Monday, September 19, 2005

Finally, on to Big Ten play

Nonconference play has been a frequent source of frustration for Michigan fans over the years. Seems we always find a way to blow at least 1 game with an awful performance. This year it was Notre Dame and the offense that let us down. But you know what, 55-0 against EMU is a good tonic for what ails you. Hopefully Mike Hart and the other injured players all got a little bit healthier, because it's now or never.

Week 1 we're heading to Madison to play a Badger team we have owned the last 10 years or so. Madison is never an easy environment, it's an evening kickoff, and Barry Alvarez has his last crack at Lloyd Carr who he has never beaten. Michigan has won 36 of their last 37 conference openers. The only loss was 14-21 in Madison in 1981. Let's hope we don't have a repeat of that performance this week. But Michigan has also lost 5 consecutive road openers with the last win being at Syracuse in 1999. Hopefully that streak will end.

Should be a good game. I'm not too impressed with the Badger defense thus far. I'm expecting/hoping Malone and co. will let Henne air it out a bit and not get into a predictable run-oriented attack (unless the ground game is really rolling). On D, gotta stop Brian Calhoun. I'm very impressed with him. Definitely looks like a better back than Anthony Davis. He has good vision and great speed. I'm less impressed by their QB John Stocco. He'll hurt you if you give him time, but he isn't exactly a playmaker.

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