For the first time in Michigan Stadium history a game was ended early due to weather.
For those not in attendance, this might be surprising. But for those of us at the game who saw the lighting and experienced the storm which persisted well into the evening we understand that the right call was made.
The decision was welcomed by the coaches, both to prevent injuries and as motivational fodder for their respective teams.
Western Michigan Coach Bill Cubit can rail against the weather, “we were about to come back!” and Michigan Coach Brady Hoke can tell his team that maybe they didn’t really have the game in hand.
But make no mistake, the Wolverines were 26 yards away from knocking the Broncos out when the weather interceded ending the game with the Wolverines leading 34-10 just prior to the start of the 4th quarter.
With WMU QB Alex Carder reeling from a blitzing Michigan defense and the Michigan offense humming right along this game was about to get silly.
So what did we miss by the game ending early?
It would have been nice to see backup QB Devin Gardner get some playing time for the Wolverines. With the departure of troubled backup Tate Forcier, the Wolverines have very little experience at QB if Denard has to leave the game.
The Wolverine special teams would have gotten some much needed work. The kick receive team didn’t perform very well and Michigan missed a PAT which was reminiscent of the problems last season. These things need to be shored up immediately.
It also would have been good for the Wolverines to get some experience in inclement weather. Coach Hoke talks about adversity and high temperature at the beginning of the game followed by the storms later on definitely qualified.
I’m sure that the coaches were frustrated by the abbreviated game. Games give them a unique opportunity evaluate their talent under live conditions and they lost 25% of the time they expected to get from their first game. Not to mention the delays prevent them from having an accurate gauge on their conditioning heading into next week’s game against Notre Dame.
But the fans were left the most frustrated of all. After three years of frustration I think most would have enjoyed seeing the Wolverines score 50 points against the Broncos. Instead they were left soaking wet and seeking cover. The weather even abbreviated any post game tailgating plans.
The Brady Hoke era began with a bang but it was the boom of thunder. Hopefully the Wolverines will unleash some thunder and lighting of the Maize and Blue variety when the Irish visit next Saturday night- the kind that leaves Wolverine fans celebrating and the Irish sprinting for cover!