The bottom line: Michigan scored 43 points, but as your drive rundown on Henne showed they did it with a hell of a defense ... the defense actually scored one touchdown (Shazor's 88 yard interception) and with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries, they gave the offense great field position all day.
Chad Henne -- what can you say. True freshman goes 14-24 in his first game, with two touchdowns. He made one mistake, the interception at the start of the second quarter. My prediction -- he won't throw 10 interceptions this year (10 was Navarrre's total last season). Will he have a bad game? Of course. But he has good players around him to help him get through the rough spots.
The offensive line:
They did give up three sacks, although some of that was due to Henne's inexperience. But they want to eliminate that, and they can improve on that.
Coach Carr said he was not happy with the running game, but the holes were there. And Michigan did gain 132 yards rushing (115 after you take the sacks out) ... 150 is considered the baseline for a good day.
Mike Kolodziej started at tight tacke and played most of the game. That was a surprise to most people but I told you guys that in our Monday night chat last week.
And Mark Bihl was the center. Kolo and Bihl basically played whole game. Those two guys did good job.
They need to get Leo Henige some experience for next year and in case of injury this year ... might they rotate him with Matt Lentz in there a little?
Overall Michigan did good job offensively up front ... was Miami a little inferior? Maybe. And the O-line has to improve on sacks.
I agree that David Underwood did not have a great game ... but he will play all year. Will Jerome Jackson get more carrries -- yes.
I'm not down on the running game ... it needs to improve but had 132 yards is not too bad.
But the rushing does need to improve because the holes are there.
We will see more of Jerome Jackson, and there's a good possibility we'll see more of freshman Mike Hart ... Hart is more or less waiting in the wings.
Michigan held onto the football ... they didn't lose a fumble and they had just the one interception. With a young quarterback not turning the ball over is very important.
Michigan didn't have as many yards as people thought, 274 for Miami's 250 ... but they didn't have to put on long drives.
The offense was 8-17 on 3rd down, that's good for the first game ... 50% is the goal and they almost reached that.
They only had one penalty for 10 yards. That shows that the offensive and defensive lines are in sync. That will help with their first road game coming up this weekend against Notre Dame.
The Michigan defense did an outstanding job.
Marlin Jackson and Marcus Curry looked real good in there ... Curry had two interceptions. And Ryan Mundy and Ernest Shazor also had interceptions.
Michigan brought their safeties down in run support, and that worked. They will continue that -- Shazor and Mundy can play like linebackers in run support.
Up front, Gabriel Watson did an outstanding job. And Pat Massey improves every game ... and Alex Ofili did an outstanding job in there.
Lawrence Reid picked up where he left off last year -- he led the team in tackles with 6 including 3 tackles for loss. He needs to stay healthy.
I'm a little surprised Pierre Woods didn't play more.
Lot of guys got to play and gain experience. Darnell Hood played for Marlin when he got hurt ... he is the third cornerback it looks like, and he looked pretty fast in there. And Leon Hall played a lot as the nickle back.
Overall they did a great job. This game definitely gave them something to build on each game -- that's what you want early on. Shazor, Mundy, Curry, and Jackson are so valuable -- they're experienced and can make things happen.
One more thing: Defensive Coordinator Jim Herrmann didn't throw everything out there ... we'll see a more attacking defense this week.
Michigan punted well and got a field goal, and their kickoff coverage was very good. But they missed two extra points, and gave up numerous punt returns.
That punt returner is damn good ... Ryne Robinson. He had 4 punt returns for 139 yards (35 yards a return). I don't remember from in high school two years ago ... he's a guy who slipped through the cracks. That guy is great. I'll say this -- Michigan won't face another returner like him for the rest of the year.
The PAT's ... those were bad holds, perhaps due to Gutierrez favorably his throwing shoulder which was facing the rush. Adam Finley held for the last one and could be the holder this week as well.
I think they'll do better on special teams. They should improve week to week, not the opposite like last year for the first half of the season.
As far as Michigan's returns, you could see that Breaston is not at full speed yet -- he didn't have the impact that Ryne Robinson did, and if he was 100% he would have. Hopefully his foot will continue to get better, but he may have to play with some discomfort the whole season.
We asked Ouimet, Mark of Henne is not going to throw 10 interceptions ... then what are you saying? U-M goes 10-1? Griese threw 6 in '97.
Ouimet: "Well, I think the two teams in the National Championship will both have one loss. We'll know a lot more about Michigan by the end of the month ... but if Henne keeps his mistakes down and Michigan stays healthy ... then Michigan has a shot at a one loss season, yes."
Ouimet's Miami Wrap-up
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