Another very good win, maybe now espn will stop putting us on upset alert every game….. yeah I don’t think that is likely either. I would like to congratulate Brady Hoke and the coaching staff for starting 4-0 outside Big Ten Play, again if you had listened to espn you would have thought that to be a very unlikely thing to happen. Michigan now finds themselves in the same boat as last season but there are many reasons to think the outcome in Big Ten Play will be different… there is also one big reason to think that it won’t.
First and foremost I was very impressed with the defense that Michigan played. I can just about promise last season we would have gave up at least 28 points to SD State. Holding them to 7 was a big surprise. They still clearly have worked to do to be where we want them to be (mostly in the recruiting area) but they play hard and above all else have vastly improved their fundamentals.
The other big reason I have a lot of optimism for this season is the coaching staff. This is more of an observation of the entire first four games but it is clear they are very good at making adjustments, specifically the defense. I haven’t seen it done this well in the last few years here at Michigan. So actually having a real defensive coordinator helps, who would have thought that……
Anyway, the big issue that is worrying many is of course Denard’s accuracy. Many saw the jump he had from freshman to sophomore season and expected something similar here. I must say that thinking is a little folly. I admit I fell for it too but after the first couple games I realized the error. That progression in the 1st and 2nd years was under the same coach and philosophy. Denard now has to learn a new system and coaching style. Granted they are running more shotgun then they planned but they still are trying to implement a different/hybrid style which is a big change for #16. Working on adjusting to the new philosophy you got to expect takes up time that would be needed to work on improving accuracy. Now I’m encouraged that our coaches are going to more plays from shotgun to keep Denard comfortable and both sides (Coaches & Denard) have pointed out this accuracy issue needs to improve. So I have faith it will improve (not drastically but improve) as the season goes on. I guess time will tell if I am correct on that.