Now that the we’ve all had time to settle down and breathe a huge collective sigh of relief, we can start to reflect on Michigan’s 14-7 win over the really, really good Wisconsin Badgers. The game was undoubtedly stressful, but that may have been the best Michigan game since the 2013 Ohio State game. Finally, Michigan plays against a really strong team and, while they didn’t look amazing, they stood tall when they had to. They beat a team they were expecting to beat, and it wasn’t because the game was a very sloppy toss-up, but because Michigan played better, and earned the win in a battle of top-10 teams.
This game felt like a big game, and certainly played out like one. And, Michigan proved one huge thing: if they aren’t clicking on offence, they can certainly beat you on defence. That should be a comforting sign for the Wolverines.
Here’s what I thought was good and not so good about the Wisconsin game:
What else could it possibly be?
Michigan’s defense was excellent. Though Wisconsin’s offence isn’t elite by any means, they still put up solid numbers against Michigan State last week and did decently well against LSU in week 1.
Michigan’s defense shut them down. Wisconsin could not get in rhythm on the ground or through the air. They needed a perfectly executed wheel route deep in Michigan territory to score a touchdown. Otherwise, UM’s defense dominated the Badger offence and gave their own offence every chance to win the game.
Which brings me to my next point…..
not-MVP: There are a few issues here
I wouldn’t say that Michigan’s offense was awful in this game. They had some nice runs with Ty Isaac and Speight showed some great touch on the touchdown pass to Darboh. However, their inability to punch it in down in the red zone was more than worrisome.
To make matters worse, they went 0/3 on field goals. None of which looked particularly pretty, either. If Michigan has any shot at making the playoffs, they’re going to have to come through with runners in scoring position.
With that said, their lack of scoring gave us all a chance to see how they would do when facing real adversity against a top-10 conference opponent, and they most certainly came through. To use another baseball analogy, the Wolverines didn’t hit a fly-ball with a runner on third and less than 2 out to win the game. Instead, they hit a solo home run with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game.
This game could have been a lot simpler for UM, but they played well enough to beat a very tough opponent.
Michigan will have a lot to work on this week, but you can fully expect them to hop that fence and vent their frustrations in New Jersey next Saturday. Should be fun.
Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog
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