MT: The Offense at Game Nine

Former Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor: "The offense is no where near last year's at this time But I expected that. And Chad Henne still has some mechanical issues. However -- he won the football game and that's his job."

Michael Taylor:

"Overall you cannot take anything away from a performance like that ... on the road you don't expect things to all go your way. To have Mike Hart go down -- Kevin Grady stepped in and did not fumble in a hostile environment.

"Iowa had won 22 straight at home. Michigan was the last to beat them at home ... OSU hadn't done it, beaten them at home ... Wisconsin hadn't done it, etc.

"And we've won two-straight versus Iowa now. I remember when they manhandled us in 2002 in Michigan Stadium .... the game was over at the half; it was definitely over the first play of the second half. After three quarters Michigan had no first downs. The offensive line was getting their butts whipped, their defensive line knocked us off the ball, they had 2-3 tailbacks with 100 yards. And they called off dogs, and fans left -- there were more Iowa fans than Michigan fans at the end. My point is -- Iowa is a top Big Ten program now, so to beat them in Iowa City is impressive.

"Michigan is becoming more of a big play offense with Hart hurt. The big plays in this game:
-- Steve Breaston's catch and run for touchdown in the second half- that was big.
-- The overtime catch by Avant on third down. That was huge. Had he not made that, we weren't guaranteed making 38-40 yard field goal.
-- Those are the two plays offensively that stand out.

"Notice that in this game they had Antonio Bass roll out to his left and pass it. He's a lefty so he rolled left. His pass was shaky and Avant made a great catch on the play. Antonio's mechanics were off on the pass -- he has to get his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. But I think we'll see that play more before the season is over. With Hart hobbled, they may have to go more for the big play if they aren't able to control the ball.

"However, getting Big Jake Long back is big. He cleared out the whole left side of the Iowa line on Michigan's overtime touchdown. At 6-8, 340 pounds, he's just a huge guy. And Jake is also a strong guy ... he has long arms AND he can bench press 500 pounds. With Jake back, there is much more of a comfort level on the line. Adam Stenavich will battle in there, he won't give up 3-4 sacks. His technique is flawed sometimes but he won't give up the big sack. He's not a dominating guy, but he's no pushover. Matt Lentz and Leo Henige in middle have been okay --- and with Riley getting healthier they can get him in at offensive guard ... we'll probably see Ruben alternating at left guard with Leo, whoever's the healthiest at the time. So with Long in there the offensive line will be all right.

"Chad Henne still has some mechanical issues. He doesn't get 'on top' of the ball when he throws. He throws with his arm down -- so he gets passes tipped, and the ball over the middle sails, and the ball is coming off his hand at an angle. He can work on that in offseason -- it makes a difference in accuracy and in what he gets on the ball.

"I know what it's like to struggle out there -- I had a increasingly bad shoulder as the '89 season went on (he had a rotator cuff injury). The worst game I ever played was the '90 Rose Bowl game. Because of my shoulder injury I didn't have the same effectiveness ... but in Bo's day he insisted that if guys didn't practice during game week then they didn't play. So the same applied to me -- he insisted I practice instead of resting me ... so my arm was irritated before going into the game."

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