took forever for Michigan to find a run game. #InvertedVeer Borges, all day.
7. Front Four on defense: Just a major disappointment. Michigan rotated in 12 guys and still produced zero sacks. Its nice we have depth but it means nothing if there is no production.
8. I MISS JAKE RYAN: I know Mattison does to. He was his swiss army knife that would help him slow down spread team’s last year and Michigan has yet to produce someone who can do that. Clearly the coaches don’t trust Dymonte yet. Get well soon Jake, xoxo.
9. The secondary sat in zone most of the day so hard to be happy or mad about anything until I see the UFR. The good news is Countess is still a playmaker and Wilson might be a decent free safety. Now if one of them could just blitz effectively like Kovac used to we would be good.
10. Mattison Grade: C. Maybe he is hamstrung without Jake Ryan but Michigan can generate zero pressure unless it is bringing the house. Mattison spoke about it all offseason so clearly he was worried about it and it is still an issue.
11. Gibbons missed FG: I should have known something was up when he missed that FG early. Everyone was off including him.
12. Kenny Allen should be the punter: Matt Wile had one nice punt but the rest were disasters.
13. Michigan plays at UConn next saturday at 8pm at night on ABC. Yes you read that correctly. Next week’s slate of games is so bad that Michigan is on in primetime against an 0-2 UConn team. This will be a good bounce back for Michigan because it will have all the makings of a big game except the opponent itself. If Michigan can win going away we can start to move on from the Akron embarrassment. If they stink it up again then it might be time to look at that Minnesota game as the battle for the Insight Bowl.
1. Wisconsin: If you haven’t seen the end of the Wisconsin/ASU game do so here right now. I am not sure who had less of an idea of what was going on, Stave or the refs. Either way its a horrible blown opportunity for the Badgers to get a signature early season win on the road. (Also Melvin Gordon is averaging 12.9 yards per carry and only gets the ball 12 times a game. Give it to him more.)
2. OSU: If there was a trade deadline in CFB people would line up to get Kenny Guiton. The Buckeyes did not miss a beat versus Cal as Guiton and Jordan Hall put on a show for all the OSU fans in Berkley. (And there were lots of them.)
3. Nebraska: I didn’t get to watch much of this because I was locked into Michigan’s game but my God what a horrendous defensive performance once again by Nebraska. They gave up 38 straight points to the Bruins and now Bo Pelini has some heat on him and rightfully so. (Also please stop trying Adidas. Please.)
4. Sparty: They have settled on a QB which is too bad. I guess karma is a bitch as Sparty’s offense was functional this past week and Gardner looked like he got Azazeled by the Spartan QB ghost. Big game this week at ND. Speaking of…
5. Purdue: As I watched ND struggle with Purdue Saturday night I started to wish back to happier times a week earlier when a win over the Irish seemed to mean much more. Those were fun times.
6. Northwestern: Had another win and is setting themselves up for a showdown with OSU and Wisconsin to start the B1G season. If they can split they will be in good shape. Win both and Northwestern will be the favorite to win the whole conference.
7. Illinois: Not a total embarrassment which is nice. They have a functional offense and won’t be the easy out they were last year.
8. PSU: They lost to a good UCF team. O’Brien has made the PSU offense function at a high rate but their defense is not the same unit it was under Tom Bradley.
9. Iowa: THEY WON! Don’t look now but Iowa/Sparty may be a game you can watch with your eyes in a few weeks. Maybe
10. Minnesota: Another win by the Gophers was overshadowed by Jerry Kill having another seizure. Hopefully he can get back to coaching the team soon.
11. Indiana: They won.
1. Bama/A&M: The game lived up to expectations as Bama was the better team but Manziel is still an unreal player. It is too bad these two teams can’t play again but each of their matchups versus LSU will garner similar hype to this one,
2. AJ McCaron: He looked flustered early and then was basically perfect with astate line of 20-29 with 334 yards and 4 TDs
3. Manziel: He had one of the most insane plays I have ever seen followed by a bad interception that ended up being the difference. He may be a prick but he is a prick that you have to watch every time he is on TV because you don’t know what you will see.
4. Oregon: Still really good.
5. Stanford: We get our first look at Stanford this week against ASU on the Farm. Really the only good matchup of this coming weekend.
6. Louisville: Played okay versus Kentucky but they are going to need to win by more than 2 scores if they want to be taken seriously. At least they can still bother UK fans though.
7. Jameis Winston: Yea, he is good.
8. Okie St: They were in the news for that SI story and luckily they played the Angry Birds college this week as they won easily.
9. Texas: Mack Brown watch is on as the Longhorns were embarrassed again. Not sure who would get the Texas job but I feel like Art Briles should be considered. Speaking of…
10. BAYLOR WATCH: They had a bye. See you next week
11. Kingsbury Watch: Texas Tech won in a bizarre game that featured animals on the field and TCU players hurting their already injured QB.
12. Oklahoma: The Belldozer actually threw passes and threw them well. OU won easily and will be in South Bend in two weeks.
Just a heads up this coming week’s games are very light. It is so light Gameday is going to NDSU. I am sure they will have an awesome atmosphere but if your significant other has been bothering you to do something with them, this might be the week.