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College Football Recap
Monday, 2006 September 11 - 9:46 am
Michigan 41, Central Michigan 17. N.C. State 17, Akron 20.

Michigan 41, Central Michigan 17.

CMU had given Boston College a pretty good run for its money last week, so Michigan couldn't afford to be caught looking ahead to next week's Notre Dame game. And after the criticism of Michigan's relatively weak performance last week, we had a few things to prove.

In an apparent effort to make a statement early, Michigan elected to receive the opening kickoff instead of deferring to the second half; and, on the opening drive, elected to go for a fourth down conversion instead of kicking a field goal. All this led to a Michigan touchdown, largely on the strength of Mike Hart's running.

But this week, though the defense stuffed the run game all day, the defensive secondary proved to be a little bit vulnerable to giving up big passing plays. Receivers got behind cornerbacks, safeties got caught out of position, and the front was often unable to get pressure on the quarterback without a blitz. So CMU was able to make a game of it for a while.

Eventually, CMU's mistakes (in the form of turnovers and penalties) put the game out of their reach.

Michigan's running game again looked good. The passing game, not so much. 6 of 13 for 134 yards? Granted, Michigan didn't need to pass that often. But still, I saw a couple of dropped passes, and some balls thrown behind receivers. Henne is pretty sharp when throwing to a stationary target, but seems to be a little off sometimes when throwing to a crossing route or a slant.

Grades: Offense B-, Defense B-.

N.C. State 17, Akron 20.

I didn't actually watch this game, so I can't say exactly what happened. But from the recaps, it looks like N.C. State largely shot itself in the football with turnovers and penalties. The defense gave up a last minute touchdown to let Akron seal the victory... after the offense committed a dumb celebration penalty on their go-ahead touchdown.

Some telling statistics from the game: three N.C. state turnovers. Nine penalties for 82 yards. 3 of 15 on third-down conversions. 2.5 yards per rushing attempt. 7 of 16 passing. This looks like a team that can't get itself into manageable down-and-distance situations. Part of that is execution, but part of that is coaching.

I can't give grades because I didn't see the game, but I can't imagine giving out any good scores here. I mean, guys, you lost to the Zips.

Other News

Ohio State walloped Texas. Not a big surprise; Ohio State is probably the team to beat this year. Their defense hasn't lost that much even after losing most of their starters to graduation last year. And the combination of Troy Smith and Ted Ginn is gonna be tough to stop.

Notre Dame took Penn State to the woodshed. Yes, Notre Dame stepped up its game from last week. But Penn State didn't look good, and three costly turnovers really made the difference in the game.

Florida State squeaked by Troy. Yep, Troy. Perhaps a little bit of a let-down after the big Miami victory last week? Florida State had to come from behind to win this game, scoring the winning touchdown with a mere two minutes left in the game. And Tennessee squeaked by Air Force too... perhaps looking ahead a bit to next week's game against Florida.

And finally, Cal whomped Minnesota, somewhat making up for Cal's loss last week to Tennessee.
Permalink  2 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: sports


Comment #1 from olafandy (Guest)
2006 Sep 11 - 10:36 am : #
That passing game had better be there when we need it (ie: this week in South Bendover), because that's what they keep saying. I'm glad to see the changes made from Jim Herrman's "stand around, pick your nose and give up a lead" defense to Ron English's aggressiveness, but we still haven't played anybody. Granted you don't need to open up the playbook to beat Vandy or CMU, but I still need to see some sign that we can play with the big boys.

At least Mike DeBord brought back the QB roll out and pass to the TE. That play along with Charles Woodson won us the National Championship in 97.
Comment #2 from Ken (realkato)
2006 Sep 11 - 10:51 am : #
Yes, that was the bootleg 5/10/15 play (RB out 5 yards, TE out 10, WR out 15). Though I do remember that after a while, opposing defenses got wise and starting bringing linebackers from the weak side to crush the quarterback. John Navarre got dumped on his butt more than once on that play.

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