Monday, October 29, 2012

Recapping: Nebraska

It was another week of pure frustration for the Michigan offense as they failed yet again to score a touchdown against a mediocre defense.

The past two weeks have been almost identical stories. The offense does absolutely nothing, while the defense holds its ground and does a great job of keeping the Wolverines in the game. However, this week, the offense was without QB Denard Robinson for most of the game.

Robinson re-aggravated a nerve in his throwing arm and was unable to grip the ball. That left a heavy load on backup Russell Bellomy, who had not seen significant game time up to that point.

To say the least, Bellomy was unimpressive, and it was a clear reality check as to how much Denard Robinson mean to the Michigan offense.

Before being knocked out of the game, Robinson was 6/11 passing with 55 yards. Impressively, he took some shots down field and kept the safeties honest enough to open up his game on the ground. Robinson was taken out on a rush to the left side inside the 10 yard line. When he cut back, it didn't look like he was harder than usual, but he landed on the arm just right and aggravated that nerve.

Bellomy took over on first and goal but was unable to punch into the endzone. Nebraska's defense seized the opportunity to feast on the inexperienced redshirt freshman and did so all night.

He finished the night just 3/16 passing for 38 yards and 3 INTs, one of which being in the endzone. What I noticed about Bellomy was the lack of accuracy. When he sets his feet, he has the arm strength to throw the ball deep, but accuracy was a serious issue.

Fitzgerald Toussaint continued his campaign of being a non-factor against the Cornhusker defense with 38 yards on 15 carries. He's been getting his shots the last couple of weeks but can't cash them in. I was also surprised to not see Thomas Rawls. I don't want to speculate, but that was the second straight week without Rawls, and it was the second straight week without a touchdown.

Defensively, giving up 23 points to Nebraska is not a bad day. They picked off Martinez once and forced another turnover on a fumble.

The thing that continues to impress me with the defense is their ability to rise to the occasion. By that, I mean: when 3rd and short comes, you can count on a stop. You can expect a goal line stand. It's those plays that kept Michigan in the game, until late, once again.

The ability to get in the backfield has also impressed me. Jake Ryan and Craig Roh stand out the most to me. Both are extremely explosive and don't miss their tackles. Not to mention, the mere image of Jake Ryan has to give opponents nightmares.

Tyler's Prediction Record: 7-1. Yes, my first loss.

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