Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wisconsin Wrap

Mostly Stuffed Curds.

Michigan's defense stopped Wisconsin cold in the 2nd half (and for that matter, most of the first as well). But for the last game-almost-tying drive, Wisconsin was held in check. The numbers for the 2nd half didn't turn out quite as impressive as it seemed at the time. In large part because the last and 2nd to last drives did cover 141 yards.

The 2nd half numbers for Wisconsin:

Rushing yards: 47
Passing yards: 195

Consider that for the vast majority of the 2nd half, Wisconsin's game plan was to grind the clock and the game, the 47 yards is pretty impressive. Equally impressive, until the 2nd to last drive (that one ending in a fumble) Wisconsin's longest drive was 42 yards (their first). Wisconsin's remaining drives were all 3 and out (or less): -3, 7, 0 (interception return for TD), and 9.

Defense Returns the Favor.

The Michigan D did its part to make up for the first half fumblerama with an interception return for a touchdown and a key Brandon Graham forced fumble deep in Michigan territory. The key forced fumble, plus another in the first half with three sacks gave Brandon Graham Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Kill Brandon Kill.

Brandon expects to continue the performance against the Illini. How do you neutralize Illinois quarterback Juice Williams: "Gotta attack him early. Hopefully he'll crack."

It hurts.

David Gilreath, Wisconsin WR, sounds devastated:


I know you have noticed how the motor for these guys keeps going. I haven't seen hands on hips on the defensive side of the ball yet. You do remember TT last year, yes? That's changed.

Steve Schilling from the Freep:

"There were a lot of times Coach Barwis put us through workouts where a lot of people would have quit, but he wouldn't let us quit," Schilling said. "Getting through those workouts in the summer, the hard practices in camp ... that mentality has been set into the team from the start."
‘I don’t think we get very tired during games".

‘Conditioning, I feel like we can outlast a lot of teams." and
"There's always the will to win, and when you have that, that's good, but when you have the conditioning we have, you have some tools to use, too."
Brandon Minor:
‘I’d have to say it’s the conditioning part. At the end, you could see they were tired, but we kept on going.’
Run Baby Run.

While Brandon Minor only carried the ball twice, he had the run of the game, and looked pretty fast doing it. He says it was set up perfectly, from the News:

"It was set up perfect because the two linebackers blitzed, so I just had to beat the safety one-on-one and outrun the corner," Minor said. "I just give it up to my linemen for holding their blocks."
Monday's Off.

This isn't anything new, but it does seem a good idea to get the emotional ups out before the week starts. Rodriguez from Big 10 presser:

“The way we approach the practices and the way we’ll approach each game, we’ll think about it for the 24 hours right after, and then we’ll move on. That’s one reason we practice on Sundays and give them Monday off, so we can get that game, good bad or indifferent, out of our system. A lot of people during the week may still be talking about it, but there’s so many challenges in front of us and so much work we’ve got to do, because we’re very average in a lot of spots and below average in areas, so we’ve got to get that corrected.”
Just Execute.

R2 claims that there isn't a difference between the offensive game calling from the 1st half to the 2nd despite dramatically different results agains Utah, ND, and Illinois. I'm not buying it at this point. But, FWIW:
“A couple games, we have started off scoring on the first drive and then didn’t do anything for the few series after that. It’s funny, some of the same plays that were working effectively at the end of the game were the ones we were calling at the beginning of the game; we just executed better. It’s more of a matter of execution as opposed to plays. We’ve got to look for things that maybe get confidence and get our quarterback in rhythm. That’s the plan anyway. For us, it’s just the plan of executing early and not having those turnovers. Those are the things that are killing us, taking away possessions and any chance we have, so we’ll continue to stress that.”
Obi says the difference is from a lack of urgency. From the Blade:
‘We usually go in at halftime losing and come out with more of a sense of urgency that we should be playing with the whole game,’ Ezeh said. ‘That’s kind of what our aim is, to play that way the whole game, but we haven’t been able to do it. Hopefully we can come out and do it against the Illini.’
And this falls into Rod's life philosophy:
"If I ever had a team that did (quit), which I haven't, I would be more embarrassed," Rodriguez said. "If I ever had a team that somebody said they looked like they quit or they were soft or they were lazy, that would be the most embarrassing thing somebody could tell me. I've told the team that. Worst thing somebody could tell you is that you're soft or lazy.

"If you run the wrong route or have the wrong technique or make a bad decision or something, that's not good, (but) we can get those corrected. But if you're soft and lazy, that's something you can control every day in every game."

Shafter Gets After the D.

About Scott Shafer:

Nose tackle Terrance Taylor jumped on the ball in another example of the kind of hustle for which defensive coordinator Scott Shafer meticulously watches.

"He sees who's flying to the ball, who's turning around, running," Graham said. "A lot of people were turning around a lot of hats were on the ball. We were hitting them high and low."

Shafer, who pays attention to the number of times defenders don't go all out during a game, counted fewer "loafs" than at any point this season, according to Graham.

Michigan Stadium Rocks Recruits.

From Freep:
"There were a whole lot of people and it was crazy,” said South Carolina offensive guard Quinton Washington who was in Ann Arbor for his official visit. “It was real live – the (most live) I've ever seen anything and just a fun experience.”

"That crowd was so hyped. Even when they were down 19 points, the crowd was still cheering them on,” added Pahokee, Fla., linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, another official visitor who has already made a verbal commitment to Michigan.

Jordan Barnes: “I think we came out with a win because we are so much more conditioned than everybody else,” Barnes said. “Even when they were down at halftime, the (team) was still into it pretty well and I liked their commitment.”