|And we felt silly for even being slightly worried. (Julio Cortez, AP)|
That worry evaporated after approximately 15 seconds when Giles Jackson ran back the opening kickoff for a majestic Skycam tracked touchdown. While it would be annoying on occasion on offense, the defense once more did their thing (the only points coming on a 97-yard Maryland kickoff return in the second half) and Michigan won 38-7 that was described variously as "pedestrian" or "much closer than the score indicated."
Michigan beat a Maryland team before a homecoming crowd just a shade above 40,000 people, most of whom looked and sounded to be Michigan fans. A Michigan team that was looking like they were about to white flag the season at halftime in Happy Valley has been, in fact, turning in what Jim Harbaugh described as "our finest hour" over the past ten quarters. Yes, it is too late for any of Michigan's pre-season goals, and that is frustrating, but there's something satisfying in seeing this Michigan team come together and play as we suspected they might be able to from the first hiring of Josh Gattis.
In the end, it's a road win, a conference win, and it takes Michigan into the second "improvement week" of the season on a solid note. So much like this game, this column did just what it needed to do before moving on. Enjoy the off week!