I feel like I had heard references to the famous Appalachian St. game all week long. Of course, it's one of the biggest upsets in football history. I didn't know it was foreshadowing a possible upset at the Big House this afternoon. Thanks to Josh Uche coming up with a monstrous strip sack in overtime and Kwity Paye's fumble recovery, Michigan's Playoff hope survives.
Last week I didn't want to push the panic button because it was only week 1 and there were some bright spots. This week, however, that excuse is gone.
No more excuses.
No more funny, self deprecating GIFs.
It is time to panic.
The offense at times looks like an absolute disaster. Last year, you could hear the subtle, collective groan throughout the press box from the lack of execution in the red zone. Most Michigan fans would kill for that to be the only problem this year. Quarterback Shea Patterson fumbled on the first drive of the game, and Army capitalized on the turnover with a touchdown. Sound familiar? Because it's the same exact way last game started. Patterson ended the game with 207 passing yds., two fumbles and no touchdowns. Star wide receiver, Nico Collins, was only targeted three times the entire game. Meanwhile, freshman running-back Zach Charbonnet had 33 carries for 100 yds. and three scores. Michigan constantly had problems converting on 3rd and short. That's what happens when you keep running inside zone against a defense that constantly practices against a triple option scheme. It's the definition of insanity. Charbonnet is a hell of a freshman back, but you have a Senior quarterback with an abundance of talent at wide receiver. It's about time Michigan starts using them.
The bright spot of the game is of course the defense. Army's triple option scheme is an offense built around a smoke and mirror concept, leveling the playing field for Army's undersized personnel. Michigan Defensive Coordinator, Don Brown, said that he'd been planning for this game since spring ball. Without three turnovers, I believe the defense played a flawless game. The defensive line is proving to be a strength of this team despite losing Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich on the ends. Josh Uche and Aiden Hutchinson have stepped up big for the Maize and Blue. Uche forced a fumble and Hutchinson had a massive TFL in overtime. Hutchinson rightfully got to keep the game ball after the victory.
Anything less than a conference championship and win over Ohio State is a failed season for Michigan this year. While Shea Patterson is fumbling away in Ann Arbor, Justin Fields is putting up four touchdowns on Cincinnati. If this performance is any indication of what is in store for the rest of the season, then Harbaugh will lose many followers in his camp. Michigan has a bye week (thank god) and then travels to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers and the #1 running-back in the country in Jonathan Taylor. The offense is going to need to step it up in a big way. According to Harbaugh, starting left tackle, John Runyan, is expected to come back from injury and play at Wisconsin. This is a massive boost and should improve the run game as well as pass protection. Michigan better figure it out quickly, or it's another season of disappointment in Ann Arbor.
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