|Obi Ezeh led the team with eight tackles on Saturday.|
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . good Vincent Smith. It's been about 11.5 months since Smith's ACL tear, and it looks like he's finally getting healthy. Perhaps it's partially due to the fact that it was Purdue's defense, but Smith looked quicker and faster than he has all season. I still don't like the fact that he was put on the field about nine months after tearing that ACL, but he finally seems to be rounding into form. Hopefully he maintains his level of play.
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . bad quarterbacks. Denard Robinson seems to have regressed in recent weeks, both throwing and running the ball. I think it's fair to say at this point that the number of carries Denard has averaged so far this season are catching up to Robinson and Coach Rodriguez. Robinson was 13-for-21 for 176 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 bad interceptions. The big plays are going to be there because of the quality of Michigan's receivers and the threat of Denard running the ball, but Robinson needs to become a more consistent passer - and soon - if he wants to beat Wisconsin and Ohio State. Tate Forcier wasn't any better, hitting only 1/4 passes and averaging only .8 yards per carry.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Obi Ezeh seemed to make a nice transition from middle linebacker to outside linebacker. Since prior to 2008, I've thought that Ezeh was more of an OLB than a MLB. In that season I really wanted John Thompson to play MLB and have Ezeh moved outside. That obviously didn't happen, and Ezeh spent his entire career at MLB until recently. He ended the game with 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. Ezeh's biggest problem at middle linebacker was that he read plays too slowly, but the reads at OLB are slightly simpler and one misstep won't necessarily get him out of position. With Craig Roh now playing defensive end (which is also a good move), Ezeh is a good option at OLB.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Mark Moundros. He was voted defensive captain for a reason . . . and I think the biggest reason was that he was clearly willing to change positions (and sides of the ball!) as a senior just to try to help the team and get on the field. However, I don't think he's fast enough, instinctive enough, or experienced enough to make an impact on defense. Hopefully the guy he replaced (Jonas Mouton) returns soon from his chest injury. If Mouton is still unavailable next week, I'd prefer to see J.B. Fitzgerald start at weakside linebacker, Demens in the middle, and Ezeh at OLB.
MVP of the Purdue game . . . Vincent Smith. This was a tough choice, because nobody really took over the game this week. There were several guys who had one or two big plays (Craig Roh, Cameron Gordon, Roy Roundtree, James Rogers), but Smith had a solid day and finished with just under 100 yards, including a stellar 19-yard run. Good for him.