MT Looks Back at MSU Game, Ahead to Minnesota

Former Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor on the progress of the Michigan Offense and Defense in the Michigan State game, and he tells us what it'll take to beat the Gophers.

How did the Michigan Offense get to 34 points against the Spartans?

"They executed on 3rd down -- because they had a back they could go to on 3rd down. And they executed on 4th down as well, making it both times they went for it.

"Chad Henne didn't execute that well in the second half, but they had a running game to offset that.

"Mike Hart knows how to play. He knows how to find holes, he doesn't fumble, and he has gotten good at picking up the blitz."

On Chad Henne:

"Henne stays in the pocket, so in the first four games he was taking a lot of punishment back there with the new offensive line. He was not comfortable with his offensive line which threw his timing off.

"It has been an adjustment period for Rueben Riley. The left tackle has to hold his own out there and not get pushed back into the quarterback. At the beginning of the season he didn't have the confidence he does now -- he blocked a lot better in the Michigan State game than he had been."

The Michigan Defense:

"I thought they would play well against the Spartans, because they have been playing well.

"The DB's are getting more comfortable breaking on the ball.

"Alan Branch is an animal; he is destined for greatness (note: MT has been a Branch fan since game one). He is in better shape than Gabe (Gabriel Watson), and he's much faster at 6-6, 320 pounds. He darn near caught Stanton on his touchdown, he almost made that play. He loves to play, he's a team-type guy. He reminds me of John Henderson.

"And the defense got better once Gabe started playing better.

"Rondell Biggs -- well just remember, what goes around comes around (ed. note: see MT's comments on Michigan State yesterday to see how he feels about the Spartans). They were blocking low from the blind side on Lamarr Woodley as well -- those were cheap shots. The NCAA has got to make that type of block illegal."

The Minnesota game:

"Minnesota cuts blocks too, but they don't attack a guy from the back.

"Obviously, to beat Minnesota you have to hold down Laurence Maroney. But Bryan Cupito has gotten better as a passer as well.

"Still, if Michigan shows up fwith their A-Game, they should be able to beat Minnesota. Will Michigan show up? Will Hart be okay after so many carries last Saturday? Those are the questions."

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