Mark Ouimet - CMU Game Wrap-up

Former Michigan Football Staffer Mark Ouimet summarizes what went well and what needs improvement for this weekend's game against the Houston Cougars (who 'cruised' this past Saturday in a cross-town rivalry game).

The Michigan Offense:

"Michigan had 615 yards total offense -- that's darn good. Basically, Michigan controlled the line of scrimmage. They averaged 7.5 yards per play. Their 3rd down percentage was 45%, which is where it should be. And they had 31 first downs, which says they controlled the ball. Time of possession was just at 30 minutes, so that could improve a little."

"At running back, Chris Perry and David Underwood (note: stay tuned for more on David) both played well. Perry had eight runs of 11+ yards. As I said, a big contributor to their play was that the offensive line played well - it controlled controlled the line of scrimmage and created big gaps for the backs. And they gave up no sacks. Guards Matt Lentz and David Baas both did a tremendous job. The offense had 342 yards rushing -- Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller has done great job."

"John Navarre hurried some passes, and he had the one bad play where he missed the linebacker dropping back and threw the interception. John has to be a little more patient, and improve his reads a bit."

"Matt Gutierrez. It was good for him to get in and play in the 4th quarter. The experience gained is priceless. There could well be a point where he has to play, who knows."

"Braylon Edwards -- well, he needs to catch it . The wide receivers dropped too many passes."

"Steve Breaston. He is going to be 'a player' -- both at wide receiver and as a punt returner. He took his very first punt and returned it for over 30 yards. And he'll help Braylon Edwards and Jason Avant at receiver."

"At tight end, it was nice to see Tyler Ecker out there. The tight end position will be okay with Andy Mignery, Tim Massaquoi and Ecker."

"The team had only two penalties -- good, especially for the first game."

The Michigan Defense:

"The defense has the most room for improvement. The Central game stats point that out. Central had over 360 yards of offense -- only 31 yards less than they gave up to Washington last year. CMU had 218 yards on the ground -- Michigan gave up 148 per game last year. Central had 45 plays in the first half, that's not very good for the Michigan defense. That improved to 29 plays in the second half. Forty-five plays is too many. And Michigan gave up twenty first downs. The defense has no sacks. They misssed too many tackles. And Central had a 91 yards drive to start the second half."

"Michigan need to get the total yards under 300. They need to get the rushing yards to the148 they averaged last year. And they need to get pressure on the quarterback."

"Jeremy Van Alstyne and Jeremy LeSueur were Michigan's two biggest defensive playmakers in the game. Van Alstyne did get pressure on the quarterback on the one interception, which LeSueur got. And Jeremy Van Alstyne recovered the CMU fumble."

"LeSueur played a great game and Marcus Curry also played well. Jacob Stewart also played well after Willis Barringer went out. Curry and Stewart led the team with nine tackles apiece -- you don't really want your DB's leading the team in tackles though. Next week of course they'll have Marlin Jackson back."

"At linebacker Pierre Woods and Roy Manning played well at the SAM (outside) position -- they combined for nine tackles. On the defensive line, Gabe Watson played alright."

Michigan Special Teams:

"At placekicker, I think we may well see Garrett Rivas this week."

"At kick returner, Darnell Hood dropped one so we may see someone else given a shot once."

"And of course Steve Breaston played well on punt returns."


"I agree with Coach Carr that the most improvement of a team is from game one to game two ("I subscribe to that theory," Carr said after the game Saturday)."
"The offense is on track. It just has to execute a little better, and be a little better in the red zone."
"Defensively, Michigan needs to step it up. The defensive line has to improve and execute better. And the linebackers need to improve their tackling."

"Did you see that Houston beat Rice 48-14 ... we'll have to strap it on for next week ... this game could be 38-35! ... I'll preview Houston soon."

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