Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wolverines Blogging: Today's Game

Is against Illinois. They feature Juice Williams or, as I like to think of him, “What Michigan's quarterback should look like”. The sort of mobile, athletic back who can make throws that's essential to running a spread offense. You know, the kind that Michigan doesn't have at the moment (At this point, yes, I'm trying to shut out all thoughts of Terrel Pryor. Losing out on him wasn't so bad. Losing out on him to OSU is.).

Anyhow, I haven't said much of anything about the last few games. Mostly because I've been too busy. But also because this season is such a roller coaster ride and I'm afraid of the sharp curve just around the next bend. And the Fightning Illadelphias look to be the next big wreck. This Illini game has all the makings of a loss. The Wolverines should be able to beat them but the way they've been playing all season is bound to catch up with them sooner or later with yet another defeat.

Beating Wisconsin was an amazing high (Heh. Cheeseheads, we've come for your undefeated season. Again. The Wolverines just have the Badgers number and has for a long, long time. Michigan Stadium is where their dreams of a conference championship go to die.) but for nearly three quarters that game looked even worse than the Notre Dame game. And that's saying something. It's nice that Michigan closes these games strong. It's nice that they have enough talent to win a game where they only show up in the fourth quarter. That vaunted strength and conditioning program is really paying dividends. But that's not a recipe for continued success.

And what worries me are all the turnovers. They gave away the ball six times against the Irish and while you could wave that away with the rain, they came out – after a bye week – and turned it over five times against Wisconsin. That's not an aberration. That's a pattern that's going to continue because Michigan is running the spread and the spread makes a team prone to turnovers just like any other option. Now that they're playing better teams, now that there's game tap out there, opponents are starting to capitalize. The men in blue need to take care of the ball better but the days of having an excellent turnover margin are over.

So, my gut tells me the Illinois game is going to be painful to watch. But, then, given what happened with Wisconsin, I pretty much have to tune in – you just don't know what you're going to get with this team but, at the very least, it'll be exciting.

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