Home Opener for the University of Michigan against Air Force and their crazy triple option offense. And Michigan torched Air Force 31-25. Alright Michigan survived against AF and it was a little too close of a game.
Before kickoff, Michigan honored one if legends, Bennie Oosterbaan. Linebacker Jake Ryan was picked by the Michigan staff to wear Oosterbaan’s No. 47 for the rest of his career. Michigan also celebrated Air Force and the other Service Academies with stealth bomber flying over the stadium and an eagle flying around the stadium.
By the end of the game it was clear that Michigan still has some work to do on both sides of the ball.
On offense, it looked like the Michigan Denards again, as Denard Robinson accounted for all but 7 of Michigan’s yards. He looked great and looked like the Denard of old. He finished with 14-25 passing for 200 yards and added another 218 yards on the ground on 20 carries. He scored 2 touchdowns passing and 2 rushing.
It was Robinson’s 4th time rushing over 200 yards, which puts him second all time in Michigan history behind Mike Hart who has five games rushing over 200 yards. Robinson is also the first FBS player since 1996 to have 3 games with 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing. Last player, NFL nut job Vince Young.
This is all great for Denard Robinson and Michigan fans, but it is not good for Michigan running backs or the offensive line. Running back Fitz Toussaint had a total of 8 carries for 7 yards for an average of 0.9…not good. The offensive line is not doing a good job blocking or opening holes for the running game, but even if your O-line sucks you should still be able to gain over 7 yards total.
On the positive side, the Offensive line did look better pass protecting. They gave Robinson time to throw the ball and he looked good doing it. He was more accurate and made better reads. His main targets were QB turned receiver, Devin Gardner and true freshman TE Devin Funchess.
Team Devin gives Michigan the size and speed causing mismatches in the secondary. They both finished with a touchdown. The forgotten receiver seems to be Roy Roundtree who had 1 catch for 5 yards.
On defense, Michigan seemed to struggle against the triple option, especially the defensive line and the linebackers. Air Force rushed 71 times for 290 yards. They had too easy of a time converting on third down, going 12-21, which lead to Air Force dominating the time of possession.
The Michigan defense did come through in the end stopping Air Force on a couple fourth down attempts. Jake Ryan also had a good game recording 11 tackles and a couple of batted down passes. The poor Michigan defense also lead to a lot of freshman getting some playing time. Freshman linebacker Joe Bolden came into the game a had 10 tackles.
In the end, Michigan walked away with a victory and getting a lot of young players some valuable experience. Don’t be surprised to see some of these freshman and sophomores win starting positions in the near future. Denard Robinson won Big 10 Offensive player of the week and Devin Funchess won Big 1o freshman of the week.
Up next, UMASS, who just lost to Indiana last week 45-6. Warm up game for Notre Dame. Michigan should be able to figure some of their problems this week against UMASS and hopefully be more prepared to take on ND at night in South Bend the following week.