Saturday, October 05, 2019


Dr. Blitz held office hours again this weekend after a recent sabbatical. (Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)
First things first, this should not have worked.  Under any realistic understanding of how the game of football works, Michigan should not have won this game.  The offense looked disjointed, at best, and I'm trying to be kind there.  Nothing worked.  Even the stuff that should have worked, didn't work, well, OK, save that one "Chuck it to Neko" play.  No rhyme, no reason, and the fiesta of punts and missed field goals should portend one's doom.

Except for one thing.  Iowa was equally committed to the same levels of offensive ineptitude but with way more sack-based yardage loss and ill-timed interception throwing (OK, on a strictly technical level, there really isn't a good time to throw an interception, but all three of Stewart's picks were in Michigan territory, killing even the possibility of a field goal attempt in the swirling winds of Michigan Stadium.)  But the crossing routes again proved to be a Don Brown kryptonite, with Iowa seemingly getting a first down every time they ran one.  All of this would bring us to the final 91-second sequence.

Iowa got the ball back on their own 43 after a re-punt because there were offsetting penalties on the kick (Iowa had two, Michigan had one, somehow that is offsetting, even if math suggests otherwise.)  Two quick incompletions and a two-yard gain on third down left Iowa with fourth and eight.  Michigan Stadium gets loud and Iowa...finds a crossing route for 11 yards to the Michigan 44 and a new set of downs, with 57 seconds left.  Three incompletions in 8 seconds left Iowa now with 4th and 10 with 37 seconds left.  On the snap, Jordan Glasgow and Khaleke Hudson went in full heat-seeking pursuit of Nate Stanley and had him in the grasp almost 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, only to see Stanley throw a weak left-handed pass that somehow found Tyler Goodson who started making people miss.  Panic fell over the stadium, as Goodson had room to maneuver.  It felt like the stupidest possible way to lose, but thankfully the young Dax Hill understood this, yelled "not today" to the football gods, and made a tackle for loss and saw the ball go back to Michigan on downs.  One knee later and the game was over.

A win is a win. Which is something you say when your team wins ugly.  But Michigan really needed this win, which, of course, will be immediately devalued by the national press because of how bad Iowa looked, and Iowa was overrated because who had Iowa played really?  It's going to happen because it's what always happens.  But things need to get fixed this week on the offensive side.  Figure something out, because you can't keep telling the defense it's all on them week in, week out.

Let's see what happens in Champaign.

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