Michigan Wolverines: Five moments for '12
December, 10, 2012
By Michael Rothstein | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioBlake Countess was lost for the season to a torn ACL in the opener against Alabama.This week, WolverineNation will look at the five most critical moments of Michigan's 2012 football season (bowl excluded). These aren't necessarily positive or negative moments, but the five moments that most impacted this football season.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The season was less than half a game in and Michigan already was struggling with Alabama. It couldn’t do much on offense, leading to turnovers, three-and-outs and general concern about what would happen against the SEC.
After one of those failed offensive series, sophomore Blake Countess came on the field as a gunner on the Michigan punt return team. Will Hagerup let a booming kick fly, and as Countess ran down the field he was shoved out of the play.
The result led to a torn ACL and a season on the injured list for Michigan’s top cornerback, the No. 5 most critical moment of the 2012 season for the Wolverines.
In the short term, Countess’ injury hurt Michigan against Alabama -- neither Courtney Avery nor eventual starter Raymon Taylor could really handle the Crimson Tide -- but it could end up being a long-term bonus.
Theoretically, Countess’ injury means an extra year of him on defense as he should receive a redshirt year and come back next season alongside Taylor, who now has a season’s worth of starting experience he would not have had otherwise. Taylor ended up making 42 tackles, intercepting two passes and breaking up another. Those snaps, though, will be more valuable than any of that for 2013, when Michigan replaces J.T. Floyd at corner and Jordan Kovacs at safety.
For the most part this season, though, teams did not throw often against Michigan. At one point, the Wolverines were rated the top pass defense in the nation. While the lofty notion likely didn’t belong with the Wolverines, they handled the loss well.
However, Michigan was a team with just two interceptions from a cornerback this season and five overall from defensive backs. Countess did not record any interceptions his freshman season, but he was close and broke up six passes and seemed primed for a breakout year much like linebacker Jake Ryan.
Now, it might have to wait until the 2013 season.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35