Embarrassing. It’s really the only way to describe last week’s game against Akron. Call it a letdown after UTL2, call it taking Akron lightly as they brought a 27 game road losing steak to town, call it whatever you want. But be thrilled you won the game and can use an ugly loss as a teaching moment for the two deep roster littered with youth. At the end of the day, crisis ( and arguably the worst loss in Michigan history) was averted and hopefully experience was gained. Because a game like UConn should play out the same way Akron should have.
When Randy Edsall left and Paul Pasqualoni took, the cupboard was bare, and back to back 5-7 seasons ensued after Edsall took UConn to the Fiesta Bowl.
After back to back home losses by double digits to open the season to FCS Towson State and future B1G member Maryland, the Huskies will try to flip the script and improve upon their rushing game which stands at next to last in all of college football so far this season. Whether UConn being behind in games has forced them to abandon the run early is the issue or not, Michigan should load the box and pressure the Huskies. Greg Mattison has played very differently than his usual self in the first 3 games, and while some of it has been dictated by the offenses they have gone against, Michigan needs to bring more heat when the opponent attempts to max protect. Even if you have 6-7 back, given enough time, receivers will get open.
Will there be a shakeup on the interior of the offensive line? It remains to be seen, but more productivity is needed out of them. Granted it’s a young interior, but there is talent that needs to perform. Something that wasn’t lost on many last week.
Devin Gardner needs to limit his mistakes and be more of a game manager. Yes he can thread a needle much better than his predecessor but he also needs more experience reading the opposing defenses.
Michigan said all the right things after the Akron game, and we have been hearing all week the focus that wasn’t there in preparation last week is now there.
Proof will be in the pudding, but Michigan gets back on track, and is ready.
Michigan 42 UConn 17