67 points and I missed 7 of those since I got in the stadium late. It's pretty crazy to think what the score might have been had Michigan not TO the ball 5 times. 67 may have been the score at the end of regulation and a win. Denard had a good day passing with 300 and some yards before going out with a knock to the head. While in Denard improved a lot when he had time. There were moments when he had all day and didn't have a MSU/Iowa freak out bomb INT. He sat in there and threw down field with some very good accuracy. Illinois did a great job of holding Denard running the ball. Denard ran 19 times for 62 yards. Illinois seemed to dare Michigan and Denard to throw all day when he was in. Denard did have two INTs. One I feel was Webbs fault for not looking for the ball out of his break(who knows, it may have been Nards) and the other was tipped which was on Denard.
Tate came in and played pretty well but still has Tate Forcier moments. On his first play he had a wide open Hemingway and fumbled the ball when trying to throw it(slipped). At that point I just punched myself in the face since I had no idea why Denard wasn't in. Tate did come back to play very well(besides a INT) and lead Michigan to the dramatic win. Having him as our backup has been HUGE. I don't wanna think what we might be looking at with a true frosh back up in Devin. I just hope Tate sticks around but at the same time he deserves to play and wouldn't be surprising if he left. You gotta love Tate, he sticks in there and keeps playing. I have feeling that Tates growing pains maybe behind him at this point and "gets it" going forward.
The running backs played very well as a unit. The best of the year IMO. Lets take a look at the running chart with our backs.
-V.Smith 13 carries 73 yards(5.6)
-Hopkins 5 carries 45 yards(9.0 avg!) 1 TD
-Shaw 9 carries 44 yards(4.9 avg) 3 TD
Thats 27 carries for 162 yards at an avg of 6.0 per carry. Thats a great day as a whole. What stands out more than anything is we need more Hopkins and Shaw. It seems like Shaw came in late and made most his gains. If I had my choice it would be Shaw with 13 and Hopkins with the 9 but V.Smith had a good day and takes a ton of crap for being a steady back who won't wow you. 6.0 avg is outstanding and it came vs at the time the 15th best defense in the nation so no baby seal here.
The wide receivers played a great game, maybe one of the best I have seen since watching Michigan. I gave this group a lot of crap for not playing well last year and this year they maybe the most improved area of the team. Roundtree set records 9 rec for 246 yards for a 27 yard avg! He did have some drops which is a bit funny for him. Hemingway continues to surprise and amaze me. The dude had a gross move on his TD up the side line where he junked the pants out of three Illinois defenders. At his weight there is no way he should be doing some of the things that he does. Stonum also had a huge TD catch and still seems to be the 3rd option. I am starting to think we may have the best WR core in the Big Ten. It's great seeing the down field passing back at Michigan.
The line played very well as always. They did have a few bad moments with holding and false starts. Even gave up a sack when Denard went down which is rare. So all in all they did very well. The holes were there for the RBs all day.
I know 65 points in a lot but they looked so much better. We just attacked more. Sure it lead to some long scores but at least we are trying at this point and not just sitting back and being shredded(hehe). Even some young guys made some great plays in space. Avery's one on one tackle(where was that vs Iowa?) on the QB to force a 4th down and a missed FG. Cam looked more at home and blitzed well off the edge. I think Adam Patterson did better with Martin out. Even the most hated on recruit ever Ray Vinopal had a good day and had a huge stop to stuff Illinois on a 3rd down drive. Kenny Demons had a monster day from what I could tell. He should be pretty good going forward. The Defense just seem to never pack it in. They keep fighting no matter how bad they have been. They forced enough 4th downs in the end.
Did they crap the bed a few times? Yes. The Illinois wheel route to the RB happened twice. No one with in a mile of the RB. A few missed tackles here and there but man they can out and played their balls off and had a lot to do with that win. I didn't see much three down linemen and when I did they seem to bring CaM off the edge. So they just seem to attack more and say whatever happens with the secondary happens. I hope the effort continues.
-Denards long ball(it's getting there)
-Denard in the pocket
-RR putting Denard's health before his job.
-Free tickets from my cousin who was the side judge.
-Pick your poison at running back
-Pick your poison at wide receiver
-Best half time show ever! Thats right EVAAAR!
-Tate will not be denied
-FG is Good!
-Moutons last stand...game!
-Defense looked avg at times(thats a GOOD!)
-Roundtree becomes elite
-WE SETTIN RECORDS YO!
-Read option defense could have been better
-FG is missed
-Student section not full(Booooo!!)
-Maybe too aggressive on offense at times.
-Tate's fumble. Could have been a huge gain.
-Wheel route blues
-Martins bashed ankles
-Lions coaching..whoops...Oh well.
-Tackling on the perimeter
-Drunk Michigan fans fighting with Illinois fans all game. You embarrassed the whole fan base.