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Back to the Drawing Board

Monday, October 06, 2008 - Justin Mantell, Contributor, UMGoBlue.com

It is back under .500 for the Michigan Wolverines with an upcoming game against a beatable foe.


Then again, Michigan should have been able to handle a weak Illinois defense, but that really did not go as expected.


Where to begin with the offense… 

The unit will look like world-beaters one minute and then a carton of Egg Beaters the next.  Actually, it is probably the reverse as they have been more often anemic than dynamic.  BlueFan agrees that running the ball wins games, but when your QB is barely a 50% passer, opponents are going to load up to stop the run, so the QB needs to find the open receivers down field.  Even screen passes are getting blown up for the most part.  Of course it does not help a struggling QB when a receiver cannot pull down a ball that hits him square in the numbers.


The offense has very little confidence and it shows.  Michigan could probably run the ball on every play this week and still beat the Toledo Rockets, but this is really the team’s last chance to get some bugs worked out before a tough couple of weeks on the road.


The defense had been the one unit on which the coaching staff could hang its hat early in the season, but they were gashed by the Illini.  A screen pass going for a 57-yard touchdown.  A Safety going for the big hit instead of a tackle and surrendering a 77-yard touchdown.  It was an ugly day as Michigan gave up the most points at home since 1991.


Toledo is less of a mystery on offense than were Juice Williams and company.  The main threat on the Rockets’ offense is RB DaJuane Collins, who is averaging 7.4 yards per carry in 2008.  Unfortunately for Toledo, Collins injured an ankle against Fresno State a few weeks ago and has not been the same since.  In the Rockets game against Ball State last Saturday, the team rushed for only 14 yards.


Junior QB Aaron Opelt is basically a pocket passer after being a little more mobile earlier in his college career.  The Rockets also have 6’5” WR Stephen Williams, who presents quite a mismatch against Morgan Trent or Donovan Warren.


The Michigan front seven should continue to get pressure on the QB, but the secondary needs to get better fast.

This week should not be much of a test, but it is time to start a new winning streak.  One that lasts more than one game hopefully.




BlueFan’s Three-Point Stance


  • There is no reason Michigan should not win this game in a blowout


  • There is no reason Michigan should not win this game in a blowout


  • There is no reason Michigan should not win this game in a blowout



Tale of the Tape






2-3 (1-1 Big Ten)

1-4 (1-0 MAC)










Total Yards


















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Per Game




Justin Mantell

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