|Drew Dileo (image via AnnArbor.com)|
That being said, yay! Good golly, I hate Mark Dantonio. I hate William Gholston, too, but Dantonio is the biggest tool of a coach in the Big Ten, even more so than Bret Bielema. It would have felt great to see Dantonio lose, even if Michigan wasn't the opponent. It just makes the win that much sweeter that seniors Denard Robinson, Elliott Mealer, Patrick Omameh, Jordan Kovacs, Craig Roh, etc. succeed in their last chance to beat the Spartans. Congratulations to those guys.
Thank you, Drew Dileo. Wide receiver Drew Dileo played a great game. He's never going to be the fastest player in the field, and he certainly isn't the biggest. But he's the type of do-it-all player and possession receiver that finds all kinds of ways to win a football game. He came up huge in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech, and he had another standout performance on Saturday with 4 catches for 92 yards . . . and as the holder on all four of Michigan's scoring plays.
Brendan Gibbons and Matt Wile were great. I was extremely impressed with the solid kicking from these two guys. Gibbons was 3/3 kicking, including the 38-yard game-winner. Wile was 1/1 in his first career chance to kick a field goal, and that one was a long attempt from 48 yards. Obviously, each of the four kicks was huge.
Jeremy Jackson is slow. At a couple points in the game, I couldn't help harking back to the days when wide receiver Jeremy Jackson was recruited. I said then that he didn't have the athleticism to be an impact player at Michigan, and I still question why he's on the field so much. Denard Robinson targeted him a couple times deep, and while the throws could have been more accurate, Jackson looked like he was running in quicksand. If the play call is for someone to go deep, then Jackson should be replaced by someone with a little giddyup.
The defense was pretty darn good. There wasn't much of a pass rush, and the coverage on the outside was mediocre. But the Wolverines only allowed 68 yards to Le'Veon Bell (on 26 carries) and 86 total rushing yards to the offense (punter Mike Sadler ran 26 yards on a fake punt, which I won't pin on the defense). Desmond Morgan (11 tackles) is playing very well, and Jake Ryan (10 tackles, 1 sack) was all over the place once again, and Bell's longest run was 8 yards.
Cornerbacks are a concern. J.T. Floyd made a couple nice plays on short passes and supporting the run, which is an improvement for him; however, he was beaten deep a couple times by receivers who were unable to hook up with MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell. Meanwhile, Raymon Taylor left with an elbow injury, leaving the opposite side to slot corner Courtney Avery. I'm hoping that Taylor can return soon, because the Wolverines are running out of healthy corners. The only other guys left on the roster are backup slot corner Delonte Hollowell and tiny freshman Terry Richardson.
Michigan has 900 wins. That's more wins than any other football program in the history of the whole wide universe. By comparison, Michigan State has 643 all-time victories. The Wolverines are now 68-32-5 against the Spartans.