Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday morning thoughts

Tell you what: having kids makes getting over a tough loss so much easier. As Saturday's game disintegrated around the Badgers, Charlie just kept right on smiling and cooing, and it's hard not to feel good when you see that. After writing my sour grapes blog post, I brought up Star Wars Episode II, which Will and I watched and which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Tell you what else: the stench of losing to a Michigan team that bad smell still lingers after a night of sleep.

-The Badgers' second half offense only showed signs of life once Travis Beckum entered the game. He looked fine moving around. So why wasn't he in before momentum had already swung completely in Michigan's favor? Sounds like he might have been ready to go earlier but didn't ask in until the game was slipping away, when he told Bielema he was 100% -- think you could have made that clear earlier? Beckum and Graham are the only two legit playmakers on offense right now, and without them, trying to score touchdowns is like a baseball team trying to score 10 runs with walks, sac bunts, and singles -- it takes a long time and is very hard to do.

-John Clay was responsible for our two best offensive plays of the day. So why did he have only three carries total? After the game Bielema told the radio guys that the game situation didn't allow him to get back in. What, Clay wasn't capable of contributing to three-and-outs like the rest of the guys were for most of the second half?

-Did we really hold a 36:04-23:56 edge in time of possession? Because it seemed like they had the ball the entire second half.

-Trying to decide who deserves more blame for the pick six that gave Michigan the lead, Evridge or Jefferson. Technically, Jefferson dropped it, but Evridge did seem to throw it too hard into a tight spot where Kyle was about to get drilled. Does it really matter?

-We wasted really good games by Jonathan Casillas (eight tackles, tackle for loss, interception) and the defensive line, namely O'Brien Schofield, Matt Shaughnessy and Mike Newkirk. They were around the ball making plays all days, just ran out of gas at the end.

Apparently the roughing the passer call that led to Michigan's second touchdown was on Shaughnessy. It reminds me of my eighth grade year at Cabrini, when we lost to Badger White. Late in the game we get a fourth down stop when the referee, Al Carrier, flags us for a late hit on the quarterback. "Who's it on?" we asked him. "You know who it's on," was his reply. Badger White ended up scoring on the drive and winning, and went on to a 5-0 season. We finished 0-5.

-Watching Michigan's spoiled, arrogant fans rejoice made me sick to my stomach. Does any other group of fans less deserve to experience success than them? (Ask me tomorrow if the Cubs knock the Brewers out of the playoffs.)

-To that end, Michael Phelps fit right in with all the other poseurs wearing maize and blue Saturday. He may be an Olympic hero and an amazing athlete, but wearing his hat backward and those sunglasses, he looked like a major league gomer Saturday.

-They might be young, but Michigan's offense doesn't even look promising. As stated earlier, Threet is terrible. None of the backs looked even average, not even McGuffie. The receivers might have been getting open, but who knows, given Threet's throws were usually nowhere near them. Our defensive line lived on the other side of their offensive line in the first half.

-We blew a chance to make a big move up in the polls, with USC, Georgia, and Florida losing. You can argue they're irrelevant, but I maintain they're a weekly reminder to the nation of who's who in college football, and we won't be part of that top 10 next week. Pollsters have to be just licking their chops, waiting to drop us, like when we fell from #5 to #19 after losing by five at Illinois last year.

-If the Packers and Brewers lose today, this could be the all-time worst weekend in Wisconsin sports history.


Anonymous said...

Poor Al Carrier.

Will said...

The game made me sick - literally. I was fine before the game, and now I'm fighting a cold.

Tappa hit the main points between both posts. I blame this game on the coaching staff - you can't blow a lead like that, the way the Badgers did and not hold the coaching staff accountable.

The play-calling in the second half was poor, and there's no excuse not to give Clay a shot in the second half after two nice runs in the first. The use of Beckum remains puzzling. Griese also brought up a good point during the telecast: several times AE didn't go into a full three-step drop and that didn't give the line enough time for protection.

There's still a lot to play for, obviously, but what a horrible loss on a national stage.

Even-Keeled Wolverine said...

What kind of shirt is your uncle going to send you after that one? That type of loss can't be good for the one-sided rivalry/obsession. See you next year at Camp Randall when the Badgers have a nobody at QB and Rodriguez has his recruits in the game.

Anonymous said...

Cheers to even-keeled. I'll call myself spoiled, arrogant wolverine fan.

I hope the shirt is three sizes too small.

For such a terrible offense, they did seem to get 247 yards in the second half. It might be hard for you to admit, but maybe, just maybe, having only one returning starter is keeping players from reaching their potential right away. At least until they still have gas in the tank and UW's classic huge, lumbering players can't even score three yards and a cloud of dust.

Granted, your coaching was horrific, and UM probably shouldn't have been able to claw back in. But rail on how horrible UM is all day, they had more spirit, more heart, and more conditioning. Evidently, it was enough to make up for the gap in talent.