Monday, September 01, 2008


This past Sunday, I turned 30. My first Michigan football game of my twenties was a loss to Notre Dame at the start of the 1998 season. My first football game of my last year of my twenties was a loss of which I shall not speak. My point is, I am used to the idea that things bookend in a way that might not be what you script out, so Utah was not exactly the earth-shattering kaboom to me that it seems to be to some others.

Each of the two aforementioned losses taught me something about being a Michigan football fan. The latter was that anything can happen at any time. The former taught me that once a year is over, it's a part of history and has no immediate bearing on what is happening now. It doesn't mean I enjoyed the fact that Michigan lost yesterday, merely that instead of being angry about it well into the new week, I instead chose to look at the game in a more academic mean. Maybe I'm just getting older and the losses hurt a little less because you can see some of them coming.

So here we are. We know some things, but mostly, as last week, we know very little. We know that the offense needs some work, but it could get there. We learned that RichRod REALLY needs a quarterback to run his system at the highest level. We learned that somewhere, Mike Hart is probably thinking his Michigan career rushing record is safe for a while. We learned that Nick Sheridan made some poor decisions and Stephen Threet put a little too much mustard on the ball near the end of the game. We learned that the offensive line is still a work in progress, but they certainly possess discipline, as seen on the encroachment freezes.

We learned some things about the defense. We learned that they needed to come out more aggressively in the first half. We learned they need to contain the passing game better, especially against the spread. We learned that they will be the strength of this team for the foreseeable future. We learned that someone did not explain the new play clock to Zoltan. We learned that we have not just a competent kicker, but one whom can likely be relied on when it matters. We learned that we cannot rely on our opponent to take 15 penalties for 137 yards every week. We learned that we're severely lacking depth. We learned we're really going to need to hold on to the ball for more than 24 minutes if the game if we want the defense to have a chance to breathe. We learned that we need to covert on more than three of 14 third down opportunities.

But mostly what we learned is that this is not going to be as smooth a transition as we had perhaps dreamed or hoped. There are going to be some bumps, some bruises, and some major frustrations, but we will learn some things. But mostly I learned that some things never change, that those most likely to be calling for Coach Carr's resignation last season were the one's yelling down to him to put on the headset yesterday. Perhaps it was something else I learned, that you really don't appreciate something good until it is gone.

1 comment:

TSkid said...

A belated happy 30th birthday!

I really enjoy reading your insights to the band. Most times I can read what they are doing here before I hear it from our son ... who is in the band!

Thank you and Go Blue!