Sunday, September 22, 2013
What we learned: Week 4
By Chantel Jennings
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Late in the game it looked as though Connecticut would serve up Michigan's first loss of the season, but a few well-timed plays down the stretch gave Michigan a 24-21 margin over the Huskies. However, the game was quite telling. Here are three things we learned about the Wolverines:
1. Akron was not an apparition. Michigan had said the reason it had that kind of a showing against the Zips was because it hadn't prepared well enough in the week leading up to the game. Last week, with a new and excited focus, the Wolverines said they hit the practice fields harder. The result was largely the same, however. The Wolverines can't blame this one on preparation. There are larger issues facing the Wolverines and the most troubling news for them is it's not just one thing or one position group -- it's physical, mental, chemistry and all the above at some positions.
2. The bye week couldn't come at a better time. Sometimes you just need to get away. Obviously Michigan isn't going to go anywhere during the bye week, in fact, Michigan coaches will likely run some guys even harder considering they don't have to field a team next weekend. Mentally, however, (and because a few of the players are banged up) Michigan really needs this bye week right now. Leaving the fans, stadiums and Saturdays for even one week can be such a re-energizing factor in a game. And the fact that the Wolverines have their first bye week the week before they start conference play seems to be perfect for them.
3. The run game has some life. Michigan has been going back to Fitzgerald Toussaint over and over again. And early in the season, some thought that by this time true freshman Derrick Green would be taking the majority of snaps. But Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson are sticking to their senior RB and giving him the ball over and over again. And he seems to be gaining confidence by the carry. There were a few times that he just didn't have a hole or completely missed it, but at other times (namely, his 35-yard TD run), he showed great vision and patience.