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Stadium and Main: Post-Ball State thoughts

Monday, November 06, 2006

Post-Ball State thoughts

I was one of the “lucky” Michigan fans that actually saw the game on TV this weekend. Maybe not so lucky, since I had flashbacks to the Herrmann era.

- Brandon Minor will be pretty good in our system. The only complaint I have (for now) is that he tends to get tackled too easily. I’m sure I’m just spoiled by Hart, but Minor doesn’t look like a 3rd-and-1 type of back. Comparisons to Tyrone Wheatley are a bit much, but he does have that long stride and is a bit faster than he looks. He just isn’t “Wheatley in the 1993 Rose Bowl” fast.

- I wish I had this one on tape, because I think Chris Graham struggled a bit. Prescott Burgess went out with an (ankle?) injury in the 1st Quarter, and Graham appeared to make a few bad reads. But, no tape review, so don’t quote me on that.

- Manningham didn’t do anything. I think he was in for 8 plays or so, and I’m pretty sure all of them were passes (maybe one run). They tried to go deep to him once on a straight fly route, but the corner was playing 15 yards off of him at the snap, so it was futile. A few other plays seemed to be designed to go to him specifically, but none of them worked. In hindsight, it almost cost Michigan dearly – they’re trying to get Mario back into the groove against a crappy team, probably not caring too much about the incompletions. Then said crappy team realizes that they can actually score points after Michigan punts.

- Brandon Harrison seems to be this year’s “bad angle taker.” He’s actually not that bad when the ball’s in the air, but if a player is running with the ball, he seems to find a way to miss him. This game it was not just bad angles, but over-pursuit and shoddy tackling that led to more yards after the catch.

- Mesko is looking average on more and more punts. Once in a while he hits a boomer, but otherwise he’s kicking ducks out there. I read something recently about him changing his punting method, and I think that is the “problem.” But I also think that Lloyd wants him to kick ducks and not out-kick his coverage. This might be especially true against OSU and Ted Ginn (not giving him room to get a head of steam).

- It wasn’t as close as the score. Look at the statistics, and you’ll see that we should have won by more. And it should be noted that we had more than a handful of reserves on Defense during Ball State’s “comeback.” But, it should be a wake-up call for the OSU game. They (and Indiana, for that matter) will go deep on us, and we need to be able to stop it with consistency.

- The drops by receivers are getting old, fast. Arrington and Butler had key drops that cut short drives in the 2nd Half. Breaston dropped a catchable ball in the end zone, and we settled for a Field Goal.

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