Recovery Is A Long, Painful Process
Two days later I'm still shaking my head over what happened.
An offense that churned out 39 points against Ohio State was in reality held to 11. Mike Hart was a non-factor. Chad Henne spent most of his day being burried like a dog bone. A Defense that had given up nothing all year, gave up everything in the final 30 minutes of the game from hell.
Fingers must be pointed. Blame must be assessed. Vengance must be swift. I need to get over the Montezuma's revenge I contracted while on vacation in Mexico. Seriously.
However you will see the following things when I finally clear my head of daylight nightmare that is D'wayne Jarrett.
1. I will not call for Lloyd's head. Lloyd Carr is the symbol of what it is to be a Michigan man. He performs his job with class and dignity, and up until the 3rd quarter of the Rose Bowl had done an outstanding job preparing this team for its season. The brutal fact of the matter is that Michigan wasn't just out coached, it was our talented in the worst possible way. It will take Michigan 3-4 years to undo the damage Jim Herrmann's defensive recruiting and scheming did to this defense. A long look into our defensive backfield reveals our inadequacies. I have faith this will be remedied, the same way I had faith that Michigan would challenge for a national title this year. They did and they will. Lloyd is not the problem.
2. Blame should be placed on Mike DeBord's head for the sorry play calling and horrendous adjustments he made during the game. He should not be fired. He took a miserable offense last year and turned it into a damn good one. Where he failed on New Year's day was being unable to shift from a gap shooting running offense to a more traditional blow them off their feet 4 yards and a cloud of dust attack. USC was the perfect gap shooting team and the failure to adjust cost Michigan the game early. Still. Look at what the man did this year. There are maybe 4 or 5 teams in the country that can boast the numbers Michigan put up until the Rose Bowl. Again, I have confidence he will learn from this.
3. Alex Mitchell was really really really bad during the game.
4. Our defensive backfield couldn't cover a hot pocket with a paper towel. Barringer and Englemon were brutal at safety. Adams and Harrison reeked as well. We'll need dental records to identify Morgan Trent's charred corpse after being flambe'd by USC. If you're looking for a scapegoat in that debacle, look no further.
5. Ron English. As correctly pointed out by one of the anonomous all-stars that so kindly visit and post on this site, any notion that he is some kind of suuuuper-genius went out the window in Michigan's DISMAL defensive performances over the last two games. No pressure, blitzes that weren't properly called or executed, and defensive backs playing 15 yards off their wide receivers. The second half was evidence he ain't all that. Yet.
6. If you're looking for me to call for someone's head, his name is Thomas Amaker.
7. This too shall pass. Bowl losses are nothing new to me at this point. However, Michigan has an excellent team returning. Next year will be a good one. Now we just wait and see.
There are too many other things going on to be excited about in Michigan athletics to dwell on this loss more than a few more days. If I can figure out the Mexican internets, I'll post my "Thumbin' Thru Michigan USC" in the next few days. If not, regular blogging will resume on Monday for the the MNC Game.
In the meantime, they're barbequing the Marlin I caught.