|Willie Henry celebrates his touchdown (image via Zimbio)|
Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Shane Morris. I don't know the rationale behind inserting Morris into the game last night. Personally, I thought it seemed like a reaction to public presssure. Gardner was obviously pressing again, but he's still the most experienced, most athletic, and best quarterback on the team. If Gardner was pulled as a punishment for bad decision-making . . . okay. If Gardner was pulled in order to keep him healthy . . . that's lame in a two-score game with about a quarter to go. If Gardner was pulled because the coaches think Morris is his equal . . . that's dumb. I realize that Gardner isn't getting the job done, but sometimes that guy is still the best guy.
Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Jarrod Wilson. Wilson hadn't been a standout this year, but safety was the huge question mark on defense this year because he was the only experienced guy back there. Of course, he got hurt and has missed the last two games. Now Michigan is left with redshirt sophomore Jeremy Clark, who is prone to fundamental breakdowns; sophomore Dymonte Thomas, who is a decent tackler but needs work in coverage; and sophomore Delano Hill, who played exclusively on special teams last year and has missed a large chunk of time with a broken jaw this fall. Michigan needs him back healthy.
Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody. Other than the mish-mash of young safeties mentioned above, the defense is doing a good job. They only allowed one offensive touchdown and five field goal attempts, and the main reason they got that many chances to score was because the offense couldn't drive deep into Utah territory.
Play of the game . . . Willie Henry's interception and touchdown. Near his own goal line, backup quarterback Kendal Thompson - temporarily replacing starter Travis Wilson, who had suffered a worse-than-it-seemed, face-first crash landing on the sideline - dropped back to pass. Smelling blood, Michigan's defensive line tore through Utah's front five, and Jake Ryan wrapped him up. Thompson tried to chuck it short over Henry's head, but Henry got vertical (a little bit), bobbled the ball (a little bit), and then made a visible attempt to truck Thompson on his way into the endzone. Honorable mention in this category goes to Jourdan Lewis, who came all the way across the field to track down Utah running back Bubba Poole on a 67-yard screen catch-and-run.
MVP of the game . . . Jake Ryan. Ryan had 13 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in the game. He's coming around as an inside linebacker, and he even played both options on a power read option play, making the tackle on quarterback Travis Wilson for a loss.